Making an impact on the pet population
You may have seen our newly wrapped vehicles driving around the Twin Cities metro. There are minivans, full size vans and even larger vehicles now covered in orange with fun animals playing all around it. But did you know one of those larger vehicles is a Mobile Services Unit (MSU) or a mobile surgical unit equipped with two veterinary technicians and one veterinarian?
At AHS we sterilize more than 15,000 animals per year that then go to our adoption floors. But since July 2006, the MSU has helped to sterilize more than 2,800 additional animals each year throughout the state of Minnesota.
According to Brenda Zelinka, executive director of Northwoods Humane Society in Forest Lake, Minn., the MSU is the most phenomenal thing to happen at Northwoods in quite a while. “I don’t know how they do it, but it saves us time, money and places a lot less stress on the animals.”
Animal Humane Society has partnered with 25 different animal welfare organizations throughout the state to provide them with low-cost spay/neuter services via the MSU. The unit splits its time between providing services at AHS’s Golden Valley and Coon Rapids facilities to being onsite at various organizations as far-reaching as Brainerd, Rochester and Wadena. They also travel to Red Lake Indian Reservation where they spend two days helping the residents of the reservation and one day at Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue.
“I enjoy working in the MSU,” explains Christie Daluge, veterinary technician and MSU coordinator. “We get to see an immediate reaction from the people we help. They’re so grateful for the service.”
“The MSU offers a valuable service to Minnesota’s animal shelters and rescue organizations,” says Dr. Kim Culbertson, the veterinarian performing the spay/neuter surgeries in the MSU. “Not only does it enable these organizations to place already altered pets in homes, but it also frees up precious resources to address any health concerns the animals may have.”
The MSU staff does not shy away from what many may see as impossible. When they’re onsite at Red Lake Rosie’s they see an average of 35 animals for their spay/neuter procedures. And it’s not uncommon for 45 cats to visit the MSU when it’s in Golden Valley.
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Never-before-seen species makes it way to Animal Humane Society See it for yourself at the Walk for Animals on Saturday, May 2
Late one evening last week, just before they were closing the main doors of the adoption center, Animal Humane Society staff spotted it. It was slowly making its way out of the woods and toward the building. Careful not to scare itself with every step, it took some time for it to approach the curious hands now waiting outside the door.
Once inside, veterinary staff called back in for the occasion approached it with a mix of excitement and concern. What was it? Initial impressions left staff baffled that it could be a mix of several different species. But how was it possible? Where did it come from? Were they witnessing something momentous beyond their imagination?
Gotcha! It’s April Fool’s Day and we’d like to say thank you for being a subscriber to Pet Dish with one of those far out stories that can only be told on this day. The reality is there wasn’t a curious creature from the woods. The only curious sites to see at Animal Humane Society are on Saturday, May 2 at the Walk for Animals.
On this unbelievably fun day you’ll see alligators, miniature ponies, ferrets, cats, potbellied pigs, birds, dogs and many other curious, four-legged friends. New to the event this year is the abundance of activities and contests for you and your pet to do. There are too many to list here. See for yourself at http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/walk/see.
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All you need is love
Meet Marley. She was brought to Animal Humane Society last July because her previous owner could no longer afford her. For many cats, arriving at AHS is the beginning of the final chapter in their journey to find a lasting, loving home. For others, it is one step in a series to get them where they’re meant to be.
In 2008, AHS launched Mission: Meow, a foster program providing adult cats a home for six months during a time when kittens overwhelm its adoption floors. This time is better known as “kitten season” and when adult cats are overlooked and experience extended stays on the adoption floor. AHS doesn’t have the space to accommodate the thousands of cats that flood its facilities during this time each year. The program was designed to combat that problem and give adult cats the love and kindness they deserve during their time of need.
Alexia and Eric Hitchings of St. Louis Park, Minn. came across the Mission: Meow program on the AHS website. They had been considering adopting a dog, but knew they didn’t have the room and chose to foster an adult cat through the program. That’s when Marley joined the couple and their two-year-old cats Milo and Nala, adopted from AHS’s Golden Valley location.
Now boasting a shiny coat and a healthy weight gain of six pounds, Marley never disappointed Alexia and Eric with her affection and her antics-- including "talking" to them and giving them hugs. In her time with Alexia and Eric Marley would find all of her toys in the middle of the night and drop them one-by-one in a pile next to the bed for the couple to enjoy in the morning.
In February Marley returned to AHS to begin the next phase of her journey, this time to a permanent home. After 22 days she was adopted out of AHS's St. Paul facility. There were only six kittens available for adoption that day.
“We’ve always adopted kittens” said Alexia. “But now, after Marley, we’ll only adopt adult cats.”
As residents of the Fargo-Moorhead area began to face record-breaking flood waters, the Special Case Response Team from Animal Humane Society responded to a call to help the animals affected by the rising flood waters in the Red River Valley. The team was among the first animal welfare organizations on site to assist in the disaster.
According to Kathie Johnson, AHS director of animal services, AHS is experienced in these kind of rescue efforts having sent teams to Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and last year’s Ike where 120 dogs were transported to AHS locations to find new homes. “Last summer we were also on-site for the floods in Iowa—caring for animals and bringing more than 40 dogs and cats to AHS sites. Helping with these natural disasters is an important part of our work at AHS.”
The team set up the staging area at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo last Thursday and returned home that weekend after being relieved by the Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nations’ Emergency Animal Rescue Service. Before their departure they were caring for 38 cats, more than 60 dogs and 40 horses displaced by the flood.
Birds of a feather
They’ve been together for 12 years. Their bond is so strong that when Judy started going bald, Barney didn’t seem to care as long as she was by his side. They lost their home last September due to finances and have been waiting in the wings ever since.
Barney and Judy are a pair of bonded cockatiels who were brought to Animal Humane Society last September after their owner could no longer afford to keep them. When they came in, it was determined Judy’s balding was probably due to overgrooming on Barney’s part. Her skin is not irritated and the feather loss has neither worsened nor improved. It can’t be stated with certainty that the feathers will grow back, but it can be said that these two will make a great pair of pets in a new home. Please consider bringing this couple into your home by visiting our Golden Valley facility.
Call for entries: America’s Top Dog Model contest
Are you and your dog ready to be part of the hottest and most stylish dog competition in America? Then get ready to “Go Gorgeously Green” at the Walk for Animals and enter the 2009 America’s Top Dog Model contest! We’re staging the regional event at the Walk and the winner will go on to the national finals. (Learn more… )
Sit. Stay. Look like your owner!
Have you always wanted to show off your stupid pet tricks but couldn’t quite make it to NYC? Then your moment has arrived! Practice your silly stunts with your pet and hit the main stage on Saturday, May 2 at the Walk for Animals. Don’t know any tricks? Join us for the pet-person look-alike contest. (Learn more… )
photo courtesty of Anjuli
A picture worth a thousand purrs
Thanks to the Photographers Guild there will be a lot more happy purrs and barks and squeaks at Animal Humane Society. Now through the month of May they’re offering a sitting for you and your pet, plus an 8x10 photo for a suggested donation of $40. Get a picture of you and your pet and help homeless and neglected animals. Call (651) 646-3239 to schedule your sitting.
Puppy mill bill tabled for the year
The Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill bill (SF 7/HF 253) did not pass this year in the Minnesota legislature. We all worked hard, together, to educate our legislators and encourage them to understand the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding; unfortunately, there are certain Minnesota legislators who still do not believe a problem exists and do not understand the purpose of or need for regulation. While this news is disappointing, we can't stop trying. (read more… )
What women want
The annual “What Women Want” issue of the Minnesota Women’s Press is hitting newsstands now and features an assortment of readers’ pet friendly favorite places—and Animal Humane Society’s Boarding facility in Golden Valley is one of them! Get your issue today and then reserve your pet’s stay. Rates are reasonable and all dollars go back to help the animals of AHS. (read more… )
Homeless and neglected animals love checking things off our wish list. New Kongs and a little Timothy hay are the makings for a great day on AHS adoption floors. See what you can provide by reviewing our current wish list.