Friday, July 29, 2011

Saluting the Spectator ... pt 2

From Tuesday's Spectator
Finding forever homes: Part 2
Published on July 27, 2011

Making the world a kinder place, one kitty at a time
By Heather Killen

The Spectator

Kelso lucked out when he was picked up by the animal control officer and ended up at the Kitty Cottage in Margaretsville with CAPS member Anna Clark. Some aren’t so lucky. Heather Killen photo

Kelso the kitten has already used two of his nine lives just getting to the Kitty Cottage in Margaretsville.

Anna Clark, of the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), said that Kelso, a four-month-old kitten, was found alone with a hip fracture on the side of a road. The animal control officer in Annapolis County rescued the kitten after it was seen trying to walk and falling over.
Kelso is still in recovery and will be coming up for adoption in the next several weeks. He is one of 135 cats and two dogs currently being fostered by CAPS volunteers. This volunteer group was formed in December 2004 with a mandate to help abandoned and stray companion animals in Annapolis County.
Forever Homes
The Annapolis County Spectator is teaming up with local animal rescue groups like CAPS to help some of these animals find forever homes. Each week, we’ll feature an adoptable animal from one of the local animal rescue groups.
We’re introducing the groups and featuring some of the animals now in foster care. Whenever the animal control picks up stray cats and dogs, they are taken to the county pound, where they are held for about a week so that owners have a chance to reclaim them.
After a certain time, unclaimed animals are released into CAPS’ care, as space in foster homes permit. There is no animal shelter in Annapolis County, so homeless animals are taken in by volunteers.
If it weren’t for these volunteers who look after the strays, the animals would probably be euthanized. Animals are taken to the vet for a complete check-up and vaccinations and after a quarantine period, the animal is spayed or neutered and listed for adoption.
Lots of Kittens
Clark runs one of the larger foster care facilities in the county, with approximately 40 adoptable cats and one dog now in her care. On average her group takes in about 100 animals each year and finds homes for the majority of them.
Almost half of the animals they see every year are kittens and Clark estimates they will see at least 40 kittens this year. Already several litters have been brought in and often they are found abandoned and too many sad cases are not as lucky as Kelso.
Because CAPS has a no-kill policy, some of the animals have been with the group for several years. One notable example is Grand Dad, a 23-year-old cat who has been with CAPS almost from the beginning.
Clark and her husband finally adopted Grand Dad after the cat’s health began to deteriorate. His failing liver, kidneys, and heart condition made him a poor candidate for adoption and Clark said she didn’t want him to die an orphan.
“But he just keeps on going strong,” she said. “As long as we have a roof, so will they.”
Full-Time Job
Keeping a roof over all these animals is a full-time job for this retired teacher and her many dedicated volunteers. Clark says they’re fortunate to have the support of many good-hearted people who give their time and talent to these animals.
On August 13 the Above Par Golf Course in South Farmington is hosting a Golf Day in support of CAPS, donating green fees to the group. CAPS is also busy compiling the annual pet calendar, the proceeds from this project support the animals in care.
For more information on CAPS and the many animals looking for permanent homes, visit Or call Anna Clark at 825-2277, or email
Well then.  Last week ASDR!  This week CAPS!   At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, this is a Very Good Thing.  
Good for the adorable adoptable pets waiting for their ship to come in.  Good for kind hearts considering pet adoption.  At the end of the day, it is good community service for the Spectator to get this information out there for all the world to see!
As hard as it is for my facebook friends to imagine, there is a whole world of computer literate people out there who lead a full and complete life without facebook.   Nor are they always inclined to visit the animal rescue and SPCA sites.
Mainstream media features are the most effective way to 'network' and reach more potential adopters / volunteers / supporters. 
It is always important to remember that if only one percent of the estimated 350,000 households in this province woke up tomorrow morning and decided to adopt a pet, there actually might not be enough available in all the shelters and rescues for them!  
What time is it?   It is always time to remember that we don't need to change the whole world, we just need to wake up a few more kind hearts to get to No Kill Nova Scotia!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Book Sale this Saturday!!!

Please Note: Due to the forecast for Saturday, the Book Sale has been postponed until Aug 13 with a rain date of Aug 14!
Who doesn't love a bargain?  Before moving back to the Maritimes twenty-four years ago, I had never heard of Frenchies or seen such passion for roadside yardsales!   But ... being a single Mom back in the days before better military paychecks, I took to every new thrifty opportunity like the proverbial duck to water!
Second Chance Charity for Animals shouldn't just appeal to anyone's inner bargain hunter.   All the the proceeds go to rescues in the HRM area ... and in a scant year and a half they have raised an impressive amount ( $22,140 as of last tally on their website)!
How do they do it?  Every weekend, committed volunteers tend their both in the Harbourview Market.   Every now and then there are special events such as this Saturday's Book Sale (see poster below).  And every bit that they raise goes to help animals.
Unlike certain national charitable organizations who spend the lions share of every fundraised dollar on administration and advertising costs .... this is run by volunteers so that the money actually makes its way to the animals.
What time is it?  It is always, always time to cheer when bargain hunting can be of such benefit to the animals! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Purrfect Idea from PET Projects!

I love Dora!  Mind you, anyone who remembers the tale of Dora remembers what was a skittish journey that was!   No stray cat or small foundling had ever prepared me for a relationship with a feral kitten!  From fleeting glimpse to first touch, weeks and weeks were spent building trust.
Weeks of lying on the ice quietly talking to the suspicious little ragamuffin under the garden shed.  Weeks of offering a steady buffet of stinky sardines and canned cat food on the laundry stoop.  Weeks of patience and weeks of love.
To be perfectly honest, a lot of credit has to go to Oscar.   He was drawn in by the food for Dora ... and anyone who has followed this blog for anytime knows that initially I had thought that Oscar was Dora's Mom.  
They both had identical tuxedo bibs and boots ... and he was so nurturing and protective of her it was an easy leap to make.  As everyone knows, stray cats are the original mothers of all ferals, eh?
It took ten months to settle Dora into the safety of the house.   Ten months of baby steps.  Ten months to travel a distance that could be measured in yards!
So it should be no surprise that I have a special affection for anyone who goes the extra mile for feral kitties.  I am a middle aged grandmother not a TNR expert, but I have found out first hand that sometimes the best bits are the ones we have to work the hardest for :)
Which of course is why I was delighted to see that this week, PET Projects is having a Scaredy Cat Special!   Its no secret that I have a special affection for the kind hearts at PET Projects! 
Who wouldn't admire such hard work ... from folks that continually keep coming up with innovative ways to help the animals in their community?   Helping folks keep the pets they love!  Partnering with kind hearts to find better outcomes for homeless pets!  It is no wonder they have such strong community support in Shelbourne County!
What time is it?  It is always time to support those who keep coming up with such great ideas!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Urgent ... foster needed ASAP for large senior dog!

Rascal has barely been here two weeks ... and already he has our little routine down pat!   He has already learned that Miss Ruby is not above running to the window and barking when someone is sleeping in the dog bed The Queen of Sheba would like to have!
Rascal was quick to learn The First Rule of Cat (we were here first and we rule :)  It took no time at all for him to get the hang of our daily routine and stake out his own spot on my bed.
This is particularly remarkable because Rascal spent ten or so years living with a lady in her eighties.    How could he settle so smoothly into such a very different routine?
Because he is a senior of course!   All those cliches I use on the senior pet site really are true, ya know!   
I will always be grateful to ASDR for stepping up so that Rascal could start the journey that would lead him to my door.  To ARC for rescuing dear little Andy.  How did they do that?  With fosters of course!
If fosters are the lifeblood of rescue, that holds in spades for seniors!  More so, since they can become homeless so suddenly when crisis strikes their caretakers.  
Fosters really make a life and death difference at that time!  Today, ARC needs a foster to provide a safe haven for a lovely thirteen year old dog named Sioux.  
A friend of Sioux's caregiver describes Sioux as "13, gentle natured, non dominant, great with women and even kids, so long as they are good natured themselves. She was raised around a very good natured little girl, and I never thought twice about her being around the dogs, even when the dogs went through hyper puppy stage. Sioux is not food aggressive or property aggressive etc.. Having been raised with a male twin (who died four years ago), she would do well with another older male dog her same size, 80 - 120  lbs., so long as that dog liked other dogs......and liked her...."
Everyone wishes with all their hearts that Sioux could stay with her Mom, but that is not possible.    This is a beautiful gentle dog who deserves the opportunity to have a second chance at love.
What time is it?  It is time for everyone to put on their thinking caps to find a safe foster for this sweet dog so that ARC can tuck her under their paw.  If you can help, please click here.   
Because I can promise you ... they are never, ever too old to be loved.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Monday morning Cat Chat

I love my mighty little mini Morgan!  She may be the smallest member of the family circle, but even the big dogs hop when she puts her paw down.  
Living out here in hillbilly heaven / aka such a popular dumping spot, Morgan is actually the only cat that I have adopted.   Sadly, everyone else has just showed up after someone else thought they weren't worth keeping :(
Why did I go all the way over to SHAID to adopt Morgan?  Were there no homeless cats here in the Valley?  Were there no cats here already? 
Of course not!   In the course of doing the research to build the homeless pet site, I found Morgan's story in the newsletter on the SHAID website. 
She had been a teenaged mommy who had been so badly hurt that she couldn't walk, and everyone at SHAID had been afraid there might have been an Unhappy Tail waiting after her kittens were weaned.  
But, in true mighty Morgan style, she surprised everyone and started to move and finally was able to get up on her own.  Her kittens had been adopted, but nobody wanted to adopt a little momcat with a funny little hitch to her gait :(
I will always have a special affection for SHAID, because at that time not everyone would have waited for Morgan to get back on her feet.   Had she been elsewhere, we would not have had the opportunity to become such good friends!
But that isn't even the best bit!  I was amazed at how darned easy and simple it was to adopt a cat from SHAID.  No five page form!  No waiting for a week for references to be checked!  
In a world where homeless cats are like the proverbial mice .... where there are dozens of potentially Unsung Unhappy Tails waiting for every available rescue slot, it behooves all groups and shelters to make cat adoption as user friendly as possible.
Here in Nova Scotia, many kind hearts still see nothing wrong with letting their pet cats go outside.  I would run out of fingers and toes to count the good pet owners of my acquaintance who let their own personal cats go outside.  Their own spayed and neutered cats.  Their own cats that come in to be fed and loved.
Do I let my personal cats go outside?  Not anymore.  Not here ... where there is a coyote den a stones throw away.  Not here ... where the eagles and hawks hunt overhead.  And especially not here ... where a couple of my neighbours are quick to complain to animal control because cats find their bird feeders irresistible!
Did I ever let my cats out?  You bet!  Kitty Bear is the last one who had that privilege .. and by our best guestimate she is pushing twenty now (or more:).  She only became an indoor cat when she started napping in the oregano, for all the eagles and hawks to see :(
My best friend had a lovely cat who lived to be well over twenty ... and who only came indoors in the winter. 
In a province where cats are valued as much for their mousing skills as their looks, it is poor logic to deny cats the opportunity of a good home.   It is important to remember that indoor only lifestyles carry their own set of health risks related to obesity, eh?
Even more essential is the role that pet adoption plays in population control.  With the exception of a couple of society branches ( and I'm betting not for much longer :), each and every cat that is adopted becomes part of the solution.  Straight, sweet and simple ... spayed and neutered cats do not create kittens!
Currently the status quo sends anyone who 'lets the cat out' straight to the sources that create so many of the problems for rescue.  Pet Stores and the free online ad sites do not tell people how to care for their pets, eh?
How many of those cats wind up creating more kitttens?   Would it not be much better for their owners to have been able to adopt a cat that was already altered?
What time is it?  If there were no waiting lists .... if adoptions were moving along so merrily that every shelter could always take all owner surrenders ... then it might make sense to insist that adopters 'don't let the cat out".  Until that day, it is always time to encourage the kind hearts who are interested in adopting a cat.
Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard ..
from Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Everbody Knows

from this morning's Herald
Charges may come after dog pulled from hot car
By LAURA FRASER Staff Reporter
Sat, Jul 23 - 4:55 AM
The Nova Scotia SPCA could lay animal cruelty charges against a man who left his dog in a car Friday as the temperature inside climbed to more than 50 degrees.
Halifax Regional Police got a call shortly before 3 p.m. when someone saw the dog inside a green Toyota Echo at the east side of Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. The vehicle’s windows were partly open.
Officers took the American Staffordshire terrier from the car, because it looked to be in distress, a police report said. Its owner returned at 4:08 p.m. carrying three shopping bags.
The chief inspector for the provincial SPCA said the pet may have been inside the car for more than an hour, but Neil Fraser said he had to confirm that with the animal’s owner. Fraser registered readings between 41 and 57 degrees in the car just after the dog was taken out.
"It doesn’t take very long for damage to happen," Fraser said. "It can cause organ failure, the body goes into shock. The heat just basically begins to bake the animal."
After police took the dog from the car, it lay on a patch of shaded sidewalk for more than half an hour and drank more than a litre of water. The pet seemed sluggish at first and had to be picked up to get in the car that would take it to a vet.
On the air-conditioned drive, Fraser said the dog began to perk up. The Nova Scotia SPCA planned to hold the animal for observation over the weekend after the vet’s examination.
Fraser said he would also speak with the dog’s owner and make the decision about whether to return the pet and whether to lay charges of causing distress to an animal.
If convicted, a first offender could face a maximum fine of $10,000, although Fraser said that severe a sentence would be extremely unlikely. The judge would probably hand down a smaller fine and consider banning an owner from keeping animals for some time, the inspector said.
A woman outside Mic Mac Mall said the owner should face consequences.
"It’s no different than leaving a child in the car," Jennifer McGowan said. She said she feels "sympathy for the dog and anger for the owner. Owners like that shouldn’t have animals."
The provincial SPCA has received about 30 reports this summer of animals being left in parked cars.
With files from Dan Arsenault, crime reporter
Why do we keep seeing these stories every year?  Do people not understand that leaving dogs in hot cars puts them at such risk?  That it is animal cruelty?
Of course they do!  In the same way that folks always understood that driving home after an evening at the tavern wasn't a good idea.  That there was something wrong when the wife kept falling down the stairs!   That getting pregnant wasn't grounds for dismissal!
Understanding has never been an effective deterrent on its own!  Why did people start thinking twice about driving under the influence?  Did all that public education start to sink in?  Did they suddenly evolve into better / wiser / more responsible folks? 
Of course not!  I know I go on and on like a stuck record on the subject ... but at the end of the day the single solution to stopping socially unacceptable behaviors of any sort is with legislation.
If we already had a law banning dogs being left unattended in cars, then the society's Chief Inspector wouldn't need to try to confirm time lines with the dog's owner.  There would be no use of the phrase 'charges may be laid' in the headlines.
It would be cut and dried ... dog left in car unattended automatically equals a specific fine. 
Here in Kings County, there are fines for not licensing our dogs.   For letting them go on walkabout.   For not picking up their poop.  
Everybody 'knows' leaving dogs unattended in cars on a hot day is just wrong. Ahh ..  but does everybody know that the car can still be an oven even with the windows cracked open?   Parked in the shade even?
Does everybody know for sure that they will only be two minutes?  That there won't be a lineup?   That they won't bump into friends along the way?
Does everybody know that they won't get distracted?  That it is easy to lose track of time doing something they enjoy?  Especially in an air conditioned store ?
Common sense is actually a rare thing, eh?  At the end of the day, legislation is the only sure way to make sure that 'everybody knows'.
The other day on Facebook, this photo was being passed around.  Everyone thought it was a great idea!  Just imagine what would happen if each and everyone who thought it was a good idea took the time to email their MLA and their municipal councillors on the subject?
What time is it?   It is time for each and everyone of us to stop complaining to each other and contact the politicians that we elected.  At the end of the day .... strong voter feedback is the only way to ensure that 'everybody knows'
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Leonard Cohen

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saluting the Spectator

From Tuesday's Spectator
Finding forever homes
Published July 19, 2011
Spectator teaming up with rescue groups to help with animal adoptions
By Heather KillenThe Spectator

Quinn has had a rough life, but now he’s in the care of people who care for him. He’s just one of many dogs needing a good home. Contributed
Like many survivors of very hard times, the Mighty Quinn looks pretty old for his age.
Quinn, a mixed breed dog, spent most of his eight or so years tied outside. While his coat is slowly growing back and the open sores over his body have healed, the skin on his neck will probably always be rough and hairless after years of being chaffed by a rope.
While Quinn is one of the more severe hard luck cases to come along in some time, hundreds of animals fall on hard times each year. Even dogs and cats that are loved and pampered suddenly need homes when their caregiver’s lives change.
The Annapolis County Spectator is teaming up with local animal rescue groups to help some of these animals find forever homes. Each week, we’ll feature an adoptable animal from one of the local animal rescue groups.
In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce the groups and feature some of the animals now in foster care.
Mighty Quinn
Nahleen Ashton, a volunteer with Atlantic Small Dog Rescue, said Quinn has been in foster care for nearly three months now after being seized by the RCMP. He gets three baths a week and a special medicated mousse to treat the open sores caused by a severe and chronic flea infestation.
He’s slowly coming around after the years of neglect and is a very friendly and affectionate guy.
“He loves people and people love him,” she said. He’s also recovering from a second surgery to remove a tumour that was initially detected when he was being neutered.
Ashton says he was in such rough shape when she took him in, no one thought he’d live very long. He looks like a very old soul, but could be as young as eight.
“I thought at first, I’ll take him for the end of his days,” she said. “But he’s not on his way out. He just looks old for his age, he’s had a lot of emotional miles put on in those short years.”

Facebook Page
Quinn has his own Facebook Page (The Mighty Quinn) where his status is updated and well-wishers can donate to ASDR to help cover his vet costs. His overall health has improved and he’s now in a foster home that will spoil him.
In many cases a dog needing this much attention would probably be euthanized, but Atlantic Small Dog Rescue ensures that no dog will be turned away due to its size or health. This group was formed after it was determined that many dogs were falling through the cracks due to age, health, or temperament issues.
On February 14th, 2010 the first official rescue, a beagle, appropriately named Valentine was accepted from the Hants County SPCA. A network of foster homes was organized throughout Atlantic Canada.
To date, ASDR has successfully placed 90 dogs in forever homes.
Most of the dogs that come into foster care have not been abused, but have been surrendered by their owners as a result of life changes.
In the Valley area ASDR has six foster homes, including Nahleen Ashton and Julie Lannon. A web site was created, where stories about dogs and a list of dogs we have in foster ready to go to a forever home are featured.
The web site also gives the public the opportunity to apply for a friend, to volunteer or to donate for much needed vetting and supplies.
First and foremost, my hat is off to Heather Killen and the Spectator for starting this lovely new series featuring a different rescue each week!   Who knows how many folks will be inspired to adopt their next best friend as a result of this???
Why am I waxing so enthusiastic?  Is it because articles or features in the mainstream media reach out to the 'silent majority' who who are utterly unaware of the animal rescue websites?  Is it that mainstream media features lend a stamp of legitimacy for ever so many folks?
Or is it simply so lovely to see Quinn's story showcasing the simple truth about our four footed friends ... that they are never too old or too ill to be loved?
What time is it?   It is time to thank the Spectator for using its power to influence public opinion to promote pet adoption!   Buy a paper ... write them a letter .. and encourage your friends to do the same!

When opportunity knocks.....

From Monday's Vanguard
Volunteers sought for Yarmouth SPCA

Published on July 18, 2011

Carla Allen
Following the June 27 resignations of nine out of 11 Yarmouth SCPA board members, the Nova Scotia SPCA has taken up direct operational control of the branch.
The society is now recruiting for new board members and a shelter manager. Descriptions of these positions are posted on and
The outgoing board members say their resignations were due to the frustrations and stress of exploring new draft governance models prepared by the provincial body.
Nova Scotia SPCA executive director Kristin Williams says governance discussions are ongoing.
“They remain focused on achieving greater alignment and consistency in operations between branches, along with compliance with elevated standards of care and policy, and greater participation and engagement with our communities,” she said.
The outgoing members were concerned with the handling of funds raised by their shelter.
“It was clearly our understanding that in these draft models, we saw the fact that down the road there was going to be an awful lot of control of our finances and not only that, the shelter manager,” said former Yarmouth SPCA president Kathleen Fitzgerald.
Williams disagrees.
“Funds that are raised in our communities, stay within those communities and are put towards initiatives that support our mission and mandate. The provincial society has, and would continue to ensure compliance and support to its network of branches in that endeavour,” she said.
She added that, “the (Yarmouth) branch is strained financially. It is operating with a projected deficit of $24,000, which presumes the success of fundraising events that have not been planned and in which the branch may not have the resources to carry out. The provincial society is currently funding Yarmouth’s deficit in the short term until it can re-establish itself and become sustainable. As a result, we are appealing to interested community members who want to help the animals of Yarmouth and the surrounding communities to come forward and apply for the new board of directors.”
Fitzgerald says it’s not unusual for a non-profit organization to have a deficit.
“It’s always run on a tight budget, it’s the nature of the non-profit, but we’ve always managed to come out ahead, or to come out even.”
The NS SPCA has audited the operations of the Yarmouth branch and has several concerns regarding quality of care that have been addressed, including training deficiencies, cleanliness, disease control, and improper accommodation and environmental management.
The shelter is now being visited bi-monthly to ensure and support the maintenance of increased standards of care and to ensure that flow and capacity challenges are addressed. Williams noted that the staff are responding well to the changes and are happy to be focused on animal care.
“The society is looking forward to getting back on track in Yarmouth. The dramatic and surprising resignations have resulted in an opportunity for new leadership of the Yarmouth branch with a returned focus on improved standards of care,” she said.
Rest assured this is not going to be another post discussing personal politics vs the dog politics that should be the focus of any SPCA Branch.  To be perfectly honest,  I think I've already beat this particular subject to death on a previous post, eh?
Like the old poster on my laundry room wall with the gaggle of geese says, now its time for everyone to "do something ... lead, follow or get out of the way"   What a marvelous opportunity for folks in the area to shape the oldest SPCA Branch in the province into something very special!
That being said, what can a person who does not live in the Yarmouth area do to help?  
Hmmm .... they already have one of the best petfinder coordinators in the province. (the topic of how she has inspired and awakened others to the benefits of using Petfinder properly is a really sweet subject that should stand on its own some other time :)
Still, there are other things that anyone from 'away' can do to help:  
  • spread the word about their summer adoption special .  I know I go on and on like a stuck record, but that it only because social networking really does help pets get adopted.  
  • Petfinder has share and email buttons on all its adoptable pet listings.  Make a point of sharing one of their pet listings a couple of times a week.  You might not be looking to adopt ... but perhaps one of these lovelies will catch the eye of one of your friends ... or of their friends...etc
  • sponsor the adoption fee for one of their pets.    That doesn't mean these pets will be given away willy nilly ... but it will give them an edge :)  Under the 'no good deed goes unrewarded category', you will get a tax receipt for this :)
  • Did you know that any donation of supplies over ten dollars will garner you a tax receipt, provided of course you can produce a sales slip for same?  Currently Yesterday's News Cat Litter is at the top of the shelter Wish List
  • Naturally donations are always helpful
  • And last but not least, if you ARE thinking of bringing a new best friend into the family, why not scroll down and meet the adorable adoptable pets at the Yarmouth SPCA? 
What time is it?   It is always time to recognize a splendid opportunity like this!
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.     Thomas Edison

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mark your calendar for Labour Day Weekend!!!

I love summer, even if it seems to slide away sooner than we would wish.   For my money, the heat and the humidity and the horseflies are easily offset by the mellow South Mountain manyana around here.
Supper can be as simple as stepping outside to BBQ.  Salads can be picked fresh out of the garden ... or found very reasonably at any farmer's market.  Party prep can be as easy as tidying up the firepit!
Around here, summer seems to stretch between two long weekends.   Victoria Day launches the start of camping and gardening season.   After Labour Day the whole back to school bit seems to stop summer in its tracks.
This year there will a wonderful new way to celebrate Labour Day weekend, Atlantic Small Dog Rescue is putting on The First Annual Rescue Dog Show
What a great idea!!!   There will be fun activities to entice people in ... along with a sensibly modest admission fee of two dollars for anyone over twelve!  Rescues will be represented!   There will be vendor tables to explore!
But the fun doesn't stop there!  Already, commitments have been made for :
  • Sylvia Jay is giving a discussion on positive training
  • Bonnie Conrad is going to give a flyball demonstration
  • Amanda Layton is putting on a small dog fashion show
  • Twyla and Spencer are putting on an agility demonstration
  • there will be a musical sit
  • Cynthia will do nail clippings for donations
Gosh ... it is just frosting on the cake that Atlantic Small Dog Rescue will also be holding a silent auction as well as having flea market table!
It should be no surprise to see me waxing so enthusiastic about this event.  Not when it reminds me of all the best bits that a Nova Scotia week for the animals would offer!
It is being held in a very central location ... at the Hants County Exhibition in Windsor.  Good parking .... easy to find ... and with a facility that will work no matter what the weather brings.  
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the admission fee is designed to draw people on.   At a time of year when parents are spending big back to school dollars,  it would be poor logic to try to fundraise with the admission fee, eh?
Even better, encouraging attendance is just an excellent investment in humane education for those already out of school.  Each and every person who attends very well may become a more pawsitive pet owner.
Best of all, an easily accessible and fun event is a proven way to promote pet adoption!
What time is it?  It is always time to remember that every good thing has to start somewhere!   Mark your calendar for Labour Day so that you can always say you were there at the start!
Never be afraid to try something new.   Remember, amateurs built the ark.   Professionals built the Titanic.   source unknown.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Its Petfinder's Fifteenth Birthday!!!

I am a middle aged grandmother ... not a school child with summer stretching endlessly ahead.  What does that mean in realspeak?  When we live in a world where time waits for no woman, that life's occasions all should be celebrated of course!
Can you believe that Petfinder is celebrating its fifteenth birthday this week?  Just the other day that it was a good idea getting off the ground and now it
has been helping homeless pets for fifteen years!
So how does the biggest pet adoption advertising service throw a birthday bash?  With an adoption event of course!!!
As always, not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon ... but here in Nova Scotia there are a couple of groups holding adoption events this weekend!  East Coast German Shepherd Rescue and Homeward Bound City Pound are holding an adoption event tomorrow (Sat 16th) from Noon to 3PM at the Homeward Bound Pound (see poster below)
There will be a fundraising BBQ (and before the keyboards catch on fire THAT is for East Coast German Shepherd Rescue!!!) along with adorable adoptable pets from both groups to meet.
As you know from a previous post, SHAID is now open on weekends.  They are
celebrating Petfinder's 15th Birthday by offering special adoption fees for pairs of kitties they have at the shelter!   Kallie and JP!  Lotus and Lexus!  Mallory and Jaspurr!  Mike and Baxter! .....
I know I say it all the time, but the best amusement for a cat is almost always another cat!   These lovely pairs are already good friends and will keep each other company when you have to go to work or out and about!
What time is it?  It is always time to understand that adoption events are great attention getters for all the animals!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You can bet I'm going to get tickets for this !!!!

I am a middle aged grandmother not a gamer, so normally I wouldn't waltz into the store to buy a PlayStation three.   ( Although it might come in handy on those occasions when my granddaughter ... and her Daddy ... come to visit :)
But I do love to watch movies ... and like half the rest of the world am thinking of giving Netflix a whirl.   Even though I'm already connected to the net, I still need to pick one of the available options to stream it to my TV. 
Apple TV.  Wii.  And yes .. you guessed it ... PlayStation 3!
Really ... what could be better than buying tickets for this HART fundraiser?  Tickets are $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00, the draw is on Sept 1st and best of all this prize is brand new in the box!!!
What time is it?  It is always time to help out the cat rescues.  It is just frosting on the cake when there is such a very cool prize!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Urgent .... good homes needed ASAP!!!

I have a lot of respect for the individuals who rescue cats.   After everything that they have seen, it is no surprise that they are seldom diplomats.   Truth be told ... I think its incredible that most of them can manage to be polite to people!
That being said ... on a personal level I am pretty typical of most cat owners, in that Morgan is the only cat that I have actually adopted from rescue.   Clive belonged to a friend who passed away.  Everyone just showed up!   
Statistically that's pretty normal.  Don't get me wrong ... its not a bad thing that people adopt strays, but it sometimes makes for tricky times for cat adoption, eh? 
What happens when a legendary cat rescuer has to put rescuing on the back burner when her father becomes too ill to live on his own?  Why then there is an urgent need to find homes for the adoptables in her care of course!
What time is it?   Sonya Higgins has given so much to her community and to the kitties.  Now it is time for everyone to put their thinking caps on and try to help her find good homes for these wonderful cats!

Please Click Here for more information about any of these kitties or how to adopt them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Into my heart and my home ....

Hi there ... my name is Rascal ... and if you don't mind,  my new brother Andy and I aren't quite finished watering all Mom's shrubs yet!    That's a big job because Mom loves to garden almost as much as she loves us ... but we're an experienced pair of fellows and are certainly up to the task!
So the cat is finally out of the bag ... er I mean .. its ok to spill the beans now!   To be perfectly honest, I don't know why everyone was worried about me chasing cats .... sheesh you should see the size of Mom's cats!
I will admit that I did think about it for all of two seconds ... but they were quick to teach me The First Rule of Cat.   "We were here first and WE rule!"
I've only been here since Saturday, but we seasoned sorts settle in much more simply than the younger models.   It didn't take me long to figure out the routine ... especially with Andy here to show me the ropes.  
Mom says we're becoming like the old geezers that used to sit on the balcony of the Muppet show!  We've already started swapping beds as you can see!
I have a list as long as Miss Ruby's legs of the things I like here!  In my books, the homemade food alone more than makes up for the fact that a couple of the cats are bigger than me!
Mom says she's got a list too!   It was great that I settled in so easily with the other dogs!  It was wonderful I was mature enough to focus and listen about the darned cats!   There are ever so many things ... but for her money the most impressive was sleeping through the night on my first night here!
At the end of the day, Mom says that senior pets might not be Olympic athletes .. but that its easy and lovely and Zen that we don't need to go to "training camp" either! 
PS ... Rascal was adopted from Atlantic Small Dog Rescue!   Special thanks to everyone, including his foster Mom who gave him such a handsome groom just before he came here!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What to do when you don't want to cook ....

I love to cook ... but when the mercury heats up even I lose my enthusiasm for turning on the stove :)  So it is a very good thing that all around Nova Scotia, animal lovers can have something yummy to eat without having to heat up the house. 
  • In the HRM area, PACS is having a fundraising BBQ Saturday at the MicMac Mall From 10 am till 2 pm ( See Poster )
  • In the Valley,  CAPS is holding its Annual Giant Yard Sale ... where refreshments will be available ( see poster below )
  • The North Mountain Animal Sanctuary will be at the Shoreline Yard Sale tomorrow ... held at 2732 McNally Road in Burlington (next to Harbourville)   Somewhere in the yard sale there could be something edible .. if not you could pick up lobster at Harbourville on your way home :)
  • SHAID is kicking off their new policy of being open on Sundays with a BBQ from Noon till 3 pm ... which coincidentally happens to be the new Sunday hours for the shelter :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CAPS Giant Yard Sale !!!

If you aren't familiar with this neck of the woods, the Vault Road is easy to find.   If you are coming in on the 101, take the exit at Kingston and follow the signage for the #1 Highway.   Turn West on the #1 and the Vault Road will be on your right just after you leave Kingston.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Would you like some cheese with that whine

From The News  

  Published on July 5, 2011
Amy Reusch
GRANTON – Provincial SPCA officials have suspended Pictou County’s SPCA president from her volunteer position pending an investigation.

Margie Garland, who has been an SPCA board member for 28 years, learned June 27 from an email sent by executive director Kristin Williams, that she had been suspended.
In the email, Williams said NS SPCA had received a complaint from two former board members and the “substance of the allegations was based on communications, engagement and management.”
"I think this is happening because I am one to stand up and say what we feel,” said Garland, who asked for clarification on the allegations and never received any.
“I didn’t shy away from them and I told them different times that this is not going to work for our branch,” said Garland, referring to changes the Nova Scotia SPCA, which governs all provincial branches, wants to make to individual shelters.
She said they asked them to change adoption papers, requested the shelter’s hours of operation be extended and are dictating how things are run at the shelter.
Garland said the Pictou County shelter was asked to renovate its building after an audit was conducted, and is doing so now. They have been asked to open on Good Friday and near Christmas for adoptions.
“That is not the day to adopt animals,” said Garland. “It’s a last-minute thought for people to get an animal for Easter and it comes back the next week.
“The worst thing that came up was in the new governance, monies raised from the local shelter will go to the provincial office and they will spend it in the community, but I don’t think the people of Pictou County will like that,” said Garland. “They are giving the money to us to look after the animals in our shelter, in our community.”
Pictou County SPCA board member Joyce Jardine is worried as well about the measure.
“We don’t know how the money will be used in Pictou County,” said Jardine.
Williams said, in an email to The News, she recommended the suspension of Garland for the protection of her and the society.
“Two additional members of the board have been engaged to assist me to carry out an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit (one elected member and one branch representative). At this time, no determinations have been made, but the allegations were serious enough to require some immediate action,” said Williams.
Both Garland and Jardine said the measures SPCA Nova Scotia is making is to get rid of the current board members so they can be replaced with individuals who will accept the new governance model.
“How can they tell us what to do on a daily basis when what is happening in our branch might be different than what is happening in another branch?” said Garland.
Last week, the Yarmouth Vanguard reported the entire Yarmouth SPCA board handed in their resignations to the provincial board stating the “draft models of governance being explored were unacceptable and unworkable.”
Williams said the SPCA is currently engaged in governance reform that began in the spring of 2009 and has become more focused since April.
“Ultimately the model of governance that is elected will be determined by the provincial board of directors with input from elected members and branch representatives,” said Williams.
Well then!  On the surface it sounds very reasonable... who wouldn't complain about monies raised at the branch level going to provincial?  So I went and had a look at the latest publicly available online bod minutes
  • Under the Governance section, it " was clarified that under any governance model, all monies raised within a specific community would stay within the community
  • It also "clarified that money raised under the banner of the SPCA remains under the stewardship and direction of the SPCA.  
So in other words ... provincial isn't going to be siphoning all the money from the branches as both Ms Garland and the nine soon to be Ex- Directors at the Yarmouth SPCA have stated.  Hmmmm.
Oscar Wilde once said that the truth is rarely pure and never simple.   It has been my experience that the most difficult thing for anyone is to be honest with themselves. 
When we make mistakes .. it is the rare soul who will step up and say "I f***ed up".   Of course, it must be difficult to get in the spirit of things if one doesn't actually attend the meetings.  Out of the six bod meetings posted online for this calendar year, it would seem that Ms Garland has not seen fit to attend even one.
I expect it is a novelty for the branches to find provincial being concerned with seeing more than the annual branch report.   To have an executive director determined to meet her given mandate of meeting the Strategic Goals for the society.
The society is more than Metro.  It more than the provincial branch.  Each and every time a Nova Scotia resident anywhere in the province has occasion to deal with one branch, their experience imprints the expectation that this is standard practice for the society.
It is preposterous to say that the new rules should only apply in the city!  It is poor logic to say that No Kill will not work outside of HRM when Branch directors stand in such strong opposition to the practical measures needed for No Kill. 
Changing shelter hours and holiday adoptions are a whole lot better than the sign that was previously on the front door of the Pictou website forever and a day. The one that stated they were full up and had no room for more cats!  If that was the old way ... it is no wonder that volunteers were resigning.

But I am a fan of honesty.  Before I retired, I often had to march to someone else's beat.   It was part and parcel of belonging to an organization.   Now that I am retired, I can decide how to spend my days.  When to wake up.  What to wear.  To say what I want ... how I want.
That is because the pet project is a one woman band.    As long as the branches want to wave the SPCA Banner, they have to march to the tune played by the SPCA.    It really isn't any more complicated than that!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yes ... now you can visit SHAID on Sundays!

Even in this brave new world of being able to shop seven days a week, Sundays are still my very favourite!   The tone was set when I was a child  .... when Sundays were always family days.  We went for bike rides, picnicked, BBQ'd and enjoyed my very favourite German thing ... the Schwimmbad (picture a park with playgrounds, pools, restaurants, sports facilities and ya get how much fun that was :)
In this busy world where families often need two incomes to get by, Sunday is still a great day for family activities.  Which of course makes Sundays a stellar time for animal shelters to be open to the public.
Adopting a family pet should be a shared journey that can engage all of the family, eh?  So I was absolutely delighted to learn that starting this weekend, SHAID is going to be open from noon to three pm on Sundays!
Every good thing should be celebrated ... and so SHAID is having a BBQ this Sunday from noon until three pm at the shelter !
What time is it?   It is always time to salute shelters who understand the importance of making it easier and more convenient for kind hearts to adopt a pet! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

You can get here from there .....

I love tales of redemption!   Whether my nose is buried in a book or I am curled up with the family circle watching a movie, my favourite stories always start with an underdog who has yet to find his or her best niche.
Humble little hobbits who are utterly unaware they are on their way to save the world! Corporate characters who are transformed by decent little booksellers!   Arrogant aristocrats who overcome pride and prejudice in the course of true love!
Why do these tales touch us so?   Why do second chances make such first rate stories?  
Each and every time we cheer on the 'comeback kids' we are keeping our minds and hearts open to the possibility of a bit of magic in our own everydays!
Truth isn't just stranger than fiction ... in most instances it trumps it in spades.   Who didn't want to burst in tears for Quinn when we saw the first pictures after he was rescued?   Who would have imagined that less than two months of wonderful care would make such a difference?  (scroll down to see pics below if this is your  first time visiting here)
Who would ever have dared to dream that a dog who had spent a miserable life on the end of a chain could make such a wonderful transformation?
Why anyone who has ever spent any time with rescued dogs of course!    As one friend so aptly said, " Its amazing what they can go through and still be so sweet".
As Andy Rooney once said, 'the average dog is a nicer person than the average person'.   Deep down we all know that its always possible for us to 'be all that we can be' and that is why we all love the comeback kids. 
One of the great sorrows of my life is that after adjusting to the novelty of domestic bliss after five years in an outdoor pen in Nfld,  that my Ben was not able to enjoy it for years and years instead of only a few sweet months.  Everything was a joy to him ... no matter how small.  Was it all smooth?  Of course not but at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the best things in life are ALWAYS worth working for,eh?
When Miss Ruby was first rescued, her two year old self was a skeletal 40 pounds.   Even so, I could tell from the pictures that ARC sent me that my clever, clever girl already understood that life had just taken an abrupt turn for the better.  To put that in perspective, she has doubled her rescue weight without being plump.
Yet, she is not one bit food aggressive.  Why?  I often think dogs are bigger beings than we could ever dream of becoming.  There are no grudges ... and it is the very rare instance where love and patience cannot rebuild confidence in even the most damaged of souls.
Henry came along with a whole luggage set of baggage that took the better part of two years to work our way through.  Do you know what that journey has done?   It has made us so close that to this day Henry is actually the best behaved of the bunch.
The point I am making in my meandering way is that in redefining what is treatable and savable, we are setting ourselves down the path to becoming better than average .... and yes 'nicer' people.
What time is it?   It is always time to remember that we can miss the best bits in life whenever we judge a book by its cover!