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Saturday, January 30, 2010

A quick day in medical

Today is my weekly dose of helping out the medical staff. As I said yesterday, when I was at the front desk, it has been nice getting the different aspects of the shelter under my belt and of course learning new things daily.

The morning started off with dishing out the morning meds to the animals. Since there were three of us we were able to knock it out pretty quickly and get on with the rest of the day. But before we could do that a report of some bloody diarrhea came in. This could mean lots of things, none of them good but some certainly worse than the others. A giardia snap test was performed and came back positive. Now all we have to do is quarantine that dog off, feed them full of panacur for for five days and start them on some metro that will help with the loose stool. Now it is just a matter of making sure that no one else comes down with it.

Once that was done it was on to draining an ear of a dog that had a hematoma this past week. This was my first experience with this and I have to say the smell wasn't that great if you catch my drift. To me it seemed an incredible amount of liquid but apparently that's normal. It took a few minutes to finish up than a hot compress was put on the poor little pups ear. I have to say he was quite a trooper and it actually didn't seem to bother him that much.

After the smell cleared the room it was time for a few dog intakes. It was two little terrier mixes that had been relinquished yesterday that were hopefully going to go up for adoption this Saturday. At first we were a little hesitant just because the poor little guys were still very stressed about their new environment. Good thing the staff knows how to deal with this and handled the situation very well. After a few treats, some shots, and a little advantage it was all done. I'm just glad we had all the rest of their previous medical history because I think if we had had to do any more poking and prodding the little guys would have gotten too freaked out.

There was one last intake left, a sweet little five month old kitten. Long story short, an elderly woman passed and the cat was her property. The individual that had power of attorney was relinquishing the animal to us if everything checked out medically and behaviorally. The cat was a doll, I was really amazed at how calm and easy her intake was. The only thing I didn't like is that the woman wanted to call her "Kitten". Well, since the past animal with that name didn't make it we decided on something a little different. I actually got to name it after my grandmother, Mima. That's not her real name, but when you're five it was a lot easier to say than anything else. Here is a picture of Mima below.

That was about it for the day, it was kind of slow with a little bit of data entry but all in all I still learned a thing or two. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good old customer service

As part of my new schedule I mentioned that I will be helping out up at the front desk, well, today is one of those days. I have to start by saying it is a nice change to see all aspects of the shelter but there are also those situations up here that I never thought would ever come up at this shelter.

The one common thing that I am experiencing up here is the constant telephone calls inquiring about everything from coyotes to neighbors complaining about barking dogs. In addition to all of the usual calls we get about animals and general questions we also get a good amount of calls that are actually looking for their local shelter which could be one of many. More often than not the majority of the phone calls all I end up doing is giving the caller another number. Sometimes it is kind of tough to always be polite because people don't quite understand that we are private and don't have animal control, they think that I just don't feel like helping them.

Aside from the influx of phone calls there is also the walk in traffic. Everyone from potential volunteers, to donors, to the all important adopters make their way through the front desk. Today was no different except that two ended up being one in the same. We had an elderly couple come in to donate towels to us and because they were here ended up taking a peek at the dogs we had in our care. Before I knew it they were in a showing with our Noodles and ended up adopting. They were the cutest couple that I knew were going to spoil the hell out of this little dog. They even asked if we would know where the best place to buy a car seat for him was. Hopefully they will keep us up to date and bring him back for visits because it's always nice to see updates on our little guys. This side of the adoption is nice to see because you really get to experience the emotion that these new families are expressing.

Along with the adoption comes the tougher times as well. We had a total of two relinquishments and two returns today. The more I go through these things the more I understand how hard it is for these owners to give up their pets. Two of them were sweet little dogs that the owner just didn't feel like they were living a good enough life so she thought we would find them a more suiting home. The other two were returns due to a divorce, as I have mentioned in the past whether it's ten days or ten years we will always take back our animals. I just hope that everything goes accordingly and these guys don't stay in the shelter for too long.

Closing out the day I have to add that we also deal with strays, in a limited capacity. Because we are private we have to call county to come and get the animals since we are not contracted to do it. That is unless the animal is micro chipped, then we simply call the owners and tell them to come and pick them up. Luckily the animal that came in today was micro chipped, the funny thing was the address and number were not correct but the secondary information was. It was amusing to call the mother in law of the owner to tell her that her son's dog was at our shelter. The comment I got back was, "he got out again". Luckily the son came in within the hour and we informed him about changing his contact information. I am just glad he had a chip in the first place.

Sorry for no pictures today but hopefully a lot tomorrow. As always thanks for reading and I hope I didn't bore you to much today and of course thanks for your comments.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you for repairing the washer

Well, my last day in the kennel for the week and of course I sign up for the dirtiest job in the morning. I try to do it at least once a week so my nose stays used to the smell. What I am talking about is cleaning up after the dogs in our South kennels. As I have said before, it always varies which task is the messiest but right now I would have to say due to shear number it is our South side dogs.

After I fed the dogs and brought them back up from their runs it was already time to open. Of course I answered a few phone calls to the shelter because I really hate when it rings more than twice. After that I had to quickly finish time cards since I was already a day behind. Once all of that was done another staff member and myself got to cleaning. The day was slow so we decided to pull out the huge cat kennels and clean both the floor and windows behind them. I have to say this, even if you don't have any sort of allergies, today would be the day that they would come out. The amount of dust, cat hair, and pure dirt in the air was astonishing. I can't even remember how many times I sneezed because I was sneezing so much. Anyways, we only did one of the rooms because my eyes were so itchy I really couldn't put up with it.

While I was leaving the cattery I headed back to the laundry room to see if there was any progress on our broken washing machine. As I said yesterday, the stuff really piles up unless it is continuously running. Anyways, the repair guy was there and it turns out our drain had gotten clogged and that was the reason the machine was unable to finish a cycle. In all honesty I wanted nothing to do with this because I had a good idea of what it was clogged with. Well, luckily the guy fixed the clog quickly and soon we had the thing up and running again. Here is a picture of the mess that was made when the machine had to be drained.

Finally I had my first showing for the day. It was actually with a woman I had met earlier in the week who came back to see the same cat again. She was looking at a grey tabby who has been at the shelter almost as long as I have. When she first came in she wanted to adopt but because this cat has been here so long I didn't want her to rush into anything and have this cat come back to us. Luckily when she came in today she fell in love even more with Ella. I'm crossing my fingers her husband feels the same way and this special animal will finally get to go home.

My last showing of the day was with my favorite little kitty Muffy, the shaved down Persian. It was with a single woman who has dealt with the breed before. She absolutely fell in love with her just like every one else that meets her does. Even though she has dealt with the breeds before I still had to reiterate how much work this animals are, that and the fact that she still needs a dental. Even with all of that there was no way she wasn't going to adopt. It seemed like a perfect fit and the woman was so excited you couldn't help but smile. Another great adoption of another great animal.

Closing the day I got to see Sushi, our mange puppy mom, one last time because she came in for her altering surgery. She had quite a face on her after the procedure. I had to include a picture because it really does look like a human face. Thanks for reading everyone and thanks to all of the volunteers and animal care givers out there, you are making a difference.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From medical holds to adoption deposits

Well, I am back in the kennels for my two days a week and it is good to be back with the animals for a few days. I have to say, it's a little different dealing with different aspects of the shelter and after a few days I really do miss the interaction I have with the animals.

On with my day. Usually I clean the dogs but for some reason I went for the cats today. Cleaning them consists of pulling out all of their bedding, keeping it if it is somewhat clean (cats like to have their smells around them), replacing their litter and of course feeding them. You think that this task wouldn't take long but every once in a while our feline friends just aren't in the mood to be bothered. In those cases you sometime have to try to out think them, and I say try because it's not always possible. Usually what I will do is separate them into one kennel, clean their joined one and vice versa. Luckily we have the room to give most of our cats two kennels.

Once the cleaning was done it was right to business, laundry that is. I was amazed to see that for the most part it was all caught up. For the first time in a long time their wasn't a dedicated kennel just for over flow. The disappointing part was as soon as we get caught up the washer breaks down, that's usually how it works. Hopefully it well get back up and running soon because it is scary how fast that stuff piles up.

After all of this I was finally able to learn about everything that took place the last two days that I was off. I found out that my good buddy Falcon, who had been on medical hold for the past three weeks for several issues had been adopted. He was finally eating again and all of his blood tests came back normal. I guess the stress of being in the shelter can really effect these animals. The other dog I learned about was Mercury. I had a feeling this dog was going to be returned to us because I had spoken with the adopter while I was at the front desk last week. There was a tough situation at home and the family felt like they couldn't give the animal the attention that he needed because he is still fairly young. I have to say when I saw this little guy all grown up I was thoroughly surprised at what he looks like now. He is actually cuter than I thought. The good news about the whole situation is that he was well taken care of and I have no doubt that he will find his forever home very soon.

On to the big one. We have two Jack Russel terriers that are six and nine. Both were relinquished to us because the family had some serious health issues. The dogs are amazing but some concerns came early when we were doing their medical intake. It turns out one of the dogs has a very serious ear condition that is going to require a very extensive operation to basically remove it. Along with this her sister had a seizure while at the shelter and had to be transfered to our vet's office for further testing. It wasn't looking good for this pair until an amazing donor came by and basically offered to pay for the operation and adopt both the animals. It was one of those moments where you take a step back and say wow. It was so amazing to hear that these animals were not only going to get the medical care that they needed but also have a forever home together. It was one of those moments you say I am glad that I work hear to have seen such a good thing happen.

The rest of the day lingered on but I have to say I had a pretty big smile on my face the entire time. I did get a call back to the med room late in the afternoon and when I went back I saw my favorite cat Muffie getting a hair cut. Don't think we are doing this for our own amusement, the poor little Persian came in so matted that it was our only course of action. I have to say that if I was ever to take a cat home this one would be it. She actually comes when you call her name. Plus that little squishy face is so darn cute.

Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My weekly dose of medical duty

Recently my schedule has changed so that I can basically be experiencing everything in the shelter, this also includes one day a week back with the medical staff. Now mind you I am still in training back there but it is amazing how much actually goes on in that little medical office.

My day began with first helping get all of daily meds ready for the animals. This includes everything from eyes drops, antibiotics, vitamins, de wormers, and ear meds. It's funny how meds are prepared, you think it would be a pretty simple task but because animals, like people, can be pretty fickle on what they eat you have to know exactly how each animal would consume or get their meds the easiest. What that means is that for some dogs it's as simple as a little cream cheese, while others you have to mix treats with a certain type of dog food and make sure that they don't eat everything around their pill and spit the medicine back out. Well, the latter happened to me for a solid ten minutes and because the dog is a shy one I was hesitant to pill her. Luckily but the fourth try I found the right treats where she consumed the entire "meat ball" with her medicine in the middle.

Once all of the meds were done it was on with the day. I am always amazed that each new aspect of the shelter I see and learn about I am amazed at how much work and dedication is needed to keep this place running smoothly. With that being said I began work on the vet due treatments. How this works is I go into the computer and pull up a report that draws typically from a month past through the weekend. Once I have this information I determine what can be given early and what needs to wait until the following week. Usually it is a whole lot of flea medicine but sometimes there are boosters and actual vaccines. Luckily today it was just advantage for me. Once I had all of the weights of the animals and their breed and name I grabbed my large syringes and went to work. I ended up just getting the cats while another staff member took care of the dogs. And just for your info, if you are ever giving a cat a topical flea solution, make sure that you put it high up on their neck, almost between their ears but not quite, because these guys love to lick and clean and this is one medicine you don't want them to ingest.

Luckily the rest of the day we didn't see too much excitement and I focused my efforts on data entry. Basically creating files in the computer of animal intakes which focus on physicals given as well as all medications and shots. Once you get the hang of it it's pretty simple but if one thing is screwed up and can really slow things down.

Along with the data entry there were also the daily checkups, basically seeing who has been and who might be sick and evaluating them before the weekend so staff knows how to handle any issues. This included taking a few temps and helping squeeze out a few anal glands, not my favorite part of the day let me tell you. In addition to this we also brought in two dogs to the med room to monitor if either of them had an sort of a cough. Well, it turns out they did and when you have a dog coughing in the shelter it is typically one thing, kennel cough. Nothing serious but better to treat and quarantine than risk other animals catching the "cold". Here is a picture of the two while they were visiting us.

That's about it for today. I kind of like it that there wasn't anything to exciting. I do once again have to mention though that the more sides of the shelter I experience I am beginning to realize how important every single staff member is here in making sure that this place keeps running. I want to thank everyone for reading and I look forward to your comments and questions.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The rain keeps on coming

I guess I should start with our huskie returning sometime in the middle of the night. Not sure if she just wanted a night out or what but the size and number of fences that she had to climb was not an easy task. This was the first time this has ever happened since I have been at the shelter so approaching the problem was new as well. We did everything to make sure that if she was found she would male it back our way but who knew which direction she went or how fast she was running. Thankfully when I came into work this morning there she was covered in mud waiting for some attention. I really wish we could have seen through her eyes last night because all day today she slept which she never does. In any case, we are all glad she made it back and will not let that happen again.

Moving on with the day, of course it was raining again. Luckily the shelter has all of their contingency plans in place for days like today. From cleaning to getting the animals out to making sure everyone stays dry. Beginning with cleaning today everyone was able to knock everything out pretty quickly, mainly because there was no rain early in the morning. With that being said there was still a lot of wet yards to deal with and shuttling the animals into the fake grass yards was our only option.

Once all of that was done it was a day of trying to stay busy. There is always something that has to be done in the shelter but when you are soaking wet and cold the motivation sometimes just isn't there. Surprisingly though there were a few showings, mainly with cats but I even had one with one of our little mange puppies. I have to be honest, the calls and applications for cats have been a little annoying lately. The reason I say this is because the public learned about a litter of rag doll kittens that have been on foster for upwards of a month and that is all anyone is talking about. Talk about a hot commodity, I get calls every day asking when they will be available because we work on a first come first serve basis. I'm curious to see how tomorrow goes when the first batch goes up for adoption.

Moving on, I had a great showing with a man looking at our little mange puppies, who by the way are looking amazing. He had actually been in yesterday as well and brought his sister back today. He understood all the medical concerns but was still interested. The only problem was he couldn't decide between them. Hopefully he will be back again to take one home on foster.

Closing out the day I made my way over to the cattery again. I was checking things out and getting ready to lock it up when I saw some interesting liquid in one of the kennels. I informed our medical director and of course she asked how it smelled. When she said she was to stuffed up to tell I put my nose right over it and took a deep breath. Well ladies and gentleman, I no longer have a cold and was able to get the full effect of the worst smelling vomit/bad breath/bile I have smelled at the shelter to this point. Hopefully the little guy is O.K. because I was unable to hang around to find out.

As always thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rain Rain go Away

Typically I love a good thunder storm, but when you work at an out door kennel it can be a little trying, both for the animals and for myself. Don't get me wrong, the shelter is a well designed place but there are always places that seem to accumulate water no mater how much you prepare, especially when the rain just doesn't let up.

The day began with all of the kennel staff teaming up to knock out the dog kennels to make sure that everything got done quickly. We do this because it can get pretty chilly for the animals away from their heaters so what we basically do is shuttle all of the animals that didn't go in their kennels into the fake grass yards, quickly clean, then shuttle them back and focus on the remainder of the dogs. Once this was all done it was time to head over to the cattery.

Once in the cattery it was nice to see everyone teaming up well to get all of the morning cleaning done. Not to mention everyone was happy to be out of the rain and into the only controlled climate on property. In addition to cleaning all of the kennels we also set up a few because we had some new arrivals coming in today. A bonded pair and a sweet Persian. Here is a pic of the Persian below, a really sad story of an elderly gentleman, that due to health reasons, can no longer care for the animal.

After all of the cleaning was done it was on to a group meeting where future adoption and volunteer events were discussed. I won't bore you with the details but it was nice to get that other side of the shelter and of course a chance to learn a little.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent laying sand bags and trying to control nature. We moved a few dogs around just because the wind was picking up and some smaller dogs seemed a little chilly. All I have to say is luckily our shelter's kennels are completely heated otherwise I don't know what we would have done.

Closing out the day we learned that our Huskie had actually jumped several fences while on afternoon break and we were unable to track her down. This is not typical and in fact this has never happened since I have been here. Our procedure was pretty much to stop everything and go out and look for her. In addition to this we notified her microchip maker to send out an email blast and of course animal control to be on the lookout. We also had some staff members make posters to be handed out and hung throughout the area. I'm trying not to be to depressed about the whole thing and cross my fingers that she will be back in the morning but it's definitely a stressful situation. I will keep you updated.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Right when I walked into work I learned that our Huskie had made it back and was hanging out in the parking lot this morning! Glad she had a safe night out and was able to make it back into our care, I'll tell you one thing, that won't be happening again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A different sort of day

Well, as some of you know I am now working in a few different areas of the shelter, including the front desk. I have been looking forward to this opportunity but it is also going to take some getting used to. My day began with me realizing that I didn't actually have a key to open up the cash drawer, luckily we had a solid worker that did have a key coming soon after I had arrived.

Once all of the opening duties were taken care of, which took a whopping twenty minutes, it was time to prepare for the day. Today is not your typical day at the front desk for one main reason, there are a lot of animals that go home on Thursdays. The reason for this is because it is the day after surgery where all of our adopted animals that need to be altered go under the knife. Thankfully though our med staff staggers the pick up time for the adopted animals so we don't get bombarded all at once. The reason why this wouldn't be good is because there is a lot of paperwork that has to be completed before these animals can go home and be considered officially adopted, and of course this is all new to me so it takes me twice as long.

I was able to get one adoption packet put together with the help of the solid staff up there before I had to go to my first official meeting with the department heads. This was nice because I am able to learn all aspects of the shelter. The meeting today was about our future fostering of animals to our volunteers, especially because our kitten season is fast approaching. Included in all of this was making sure that all of the appropriate training was put forth for new fosters as well as all of the right information being put together to make sure that every aspect of the animal's safety is taken care of. How the front desk plays into this is to make sure that all fosters go over the agreements and understand what is expected of them. It's really amazing to see how much work is done by everyone at the shelter, including fosters, to make sure this machine keeps on working.

After the meeting the day stayed pretty hectic with phones constantly ringing and customers asking questions. I am just really happy and lucky that there are people up there that know what they are doing because it can be a little overwhelming for someone new to step in there. I'm also lucky that today wasn't to crazy of a day because I still have to learn everything, and let me tell you, I am not the quickest learner.

Closing out the day I have to mention that our new retail area is having its grand opening tomorrow. It's been amazing to see what a very giving interior designer has done to make our little corner a very special one. I am looking forward to it opening up again and as always showing off our shelter.

I hope to bring you some interesting stories from up here and as always I will be in the kennels again as well. I will also remember to take pictures of the dogs that we bring up to the front desk to help them relax and get away from the noise of the kennel. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

P.S., we are looking for a way to send some sort of aid to Haiti and their animals in need, if any of you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some good news from our medical staff

After the morning cleaning and me trying not to look like a fool breathing through my mouth, combination of cold and allergies to rabbits and cats, it was time get the day going. I came in today with a renewed sense that whatever happens, we are here for the animals. When I actually think about it how could anything rile me up when all you have to do is sit down with one of these amazing creatures to realize that there are more important things to life than letting some person get to you.

Today being surgery day it was also health check day. There was some news that I was waiting on that was not only important to me but a family as well. Myself and another kennel staff member had done a showing with a recently available six year old yellow lab that is a sweetheart of a dog but there were some concerns voiced by our medical staff. One thing was that his teeth were worn down but the main thing was two lumps on his belly and leg. I informed the family that a needle biopsy was to be done and if there was anything unusual that we would have to send in a sample to the lab. From that point it could get bad and surgery would have to be done depending on the type of cells the lumps contained. Luckily though both came back as fatty deposits and he was able to go home today. It was so nice to see the family come back in and add this amazing animal to their family. It was also great to see the dog wagging his tail as I helped him in their car. All I know is is sure did put a smile on my face, not sure if I could have handled this one if it went any other way.

I hate to say it but the majority of the day I actually tried to steer away from showings. Not only was it my experience yesterday that kind of threw me but the amount of cold medicine I am on certainly doesn't put me at 100 percent. Luckily we had a full staff and some amazing animals so there was no problem in me focusing on cleaning today.

In the afternoon I worked with our behaviorist and our mange puppies. They are all looking amazing by the way, I'll try to get a picture to compare them to how they were. Anyways, they are available for adoption but need a lot of work. The fact that they are as good as they are with people is amazing but their social skills with other dogs is not up to par. What we did today was a slow introduction with a sweet heart named Buddy who doesn't correct bad behavior and is more of a softy than anything else. What are goal was to see if the mange puppies could calm down once they were away from each other. We took each one on a separate walk with Buddy and it turns out they can be little turds but they do calm down eventually. We decided to separate them in their own kennels and try to find them new play mates to get them socialized. Hopefully this will help and we still put them together during breaks, but they need more training to help them get adopted quicker.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures today but I'll try to get some tomorrow, when I'll be at the front desk preparing paperwork for animals to go home. I want to thank everyone for reading and also your comments, it really does help to know that there are more people that experience the same things I do here. Thanks also to all of the volunteers out there that really give the time these animals need.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is this day almost over?

The days that I have at the shelter where I am so glad to be home are few and far between, but today was one of those days. It began early one when instead of five kennel staff members we learned that there would only be three of us. Luckily the staff that we did have there was solid and we were luckily able to knock out all of the morning tasks by opening time.

Surprisingly enough, once all of the normal opening duties were done we were actually pretty slow for the day. We even had a little time to catch up on laundry and attempt to whittle down the huge pile that has been taking up a kennel since the new year began. Once all of the laundry was going I even had a little time to spend with a little schnauzer/italian greyhound mix named Cooper. A big spaz until you sit down and all he wants to do is sit in your lap. Here is a picture of the little guy below.

Just when I was getting comfortable though the showings started to roll in. Initially it was kind of nice with some great potential forever homes for our animals to go home to. In fact Spice, a long term kitty finally found the perfect place to call home. In addition to that a sweet lab that just became available today also got adopted but will stay under our care until we finish up a few more tests. This was all great until I got the worst showing I have yet to have at the shelter. Initially the profile looked alright, a few red flags showed up but nothing that would keep them from finding the right animal that would fit into their family. The more simple one is that we would need rental agreement to verify that the family would be allowed pets, easy enough. The second was that they were undecided if they would de-claw the animal. I went over the entire profile and asked under what circumstances would they de-claw. she then replied well if it was scratching things up. I then asked if she understood what the process entails and she then explained that it was a surgical process. Once all of the details came out I told the woman that because of this we would only adopt to her a cat that has already been de-clawed. Then came the storm of screaming and accusations that I asked trick questions and that I didn't trust that the woman was allowed pets by asking for rental agreement. I was actually surprised at myself, more taken back, at how calm I was and continued to explain that they I have no doubt that they would have been a good home, it just needed to be the right cat. Well, according to them there was no time to debate. After all of the ruckus they got into their car and I headed into the front office. That's when the woman came back in, put her hand in my face, pulled some kind of dog whisperer shush and proceeded to scream at our new staff member about me. Now that I am writing all of this it does seem rather funny, but at the time I was pretty annoyed at how immature a fifty five year old woman can be. Oh well, I reiterated my name and if she had any questions or concerns to feel free and call.

Of course there were still showings and denials to be done, so I couldn't focus on it to long. I did vent a little to a few staff members who thankfully listened and then got back to work. The rest of the afternoon went by pretty fast and before I knew it it was already past closing and dogs were still being brought up. For a busy day today took forever. I really hope tomorrow is a typical day at the shelter when I can go home with a smile on my face rather than me rethinking an event that there is nothing that can be done about it.

Thanks for reading everyone and listening to me rant and I look forward to your comments, good and bad :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cats finding homes left and right

Today I got in a little early to make sure that I didn't have to clean up after all the new dog arrivals, call it lazy sure, but I also wanted to clean the cats so I could get to know all of the new guys, after all it has been about ten days since I even stepped into the cattery.

In the cattery I noticed the extremely large number of black and white cats. In fact I would say a good fifty percent were tuxedoes. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that there is anything wrong with having a certain type of cat in our care I just thought it was kind of funny to see so many that look so similar to each other. It was nice to be in there to get to know the little guys though because they all have such different personalities and of course it's some good info to know for potential adopters when they come in looking for a particular cat.

Once all of the cats were done I headed over to the rabbitat where I made quick work of changing out their bedding and feeding them some fresh hay and water. I was surprised to see how quickly it goes when you have a few less rabbits and your trying to speed through so your allergies don't get to you. Surprise surprise, after not doing this for a few weeks it seems my sneezes have returned.

After the cleaning it was time to give all of the mange puppies their weekly medicated baths. I figured why not since I hadn't really spent much time with them lately. Each bath consisted of putting some medication in their eyes so they would stay lubricated because you are bathing their entire head and bodies. Once that was done it was a good ten minute lather on each of them to make sure the medicated shampoo did it's job. It was a nice break from the rush of the shelter, not to mention I got all of these great pics out of it. My favorite is the one up top.

Later I got called to my first showing, it was with a bonded pair of kitties named Rabbit and Robin, could you guess that they were from the "R" litter? Now this pair is a special case that has needed that perfect home form quite some time now. Both initially were completely anti social and wouldn't allow anyone to touch them, in fact I have a nice scar from one of them. Anyways, we had moved the cats into our in and out room with several other animals and they seemed to come out to of their shell. They still are going to need a lot of work I told the couple and they could digress but after a good long time the cat lovers decided to adopt. It was a great feeling to know that these two were going to a home where the family's last cat lived to twenty. It was also nice to hear that they will be very patient with them.

While all of this was going on, three other cats were getting adopted at the same time. Another bonded pair which blew my mind and another cat that was housed with Rabbit and Robin. Not sure if it's something in the water but I am amazed at how many cat adoptions there have been lately. Hopefully we will have a run on some black and white ones now.

Closing out the day I went back to medical to see how the intake was going on the new arrivals. When I went in I thought they were shearing a sheep, it turns out it was just one of the little matted guys that had come in yesterday. The poor little guys had such bad mats that his ear was literally connected to his neck. Thank goodness our medical staff knows what they are doing because after they were done the little guy had the closest thing to a smile a dog could have.

Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to you comments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting back in the swing of things

Starting off the day today I felt a little more comfortable in what I was actually doing after having so many days off. I began by once again taking care of the dogs which need a little extra attention today. The reason we needed to spend a little extra time with them was because we had the new "second chance" batch coming in later in the afternoon and we had to shuffle around a few dogs to make sure that we had room on our West side kennels to accommodate the new guys. The reason why we need an entire side of the kennels for these guys is to keep them almost quarantined away from the others because typically when they come from another shelter they have ether kennel cough or giardia, or all of the above.

Once everything was organized and clean it was time to hit the ground running. Mind you we didn't finish all of our morning duties until well after we had already opened our doors to the public. I never like it when I keep hearing the staff called over the P.A. system to help out a guest when we still are lugging garbage out. Luckily our front desk staff is pretty good at explaining a wait time for our customers.

After I finally got caught up it was already time to feed the puppies and kittens again. This was a surprise to me because it felt like I had just fed them minutes before. I have to say it's nice when your busy and the day seems to fly by. Once that was done it was time to help out in setting up the kennels for some new arrivals, ten of them to be exact. Initially there were only nine but when our behaviorist was leaving the other shelter a shepherd mix came in and she had to get him too.

In addition to setting up the kennels another staff member disinfected the fake grass yards that these dogs would be using for their breaks. I have to say thank you to them because I really was tired of walking around in wet socks so I was glad mine actually had a chance to dry today.

On top of all of this we were trying to play catch up with laundry. For some reason I didn't think that there was that much until I noticed one of the ISO kennels that was full to the ceiling with dirty blankets. Now I know what a postal worker feels like, it just never does end.

After all of this I can finally say I did poop buckets for the last time. Woohoooo! Since I am switching my schedule Monday's daily dues are no longer an issue, thank goodness. That is all I will ever say of the subject again...hopefully.

Closing out the day I helped with a few intakes of the silky terriers that were adopted out yesterday. I was able to talk to their adopter, in my horrible Spanglish, and explained that they would most like be able to go home on Thursday. The reason being is their teeth are horrible. So bad in fact that one will most likely need some extractions. The woman was very understanding and looking forward to bringing home her new additions. It really does put a smile on my face to hear the joy in people's voices.

I couldn't forget the new arrivals. They came in late and of course had their usually air of stinkiness to them. One was so bad that as soon as we get a chance he is going to have to be shaved down because he is completely matted. Overall though the group looks like a winning one and hopefully they all adjust well and make their way into their new forever homes sooner than later. The picture up top is one of the shepherd mixes and the one here is Mr. Dreadlocks as I like to call him.

Thanks for reading as always and I look forward to your comments.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A new year and back to it after eight days off

I have to say it was a little tough to get up this morning and go into the shelter for the simple fact that I have been on vacation for the last week. Once I walked in the doors though it was a different story. I was glad to be back to helping out the animals and of course finding them their new forever homes.

It's sometimes takes a little more time than expected to get back in the rhythm of shelter after being gone for so long so there are some simple steps that I like to take. First I see who has been adopted while I was gone and then of course checking on the new arrivals. Because of the busy holiday season there weren't that many new faces when I came into work but there were certainly a few less. I learned that three long term cats had been adopted; Raja, Cayse, and Mollie. This was great to hear since all of these wonderful cats had been in the shelter going on six months or longer. I also learned that a sweet rabbit named Noel, named that before the holidays, had also been adopted.

Once I learned of all the adoptions now I just had to remember how to clean everything and actually do my job. After I took care of cleaning and disinfecting the south side kennels the showings came rolling in. Unfortunately the first profile I had was a denial for the dog that the potential adopter wanted to look at. Everything looked good but because the adopter had young children the dog they were looking at wasn't necessarily the best fit. Luckily they understood thins and said that they would keep looking.

After my first showing the rest of the afternoon was incredibly slow, not sure if it was because of the traveling day or what but I found myself doing a lot of laundry. When I was finishing a load I got a call to come back to the med room to help with an EBR (euthanasia by request). If you have read any of my past blogs you know that I really try to not have anything to do with these but because the animal was so large they needed my help moving him once he has already past. Not only was this tough to begin with but the poor guy lost his bowels in the process and there was an entire pool of poop all over the stretcher and on the floor. Needless to say I had to move him in steps because of the smell and of course because we were all covered in poop. I hope I am not sounding cold but it is what it is and this is how we had to deal with it. Eventually we got him covered and taken care of but not before stepping out of the med office several times for fresh breaths. I am just glad that the old guy went quickly.

After very few showings I found myself bombarded with adoption applications. My first was with an older woman and her live at home son who were looking at two terriers that just became available today. We thought we would have a tough time placing these guys because not only were they going home together, they are also almost nine years old and not potty trained. On top of this we were steering away from young children because one of the dogs was very skittish. Surprisingly enough though the mother and son absolutely fell in love with the pair and decided they were the right addition to their family. The adopter finished by telling me in Spanish how grateful she was to have found both of those dogs and is looking forward to bringing them home soon.

Closing out the day I was juggling about four other showings with several dogs. One was with a dog named Cora that has to go home to the perfect environment because of her "spastic" behavior. Luckily the family was understanding and is willing to wait for the perfect dog but they still absolutely fell in love with the huskie mix. The rest of the showings went pretty well, we had a lot of good potential adopters in today it's just a matter of finding them the perfect fit. I always say in my showings now unfortunately there is no shortage of dogs and that everyone should wait for that perfect fit because this is no small commitment. In addition to this we at our shelter pride ourselves on matching up the right dogs to the right homes, we are in no rush to send our animals out if there is a possibility that their new home isn't the perfect one. I am glad the people appreciate this when they come into the shelter because owning an animal isn't a small thing and you need to make sure that it is a mutually good thing.

Thanks for reading everyone and I hope that the new year brings everyone, including the animals, blessings. In the coming weeks I am going to be switching up a little what I do at the shelter to helping out at the front desk along with medical so get ready for a new perspective on the shelter environment. And keep the comments coming, I know that for those of you that are too young to volunteer there are programs that shelters provide for younger people to help out as well. At our shelter we have KCS which brings in middle and high school aged children to lend a helping hand.
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