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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally learning some new cat names

Since our hours at the shelter have changed to accommodate daylight savings I have strictly been cleaning up after dogs in the morning. What that means to mean is that I really haven't gotten a chance to work wit the cats in almost two months. Today though was different, we had three openers so I was able to make my way over to cattery.

It didn't surprise me when I almost didn't recognize any names on any of the kennels. Unfortunately I did recognize some at the same time, those special ones that have been at the shelter for way to long. While I was cleaning though it was nice to meet the new ones and get a sense of their personality in order to better explain them if there was a showing. Even though it all seems positive I noticed that one of our cats, Chester, seemed a bit under the weather. Luckily we noticed it because it turned out he had a fever of about 105. Another cat I learned about was Missy, a siamese mix that absolutely does not like me. Good to know that a cat will swat and hiss even if you merely look at it.

Anyways, once the cattery was done I helped bring up some of the dogs to their freshly cleaned kennels. We have a few new faces since our behavior specialist headed down to another shelter on Monday and picked up a group of ten. In addition to that there was a new ten year old dachshund named Wylie that came in as well. This special little guy had come into county as a stray with his brother who had been attacked by a coyote. Sadly his brother didn't make it but luckily Wylie made his way to us. Overall the new group looks really good, even the one eyed pomeranian mix. Hopefully when they become available on Saturday they will all find homes.

It's amazing the ups and downs that you experience at an animal shelter. Right now we have had some adoptions, of course not as many as we would like, but there are some dogs that have just been here way to long. I think that right now we have three or four dogs that are pushing four months and above which is to long for any animal to be in a shelter, no matter how good it is. Once the animal has been here that long it becomes even more difficult to get them adopted because they are acclimating themselves to well to the shelter life. Typically you will see them digress into fence fighting, start inhibiting anti social behaviors, and sometimes even becoming aggressive. We do our best along with a great group of volunteers to keep this from happening but then the double edge sword comes out. While we are focusing on one animal, another isn't getting the attention they need. It's one crazy cycle that I wish we could do a better job with.

The rest of my afternoon was spent bathing our ring worm pit bull, hanging out with our ring worm carrier, and of course throwing the ball for our ring worm beagle. Are you seeing a trend here. We do have a bit of a skin outbreak at the shelter but luckily our medical staff caught on very early. I hope staff and volunteers don't forget to spend time with these animals for the fear that they could catch it because that would mean the dogs would start going downhill faster without the interaction they need.

Closing out the day we didn't have any adoptions but some solid showings for a few of the new guys that will become available soon. Hopefully the week picks up because we have a full house now with some great animals just waiting for their perfect home. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments. Oh yeah, the picture up top is Chester, the poor tabby with a high fever.

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