NEWS ALERT Jan - June 2015
June 27, 2015
Microchips Work If...
If lost, a microchipped pet is far more likely to make it safely back home than one who isn't.
What that meant for this poor guy was that, instead of heading straight home, he became just another stray sitting alone in a metal cage. And, because he'd scratched his finder (probably because he was scarred), he had to be quarantined and assessed to see if he was even adoptable. What could have been so easy a process had shifted quickly from looking hopeful to looking really grim. It's hard to assess cats like this in a shelter setting; the really frightened ones can appear "unfriendly" - even vicious - and are at risk of being euthanized for "temperament."
Luckily for this fellow, Neveah's Charity of West Lincoln (NCWL) , one of the Hamilton area organizations that cats in this City depend on for a second chance, rescued him. On June 19 a message on their Facebook announced:
We rescued 130615 "ROONEY" from Hamilton Animal Services today...He is an absolutely stunning boy, very sweet and very happy to be able to walk around the facility. Rooney was microchipped but again no owner found. PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU MOVE OR CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER TO PLEASE CONTACT THE MICROCHIP COMPANY AND UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION - IT IS VERY IMPORTANT!
Some day (hopefully soon), Rooney will be moving on to a new home where he'll make a wonderful pet for some great family. And NCWL will make sure his new owners know how to register the chip and keep their contact info current so that if ever he goes missing again, he'll make it safely back home to them.
To register a microchip and, should you move or change a cell phone or email, to update the contact info, you'll need the microchip #. So keep it on file and, if ever you misplace it, ask the vet who implanted the chip or the organization from which you adopted your cat for the #. If you can't get it this way, any vet office can quickly scan your cat and give it to you.
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May 07, 2015
Getting Hamilton Cats "Fixed"
The price, including the spay/neuter, revolution, microchip and a Rabies vaccine, is $60 for males and $80 for females. And there's no tax.
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April 27, 2015
Licensing: Would it help Hamilton Cats?
On March 11, the walls of Hamilton’s City Council room rang with the repeated chorus: "Hamilton is the worst city in the country when it comes to killing cats." And councillors responded by passing a motion instructing city staff to examine the feasibility of "implementing a Cat Licensing Program within By-Law 12-031".
Well, this would rely on there being enough money left over, after expensing out administrative and enforcement costs, to guarantee a net profit. Advocates again point to Calgary, making claims that 90% of cats there are licensed and that the collected fees pay for the many things the city is doing for cats. But the reality is quite different. While Calgary may be doing well with cat licensing sales (maybe 30% but nothing close to 90%) and their licensing program likely generates some money after expenses, there's is no basis on which to make the claim that licensing is what pays for all the good things Calgary does. Nor can you expect that Hamilton's sales will generate enough even to cover costs.
There are many reasons for Calgary’s success:
Motion can be found on page 10 at: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/D1E91F3C-7495-4DE0-952E-E4586E272A07/0/Feb25CouncilMinutes15004.pdf
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April 14, 2015
Special Cats/Special Adopters
People are drawn to the cuddly kittens, the young, the exotic, the picture-perfect lap cats. It's the older ones, the black ones, the shy ones,
The Featured Cat we posted just yesterday was one of these adoption challenges. She'd arrived at HAS as a particularly fragile kitten and was transferred quickly to HBSPCA in response to an urgent request for help. In her foster home, she thrived and started looking (and behaving) like any other happy little kitten.
But Checkers wasn't any ordinary kitten; she was a special-needs kitten. Because of her hereditary condition (Pectus Excavatum) she would, for the rest of her life, require vet checks (including X-Rays). She'd be prone to serious illnesses like pneumonia. The risk would always be there; her life could be cut short. Any potential adopter, would understandably hesitate.
When Checkers moved from her foster home to a cage at the HBSPCA Shelter, she was dreaming, as they all do, of getting adopted. And when, even after a month of watching others get chosen, she still showed no sign of being discouraged, it was as if she knew that the special adopter she was waiting for was about to walk in - any minute.
And she was right. It happened yesterday. On the very day we posted her as our Featured Cat, Checkers was adopted! That's a record but it had nothing to do with our having featured her. The special adopters, it turned out, were her very own foster parents They'd been checking daily to see if she'd been adopted yet and they couldn't bear to see her wait any longer. They were agonizing about her - worrying about how things would turn out for her. So, they adopted her themselves. They'll love her for all of the days, months or years that she has - and she'll love them too.
Adopting always means taking responsibility. It's a "till death do we part" commitment and, in the case of a cat like Checkers that means being prepared not only for vet costs but also for what could be an emotional roller coaster. It's a choice, however, that means the world to these cat - and, no doubt, this spunky girl is determined now to enjoy every moment of her life with her wonderful family.
Our new Featured Cat, "Conway," is one who was watching a bit enviously (and sadly) when Checkers lucked out. He's a nice guy - not a kitten but young (only 3 years old) and he's fit and healthy. While he wishes her well he wants people to know that he's been waiting a long time too - maybe just because he's black. He gets out for a bit of exercise daily but he doesn't like being caged. Conway needs a home. They all do. Link to Adoption Page
April 13, 2015
A Twist in India's Tale
This lovely young tortie came into HAS in January. Spayed, declawed, and affectionate, it was obvious that she was lost but she had no ID and her owners never came looking; so, she was transferred to a rescue group and put up for adoption
These health issues will make it a lot harder for India to be adopted, but as Ladybird Animal Sanctuary puts it "we know there are awesome people out there who will look into India’s eyes, see past the potential health issues and into the soul of a beautiful cat in need of love and a forever home." She's recovering in her foster home now, being lovingly cared for by her foster dad, she's being monitored closely and fingers are crossed that there will be no more twists in India's tale. Ladybird is posting updates here.
March 31, 2015
Remembering Professor Higgins
And he got his chance.
March 10, 2015
The Story of Princess and Little Tyke
Recently a woman contacted Rescue Hamilton Cats (RHC) with a desperate plea. She'd left her cat, Princess, with a friend "for a few days" and, now, a month later, she was living in Montreal with no money and no way to get back to Hamilton. Her friend, a single mom with several small children, allergic to cats and not a cat lover, had been keeping Princess locked in her basement and she'd just given birth to a kitten. Her options were to dump them outside or figure out a way to get this mom and kitten to HAS.
Then a rescue group (way off in Markham) managed to find a foster home placement. So, Sunday, a driver (volunteering with Hamilton Street Cats) went into the basement, lifted these two off the plastic sheets covering the cold concrete floor and onto warmed blankets in a carrying case and transported them to the foster home.
As can be seen from the photo below (taken at the time of the rescue) Princess is a devoted mom to her baby, now named Little Tyke. They're warm and cozy now, as they will be, till Rescue Angels finds them their forever home
This story, as well as being heartwarming, serves as a reminder to Hamiltonians of the bigger picture - the story of the moment in this City.
Every rescue like this one means that one (or in this case 2) fewer cats land at HAS to swell the numbers on the inside. As we know from the stats of 2014 (see News Alert of Feb.22 below), the lower the Intake, the better the conditions at HAS and the higher the odds that HAS strays will get the chance to get adopted.
Local rescues are playing a huge role, and are responding to as many of these desperate pleas for help as they possibly can. So, reaching out for help to out-of-town rescues willing and able to lend a hand is also something we need to do.
February 11, 2015
What the 2014 stats say about Cats at HAS
Based on comparisons with 2013 (and previous years as far back as 2006), one can make the following conclusions:
INTAKE in 2014 was significantly down (by 540) from 2013, showing that the downward trend that started in 2010 has continued through a 5th year. This decrease primarily of "Strays", is likely attributable to limitations on the pick-up service that started in 2010. If one looks back to 2006, when the Total Intake # was 6,218, and compares that with the 2014 Total Intake of 2,835, the difference is 3,383 cats/year. This huge drop should be impacting positively on the cats at HAS, allowing for improvements to the conditions (and the care) provided. See Intake page.
In 2014, 96 of the 2,132 strays (3.9%) were reclaimed by owners. There are no indications of significant change in this Return-to-Owner rate in recent years; the rate has consistently remained in the 3.9% range.
HAS has never had it's own adoption centre. Instead it operates on a model whereby adoptable cats are transferred to organizations that run adoption services. This arrangement involves a co-operative effort with the HBSPCA and a number of "approved" Rescue Groups. In 2014, a Total of 2,036 cats (72% of the Total Intake) were transferred out to these organizations, with the HBSPCA taking 671 (33%) of those and the Other Groups (combined) taking 1,365 cats.
To check further into the Return-to-owner and transfers out rates and consider how these can be improved see Discharge page.
The # of cats euthanized at HAS in 2014 was 641 (23% of intake). That’s down by 330 from 2013 and down by 2,524 from 2010 numbers at which point over 50% of the cats at HAS were ending up euthanized. To examine this downward trend more closely, how intake relates to decisions to euthanize and to look into what reasons were given to euthanize in 2014, see Euthanized info page
As ‘cats’ become a political issue in 2015, it is important that decisions be based on up-to-date facts, not perpetuated myths or past history.
February 9, 2015
City-SPCA partnership could reduce euthanasia
"A Hamilton councillor wants the city to get involved in pet adoptions by partnering with the Hamilton Burlington SPCA,
See also on CBC (February 11, 2015)
Should the city get into cat adoption?
Local animal lovers are keeping their fingers crossed this week as a Hamilton councillor takes another stab at getting an animal shelter to adopt out potential pets. Read more
January 19, 2015
Keep Adoptions Happening in 2015
Meyer & Benson (pictured in the January 5 News Alert below) got adopted on January 16 by a wonderful family. This purrfect pair has "landed on their paws" but there are many more cats and kittens, rescued throughout last year, who are still waiting to get on with their lives.
Our newly posted Featured Cat on our Adoption Page is one of those who has been waiting a very long time. Margueurite, this lovely young girl with the long whiskers and bright eyes and gorgeous fur coat, arrived at HAS very skinny, scrawny, sick, and scarred. Like so many who end up there, she'd been through a lot.
But, once rescued, nourishing food, excellent care, affection (and a few catnip pillows and toy mice) quickly restored her weight, her health and her spirits. She's waiting now, dreaming about what life will be like in her own forever home and hoping that some special person will come along soon and make her dream come true.
January 5, 2015
Ringing in the New Year
The pretty green-eyed girl pictured with the Grinch in our December 15 News Alert (see below) had lots to celebrate on New Year's Eve. Just days before, on December 29, she'd been adopted by a lovely couple and was "at home" settling in to her wonderful new life.
Their adoption, like every one in 2015, will signal not just a a happy ending/fresh beginning for them but also a chance for another to get rescued and eventually find a home.
ADOPTION IS WHAT KEEPS THE WHOLE RESCUE EFFORT MOVING!
December 15, 2014
Adopting at Christmastime?
A timely article entitled "Holiday adoption myth-busting at the SPCA" appeared in the Hamilton Spectator on Saturday (December 13).
The myth, of course, is that it's a bad idea to adopt at Christmastime.Many of us have in our heads those awful images of chaotic Christmas mornings and terrified kittens wearing bows who get ignored, lost amidst the excitement, and later discarded like unwanted gifts.
Anyone who cares about animals wants to avoid that kind of thing and this article provides some reassurance that the reality is generally quite different and that adopting this time of year can actually prove to be a good idea.
It starts off with the statement that "contrary to the myth, the holiday season is a fine time to take home a new pet - as long as everyone is prepared." And it offers some convincing arguments for holiday adoptions as well as some good ideas about how to think it through. Anyone considering adopting this season may want to read it.
The HBSPCA and all the rescue groups in Hamilton are working hard this December to find loving, forever homes for the cats and kittens in their care. They're doing this through special adoption events and through stories, pictures and some really cute and creative artwork on their Facebook pages.
Our Featured Cat for December is pictured belowwith the Grinch. We're hoping that this lovely green-eyed girl and many, many other rescued cats who are dreaming of being home for the holidays will get their wish, celebrate a Merry Christmas and purr their way through many Happily-Ever-After Years.
We hope that she and many other rescued cats will get their wish and celebrate a Merry Christmas and many Happily-Ever-After Years at home with their very own families.