Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Want to Be Angry, but It's Actually Pretty Funny

You remember those horses I called dispatch on THREE times to no aid whatsoever?  Well, they're still thin as shit.  The morning after I got home from work and the one was STILL tied up on the side of the road, I wrote a note and tied it to their gate.  It was very polite, since while I bet they can guess, there's no way for them to know I was the one calling the po-po's out to look at the ribs on their equines.

It went something along the lines of Hey.  Saw your horse on the side of the road.  If you need any help with food/care drop me a line, (email address).  Polite, right?  Didn't chew them out, didn't do anything but offer a hand.

If they knew it was me, it's probably because I'm the only one out there feeding the poor horses baby carrots each morning when they come up to the fence to see me and search my pockets for treats.

The horses, not the people.

My neighbors do not search my pockets for treats.

Anyways, I came home the next day to find...

A pile of horse shit in my yard!  An actual pile of horse shit.  WITH horse hoof prints.  Okay, maybe I shouldn't have left the gate open, but I was actually expecting a different delivery that day!  One of a less poopy variety.

I have no idea if they tied their horse in my yard while I was out or if he just broke loose from his (oh-so-sturdy) rope tied to a TINY LIMB ON A BUSH and came grazing, but at least I don't have to mow in that spot.

I wanna be mad...but anything that puts food in that horse's belly is good by me.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If You're a Vet, Why Are You Asking Me for Advice?

I don't want to specifically point out the person who recently sent me a mouse question, because I don't want anyone to be afraid to ask for my help with any animal situation, big or small.  I'm upset about it, though.  Not just it, of course, but it's one of the things getting under my skin tonight (it seems like everything I write about lately is dark - but it's a bad economy, and that means neglect and surrendering is at a huge high).

The person who wrote me told me she had one mouse returned to her after traveling with them, who began to show signs of extreme illness.  She dropped weight drastically, hunched, and refused food and water.  Eventually the questioner took her to the vet to be euthanized.

The questioner wrote that the mouse had Sendai virus, one of many things that can cause an upper respiratory tract infection (URI) in rodents.  One of MANY, MANY THINGS.  The Merck Vet Manual has this to say about Sendai:

"Sendai virus is an RNA paramyxovirus of the Parainfluenza family. It is highly contagious in mice and rats and causes an acute respiratory infection with no carrier state in immunocompetent animals. Sendai virus is transmitted by aerosols and direct contact with infected animals. Infection is usually subclinical, although sick animals may show signs of stunted growth and respiratory involvement with secondary bacterial pathogens. Gross lesions may include patchy lung consolidation and mild interstitial pneumonia. Perivascular lymphocytic cuffing is often observed on microscopic lung sections. Diagnosis is by ELISA, IFA, or PCR. Infection is generally self-limiting."

From that information, one might be more than a little curious how the questioner knew the exact cause of the URI.  It came on quickly, and I don't believe they saw a vet before putting her down, so I'd be surprised if any of the diagnostic tests had been performed.  If one were very, very curious what KIND of URI caused a mouse's decline in health, one could theoretically run a post-mortem histopathology, but I doubt she found a vet willing to do that and paid the upwards of $100 after euthanasia to discover which virus or bacteria made the mouse sick.

And on top of that - URIs are not that simple.  There doesn't HAVE to be just one thing causing the symptoms.  When an immune system is preoccupied, whether with traveling, stress, or a primary, subclinical infection, it's very easy to pick up a secondary infection that may or may not be the actual cause of the symptoms and damage.

There were other mice sharing the cage and travel with the mouse that got sick, so I strongly recommended treating the surviving mice with an antibiotic, just to be on the safe side.  I then discovered that not only were they already showing symptoms of infection, but she had "already tried that" to no effect.  Mmkay.  First of all, there isn't just one antibiotic.  There's one, MAYBE two you can get OTC, and then there are a few others to try via prescription pad.  Second, what did she try?  Did she try it for long enough, or did she cause resistance?  How long have those symptoms have been showing if she's already given them meds AND given up on them?  At this point, I'm getting more concerned.

The questioner has resigned to let the surviving mice "live out their lives" without more meds.

Look, that's not how it works in mice with URIs.  They might fight it off, or they might die horribly and slowly.  URIs can wipe out ENTIRE COLONIES.  With a long incubation period in most of them, right on up to three weeks, you can cross contaminate once and lose every mouse in your home.  That's why everyone pushes isolation so strongly - it's very serious.  Why take a chance with a loved pet?

I want to tell the questioner they cannot possibly know which URI(s) could be affecting the remaining mice, but I don't want to offend her or imply she may have unnecessarily put down her pet.  It's kind of delicate.  But it pisses me off.

If you aren't going to listen to my advice, and you're going to tell me you already know what's wrong with them and what you will do...why did you come to me in the first place?

Then there's this.  BEWARE - these photographs pull no punches.  Her camera goes behind the scenes of animal overpopulation and overcrowded kill shelters.  I love and hate these.

I was going to put up a pet of the day, but I'm so nauseated right now, so...horrified?  Grateful?  Miserable?  That I just can't.  I go to the Pawsitively page and all I see is album after album.  There are so many pets emotionlessly posted as a last ditch effort at adoption.  Instead of a photo and a story, now it's an album of 80 nameless dogs and cats with strict rules on tagging and pulling.  Be prompt, or the animal is destroyed.  I's so sickening, I can't handle it right now.  I go home and I see my fosters, my rescues, my babies, and I don't know why they got to be lucky.  I don't know if they ARE lucky.

When the person who helped you rescue six tiny lives tells you if they have to go back to that drooling, miserable, horrible woman who would have let them die in her front yard and scooped them into a trash bag like dead leaves then "so be it" know shit is bad.  You know it's the end of the rope.  You know there is no more help left to offer, and you know you won't say no if asked.

I hope finding my soul was worth it to them, their people, and the ones I can't save.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What the Fuck.

Well, third time to call dispatch on those emaciated horses, and this time they wouldn't even send out a deputy.  It's getting cold here, and they've only had hay once since May.


Tonight, one of them was tied to god knows fucking what, ONE of the fucking trees on the side of the road, barely able to move from how short the rope was (maybe two body lengths, tops), sporting new injuries of course, and eating so fast you couldn't have stopped him if you'd accidentally hit him.  Dispatch:  "He's just lawnmowing.  We can't send someone out for that.  He's fine."  Um...after dark?  For hours?  Unsupervised?  On the side of the road.  Tripping over the rope tied to his rope halter each time he tries to turn around and find more grass and weeds.

Fuck you.

I'm know what...I can't write anymore about this tonight.  I'm sorry so glum lately, but I've had my hands so full with wedding shit, working seven nights a week, and volunteer firefighting that I have barely been able to help with animal shit at all.  I feel like I'm letting them down.  You don't take a "break" from animal rescue.  When you live around the shit I live around, it's a part of you, and a part of your life.  You HAVE to care, you HAVE to help.  It pulls you apart.

Here, in case you wanted to be just a little more  pissed off at people tonight, have an actual conversation at a rescue event recently:

"how much is it to buy a dog?"
"to adopt, you mean?  $150"
"shiiiit.  i wouldn't spend no $150 on a dog.  I've never spent $150 on a DOG."
"they come with everything done - fixed, shots, microchipping, everything."
"FIXED, why would you want to buy a dog who was already fixed?"

Ayup.  That happened.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Sadness, but There Are Kittens.

The six kittens we took from the home with the cats we were fixing for free came home with us, and that very day, were on the verge of death.  All of them had faces sealed shut with eye goo.  I made an appointment, and in the three hours it took to get them there, they had developed fevers and were extremely lethargic.  I honestly thought they were all going to die, and so did the vet.

He gave them SQ fluids, which they HATED, and clavamox.  He says he's thinking an immune deficiency disease, like feleuk, but I've seen this plenty before and I can bet you $100 it's rhino or calici.  My own cat had rhino when she was a kitten, and it took us a year before we figured out why she had developed such horrible fevers as a kitten (so bad she couldn't walk without being in pain), and since she grew up she would periodically get majorly snotty.  I wanna say the kittens have rhino, but they are in such strong quarantine (exit only by window, change clothes on entering, separate air system, betadine scrubs before going in or out, and about five showers a day, easy) and it developed so very quickly (plus all of their siblings out of three huge litters had already died), it could very well be something else.  Still thinking rhino or calici.  At least I know I didn't expose them to it, as was my initial terror.

I've gotten pretty good at quarantine, though.  Since their vet visit the babies have really perked up.  I learned a new trick, too - if you can't get stubborn, solidified, serious eye bogies out, try rubbing neosporin or other oil-based antibiotic ointment into them.  It dissolves right out and they clean it away.  I think we managed to avoid tear duct damage in all six!

They have names now, too.  Freddy is the biggest and definitely a boy.  He was originally named Fraidy because he was practically feral, but he adjusted quickly and now ALL he wants to do is snuggle, cuddle, and purr.  He's from a separate litter from everyone else, and at least 2 weeks older, despite what coked-out-bitch insisted.  The Kitty System is a seal point siamese, the next biggest, and also from a separate litter.  He is the trouble-maker!  If there's a wrestling match, you can bet KS was involved and probably started it!  Pickles is the next biggest trouble-maker, getting into pickles every play time.  He's grey and white spotted.  Traveller is a grey, white-socked well...traveller!  He goes where no kitten has gone before, and exploring is his thing (and so is talking, oh my goodness).  Dove looks just like Traveller but runted.  Dove is the only one I'm still a little worried about, but she's doin' her darndest to keep up with the big kids.  :)  Last is Cowbell.  Cowbell is sweet enough to easily medicate, love on, snuggle with, and catch, but balances his people skills perfectly with that classic kitten playfulness.

I'll post photos as they grow up - right now it's still all very hush-hush.

Meanwhile, down the street from me, I finally managed to get some photos of a trio of horses I've been concerned about.  There's not enough info right now, and they aren't on death's doorstep, so no one will do anything about it.  Yet.  Photos are the first step, though.  Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Yeah...that's totally a ball of wire and debris fucking everywhere.

And right across the street from them is this poor little guy and his loose-running yippy chihuahua:

He stays chained like that all day every day, and crawls under the tractor when the weather is harsh.  That would be extremely illegal.  But, you have to go about these things carefully, or the animal winds up dead, "lost," or tossed in the high-kill shelter to be killed anyways.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Too Much and You Start to Really Hate People

I don't know how some people who work in animal rescue, sheltering, or anything like that can stay optimistic.  Fuck, I don't know how I can type real sentences right now.  I'm motherfucking tired.

What did I do today?  Today I told the local kill shelter I'd pay it $150 if three of it's goddamned cat carriers came back damaged.  Carriers I was told I'd be lent as part of participating in their free spay and neuter program.  For feral cats.

While signing the form, a man and his children come in.  The woman across from me places her call on hold, looks over my head, and asks how she can help him.  He says:

"Our dog is here.  He's a mutt.  We punished him for getting out by lettin' him stay here a little longer.  It's been about a week, and I need to pick him up now."

A little while later I'm half an hour North, helping my fiance fix a gate and a portion of fencing while picking up some spare cat carriers from the same woman who helped us get our dog's leg surgery when we first found her.  We talk about the $455 bill I have to deal with for taking the stray dog into the E.R. a week or so ago.  Maybe two weeks.  Not sure.

She had been hit by a car and just fucking left her.  She could barely move.  She was being eaten by ants.

What kind of person can leave a dog like that on the side of the road.  About ten years old.  Two necrotic mammary masses.  Missing and cracked teeth.  Shattered pelvis and right femur - pieces of her pelvis in her leg.  In shock, terrified.  Just a fucking pair of eyes on the side of the road by our house, on the way home from my fiance's birthday party.

We talk, we talk about how we have her ashes now, and how we want to use her story to convince our neighbors to fence their dogs or bring them inside.  I collect the carriers.  I drive to the next destination - the woman who's asked for my help before, and has come to me now.  She lives outside of the county line, so she can't offer a certain woman the free spay and neuter program we have where I live.  The woman with the cats is doped out of her mind.  It's a miracle she's alive at all.  On welfare and drugs, talking about how she almost died by choking because she fell asleep while eating.

We bring all these carriers because I've told my county program that there is a colony of feral cats by my house I need to get fixed.  It's a useless lie.  We can't catch all of her cats, because even though she does feed them (the food that's given to her for free out of donations), they truly are feral.  One, whose paws are deformed so that she can walk only on her "elbows," flips out so badly from being put in the carrier that her face is bloodied.  More and more cats zipping out of the house we aren't allowed into, under the house, under the neighbor houses, into and out of the storm drains.  Easily forty, maybe fifty cats.  Six kittens (the rest of many more litters, having died in the yard, have been removed already) are bloated with worms and none of the mothers will feed them.

The woman says things like

"I was so hoping God wouldn't force that poor creature to give birth to more" (she says of the deformed cat, who looks the size of a 6 month old kitten but has already had and nursed at least two litters)

"I already put them on two rounds of Revolution"

"Revolution is expensive, I can't afford to put them on anything"

"They're at least three months old, for sure!  They're weaned, they just keep trying to nurse."

Unfortunately, we couldn't catch the male we desperately wanted to neuter - he had a broken pelvis from the man in the house throwing him against a wall, but escaped beneath the house before we could get him safely in a carrier.

I just...I fucking hate people right now.
- Mouse

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adopting Because It's Sad.

Don’t fucking do it.

52 horses need saved! They’re going to slaughter!  Oh NOOOO!  They’re free, get them out now!  MOST of them are gelded.  MOST of them are broken.  Some of them are with foal.

Yeah, it’s fucking tragic, but you know what this tells me?  It tells me they were neglected before their previous owner passed away.  It tells me each horse is going to need extensive veterinary care and rehabilitation.  It tells me the previous owner wasn’t gelding them, wasn’t getting 52 horses fed and trimmed.  It tells me they’re basically a feral herd.

But what it tells YOU is that YOU have to swoop in and stop this tragedy of killing them now now now now now, even if you don’t have the money to get your fucking dogs rabies vaccinations.

And what it tells YOU is that even though you have two kids to feed and a dog with zero vet visits, and no money to come to my damned wedding, that this sad, sad story with its zero details or history or vet papers tugs on your heartstrings enough to jump into something that will cost thousands of dollars and months of hard work.  You CAN’T.  It will suffer more.

And what it tells YOU is that “horse slaughter bad, mmkay,” so no horses can die, ever, even though there are NO SLAUGHTER HOUSES HERE.  Trigger word, and you’re preaching about morals.

What every fucking one of you is forgetting is that you don’t have the whole fucking story.  You don’t know where they came from, why they’re in this condition, WHAT condition they are in, who needs massive amounts of vet care and rehabilitation.  Shit, you don’t even know if this is a legal issue that should be prosecuted.  YOU DON’T KNOW.  You just see a sad story and want to make it better.  BUT YOU CAN’T.

You can not save them all.  If you want to, GO VISIT THEM.  Take a tally of the horses and their conditions.  Bring a vet.  Talk to the survivor who wants to slaughter them and the “friend” who wants to adopt them out for free.  Find out who is with foal, who needs gelded, look at the hooves, the teeth, the ribs.  Go do the goddamned work and participate.  Make profiles on the 52 horses with photographs, and look for real adopters.  Adopters who have the money for vet care and the facilities already set up.  Adopters who know what they are doing, who aren’t going to turn around and sell them for profit on fucking Craigslist.  Adopters who aren’t going to realize they can’t afford to feed it and either let it die, “set it free,” or sell it to auction.  Adopters who actually give a fuck and aren’t acting on just emotion.

THEN.  Coordinate with state-wide rescues, organizations, and fosters who can give them longer to bounce back and be better for adopting.

You mean well.  But you’re thinking with your heart, and not about the animals.


Monday, July 18, 2011

If You Can Help, Please Do!

Over the coming month I would really like to help this foster and her dog out.  The whole story is at this link, but suffice it to say, the little pit bull was dumped on the foster when her owner left the state without her, and she just lost a litter and almost her life.  The vet bills are too much for the foster - they could barely handle caring for her in the first place.

If you have a dollar, five dollars, ten dollars, anything at all to spare, please consider it.  Suka needs an adopter, but right now, she just needs to heal.

Suka's Chip-In.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

They're COUNTRY Dogs. one of the stupidest and most common excuses for not taking care of your dogs, and I hear it all the freaking time.

Guess who just moved into the country?

Okay, it isn't REALLY rural, not quite, but we are quite a drive from "town," live on a half acre on a street with four houses, and the defining feature?  Nobody takes care of shit out here, including their animals.

When I was a kid, dreaming about living in the country someday, "country" to me meant crops, chickens, cows, horses, tack, barns, hay bales, and a riding lawn mower.  Country meant cooking from scratch, fixing things by hand instead of running to the phone book, chopping wood when you wanted a cozy fire.  Country meant parking in the grass and driving down dirt and gravel roads.  It meant my grandparents and great aunts/uncles up in the Midwest.

This does not fit that description.  Don't get me wrong, I love where we just moved.  I could just do without the neighbors.  Or neighbors at all.

These people, like so many others, feel dogs are outside animals only (even in the 100+ degree Texas heat), and don't need vetting, collars, ID, or to be contained in any way.  Hey, they're country dogs.  They don't stay in a yard, they roam around.  Yeah, they just automatically know to stay out of the street, and they'll take care of themselves, they'll be fine.

Do you know where dogs like that end up?  Dogs like that end up dead.  I drive past dogs like that on the side of the road all the time.  Those are your ranch dogs.  Those are your fucking country dogs.  No, that isn't an excuse.  Country isn't an excuse not to take care of your pets (And they ARE pets, not working dogs).  It's just laziness.  There's no difference between those dogs and urban dogs, just how they're treated.  Not an excuse.

Our neighbors have three dogs.  One older adult female, maybe 20 pounds or so, and two medium/large breed mutt puppies about her size, that couldn't be more than 2-6 months old (one is younger than the other).  Multiple times we've come home to these dogs digging through our shed, trying to feed themselves.  Today I awoke to the adult barking non-stop at my bedroom window - because the cat was in it.  If I walk my dogs outside of the yard I have to make sure they are out of sight first, and worry they'll come pick a fight.  They are extremely territorial toward other animals, and I recently watched the female chase a liver german shorthaired pointer top speed down the street because he got as far as my house.  Down the middle of the fucking street - a dog more than twice her size.  I've nearly hit the pointer with my car.

These dogs do not have any idea how to stay out of the road.  These dogs have fleas, dry skin, don't wear collars, and don't even get brought in for storms.  They don't get vaccinated, they barely get fed.  These dogs WILL get hit by cars, tangle with predators or other dogs, or die of any of a million diseases while outside and unprotected/unsupervised.  I am terrified that if that little dog picks a fight with either my pit or lab, she'll lose.  My dogs love other dogs, but I don't put much stock in their resisting a fight if she attacks.   And guess whose dog will be blamed?  Oh, it won't be the little dog!

I have brought up my concerns with them twice in the short time I've lived in that house so far.  They spend most of their time in my next door neighbor's yard because she feeds them, but they actually belong to her grandchildren across the street.  The child's solution, endorsed by the grandmother?  She's going to get a collar soon, and tie her up outside.

NEVER.  TIE.  A DOG UP.  OUTSIDE.  In Texas heat, 24-7, without supervision.  Don't fucking do it.  You're just feeding the predators on a lead, if the rope/chain and heat exhaustion don't kill the poor animal first.

But you know, they're country dogs.  They don't go inside.  Bitch, please.  I keep two 50 pound dogs in my house and you can't take your little dogs inside for thunderstorms and hail?  You do not deserve to keep animals, and your kids aren't old enough to.

Sooo there's nothing I can do.  If I call animal control they either won't do anything, or will seize the animals and they'll go to our local pound.  Then they'd either be picked up at an expense and the neighbors will cause trouble for us, or they'll be put down.  I can't take them in, and I can't convince them to take them inside.  And you know what?  The children's mother was right there, not saying a damn word to them or me during all of this.  No wonder they think it's okay to tie up a dog.  They're like 8 years old and younger.  Mom should be setting a fucking example, not letting them toss their puppies outside and neglecting them.

Breaks my heart, and pisses me off.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guess Who Is Getting Chickens?

Our apartment flooded one month before the end of our lease.  Chaos, craziness, loss of property.  Four inches of standing water in every room.  Joy.

We were released from our lease early and had to move to a new house quicker than previously thought.  This new house has 1/2 acre of land, a shed, aaand a chicken pen.  I don't exactly have the savings for the goats I want (Nigerian Dwarfs, my fiance makes cheese!), but hey, chickens would be an awesome place to start!!

What KIND of chickens, you ask?

Probably easter eggers.  I was kinda thinking about silkies, but the main reason for chickens for us is eggs, with an emergency meat source.  Silkies aren't tremendously awesome as either, as adorable as they are.  So...Easter Eggers it is!

photo by Observing Life
I have some work to do with the pen before it's ready for them (it's the bare bones, still needs new mesh, a coop, and some nest boxes), plus possibly a brooder to build, so I don't expect to be ready for them until July, but it's exciting to start planning for my very first livestock!  My fiance also really wants to finally get his quail he's been wanting for ages.  I believe he's interested in Coturnix quail, and wants 3 hens.  Thus begins the inevitable learning-everything-possible-about-the-new-species I do with every new or potential critter.

The new place has a fenced yard, so it's going to be awesome to see the dogs finally get to run around a bit.  I plan on letting the peepers get a little exercise for a few hours a day, and letting the dogs out at different times, since I don't expect either the lab nor the pittie to be particularly bird-friendly (in fact, I know Penny had a dangerous interest in a bird - dangerous to her, that is -  the last time she was pet sat.  I know because her little nose had some telling peck marks!).  It's gonna be exciting!

In the meantime, all of our critters are spread across various sitters and boarders, due to the flooding.  My meeces and rabbit are two hours south with my father, the foster kittens and their momma Ghost are with a friend (and just got fixed, thanks to the Spay Day program!), Lanie the lab is in boarding, Penny the pittie and our cat Basement are in the hotel with us (for a fee, ouch).  The fish, reptiles, and tarantulas are in hiding.  We've finished most of the craziness with the move and have moved on to the slow process of unpacking.  I'm still working 7 nights a week,'s going very, very slowly.

Ooh, I also wanted to share this with you guys - how your cats and dogs drink:

Story #1 and Story #2.

Also, doggy hepatitis C.

Later gators.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Long-Distance Adoption

My heart wants to be really proud of humanity for the concept of long-distance adoption.  Multiple people working together to expand the net of adoptability - moving pets across states to the perfect homes.  It's a real sign of advancement, right?

But everything is wrong with it.  I'm sorry, I want to, but I just don't think long-distance adoptions are a good idea.  And I've DONE it.  Hell, I still have Lanie.  She's a perfect example of what goes wrong with them.

#1:  Let's start with the concept of fluid adopters.  That's not a real term.  I just made it up.

What I mean by "fluid adopters" is the basic idea that a person can find a "perfect companion" in many different pets.  There are certainly picky adopters (I don't mean that in a negative way at all) who will go to five or six different shelters before finding the perfect dog/cat/bunny/other.  Those seem to be the exception, though.  Most people will go to shelter A, B, C, OR D and will find a Fluffy or Fido to complete their home.  With that in mind - an adoption at any one shelter takes an adoption away from the others.

There is obviously no animosity there - we are all in this to find animals homes, wherever they wind up.  Well, most of us are, anyways.  But what it means is that a person who adopts locally opens up a kennel for another needy animal in their community.  A person who adopts from a kill shelter takes an adoption from a no kill, and vice versa.  This is a prime reason for spontaneous adoptions from kill shelters - it's an immediate gratification of "saving" a life, despite hundreds of other animals being put down after close of business.  On the other hand, adopting from a no-kill keeps (theoretically) one more pet out of the euthanasia line to begin with.  There is no better option and this is a huge issue, but apply it to long distance adoptions:

Adopting from another city or state takes one adoption away from a local animal.

I personally feel that community is the best shot that shelters have at adopting out animals into responsible homes.  A good shelter is an active part of the fabric of the animal community - giving back education, services, and care.  If community is forsaken by adopters - reaching out to OTHER communities, we mesh together and it's more likely, imho, for animals to fall through the cracks right under our noses.  Like I mentioned before, though, we are all in this for the same reason, and a needy animal five states away is as valuable as one next door.  I don't think it's a bad thing - I just don't think it's a good one.

#2:  When you take responsibility for adopting out an animal, you take responsibility for its wellbeing after going to its new home.  On the other end, when you adopt an animal, you are taking direct responsibility for promising it a loving, safe, forever-home.  If you adopt long distance...

A shelter cannot:
  • Homecheck the adopter
  • Meet the adopter and verify they are credible, responsible, and who/what they claim to be
  • Perform followup visits and checks
  • Verify any future requirements for adoption have been met (like promised fixing/vet care)
  • Check the vet care, number, and temperaments of current pets
  • Check the household members and their knowledge of the adoption
  • Verify safety of the environment, including fencing and hazards
  • Verify the adopter has means of transport, for taking the animal to a vet
An adopter cannot:
  • Check the credibility of the shelter
  • Check the condition, health, temperament, and traits of the animal
  • Check that the shelter has not "played up" the friendliness or condition
  • Determine first if the animal's a good fit for that person, pets, or household
  • Ensure the shelter does not have practices the adopter doesn't condone or support, such as gassing
  • Meet other pets that may be a better fit, personality-wise
  • Note poor behaviors that could be deal breakers - barking, food aggression, dog aggression, skittishness, etc.
  • Easily return animal or seek help if become overwhelmed
In my opinion, all of these, on both sides, indicate a serious lack of foresight or care.  It tells me that a shelter is not as responsible as it could be, or cares more about getting adoption numbers up than where the dogs wind up.  If you don't think that's a big deal, read this (graphic).  ANYONE can adopt pets, and it's the responsibility of a shelter to make sure their animals go to good, qualified, responsible homes, as well as the responsibility of the adopter to make sure they are adopting the right animal for them and that their shelters are doing their jobs with care.  COMMUNITY can change poor adoption practices.

I realize that's harsh, and an across-the-board generalization, but it really is the responsibility of both parties that an adoption go smoothly.  It doesn't end with signing a paper - it's the before, during, and the long after.  You just can't do that long distance, not easily, anyways.  There are always exceptions, of course.

#3.  When any of those points above fall through, accidents can happen.  When we brought Lanie home she had kennel cough.  I made the stupid mistake of assuming that "vaccinated for Bordatella and Distemper/Parvo" meant that all the dogs there were kennel cough- and parvo-free.  I didn't think.  Those vaccines take weeks to work.  I later learned that EVERY DOG there had kennel cough.  She had been on medication that wasn't sent with her - an antibiotic.  I brought home a sick dog to my dog who had just had surgery.  That put everyone involved in danger and was extremely unwise.  I was very, very angry.  No one had told me - but I hadn't asked.

So who gets stuck with a vet bill for new medicine?  Whose animals were at risk because I didn't even meet the dog before tagging it and pulling it from the shelter?

I learned the hard way.  My other dog is fine, but I'm still not happy.  It's taken me two months now and I STILL haven't gotten her adoption papers/records.  I'm obligated to get her spayed, but they haven't once called, emailed, or written to follow up that I have.  They don't care.  They gave a dog away for free to a person they'd never met or verified, not even asking if I had other pets at home.  They didn't ask anything.  Lanie could have been VERY screwed if the situation were even a little bit different, and if we hadn't maintained painfully strict quarantine, Penny could have been screwed, too.  There wasn't anything to do once we'd adopted her.

#4.  Huge transport plans.  Not everyone, in fact, almost no one, drives the several hours to pick up their pet from a long-distance adoption.  In my experience, big, elaborate transport paths are planned.  Person A picks up from the shelter and drops off with person B a couple of hours away, who hands the animal off to person C, and so on until they arrive at their final home.  That means that ONLY THE LAST PERSON sees the destination the dog is going to.  That last person is stuck with the moral responsibility (and the animal) should something be glaringly, or even subtly, wrong.  In addition, that animal is the adopter's responsibility from the second it leaves the doors of the shelter - that means if person A, B, C, or other loses the pet between transport, runs off with it, hands it to a fraudulent person, gets in an anccident, or otherwise endangers the animal - that's on the adopter.

You're taking in a pet for the rest of its life.  Isn't it worth it to ensure it gets home with you safely?  Do you know who those transporters ARE?  Are they using kennels and leashes or is the pet riding loose in the car?  Will they have the windows down?  Do they have AC/heat?  Are they passing off papers, too?  Are they someone you can trust to meet with safely?

However you look at it, adopting long distance is taking a chance, and it can be very sketchy.  Heck, if you need another example, the tripawd I recently helped get out of a kill shelter went from a young, healthy, perfectly friendly and great-shape dog from a caring owner to an underweight, dog-aggressive, over-bred dog with scars and poor breeding from a terrifying owner who later harassed the adopting shelter with nonstop requests for personal and contact details of her future home.  You can never go wrong being too careful.

So yes.  Long distance adoption just sits wrong with me.  I worry those dogs have a lesser chance of staying where they go, or remaining healthy and happy.  I think it's a poor recipe.  Might just be me, though.  I really, really want to love that people are working so hard at casting that wider net, but it just worries me.  A lot.


Monday, April 25, 2011

First Surgery

I got to perform my very first surgery today, when my precious pittie Penny did a number on one of her toys.  She'd gotten the torso ripped from the rope and was toting it around happily, staring down the cat, ducking back into her kennel, throwing it out again, snatching it back up, staring down the cat, ducking back into her kennel...when she found the part that squeaks.  I picked the poor thing up and performed an impromptu surgery:


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Time to Eat

Today I wanna talk about something that has been weighing on me, and making me less than I can be, for the past several years.  Something that weighs especially hard on every single person who works with animals, people, charities, anything that involves placing something else before yourself:


Stress and animal rescue go hand in hand.  Whether it's assisting in a surgery, admitting ER patients, or pulling animals (sometimes literally) from horrible situations.  Even if it's just taking a healthy, loveable foster into your home - it's a wonderful experience that can make your life a million times better, but it invariably brings in a little stress.  How you handle that stress determines how much you can help the animals you work with.

The classes for stress are stupid.  No one can tell you what will work best for you, but you have to find something.  Handling anxiety, depression, frustration, the nights full of tears, the lack of sleep, the cramming and testing, the sometimes endless searches for a good home, the millions of "no's..."  This should come first above all else.  Not just for you, for the people and animals you are trying to help.

Find a way, find something.

I hate complaining, but I'm going to, for the sake of anyone who comes here to read this.  This is what stress has done to me, what I have done to me by not placing myself at a high enough priority (don't worry, I'm fine, it's just important).  I have a ganglion cyst in both of my wrists, one so bad in my dominant hand that some nights I can't even type or do my job, forget about changing cages or (Jesus, this is the worst) walking a dog that pulls.  I think I have a small fracture in my left foot.  My back hurts so bad some days it's like a bolt of lightning frying down from the middle of my back to the bottom of my left butt cheek.  I completely lost vision in the focus portion of both of my eyes for about an hour a couple of weeks ago.  I barely get any sleep from the foster dog sharing a bedroom with us, and I have trouble focusing on anything.  I get sick all the time, but can't take off of work because the new guy isn't trained yet.  I get dizzy, I throw up all the time (no, not on purpose), when you stress, horrible, physical, REAL things happen to you.  Things that get decidedly in the way of taking excellent care of your pets, fosters, and responsibilities.

It is so easy to become overwhelmed.  I am lucky to have a man who helps me despite his own full plate, but it's not fair to either of us.  There is no food in my fridge, but my animals have never had empty food bowls.

That is NOT right.

It sounds noble, but it's fucking stupid.

Of course, you have to feed your animals, period.  But you have to feed you, too.  You should never go to the store and come home with bags of pet food but no people food.  Ever.  EAT SOMETHING.  Go rework your budget.  If you can't afford to feed both you and the pet, ASK FOR HELP.

I am not ever, ever, EVER saying you should let an animal go hungry, EVER.  But if you can't afford to feed the both of you, you should look for another person to help you take care of the animals.  Talk to other people in rescue.  Talk to your coworkers.  Everyone in these kinds of positions is going through or has gone through exactly that, and might be able to lend a hand.  We're all bleeding hearts.  We all have to take care of ourselves.

If you don't you aren't much use to the animals.  Sleep 8 hours a night, eat 2000 calories a day, and ask for help when you need it.

This message brought to you by a chick who needs to change her entire lifestyle before it kills her.


P.S. - This book rocks, and is free online:  Biology of the Laboratory Mouse

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kitteh Balls

Good news!  I got all A's this semester.  Sweet!

In other news, the kittens I've been fostering are finally about to reach that magic number - 12 weeks old.  I have about a million people lined up to adopt them (such is the way with kittens), but they can't go nowhere until they've had their down-theres fixed up.

So when can you neuter a kitten?

Or spay, if you have a lady kitten.  Which I do not.

That depends on who you ask.  Given my major, I should probably have some strong opinion that I can forcefully defend, but I don't.  My opinion is - when they're big enough.  Your vet can give you an idea, but I would recommend not waiting until 6 months or later like some clinics do.  I do have one opinion I'll defend to the grave, though - never, ever, ever, EVER adopt out an animal that isn't fixed.

But they paid a deposit for fixing?  Nope.
But I know them really well?  Nope.
But they promised to do it in 30 days or I could take it back?  NOPE.

Fix them as soon as they're 3 pounds, or the fastest your vet feels comfortable putting them under anesthesia.  Then and only then can they go to their new homes.

Even if you're giving the cat to your mother, get it fixed first.  It's not a matter of trust (okay sometimes it is), it's just the plain fact that shit happens.

What if Senor Fluffypants gets out?  What if Madam Fuzzbutt gets her first heat, and new owners can't afford the more expensive spay?  Things happen, and if you're going to spend that much time rescuing, raising, and vetting the kittens, might as well take one more thing off your mind and their "still needs ____" list.  Otherwise you might wind up with a whole new litter of unloved kittens waking you up every two hours and needing even more vet visits in a few months.  Cats multiply, shit happens.

Plus, for boy kitties, the surgery is really easy.  Look what I found!  (Caution:  Includes real photographs of the surgery)  Slideshow came from this page.

And, because I have no intention of being kitteh-sexist here, a very thorough and in-depth pictoral walkthrough of a spay.  (Caution:  Yes it's still real surgery pictures)

Both pages have links to similar information for dog procedures, so if you aren't too squeamish, take a look around.  Cool stuff!

Batman hogging the food, and Chewy being particularly nonplussed about it.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rodent Dentistry!

It's no surprise that I have dentistry on the brain - I had two weeks of lessons on it recently.  Not that two weeks is a tremendously long time to spend on teeth, in fact, I feel like I barely scratched the surface!

Just today, though, another cool questioner happened to ask me about mouse teeth.  I know some basics - like how the molars don't grow more once they are formed but the front teeth continue to grow for the rest of rodent lives.  I know some of the basic things that can go wrong, like overgrowth, abscesses, malocclusion, etc.  I don't know when baby mice get their teeth, though, and the question that's really driving me crazy is whether or not rodents get milk teeth (deciduous teeth).  I hate when not only do I not know, but I also can't find.  I'm sure if I keep hunting I'll uncover the answer eventually.

I did find the answer to when infant mice get their teeth, though, even if I don't know if they're permanent or not.  This paper mentions that lab mice showed dentin (the bony layer beneath the enamel) formation at 1-2 days after birth and enamel formation 3 or more days after birth.  The rest of the toothy development seems to have taken place in utero.  That's interesting!!  If you've ever seen a day old mouse pup you probably weren't particularly worried about getting bit (except by mom!), but early mouse development was always something that struck me as very interesting.  Well, mice in general, actually.

(Lorena Cupcake)

Anyhoo, still don't know about the milk teeth.  I'll find it sooner or later.  I should definitely be cramming for my finals, though!

In other news, my fiance and I thought we were getting a buncha land this summer but it fell through, so we're still looking for a new house with some acreage.  As soon as we achieve that we can hopefully get started on some meat/egg chickens and then...*drumroll please*...DAIRY GOATS!  And fiber goats!  I like goats.  Then I will have even more cool animal stuff to talk about!  :)

There's more other-news about that tripawd I posted up a little while back, but it's fairly unpleasant (she's fine, don't worry) so I'll save that for another day.  :)

Later gators!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mice and Rats

Most people lump mice and rats together. It even sounds right together - miceandrats. Ratsandmice. They're both rodents. They look similar. Tons of people can't tell them apart. When I was a kid I was told the difference was in the tail - mice had furry tails and rats had scaly ones.

by Suprise Truck
But mice and rats do NOT go together.  No, rats prey on mice.  Here, let me share a different story before I get to the good stuff I just found out.

I answer questions on AllExperts under the mouse category, and the majority of the questions I get are really, painfully silly.  I'm very near to just sitting down and making a website with all of the repetitive answers:
  • My mouse is sneezing/coughing/chirping!  What do I do?
  • Why is my mouse itchy and scabby?
  • What's this bump on my mouse?
  • I "rescued" an orphan mouse, what do I do now?
  • My mouse died!!  Omgwtfbbq?
  • Why doesn't my male mouse get along with my other male mouse?
  • I in one way or another completely fucked up trying to breed the mice I just brought home today from the pet store and now they are dead/dying/sick/aborting/etc.  Fix it!
Now, don't get me wrong, asking questions is GOOD.  I answer them all politely.  If you need to ask me, DO.  I would much rather be mildly annoyed for five minutes because you didn't read the very last question I answered than have your mice suffer because you're worried I'll scoff.  I just wish people would use their noggins about mice, that's all, and consider using a vet or reading over past questions.

But about 20% of the questions I get are really, really good.  I LOVE these questions, even though it doesn't always turn out well for the mice.  It keeps me sharp, makes me learn more, and fine tunes the diagnostic part of my brain.  I love puzzles, and good questions.

One such question was just asked.

I didn't take it seriously at first because it sounded stupid.  It was something along the lines of how their brand new mice had been dying, behaving oddly, etc.  I wasn't getting a very good vibe from the questioner.  Their main inquiry, though, was why mice tend to eat the head/brain of mice that have passed, because one of his was missing half it's skull when he found it.

Initially I had a few, generic, answer-form thoughts.  Hunger.  Don't feed your mice once a day for Christ's sake, they aren't dogs.  They need food available 24-7.  Fighting.  I frequently see mice go for the head when fighting over territory, resources, pecking order, etc.

Wait.  That's bigger than that.  WHY do they go for the head?  Because it's quickest?  Then why would they eat the brain afterwards?

Shit guys, I have no idea.  WHY do mice eat the head?  Is this a war tribe kind of thing?  Are brains delicious?  Is it ensuring they're really dead?  WHY do rodents, not even just mice, start from the head and move down?

So I googled, and I found this:

"Rat odor is stressful to mice and has an effect on their behavior and reproduction. In fact, rat odor is sometimes used as a predator odor to study anxiety and antipredator behavior in mice.

Specifically, domestic and wild-stock mice who are exposed to a conscious or anesthetized rat tend to flee, and if prevented from fleeing, they show defensive or attack behavior (Griebel et al. 1995, Blanchard et al. 1998).

Mice housed in the same room as rats tend to be more stressed than mice housed without rats (Calvo-Torrent et al. 1999). Mice who can smell rat urine take ten times longer to start eating a treat than mice who cannot (Merali et al 2003). Mice who were exposed to rat urine for just a few minutes startle more afterwards, even up to two days after the rat urine exposure (Hebb et al. 2003). Pregnant mice exposed to rat urine produce fewer litters than mice who were not exposed (de Catanzaro 1988)."

Okay, so I totally knew that rats ate mice, and that if you attempted to house them together you'd have one less mouse.  I never thought about the effect of their smell, before.  Up to two days of stress after smelling rat urine?  I used to keep my ratties in the same room as my mice.  I've even placed cages on top of the rat condo while changing them out.  I feel pretty bad for what I was putting the little guys through.  It's useful information for breeding, too!

I feel this is pretty relevant to this, as well.

I don't have an answer for him yet, but I'll figure it out.  It's really bugging me now, though.  Why eat the head?  It appears to be a strong instinct for rats, and from what I've seen of cannibalism in mice, it doesn't look a whole lot different.

In the meantime, I don't think I'm going to be able to eat for hours.  Not a whole lot makes me nauseous, but you should check out the inside of a mouse some time, or watch a momma go batshit and eat her bebbehs.  *shudder*  They DON'T start at the head.  Moms just go for it.



P.S. - Same Pet of the Day.  This girl needs a home by Monday, 11 AM.  I pulled some serious strings to keep her alive that long, she was supposed to be put down today.  I can't help it.  I like tripawds.  If anyone can help out, email me at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cat Teeth!

You know, there are all kinds of products targeted toward cleaning dog teeth.  To my knowledge, none of them work.  It does, on the other hand show that the general public is quite aware that dogs do experience problems with their chompers.  Most people have heard of gingivitis in dogs, letting the vet do a little dentistry/teeth cleaning, and even brushing your dog's teeth.

You don't hear much about cat teeth, though.

Cats absolutely get problems with plaque, their gums, and their teeth.  Infections from too much built up plaque and a swollen/irritated gumline can become extreme, cause tooth loss, and even spread via bloodstream to other areas of the body.

So what do you do?  Have your cat put under anesthesia every few months for a good cleaning? could do that, or you could brush your cat's teeth.

If you own a cat, you're probably putting on heavy duty gloves right now.  I adore kitties, but if there's one thing they don't like by default, it's having your fingers in their mouths!  Never fear, though, for I have found this nifty video that has a slight resemblance to the one I actually wanted to show you, but couldn't, because my class uploaded it directly.


Cat teeth.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Whatsa-Poo? Huh?

I think Basset Hounds are the goofiest looking dogs ever.  I mean...just look at them.

That's the picture I think of every time someone mentions them, even though I know I've seen plenty of less floppy, less mid-motion-jowly-wobbly basset hounds.  ...Like this one:

Okay but really...they ARE goofy-lookin' dogs, and that's okay.  They were bred to look the way they do.  A friend of mine has a tricolor female bitch who happened to go into her very first heat at two years old, and guess who the daddy was?

A border collie labrador mix.


Can you picture the puppies she might have?  (Might because she hasn't taken her to a vet to confirm pregnancy yet)

Bordersset Colloundor.  Bassador Collie.  Just...gah.  I'm sure they'd be adorable, but I'm also positive they're going to need to be fixed ASAP.  I warned her to have a vet on call in case of a C-section.  Yipers!

You know the frustrating part, though?  The hound has no vetting whatsoever.  She doesn't have tags, is outdoor-indoor in the country, no rabies, no distemper/parvo, no heartworm.  I fear for the puppies, but really, I fear for the whole situation.  If someone can't afford to get their dog spayed or basic vetting, how is someone going to afford healthcare for a whole litter of puppies?

I'm knocking on wood that she isn't prego after all, but I'm knocking hard enough to bloody my knuckles that she doesn't wind up taking them in a box to the hardware store and giving them away like she told me was her initial plan.  Not fixed, not dewormed, just pulling them once they stopped nursing and taking them to the parking lot.

But would it be that much of a gamble though?  I mean, look at the alternative.  I know we all fall on hard times, especially lately, and getting your pet vetted the second their vaccination expires isn't always possible.  Sometimes, myself included, you gotta wait a couple of paychecks.  That's hard, but that's life.  But to NEVER take your dog in to the vet, her whole life?  To leave her outside unprotected?  I don't get it.  Your kiddos may always come first, but doggies are commitments.  :(  I'm not blaming her - she has her plate full, it's just hard to see, is all.

If she has puppies, I promise to post photos of the adorable little ugly-butts.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Got BYB?

You don't have to have 150 animals to be a backyard breeder.  You don't have to be a puppy mill to be one, either.  You could have a breeder's license from your county, only breed dogs with "papers," and only have two litters a year and still be a BYB.

So what makes a backyard breeder a backyard breeder, and why is it bad?  I everyone who breeds dogs in their backyard a bad breeder?

A backyard breeder is a person who breeds as a hobby or as a business, but can not or does not do so responsibly.  You (or your neighbor) might be a BYB if:
  • You do not have a vet
  • Your animals do not have county licenses
  • Your animals do not have current vaccinations (including rabies, which MUST be administered by a licensed, practicing vet)
  • Your animals are not on other advisable medications like flea preventative if relevant to your area or heartworm tests/medications (which once again are only available from a vet!)
  • You can not afford to feed all of the animals you have or cannot afford said medical care
  • You do not get your animals examined before breeding them for genetic problems, physical problems, or general health
  • You do not have a vet to call if an emergency C-section is needed
  • You do not have space to appropriately quarantine new animals, moms, puppies, or in general to prevent communicable diseases
  • You do not have the time to keep your living spaces for the animals clean and sanitary
  • You do not have the appropriate breeding license if required by your area (in most cases this requires annual and surprise inspections to remain valid)
  • You do not have a goal in breeding the animals - showing perhaps, but most importantly improving the breed
  • You think having "papers" means a dog is automatically breedable
  • You do not take into account the community's policies or where the animals wind up when you sell them
  • You sell animals that are not fixed or vetted

Plenty of respectable breeders do so on their own property.  That's not the issue here.  A person who breeds animals responsibly rarely, in fact, I'd venture to say never, makes a profit.  This goes for every animal I have ever seen bred, from mice to dogs and cats, to horses.

It's not a matter of honor, it's not like they are refusing a profit because it's the right thing to do, it's because breeding is EXPENSIVE.

There are vet bills.  Exams.  Checkups.  Vaccinations and health care.  There is food and space, housing considerations, grooming if necessary.  You need to take care of every animal you have as though it's your own pet.  Yeah...that costs A LOT OF MONEY.

When people ask $600 for a dog it's because they spent $700 on it and its mum.  A responsible breeder doesn't breed an animal unless there is a reason to.  It's not to sell as pets, it's to improve the breed, the temperament, the conformation, the health, every quality that makes a dog, cat, or horse excellent.  A responsible breeder is up at 3:30 AM to help a momma horse give birth, a responsible breeder sleeps with a damned baby monitor by their bed in case the kittens start crying.

A responsible breeder is not at Tractor Supply, asking a girl with an adopted pit bull who just had leg surgery from a gunshot wound if he can breed her dog and if she has papers.  He isn't saying he doesn't have a vet because they're too expensive, that he just breeds them to sell them as pets, that he has no idea the local shelter puts all pit bulls down.

I guess I was wondering why there were so many blue pit bulls showing up lately.  Asshole.

In other news I got a call last night from my mother, who informed me the rabbit I'd had for the last ten years (and left in my hometown when I had to move for college a few years ago) was dying.  He had been laying on his side, refusing food and only drinking water out of a spoon for the past three days.  My mother had him put to sleep this morning.

He was ten years and two months old - the oldest rabbit the veterinary clinic had seen.  He was a Californian we had adopted from a man whose children didn't want their Easter present anymore (an all-too-common tale) and was going to drop it off on the side of the road.

He was old and we all saw it coming.  The vet said he hadn't been using his back legs because he had likely had a stroke.  That's particularly interesting to me because I get several questions about mice who don't have spinal injuries but drag their back legs - it means there was nothing they could do for him, though.  He'd lost two pounds in the previous months, and with his refusal of food, it was clear he was saying it was time.

Unfortunately when I got the call I was at work, and I had to take a couple of hours off to pull myself together.  Knowing it's coming doesn't make it any easier to deal with, at least not for me.  I'd lost my rat that morning, too, and I just couldn't handle it very well.  I still cry when I think about it.  Bunny was a family member.  Our cat sat by his cage with him day in and day out until my mom took him to the vet.

He will be so missed.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Radiation Therapy for Hypothyroidism

Gah, that last post was so catty (punny...) that I couldn't just leave it at that.  Yeah, it bugged me, but I'd rather post something a little more interesting to balance it out.  For the record, I feel it's incredibly important to hear all sides of an argument, especially if they tick you off, because people who disagree with you still have says.  It's most important when you feel strongly about something, because you may be less inclined to notice when they actually have points.

It just sucks and makes your blood boil a little bit.


The cat I posted for today's Texan Shelter Pet-of-the-Day has hyperthyroidism.  Until today, I didn't even know what that was.  I mean, I knew about the thyroid gland, but had no idea what hyperthyroidism in cats meant.  It sounds scary, like having a diabetic cat, where you have to give them two shots a day at very specific times.  Only in the case of hyperthyroidism, unless you can afford surgery, it's giving them multiple pills a day.

Have you ever given a cat a pill?  Goes something like this:

From Married to the Sea

That sounds horrible to me.  I mean sure, you could probably hide them in food, but some cats (ahem...mine) will just eat around the pill and leave it for you, untouched or perhaps licked clean of food, sitting right in the middle of the food bowl.  It's like they just know.

Well, someone linked to an extremely interesting site in the comments on that cat.  It explains what hyperthyroidism is and pitches a radiation therapy treatment they claim completely cures the problem 98-99% of the time - no blood tests, no pills, just a single treatment.

They don't say anywhere on the site what that treatment costs, but if it's that amazing I am sure it'll catch on, leading to competition and better prices.  I imagine it would be difficult to save up for a more expensive procedure while also buying your cat multiple pills per day.  I also imagine they are exaggerating the hassle of handling a cat with the condition in order to sell their treatment, of course, and one person mentioned they have a cat affected by hyperthyroidism and don't find it to be terribly inconvenient.

Needless to say, this is extremely interesting to me and I'll almost certainly be doing a lot more reading on it over the next few days!  In between studying for my week 8 exams, socializing the kittens, and training/fostering Lanie, of course.

Oh my goodness, that dog pulls like none other.  That is NOT a puppy that can go in an apartment, she needs a yard.

She has also taken to ONLY using the restroom in our bath tub, rather than behaving like the house-trained little girl I was told she was.  Oh well, better than the carpet!!


I Fed the Troll

Normally I'm smarter than that, but tonight, I guess I just felt like feeding a troll.

It all started with Facebook (doesn't it always?).  My profile is private to everyone except friends, but I do have one photo album open to the public full of animals.  Some are mine, but most are ones I've fostered or am looking for a home for.  It's public so anyone can view them and spread their stories around, so we can move animals as efficiently as possible.

See, I am a member (or follower?  fan?  friend?) of Pawsitively TX, both the site and facebook page, whose friends regularly post urgent dogs, cats, and shelters on the wall for networking.  It's easier to find a home for a dog if you have hundreds of caring people helping spread the word in the same area, than if you tried to do it all by yourself.

So what actually happened?  Well, a friend of mine who I met when I bred mice put up on her status that she was outraged at how little time pets got in shelters before being euthanized.  Specifically, she compared it with how much time prisoners on death row get, saying it was unfair.

The immediate consensus was that people must not think animals are as important as people.  Then a church jumped in on the conversation.  Then a religious chick who hated animals got in on it.  Several comments later I found the conversation and wrote that I felt it was a result of insufficient resources, and that we could fix it by spaying/neutering and contributing to the local animal community.  I never really understood people who can't empathize with animals, who consider them objects or slaves, so I just sidestepped the whole "animals/people are better" argument and left my comment at that.

Then religious chick "liked" my comment.

After all she said (and I'll include the comments at the end of this, if you would like to read the whole talk - very informative if you would like to know how both sides of the public view the issue), I wasn't really thrilled that she agreed with me and I pointed out that I was in no way backing her up, just answering the OP.

I fed.  The troll.

Then the troll proceeded to verbally chew me out, THEN went to my profile, stalked it, and sent me TWO crazy messages in a row picking on stuff at random.

I responded politely and sarcastically.  I did not resort to "nuh UHHHH"s or "well you suck too!"s or "your momma"s or anything that would be equally unwise.  I did, however, use the full power of snark.

Because that's a little unreasonable, and however polite and un-sticky I was trying to be by commenting, I DO feel very strongly about the issues at hand.  I'm sorry.  I hope you don't think less of me.  In any case, to keep a bad situation brief, I blocked and reported her for harassment.  That's what that is - checking out a person's profile and sending them messages insulting them?

In any case, I'm adding all correspondence to the END of this post.  Feel totally 100% free to skip over it - it's pretty infuriating and the spelling is horrible.  Besides, most of it is religious rambling and not animal-related.

And you know what?  I just have to share it with someone.


The Most Amazing Discussion
(with commentary)

Why do guilty prisoners get to spend years on death row and innocent animals in shelters only have 3-5 days to find a new home before they are killed?

Chick #1: 
Apparently a human life, even that of a guilty prisoner, is worth more than a poor, defenceless animal that wants a loving home. :(

Chick #2:
Because sadly most people don't feel that an animal is = to us. They seem to forget that humans are animals too.


Humans are not animals...we are created in the image of God...animals are not...owever it is sad so many animals are put to death. I cringe every time I hjear of someone paying BIG $ for a dog/cat when so many very loving animals are available forthe asking.
(Humans...aren't animals?  We talking biologically here?)

Chick #1:
God supposedly made ALL that is on this earth. Animals and humans alike. As far as i'm concerned animals and humans are equal.


Its just not what the Bible says....
(A brilliant and well-explained argument)


What does the Bible say about animals?


Animals are NOT equal to humans!! God gave men dominion over animals. Animals were not created in his image. Read the first 3 chapters of Genesis.
(And having dominion over something entails no responsibility whatsoever, of course)


God created animals and said they were good after He created them. So God loves and cares about animals. And it the OT He mandates punishments for anyone who abuses a work animal like a donkey or an ox.
(Despite making a little fun of them, I actually really like this response and applaud them for keeping their cool)

Chick #1:

God should have nothing to do with how animals are or are not treated in this day and age. The Old Testament is long gone... and well out dated. I don't want to enter an arguement about how much more important humans are than animals... because quite frankly that's dumb. I just think that animals should have a lot more chance to find a home than is allowed... and people should be PUNISHED for treating them cruel and breeding them carelessly.




I beleive that animals are equal to us and should be treated better then what they are. I am a huge animal lover

Chick #1:

If God told you to jump off a bridge and kill yourself because the world is a bad place... would you do it? Not likely... so why would you believe what God says about animals not being equal to us... especially if you love them?
(Probably not the best argument to make)

I do care about animals, but there are starving people in the world. starving children; and bottam line people are more important to me. and honestly, I really cant stand it when people treat there dogs and cats like they are their kids. I think its kinda rediculous. And I do believe what God says, so if he told me to jump off a bridge, Id do it. You should be willing to do anything he asks yoo to do. God told Abraham to kill his son Issac to test his faith, and he was going to do it, as would I. @(Chick #1), you got life messed up!
(It's kinda rediculous)


Animals were made to survive on their own. They can care for themselves. Just sayin...
(In many cases of pets and domesticated animals, fundamentally untrue)


I would rather help an animal then a person. Yes I know that sounds mean, but all well. People can help themselves, animals cant. My pets are are equal to people to me.
God doesnt want people to use drugs, etc and people do. Very FEW people... actually fully follow Gods word


Animals cant protect them selves from people and when they do, they get labeled at bad,etc


Well it is kinda terrible when u see on the news that certain breeds of dogs maul their owners. Or them killing innocent little children. And unless you guys are vegetarians, you eat animals everyday to survive. What makes a dog, cat, or a bird ,etc better than a cow, pig, or chicken, etc??
(Pit bulls and meat-eating have everything to do with euthanizing shelter pets)

Chick #1:

@ (Troll). I beg to differ. People cause the worlds problems. Animals don't.


Most of the time they dogs arent even the breed(s) they say they are. And yes it sad when animals attack, but its rarely without a reason. All animals are equal, a cat isnt more importent then a pig, etc. I have 3 pet hens that I treat as good as my dogs & cat.
(I love this lady)

Chick #1:

People cause animal problems. Not the other way round.


Im still not really sure what God has to do with the way we treat aniimals though... People choose to abuse animals, not God


As far as people doing drugs... addiction is a disease, and God doesnt want us to do alot of things that we all do anyway. If you are refering to me, and I believe you are, when are you people going to find something else to throw in my fac...e?? Everyone has their own sin and struggles in their life. At least I will admit to mine. I beg to differ with you (Chick #1), I dont even know you and based on the way you speak, Im glad I dont. You dont sound very intelligent to me. (OP), you know I love you and Im not trying to start anything between us, I just stongly disagree with you on this one. It sickens me when animals are treated like people. Chris and I used to have to argue everyday over his damn dog and Brice. If your house was on fire and you only had time to get either Kate out or the Dog, who would you get? Kate!! Exactly, enough said, she is far more important!! And so is any human life!!!
(Who here sounds intelligent?)


I believe I just won my case!! : ) So how you like me now (Chick #1)??


No, I wasnt referring to you, I was just saying in general. Everyone has issues & problems, but drug use is always the first thing that pops into my mind.
We both agree to disagree then. I'll admit some people do go too far on the way they... treat animals, but not everyone is like that.
Of course I would get kate out first, she is my flesh & blood, but if I could, I would go back in for my pets, even if it ment risking myself. But if it was a stranger of my pets, I would get my pets, which yes I know, most people would view as wrong, but oh well.


Thats exactly why we are more important to God though too. Bc we are his children, created in his image!! : ) But yeah, we will just agree to disagree on this one. :~)



Chick #1:

It depends entirely on circumstances whether the animal is worth more than a human. Obviously you're going to pull out your child before your animal in a fire... unless you're seriously messed up. Blindly following faith and believing EVERYTHING God says is messed up as well. That's how terrorists are made. They believe in the stupid extremes of their religion. Not saying religion is bad.... just the extremes. To tell me, an agnostic athiest, that my opinions are messed up... is ridiculous and childish.


Youre sadly mistaken! And Im done arguing with you!!
(Wait for it...)

Chick #1:

If you say so... but fair enough.


thank you... but Id like to say one more thing, please... u said u are an atheist, correct?? Just wanted to let u know that I feel so sorry for. That really makes me sad. And also scared for you and I dont even know u. I wouldnt wanna be you when Jesus comes back!! Ill pray for you. : )
(Ooh, she couldn't really let it go!)

Chick #1:

Well, seeing as I don't believe in God/Jesus... it doesn't bother me. I'm not afraid of death. I know i'm just going 6ft under. Well... actually i'm hopefully going to be cremated... but thanks :)


And I am neither rediculous nor childish... Id like to consider myself to be outspoken and smart, and people like u obviously dont like that.
(Why do I hear arguments like that so often?)


Wow... you are serious? Can I ask you why you dont believe in God? Thats just insane to me. Not being mean, and trying not to be judgemental, but I just dont get that. Where do u think all of his creations came from?
(She's so intelligent, she IMMEDIATELY picks up on the concept that there are other explanations people use for the presence of life.)

Chick #1:

Nah. I think we just have different opinions. I choose not to believe in something I cannot see, nor feel. I choose not to make things like that a part of my life... and I choose not to allow something I cannot see/feel to make my decisions... for me. I have a mind of my own, and i'm not going to use God/Jesus as an excuse to get out of something. I think that's just a cop out. Just like the people who go into prison and suddenly become believers in God. They use God as a fad to get out of prison quicker. Not saying religion is a fad. I know it's not. Just saying that some people take it more serious than others.

Chick #1:

I said earlier that i'm agnostic athiest. I can neither confirm, nor deny that God did, does or does not exist. I simply do not know. I just choose, more than anything not to believe in God at all. I don't believe in God... and i'm doing I do not believe in the theory that God created the earth and everything on it. Dinosaurs alone have been proven to have existed over 65 million years ago. Christ has only existed 2000 years. So I mean... right there, that's one thing blown right out the window. I do however believe in Evolution. I believe that the animals and the plants and everything on it have evolved all by themselves.
(this reasoning gets completely dodged)

Chick #1:

Everything on earth has evolved by themselves* I mean.

Chick #1:

Actually, for the record. I believe God, Jesus and Mary 'n all them did exist at one stage. I do not however believe they were superhuman... and I do not believe that they single handedly populated the earth.


I certainly have alot of sin and struggles in my life, trust me! I am greatful to God... and I feel so blessed for the price he paid for me, and for you too. Im glad to know that I dont have to die for be a sinner. I mean, sure, my body wil...l die, but bc of Jesus, my soul will live forever. And I want to soend eternity in heaven with my God, my savior. The wages of sin is death... in hell. Are you terrified to go there? Id rather believe and fund out I was wrong, then not to believe, then find out when its too late. I know I still have many adjustments to make in my life, however, i have faith that I will get it right someday. The Lord has kept me alive... Ive wanted to give up on life so many times. What are you going to teach your children? You dont believe that she/he (them), were a gift from God? I thought I had it bad...whew... I really feel sorry for you. And i hope you change ur mind.


*dont have to die bc I am a sinner* I said that wrong, sorry. I hate when I misspell things, or when i use improper grammar. lol... Im kind of anal. Oh and I hate that word by the way, but I cant think of the other word to use in this instance. (OP), Please tell me that you are a believer!!
(She hates anal.)

Me (the "liked" status):

imho, it's because of resources. Not enough people spay/neuter, and not enough contribute to their local animal communities. Most shelters do their best, but only have so much $. It's better to help fewer animals adequately than to help all of them poorly (letting them get sick, crowded, underfed, etc.). It's not ideal, but it takes EVERYONE to fix it.
(Shoulda kept my mouth shut)

Me (feeding the troll):
Not exactly flattered at that "like." I'm not backing you up, hon. Just answering the original status.


I dont care that u arent backing me up. I liked what u had to say about it; thats why i clicked I like it....It was a good answer to the original question. I dont need anyone to back me up, thanks anyway... (smh)
(It starts out reasonable)


and Im not trying to flatter u or anyone else for that matter. I really dont know why u said that. It was ignorant and stupid. And Dont call me hon either. Im not ur hon. I cant stand rude ass people like you. would u like me to unlike it? damn...
(And then it goes downhill)

Me (I couldn't leave it alone, I just couldn't):

Woah! Kitty's got claws! Okay non-hon, I'm out. Chill pill.
(It took so much effort to not argue back.  Or mess with her.)

Chick #1:

(Troll). I'm glad you've got your love and faith in God. For you, it's not a bad thing. For my Nana it wasn't either. Infact, it made her mentally stronger when she was facing her own death last year (she knew she was dying). I don't persona...lly believe in God, and I personally don't think that I need to have God in my life to be strong. I think it's more of a personality trait than anything else. I'm not terrified of dying, nor am I terrified that i'll go to hell. I don't believe in God. Therefore I don't believe in heaven or hell. I know that I will just rot in a grave... and that's the end of it. I do not believe I have a soul that lives on long after I die. I believe that death is THE END.

Troll didn't respond to that, because she immediately started stalking my page.  She saw my basic info, and the open animals photo album, and wrote me two back-to-back messages:
oh and by the way.... ur dog is NOT cute!! I cant stand pitbulls. they are just down right gross and ugly to me. and they turn on there owners. and hurt innocent children, etc. also, i was wondering where my cousin (OP) found friends like u, and I see that u are from texas, which im sure that means she dont really know u. figures. u just must be an aminal freak too. frickin weirdos if u ask me 
(The dog she's referring to is my Facebook avatar - a shot of my rescued APBT smiling and blinking up at the camera)

of corse, all pics of animals. i guess ur pets r ur children huh? pathetic. oh yeah, i tend to be rude to people who i find were rude to for no reason, in ur case, for sayin i liked whay u had to say. smh....
(Like I said - for networking, but why explain that to her?)

And because if you've read this far you probably want to know my responses:

Me (to the first message):

Good thing I didn't adopt her for you, or we might actually have a problem! She was found wandering around with a broken leg. I fixed it. Not really sure how that has any bearing on you, but to each their own!

Good thing I didn't become friends with Marybeth for you, either, or we might have TWO problems! If you felt like asking her, you'd find out we met through mice.

Facebook lets you block people who are harassing you, right? I'm gonna go check that out now.

Feel free to keep quiet if anything else about me bugs you! Have a great day! :) 

Me (to the second message):
What an assumption! I find you to be terribly brilliant, actually. If my pets were my children I'd probably have nothing left below the belt. Who'd want to birth that many kids! Yipers!

You're such a charming lass, you know that? 

Oh, I know.  Not my best moment.  Part of me wishes I'd just decided to mess with her instead of arguing.  You know, like copied everything she said until she got really, REALLY pissed off, then tell her I'm done having this discussion with her.  Say I can't talk this way to someone who keeps copying me, and I have no idea why she feels the juvenile need to say everything I say.  But I don't really want to be banned, heh.