Tag Archives: Animal Rescue

When We Can’t Help and When We Can

WHEN WE CAN’T HELP:  A property owner called, asking if we would trap and have destroyed several feral cats that were killing their birds and destroying the feeders. As you know, we are an Animal Welfare Group that supports Trap, Neuter and Release programs.  Unfortunately the property owner was not interested in that option. It is even more unfortunate that we were unable to help them. Clip Art - TNR Logo

When you find feral companion animals surrounding your property, it means that the conditions are better there for their survival than any other option.  Maybe you have uncovered trash.  Maybe you have bird feeders that provide feral cats with an instant access to birds.  Maybe you have outbuildings and cover that provides shelter.  Maybe you have other animals that the feral animals can smell, or you feed your animals outside, so feral animals have a chance of getting a bit of what is available.

In any of these cases, nature abhors a vacuum, so even if you remove the feral animals that you find, unless you also change what drew them to your property, more will follow.

Our stated mission is to help keep all companion animals in the area safe, not to euthanize them.  A responsible Trap, Neuter and Return program could have helped make sure that the kitties this person wanted to put down would have been  much less interested in the bird feeders, since they wouldn’t have been hungry.  But under such a program, feral cats are trapped, fixed and returned to where they came from.  And without such a program, even if the original cats were removed, others would likely move in, looking for a birdie meal too.

We are happy to help you set up a TNR program by offering food, housing and the spaying or neutering.  Otherwise we have no assistance to offer.

Moving On

Two of the dogs I’ve adopted were simply abandoned when their people moved out. The first was one t of a litter of puppies left when the people were evicted, and over half the litter died before someone finally came to inspect the house.  She suffers from medical problems because of that miserable beginning to this day.
The second was a loyal dog that was left at a farm when her people moved.  Presumably they thought whoever would buy the property would take her, but the sale wasn’t scheduled for months!
Now, in the past two weeks I have received four calls from people simply abandoning their animals at their old property and/or asking us to re home animals that have been loyal to them for however long because they are “moving,” “got new carpeting,” or some similar reason! Worse still, they’re expecting us to do so within the next twenty-four hours!
Excuse me if I sound harsh, but how would it be if your boyfriend, husband or wife decided to leave you behind because the new place they were moving to didn’t “match” your look?  Repulsive, right?  And we don’t kick our kids out because we’re moving and they’ll be inconvenient.  That would be called abuse and abandonment. 
Well, it’s no less repugnant to leave an animal you’ve adopted behind because you don’t want your new floors dirtied or didn’t plan for a yard to hold them.
When you take on a pet, it’s no different than having a child.  They have every reason to believe that you will be their life-long companion, pack leader and protector.  And in return they give you their unconditional love, devotion and attention.
So please, when you plan a move, think ahead and consider the needs of your pet. Yes, it may take paying a deposit or getting a different place, but it’s what you agreed to do when you chose your kitty or pup.
If it is indeed impossible to take your pet, don’t wait until the last minute to address this. Start early to find a good and loving home in which to place your pet. Because when you call us and tell us you’re moving in 24 hours and the animal has to go — there are precious few resources to place that animal, but even more so, it’s a huge betrayal to an animal who has considered you his or her best friend.

Missing Pets

Having been through it myself, I know there’s absolutely nothing worse than the uncertainty of wondering where one of your beloved companion animals has gone.  I posted flyers all over within a 10-mile radius, and never did find Bear.  Sadly, it’s likely that he was shot by a person who didn’t like dogs and/or had cattle that needed protecting and couldn’t deal with his rambunctious “herding.”

To aid in finding these animals, we suggest the following:  Make sure all of your pets have a name tag with your contact information on it. Home Again, the microchip tracking company, says that over 50% of the animals recovered happen because of such a name tag.  There are many on-line companies from which you can order it, or if your pet has been microchipped, then you usually can get one from them.

Secondly, post the missing pet on our Facebook page, to the main Hickory County chats page, and I also suggest you consider taking out a lost-pet ad.  Putting flyers at the local post offices, gas stations, the cafe on the square in Hermitage, etc. also gets the word out.  Lastly, if you have a picture, send that information, a description of the animal and where it was last seen to info@4legsandfur.org and we’ll also get it posted up here.

Solve the Dog Nail Trimming Nightmare

Anyone who has a dog knows their nails keep growing no matter what you do, and one of our least favorite activities is trying to convince them to let us trim their nails.  You can either take them to the vet or groomer and pay for it to be done, or try and do it yourself.  Often we spend the money in frustration, because who needs the hassle of your dog having a nervous breakdown.

Recently I heard of a nifty trick.  Part of the problem with us trimming our dogs’ nails is that we are doing it the wrong way.  Either we’re taking too much off at a single time or we’re asking them to become unsteady on their feet by lifting up their paws, which is uncomfortable.

Instead, get a trimmer that has an open end, so you don’t need to lift up the nail or paw.  Kneel down in front of your dog.  Don’t lift the paw.  Just put the trimmer under the nail with the paw still on the ground, bring it up slightly and snip off just a small amount.  Doing so will let your dog stay stable and avoid the possibility of cutting too much or hitting the quick.  This lets you quickly get each paw done.

If you have one of those dogs who hates the sound of the clipping, do a paw, then go away.  Come back another time to do another one.  If your dog’s nails have grown super long, take them down a bit at a time, and you’ll get less resistance from your pet.

Time is Running Out!

We are so grateful for the support of all of you for our super Purses for Paws Prime Rib Dinner and Auction.  However, time is running out to get your tickets, since sales end Monday, and there will be none at the door.  We’re doing that so that we get an accurate count and make sure everyone can enjoy the succulent food Dick Rose is providing.  You still have time.  Get your tickets at:

  • Gynemia’s Floral and Gifts, Wheatland
  • Hickory County Library, Hermitage
  • Index, Hermitage
  • Terry’s Designs, Galmey
  • The Trading Post, Hermitage

And thank you to all of these locations for helping with the dinner!

Sparkling White Teeth

In the last ten years or so it’s become somewhat of a fad belief that pet owners need to brush their cat’s or dog’s teeth.  This is laughable to me.  These animals, and the wolves before them, survived perfectly fine with no one to brush their teeth for literally thousands of years!  And I know of no pet that enjoys having you manhandle their mouth regularly, no matter how livery the toothpaste may taste!

So why is it recommended now?  Because, in my humble opinion, it takes advantage of the trend to convert your cat or dog from an animal to a living doll and provides the pet-supply industry with yet another way to make you spend your hard-earned money foolishly.

What’s really the best way to get your pet’s teeth clean:  In most cases, uncooked bones.  I have had animals rescued from shelters and puppy mills with gum problems and black teeth.  After a few months of regularly giving them real bones to chew upon, their gums are good and their teeth end up white and clean. Not to mention that chewing and consuming these bones is exactly how nature intended for them to get enough calcium.

If you have hunter friends, ask them to save the leg bones for you.  Rib bones cut off the spine work well too.  Or contact a local butcher shop and ask the same thing.  Farm supply stores often have real bones, although they have been dried and flavored, and I’ve even found those at the local Walmart from time to time.  Avoid the greenies, kongs and other similar items.  They accomplish nothing close to what real bones will do.  And whatever you do, please, please, please! avoid the rawhide chews and/or pigs and cows ears, whether or not they are twisted into the shape of bones.  You’re simply asking for bowel obstructions, especially with larger animals that bite off huge pieces, as well as dirty, germ-filled slobbery messes after they have been chewed on for a while.

If you absolutely can’t find them anywhere local, then jefferspet.com is a great option for a wide variety of bones starting as low as $1 each for bones for small dogs.  Since I have so many pups at home, I like to take advantage of the option to buy multiple bone packs at a time at a lower per-bone cost.  At 24-pack of pork femurs, which all my dogs (even the little one) love, love, love is $44, so less than $2 each.

No matter where you get them, please do let your animals have the satisfaction of chewing on real bones.  They’ll thank you for it.

The Adventure of Rescuing Feral Dogs

Rescuing large Dog - Foxiewild dogs that have remained outside of captivity for too long is truly an adventure. Often small animal societies get calls from the local shelters, since they will not take any dog that is has not been socialized, since it is considered un-adoptable.

The call that gave me four new animals came after a sheriff had been sent to a farmhouse by someone hearing nearby gunshots and screaming.

Apparently druggies had taken over the vacant property. When we arrived at that farm, there were five small puppies lying in the snow – – shot to death for target practice by whatever drugged out crazy had found them. Also left were four dogs. Two older ones appeared to be partially tame and were maybe former pets. The other two appeared to have never heard a kind word from anyone. This was a mother and the only puppy she had been able to save. It took us hours to round these two up. I could see why they were still alive. The mother, who we named Foxie, was just that—smart, cagey and determined. The pup, who we named Zeus, was a strong, suspicious, wiggly kid who was impossible to corner. It was only after we had successfully gotten Foxie into the trucDog - Zeusk that Zeus came close enough to grab.

Feral dogs can take months to tame, and it feels like a major accomplishment when then finally even come to you. They often try to get out and break free, because humans don’t represent safety. We had Foxie for nearly a month, and I thought she was becoming accustomed to being on a leash. So I was completely depressed when she pushed past me and headed off into the forest near our home for parts unknown. Left locked inside was Zeus, his nose pressed to the glass door, howling continuously for his mama.

Despite spending several hours chasing after her, I had no luck. Finally I had to leave for work. My job didn’t permit same-day call-ins, and I needed the check to pay for dog food. When I left for work, Zeus began howling even more, as if to say he couldn’t believe I’d leave with his mom out there in the wild and him alone. But I had no choice.

When I came home, I began calling for Foxie—hoping that her time in the cold December woods might have convinced her to return. But there was no response. Imagine my surprise when I walked up the second-floor stairs to find her proudly bouncing around the deck. Looking beyond where she stood, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Apparently she had been the provider for her pack. While I had been away, she had found what remained of a hunter’s butchered deer carcass. It weighed several times what Foxie did, but somehow she had dragged it from the adjacent property, over or under barbed wire and up 15 stairs. There she was, wagging her tail, as proud as could be, basically saying, “Look what I brought home for dinner!” Zeus was looking out the door with obvious enthusiasm, anticipating a great meal!

I wasn’t sure what to do. Every time I made a move for the deer or opened the door to the house, Foxie would either crouch over it, trying to drag it inside or Zeus would try to get out. Quite a dilemma! Eventually Foxie let go and pranced inside, assuming I was bringing the delicious feast in. Imagine Zeus and Foxie’s consternation when they realized the deer was going back down the stairs. They both looked shocked. If dogs could talk, Foxie was clearly saying,”Hey, wait a minute. You’re taking my dinner and bones, there. What’s going on?!!”

After her “catch” was properly dealt with, both of them became suspicious of humans again for a time. It took several more months of my plying them with beef jerky—sitting on the stairs and tossing little bits down to where they gathered, before Foxie finally again began to come and be part of our family.

Zeus, on the other hand, wasn’t having any of it. He bit my daughter when she tried to walk him; pulled the leash back under the stairs so no one could get him; and generally made himself as scarce as possible—only coming out to eat when everyone else had left—and spending little to no time with the rest of us, staying downstairs in the basement nearly full time.
I was shocked, therefore, when six months after adopting them, I felt a cold wet nose on my elbow as I sat looking at my computer! I knew that all the other dogs, including Foxie, were comfortably snuggling together on their beds in another part of the house. Since Zeus had once again become our ghost dog, I couldn’t figure out whose nose was chilling me. Before I could turn to see, the shadow was gone. So I went back to reading.

Later, I was in my bedroom to change my clothes, and saw Zeus peek just his nose and eyes in the door. I couldn’t help but laugh, because not only did he move forward even more, but if a dog’s mouth could have fallen open, his did that night. He stood there, rocking his head from side to side, one ear lifting, then the other, as I took off my jeans and shirt. He ran to his mom, who was lying next door. It was clear he was saying, “Hey mom, she’s peeling off her fur!” You could clearly see it was made no sense to him. He even began sniffing his own paws and legs—to see if there were something he’d missed. When I put on new clothes, Zeus totally went nuts! “Mom, now she’s got different fur, what’s up?!” I swear dogs communicate with telepathy, because after some nose to nose between Zeus and mom, he settled down beside her.

We’ve had both dogs for years. But until the day Zeus passed over the Rainbow bridge, every morning when I would change my clothes—Zeus would come to watch the ritual—trying to figure out how I can peel off my fur and he couldn’t. And to this day, we have to be careful that Foxie doesn’t roam too far during hunting season. And anytime we got a package of meat out, she and Zeus would both look at us, as if to say, “So do we get any of it this time?”

Your Cats & Dogs feel the Cold too.

We’re now officially entering colder weather, and while you’re cozy inside, remember that all of your outdoor companion animals, feral kitties and dogs, and even your chickens and other poultry need help to stay warm too.  Sadly, over the last several winters we here at Four Legs and Fur have received too many reports of animals literally freezing to death.

Most regular dog houses and outdoor cat condos are not insulated, so they provide little in the way of shelter from biting winds, freezing rain or snow.  It’s relatively inexpensive to fix this.  Hermitage Lumber and farm stores sell bales of straw, which have an amazing insulating value if stacked against the walls and even over the ceiling of the house.  And a warm four-inch layer of straw inside keeps your pet from being exposed to as much of the cold coming from the ground.

If that doesn’t suit you, and especially if you’re dealing with feral cats you want to try to help, here’s a great link for instructions on building a variety of feral cat cold and all-weather shelters:  http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/feral-cat-health-shelter-cats-how-to-build-diy

Also keep in mind that it benefits outside animals to have a bit more flesh on them during the winter months than you would want during the summer.  You can accomplish this by feeding them a bit extra and adding more fat to their rations.  Doing so helps them generate more heat.

Lastly, please remember that your outside companions continue to need water (not ice) to keep them hydrated.  If they have to resort to eating snow, it often results in their getting hypothermia.  A stock tank heater, or a metal water bowl put up on a brick, with a heat lamp below it can provide water in the coldest of temps.
And if you’re wondering whether or not your animal HAS hypothermia, here’s how that is defined:  There are three phases of hypothermia: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild hypothermia is classified as a body temp of 101.3°F-97.7°F, moderate is 97.7°F-93.2°F, and severe is a body temperature under 93.2°F.
Because animals have a higher normal temperature, they can suffer the results of hypothermia that much earlier.  If you suspect your companion has become too cold, supplemental heat can be provided through the use of warm IV fluids, a fluid line warmer, insulation on the feet, circulating warm water blankets, and/or warm air circulation systems.  If it seems severe, an immediate trip to the vet may be the only solution.  Better to prevent the problem if you can.

PURSES FOR PAWS PRIME RIB DINNER IS COMING

Any of you who have lived very long in Hickory County have probably enjoyed the succulent prime rib dinners that Dick Rose and friends cook.  Well, Four Legs and Fur is hosting one of those just before Valentine’s day.  We’ll be enjoying great food, good music and a fun evening auctioning off beautiful purses and tackle and tool boxes for the gents with super surprise gifts inside.  See Details Below:

Four Legs and Fur Animal Society cordially invites you to our pre-Valentine’s Purses for Paws Auction & Prime Rib DinnerDog - Mini Valentine

Tickets: $25 per person

Come out for a fun evening! Over 30 beautiful purses, tool and tackle boxes with special prizes inside will be up for auction. One lucky winner is guaranteed to receive $100 cash!

Proceeds provide low-cost spay and neuter services and to help those in need to feed their companion animals.

January 29th
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
McCarty Senior Center, Wheatland
Tickets available until 12:00pm, Monday, January 25
at the following locations:

  • Terry’s Designs (Galmey)
  • The Index (Hermitage)
  • Hickory County Library (Hermitage)
  • Gynemia’s Floral and Gifts (Wheatland)
  • from Jan Gerstlauer, Berta Bryner, Jo Rose or Traci Brown
  • By sending a check to PO Box 173, Hermitage, MO 65668,
  • or by calling (660) 553-1980 and leaving a message.

 

 

Are You Part of the Problem Or Why to Spay or Neuter Your Pets

  • If you like male cats yowling around your house every 10 days, then don’t spay your female.
  • If you love both sexes marking everything with their urine, inside and out, then keep your male and female intact.
  • If you think having male dogs come from literally miles around to sniff out your female in heat is a good thing, then don’t spay her either.
  • And if you think that killing over 141,000 animals in Missouri every single year is what you want to be part of, then keep your animals fertile and reproducing.

My grandmother drilled into my head the saying, “You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.” In the case of companion animals, the myth that allowing them to become pregnant because it’s “natural” and/or keeping a male dog intact because he’ll be happier are just that, and contribute to thousands of animals EACH DAY being put down because no one wants them.

Ask any mother you know if going through pregnancy was easy and blissful, and you’ll probably get an earful. Your female cat or dog doesn’t “enjoy” being pregnant. It strains her body, makes her more apt to have joint problems when older.  One of my rescued dogs is a puppy mill survivor.  She’s as sweet as can be, but you can see her pushed out hips and bowed legs from having litter after litter.  I’m sure she would have preferred a different life.

And every time you place the pups or kitties your pet produced, you are contributing to over-population. Why? Because every free kitten you place with friends is one less home that can take an animal already in a shelter.

As for keeping a male dog intact, doing so just contributes to their roaming away from home in search of love, being much more aggressive (can we spell liability issues?) and having bone and cancer problems later on down the road.

Spaying or neutering your animals just before they come into their first heat (in the case of females), or around 6 months to a year (for males) allows their bones to grow at the correct rate, prevents many cancers, and gives you a calmer and happier pet.

Four Legs and Fur has a limited number of vouchers for low-cost spay and neutering of both dogs and cats. Apply now and do your best friend the best favor you can.

A Big Thank You to Hickory County Community Wellness Foundation!

We are deeply grateful to the folks at Hickory County Community Wellness Foundation for choosing Four Legs and Fur Animal Society to be the recipient of one of their grants, which was awarded this past Saturday.

Every dime we raise is spent on helping animals to be spayed or neutered or people to receive the pet foods they need so they can keep their pets in their home.  We all know that especially for those with a disability and/or who are seniors living alone, often having a companion animal is the way they avoid loneliness and isolation.

So this grant is a huge help, and since a single spay or neuter can cost up to $85, I’m sure it will be quickly consumed.  Remember that without your continued support and donations, we won’t be able to keep helping as we now are.  You can send anything you like to PO Box 173, Hermitage, MO, and the animals will thank you if you do.

Seniors Getting the Help They Need

As we all know, one of the best ways to ensure that seniors avoid the isolation that is so common is for them to enjoy a companion animal.  But living on a fixed income often places them in the position of having to choose Rescue-Food for Srs 2whether they get to eat or their pets do.

So Four Legs and Fur has been proud to volunteer at the McCarty Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program to provide their participants with pet food as well as meals.  To-date, over 800 pounds of food have been bagged by our members and distributed to those with animals in need.

Rescue-Food 4 Srs 1

Hundred of Pounds of Food

We’ve been busy distributing food to seniors who could no longer feed their pets, as well as others.

Through both partnerships with Meals on Wheels and direct purchases, nearly 1,000 pounds now!  See our more recent post for how we’re helping the McCarty Senior Center’s seniors keep their pets fed.

We’re hoping to get a direct contact with food manufacturers so we can do even more.

Rescue - Bagging Food 2

Be MY Angel

Rescue - AngelMy name’s Angel and I’m a laid-back cuddly sort of Himalayan that survived a difficult illness when little.  The only effect is that I sometimes walk off the ends of things because I don’t see well there, but it never hurts me, just makes my humans laugh.  I get along well with all sorts of dogs and cats, and would just like someone to cuddle with.  Is it you?

I was sent to the Polk County Humane Society so that I could be seen by more people, which was scary, but within a week a loving family adopted me and I’m a happy kitty now!

Chocolate Man

1-Chocolate 4 - LorriI’m a retired puppy mill papa that would LOVE to have a family teach me how to enjoy being a pet.  I love snuggling; have been neutered and have all my shots for now.  I get along with other cats and dogs just fine, so please take me home.

1-Chocolate Face - Lorri

I love running until I’m tired, because I was in a kennel for so long.  So it’s probably better if I’m out in the country where I won’t run into traffic.  Or even better, I’d calm down some with a human who wanted to love on me a lot!

UPDATE:  Chocolate was adopted out of his home with many other pups into an older lady’s place that is giving him lots of individual attention and loving.  He’s lapping it up LOL!

Mama & Bit Bit

19-MamaI’m a beagle / pug mix that was rescued from a puppy mill after having several litters.  I’m now spayed, up-to-date on my shots and just love being petted and played with.  But both of us would really be happier and less feisty if we were not with so many dogs in such a big pack.

21-Mama & BitBitBit-Bit is also spayed & has all her shots, and we both love to play and nuzzle humans all day.

We have been moved to Polk County Humane Society so we can meet more people and get our furever home soon.  Please stop by and give us a snuggle, we just love it!

UPDATE:  Both of us were individually adopted within the first week after arriving at Polk County Humane, and we’re both doing excellently.  Here’s a picture of one of the happy adopters!  I’m no longer Mama, but Maggie, and get to live out my life being taken care of excellently.  Yay!

Rescue - Mama now named Maggie being adopted

Sabrina

1-Priscilla & SabrinaThis is one of several feral cats adopted by a gentlemen who can now no longer feed all of them.

It was a hard choice to put Sabrina (The cat on the right) up for adoption, because she’s become quite tame.  Born in August 2015, she has been spayed, and is hoping for a chance to be someone’s best friend.  If you’ve ever wanted to adopt a cat that looks like a Ragdoll or Siamese, then Sabrina would be perfect for you!

Rescue - Sabrina and Shiloh 2

We’ve Only Just Begun

All of us old Luddite ladies at Four Legs and Fur are excited about the idea of becoming bloggers and letting you know the great things we’ve been doing to help Hickory County’s companion animals.

In the last three moLogo with Shading but no wordsnths, we’ve helped get over thirty cats and dogs spayed or neutered; distributed nearly 1,000 pounds of cat and dog food to seniors and others who would otherwise not be able to keep their pets; and found loving forever homes for thirteen cats and dogs.  Whew!  A lot of work, but so totally worth it!

The only way we can keep doing what we do is when great people like you donate.  Every dollar helps.  So please send your donations to PO Box 173, Hermitage, Missouri 65668.  We are a 501 (3) c organization and you will get a tax-deductible receipt from us at the end of the year, and a LOT of thanks from the animals right away!