Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stuffed Animals for Haitian Children

Our Place to Paws is helping Animal Artist Peggy Sigler Dey collect new or gently used stuffed animals for injured or frightened children in Haiti. Peggy started the venture after learning that a U.S. hospital ship was carrying 1000 stuffed animals to help comfort the children.

If you'd like to find out where to send stuffed animals for the cause, email Deybydeystudio(at)aol.com (replacing the (at) with the @ sign of course). Peggy will give you an address where you can mail in donations.

I'll be flying down to North Carolina on February 6th to help pack up stuffed animals for shipments to Haiti, which Peggy is arranging.

We realize that food and medicine are more immediate needs, of course, but as many organizations are working to provide those badly needed items, this is another way we can help the children of Haiti, this time emotionally.

Thank you for your help!

If you'd like to donate to an organization that is helping the animals struggling to overcome the terrible conditions in Haiti after the earthquake, visit this link.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Paco Needs A Home! Travel Can Be Arranged


We received the following email about Paco, above, who is seeking a home:

"Hey all, but my adorable cat, Paco, needs a home and I'm wondering if any of you are in the market for an awesome, adorable, lovable cat, or maybe know someone who is. We moved him out to PA with us with some half-baked plans to get him settled, but they've all fallen through. We'd love to keep him, but Deb's dad is VERY allergic to him and with the baby and all (15 months old now!), we can't justify keeping Paco here since it means her Dad basically
can't ever visit. SO, please let me know if any of you want him or have any leads. We'll transport him wherever he needs to go.

Attached is a recent photo. He's big...like 18 lbs., but as you see from the photo, not necessarily fat at all...just a big boned boy. But he's gentle, very social (but not so much a "lap cat"), friendly,
and super, super cute. He's healthy, has all his shots, etc. He's "fixed," so no spraying or anything. He's really awesome. To be honest, we're really sad to not be able to keep him here, but you know...grandpa comes first.

OK, thanks... My phone number is still 310.927.3505 if you want to
talk in person about him.

Help Paco find a home! He'll be your best friend for life!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homeless men and dogs bond, help each other

I recently read an article in the Boston Globe that warmed my heart. An organization that helps homeless men get back on their feet discovered that some clients who had a hard time talking about their lives or reintegrating into society began to re-connect after discovering canine companionship. The group began fostering dogs who had also been homeless, and the bond between human and dog created some amazing breakthroughs. Many of the men began to get better, and the dogs, often traumatized, started to trust humans again and were adopted into "forever homes."

You can read the article here. It's nice to read something positive -- for humans and animals -- when there is so much tough news out there.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Update on Animals in Haiti

Readers, it is again difficult to talk about the suffering in Haiti - watching events unfold over the last few days has been devastating. I have donated to a couple of organizations that are helping the people of that island nation, and I know everyone who can help is doing so in whatever way they can.

I wanted to update you on what is happening with animal relief efforts. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Soceity for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) are working together to head the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH). The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has also joined forces with this coalition along with such groups as the American Humane Association, Best Friends, The Humane Society of the United States, Kinship Circle and Humane Society International.

To donate directly to the Haitian relief efforts of ARCH, visit please visit www.aspca.org.

For more information on the coalition and its work in Haiti, you can read the ASPCA's full press release here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All Eyes on Haiti

It's difficult in times of disaster to know how to talk about the impact on animals, when we are struggling to also comprehend the human suffering that is unfolding. Of course we care deeply about both. The earthquake that hit Haiti has had effects that we are only beginning to understand; reports are still emerging about the extent of the damage, suffering and loss of life.

Because this is a blog about animals, I'll share with you what I've learned from two organizations that are focused on the animals in Haiti. The Humane Society of the United States says it is "working with other animal welfare and humanitarian organizations to determine how best to assist animals and people affected by the disaster."

The World Society for the Protection of Animals writes: "Our Disaster Liaison Officer from Panama, Jorge Alcidez Gonzalez who also works as the Head of the K9 unit of Civil Defence, is now travelling out of Panama with a team of specially trained veterinary staff to assess the destruction and welfare needs of the animals. Jorge and his brave team will be treating animals as soon as they are on the ground.

They have told me that they will carry veterinary supplies to treat any injured animals that they come across. I have also arranged for him to feedback the extent of the damage and where we can be of most help, as quickly as possible.

Do look out for more updates from us, as we relay on the information we get from Jorge and the rest of the team."

I know all of our thoughts and prayers are with the organizations that are working to help both humans and animals in Haiti. The links above will offer you information on the animal-related organizations. If you text the word HAITI to the number 90999 from your cell phone, you can automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross to assist with efforts to help the people of Haiti. Your donation will be charged to your mobile phone bill.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tracking Endangered Whooping Cranes Migration


Twenty endangered whooping cranes landed in Florida yesterday during their annual migration, acccording to The Associated Press. The cranes are part of Operation Migration's 2009 class of juvenile birds. The birds are set to fly next to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where half of them will stay for the winter. The other half will continue on to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

Pilots in ultralight craft lead the cranes from Wisconsin on their migration, and this is the ninth group of Cranes to make the trip.

Is that cool, or what?

You can read more about the cranes at www.operationmigration.org. I love their tag line: "I give a whoop!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's official

This morning I went out before the sun had fully risen to put fresh, slightly warm water in the outdoor cats' bowl. I also wanted to make sure there was enough food in the silo. Sure enough, when I approached the little "shanty town," as we call the area we have set up for the feral cats, I saw the little white one with the gray markings between her ears sitting just inside the insulated cat house. Her head was poking out just a little. What a great feeling to know that she has a warm place at night!

It was snowing lightly and she ran away when I got too close, so I put out the water and checked the food, and came back inside. Just after I closed the door she came back. She headed straight for that warm water.

I hope to get a picture of her at some point, but she's so shy I can't get too close.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One feral cat in the shelter!

This morning I interrupted The Outdoor King's breakfast so that I could replace the frozen water with fresh water (we call the gray and white cat who has been around the longest "The Outdoor King"). I knew he would come back quickly; he always does. He even sometimes appears when he hears me put the food and water out and call his name. It seems as if the cats need water just as badly as they need food during the winter.

While I was waiting for our gray and white friend to return, I noticed that the small white cat who also comes around emerged from the little house that was provided to us by the Cat Connection. They carefully insulated the house and built it with a very small entrance so the outdoor cats will feel both secure and warm if they use it. For so long I have wished that at least one of them would take advantage of the little house in these frigid temperatures. I was thrilled to realize the little white one seems to be doing just that!

She stretched, headed straight for the water, and while she was drinking, The Outdoor King returned.

It was incredibly satisfying to see them side by side, eating and drinking in the middle of winter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snow!

It's been snowing like crazy in the Boston area, and this makes it challenging to be sure the three feral cats who regularly visit the feeding station in our yard have access to both food and water. Early in the morning I've been outside with a shovel making sure a path is cleared not only from our back door to the little feeding station and the shed where we keep the food, but also all the way to the space in the fence where the cats first enter the yard. We've been leaving the food out overnight, since there's less chance other animals will get to it when it's snowy like this.

The real problem is the water -- it freezes pretty quickly. So we make sure it's a little warm when we put it out, and sometimes I add a spoonful of sugar (a tip from Alley Cat Allies). I try to replace the water a couple of times a day at least in case it's frozen over.

I feel so badly for the cats who have to survive outside in this weather (they won't let us get near them)...but so far, they're doing it. All three have been seen regularly at the feeder, and I think they're burrowing underneath a porch to keep warm, because the white ones look a little dusty. I'm hoping at least one will take advantage of the little insulated house we put near the feeding station.

Winter is tough on everyone!