Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays and an Update on Our Place to Paws

As we face 2013 at Our Place to Paws (which is really just the home office of the site's founder, Faye Rapoport DesPres), we wanted to wish everyone who checks in on the site or the blog Happy Holidays, and good wishes for the coming year.

Our original purpose in creating Our Place to Paws was to publish photography, articles, and information related to both pets and wildlife, and to nurture a community of online animal lovers. Since the early days of the website, however, the Internet has exploded with content, including many sites dedicated to animals. Most of these sites have more funding, more access to content and technology, and more staff available to keep them going. They also have advertising, something Our Place to Paws failed to attract because the humble founder never had the sales personality necessary to ask anyone for any :-).

After the initial three years, as demand for continuously changing content and updated technology such as RSS feeds, flash content, and e-commerce increased, we simply didn't have the funding or following to update the site on a regular basis. But we hope you enjoy what's there, and if there's interest, we'll update the site now and then if we can, and will at least keep the blog alive.

Our Place to Paws does have an active Facebook group with quite a few dedicated followers. So if you love animals and enjoy what you found on the site, join us on Facebook!

May 2013 be peaceful, healthy, and happy for all.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ALLEY CAT ALLIES MOBILIZES AS ‘BOARDWALK CATS’ RETURN TO COLONIES FOLLOWING HURRICANE SANDY

Disaster Response Team on the ground to assess and re-build shelters; help locals connect to resources

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today said longtime feral cat residents of Atlantic City’s famous boardwalk are returning to their colony ahead of schedule, seemingly healthy and unfazed despite the damage to their home. 

“We prepared prior to Sandy’s landfall, but we also knew from experience that these resourceful cats would instinctively head for higher ground and protect themselves,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.  “More than half of the colony has already returned—we anticipated it might take a few days longer, but the cats were clearly ready to get back to their routine!”

With the cooperation of public officials in Atlantic City, Alley Cat Allies responded to Sandy’s devastation by sending a Disaster Response Team to assess the damage, rebuild the cat shelters and feeding stations, and help residents and feral cat caregivers connect to veterinary and other needed services.  The team spent the last 24 hours in Atlantic City and plans to be on the ground for the next several days.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project is one of the oldest Trap-Neuter-Return programs in the country, launched in 2000 with the support of city officials and local businesses.  Today, this model TNR program is a popular tourist attraction.  Volunteers monitor the health and feeding schedule of the cats on a regular basis, and make sure the population remains stabilized.

Robinson said in addition to assisting in Atlantic City, Alley Cat Allies is taking calls from across the eastern seaboard from feral cat caregivers asking for help.  People needing assistance should email info@alleycat.org or call 240-482-1980 ext. 330.  Alley Cat Allies is also coordinating volunteers via the same email address, and will work to get them where they are needed most to return feral cat colonies and caregivers to normalcy throughout the affected region.


# # #
 
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly a half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities  and organizations save and improve the lives of cats and kittens nationwide. Their website is www.alleycat.org.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Born Free USA’s New Website Safe Trails Educates Public on Serious Dangers of Wildlife Traps and Keeping Pets Safe

Idaho and six other states targeted for much-needed reform

Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has launched a new website at www.bornfreeusa.org/safetrails in order to educate and warn the public -- especially outdoor enthusiasts -- about the dangers of hidden wildlife traps and how to keep their pets and family members safe. 

The new Safe Trails site contains information about the dangers of traps to companion animals and what people can do in emergencies, including how to release dogs from all types of traps
The site also highlights regulatory safeguards that could go far in protecting the public, pets and wildlife from injury, and focuses on seven of the worst states when it comes to trapping regulations that have the greatest impact on animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and public safety: Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “Each year thousands of non-targeted animals, including domestic animals and protected wildlife species, are caught in traps throughout the U.S.  We developed this site to help hikers, campers, and others enjoying the outdoors, learn about trapping and what can be done to keep everyone, including animals and children, safe from the dangers of these contraptions. The barbaric trapping industry has changed little since the 1600s.  We do not want to see another person or pet become a victim.”

While many states allow the use of body crushing traps and snares on private and public land, Idaho continues to stand out among the worst states for failing to require that traps be checked at least once daily.  In Idaho, traps need only be checked once every three days/72 hours.  Trappers also catch non-target animals including endangered species, cats, and dogs. These animals have a better chance of survival if traps are checked at least once every 24 hours.

In addition, Idaho has no size restriction on Conibear kill traps. Like other body-gripping traps, Conibears are notoriously indiscriminate and pose a hazard to non-target species. Large-sized Conibears are particularly dangerous.  Twenty states limit the size of Conibear trap on land to six inches or less or prohibit the use of Conibear traps on land all together.

Like the majority of states, Idaho trappers are not required to post any warning signage that would alert the public to stay away from set traps. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game encourages trappers to use a warning sign produced by the Idaho Trappers Association but does not require it.   

Roberts says, “A majority of people surely visit Idaho public lands to observe wildlife, hike, walk their dogs, and enjoy nature. Most people would agree that Idaho public lands should protect wildlife and wildlife habitat and provide a safe opportunity to enjoy it.  But many are unaware that traps might be present where they recreate. It is a recipe for disaster, and we hope that if this brutal industry continues to exist, that we can at least inform people, even if it means teaching them how to attempt to free their companion animal (or child) should they fall victim to a body-crushing trap. No one should ever have to face that horror.”

Wildlife traps are not only found in the deep wilderness, but also near hiking trails, in national wildlife refuges, on public and private lands where children play and dogs are walked, and even in urban areas. They are indiscriminate and can inflict serious injury – or death -- to any animal or person who is caught.  

Born Free USA works to expose and address the dangers and cruelty of trapping by educating the public; encouraging legislators and policymakers to enact stronger laws; ensuring state agencies are enforcing existing protections; and championing humane alternatives of mitigating conflicts with wildlife.   Born Free USA maintains an online database of reported incidents of non-targeted animals by state.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ALLEY CAT ALLIES SURVEYS ALABAMA VETERINARIANS ON SUPPORT OF SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC MEASURE

One-third of Respondents Oppose the Proposed Rules by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners


BETHESDA, MD – Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today reported on answers from a poll of Alabama’s veterinary clinics regarding their support of nonprofit spay/neuter clinics in the state.

The results come just one day before the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is set to vote on a set of rules that would make the state’s nonprofit spay/neuter clinics illegal.

“These nonprofit veterinary clinics provide thousands of low-cost, high-quality spay/neuter surgeries to pets of low-income families and animal rescue groups. Closing these clinics would be a disaster for Alabama,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.

“The poll results show that there are a number of veterinarians who understand that these clinics are essential in the uphill battle of saving animals’ lives,” said Robinson. “Now we want the people of Alabama to be informed consumers and know whether or not their veterinarian supports low-cost spay/neuter.”

While one-third of respondents oppose the measure and support the nonprofit clinics, just under one-third support the measure, some claiming business competition from nonprofit clinics as their reason. However, Alley Cat Allies’ nonprofit clinic contacts say they provide surgeries for underserved populations who can’t afford it, including low-income families and grassroots animal rescue and feral cat groups.

More troubling, the poll results reveal that many clinics refused to take a stand on the issue: one-third of respondents gave no comment, and the majority of clinics failed to respond to our repeated calls.

On our website, www.SaveAlabamaSpayNeuter.com citizens can find their veterinarian’s response. Citizens are encouraged to call to thank them for opposing the state board’s measure or to ask them to take a stand in support of low-cost spay/neuter for Alabama’s animals.


# # #
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly a half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Humane Society Providing Hurricane Isaac Updates

The Humane Society of the United States is providing ongoing information on Hurricane Isaac pets and rescue. On Twitter follow @HumaneSociety

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's International Homeless Animals Day

Today is International Homeless Animals Day (started by the International Society for Animal Rights in 1992). 
We can all make a difference in the lives of homeless pets right in our own communities. What are you doing to help pets in need?

Monday, August 13, 2012

OCTOBER 16 IS NATIONAL FERAL CAT DAY®

Alley Cat Allies marks 12th year of annual event with calls for positive, sustainable change

BETHESDA, MD – Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, is counting down the days until the 12th annual National Feral Cat Day® (October 16) by urging advocates around the country to start planning now for events and programs that raise awareness about feral cat care, Trap-Neuter-Return and the need for positive, sustainable change for all cats in communities large and small.

“Since Alley Cat Allies started National Feral Cat Day® 12 years ago, we have celebrated the increasing number of communities that have adopted humane and effective programs for cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “We are encouraged by the success we have witnessed and thank our supporters as we continue to grow this movement nationwide.”

Robinson noted that National Feral Cat Day® is not just a single day, but an opportunity for supporters to rally for longer-term change with programs that make a difference in the lives of cats and best address their communities’ needs: starting a TNR program; holding ongoing educational workshops; expanding low-cost spay/neuter clinics for feral cats and pet cats; or encouraging policymakers to adopt common-sense initiatives that protect and improve the lives of cats.

Alley Cat Allies will mark this year’s National Feral Cat Day® with a special webinar on Trap-Neuter-Return basics. Alley Cat Allies will also offer discounted pricing on humane traps to help supporters expand TNR programs. More information, including a full listing of event ideas and other resources, will be available at www.alleycat.org/NFCD. [NOTE TO EDITORS: This web site will be live beginning July 13.]

Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day® in 2001 to raise awareness about stray and feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate citizens who care for cats. Since then, more than 250 local nonprofit organizations have been formed to educate their communities about feral cat colonies and carry out TNR programs. 

“TNR is a positive and sustainable program because it stabilizes the population while respecting the lives of cats and the needs of the communities in which they live,” said Robinson.


# # #

About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Great news from Massachusetts!

Today Governor Patrick of Massachusetts passed a sweeping Animal Control Law that should go a long way toward helping to get more animals neutered and spayed, and more animal control officers properly trained -- and should take steps toward protecting animals from abuse. Congratulations, Massachusetts!

Read more about the new law here.http://home.arlboston.org/2012/08/02/governor-patrick-signs-animal-control-bill-into-law/

Making its way around the web...


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Take Care of Your Pets in the Heat

Sizzling summer has set in across America, and I wanted to take a moment to remind you that your pets might need special care as the temperature rises.

NEVER, EVER leave your pet(s) in a car during hot weather. Also avoid tying your pet(s) outside. When you walk your dog, be sure to carry water and a portable water bowl in case he or she gets overheated.

If your house gets hot, consider keeping the air conditioner and/or dehumidifier on for the safety of both your family and your pets. And if your pet exhibits any sign of illness, take him or her to the vet immediately.

For more information about pets in the heat, visit this link on the ASPCA website: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/hot-weather-tips.aspx


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ALLEY CAT ALLIES DENOUNCES FALSE RUMORS LINKING TOXOPLASMOSIS AND CAT OWNERSHIP

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today refuted media headlines implying a deadly link between cat ownership and toxoplasmosis.

The organization cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which show that cats are rarely the source of toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, and that people are unlikely to get sick from touching or owning a cat.

“People are more likely to contract toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat or gardening—not from cleaning their cat’s litter box,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.

The news reports the organization is rebutting reference a published study (“Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Self-directed Violence in Mothers”) that examined a potential relationship between toxoplasmosis infection and suicide risk in 45,788 Danish women. The study itself did not examine cats or cat ownership; however, media reports greatly exaggerated the risk of contracting the disease from cats.

Alley Cat Allies advised the public that there is no reason to give up their pets or stop caring for cats, a recommendation supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization condemned the media for the potentially dangerous consequences of these erroneous headlines for cats, stating that more than 70% of cats entering shelters nationwide are killed.

“Cats brought to shelters as a result of these rumors are more than likely to be killed there,” said Robinson. “We hope that pet owners and public officials listen to the voice of reason and that no cats become innocent victims of the media’s irresponsible reporting.”
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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Information About Helping Animals Affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado

Visit the home page of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region for information on how to help -- or get help for -- animals in the Colorado Springs area who have been affected by the fire.

http://www.hsppr.org/

Reminder: Don't Leave Your Pets in the Car During the Summer!

Thanks to Joanne Kramer Cooper, one of our readers, for this reminder: Remember --DON"T LEAVE YOUR PETS IN THE CAR in this heat. Not even for a few minutes. That's all it takes for the temperature to rise high enough to be fatal.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kinship Circle Helps Animal Disaster Victims

I Am Alive! Save Me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aK8HDL0VAU

She was found on a bridge over floodwaters, her pelvis dislocated from water-swept debris. She was emaciated, listless! , in pain orgotten in disasters - stranded, hurt, starving, scared. Through her eyes, I am reminded why Kinship Circle helps animal disaster victims. Each one is a story filled with intimate detail and great capacity to love...if given the chance to live.

This video takes you to disaster rescues in Thailand Floods, Japan Quake-Tsunami-Radiation, Brazil Floods-Mudslides, Chile Quake-Tsunami... It shares brief notes about skills and training needed to rescue animal survivors. Please watch, share and support Kinship Circle Disaster Animal Response Team in its mission to help animals left behind. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ALLEY CAT ALLIES REQUESTS AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE TRAPPING OF CATS AT ALOE VILLAGE SENIOR COMPLEX IN GALLOWAY, NJ

Offers residents resources and support for humane solution
 
BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today urged residents at the Aloe Village Senior Complex and officials in Galloway Township, N.J. to adopt proven and humane solutions in lieu of catching kittens and cats and turning them into the shelter where six kittens from the Complex have already been killed.
“Six newborn kittens have already been ripped from their mothers and ‘euthanized’ at the shelter,” said Becky Robinson, co-founder and president of Alley Cat Allies. “This cruel approach is not humane and it is not a solution.”

Alley Cat Allies is ready to offer support with high-volume spay/neuter, and assistance with the adoption of kittens and friendly cats and the implementation of a Trap-Neuter-Return program. Information and education on how to use deterrents to keep the cats out of gardens and away from homes will also be provided. Alley Cat Allies has provided this type of assistance to communities all across the country for two decades.

As part of a Trap-Neuter-Return program, feral cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are returned to their home—their colony—outdoors. Socialized cats and kittens are removed from the grounds and adopted into good homes.
Alley Cat Allies staff will be on site today at the Aloe Village Senior Complex to assess the situation and provide information and help to residents. Interview opportunities available.
Residents who are interested in helping with our efforts should contact Alley Cat Allies at alleycat@alleycat.org or call 240-482-1992.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

PROTEST OF LOEWS ORLANDO ATTRACTS DOZENS OF CONCERNED CITIZENS


Today, concerned citizens and activists in the Orlando, Florida area joined Alley Cat Allies in protesting the inhumane trapping of feral cats at the Loews Orlando properties. Sixty-eight people raised their voices—and their signs—against the Loews Royal Pacific, Loews Portofino, and Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resorts after management made the decision to trap and remove the 23 feral cats who have lived peacefully on the properties for years. 

High resolution photos of the protest are available for download at Alley Cat Allies' online press room.  Visit:  http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=482http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=482 (scroll to middle of page for these photos)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Protect the Pryor Mustangs

BLM Sets Sights on Cloud's Herd Once Again
Dear Cloud and Pryor Wild Horse Defenders;

The BLM is proposing another significant removal of wild horses on the Pryor Mountains. I know. Just when you thought it was safe... they’re back!

BLM’s recently released Environmental Assessment (EA) seeks to remove via bait trapping and potentially water trapping, 30 young Pryor mustangs, ages 1-3 years. Bait and/or water trapping could begin as early as mid-January. Comments are due by January 6, 2012. We urge you to comment and to support the NO Action Alternative, the only alternative that keeps a viable population of horses on the mountain.

Cloud's yearling daughter, Breeze, is just one of the
horses that could be removed in 2012

Here are the points we feel you may want to mention in your remarks. Make sure to use your own words.
  1. Making decisions on a 30 horse removal now could put the Pryor Wild Horse Herd in jeopary of a die-off. Natural mortality in the winter of 2011-2012 is an unknown. The number of foals to be born and survive in 2012 is also unknown.
  2. The population of the Pryor Wild Horse Herd is currently stable with only 150 animals one year of age or older. According to Gus Cothran, PhD, the foremost equine geneticist in the U.S., "A census population size of 150-200 is required to achieve the minimum effective population size (usually 1/4 to 1/3 of the of the total population)." Currently, the Pryor population is at this bare minimum level.
  3. In 2011 there was no population growth. Births equaled deaths—18 births versus 18 deaths.
  4. Removing 30 young horses in one year alone is risky, unnecessary and threatens the genetic viability of the herd, diminishing their ability to survive into the future.
  5. We urge BLM to wait and see what winter brings as far as mortality, and what the foal crop looks like in August of 2012. Late summer would be the time to assess herd growth and health as well as range health and decide on whether removals are really necessary.
  6. No details have been provided in this EA regarding the disposition of young horses once they are caught, other than their transport to the Britton Springs corrals at the base of the mountain. What then? Where and when would the young horses be available for adoption? These details need to be revealed to the public.
  7. There are no criteria cited which ensure that young horses with narrow genetic representation in the herd, unique or underrepresented colors and markings, and rigorous physical characteristics (i.e. size, health) would be retained on the range. Consideration must be given to these removal criteria to ensure that the "best" are left on the range in order for the herd to perpetuate itself into the future.
  8. Urge BLM to adopt the No Action Alternative.

Jasper (left) is the only male descendant of the stallion Starman, while Jewel (right) is a unique pale buckskin.
Both could be removed in 2012.

We are encouraging you to speak up on behalf of this small, isolated, genetically unique, world-famous herd. BLM will not accept emailed comments but feel free to send your comments via email to info@thecloudfoundation.org and please put in the subject line, "Pryor EA comments." We will print out your emails and mail them with our Foundation comments. Or you can send your letters directly to: 

Jim Sparks
Field Manager
BLM Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101


Cloud's grandson, Echo, represents both unique coloration and rare bloodlines
being one of the only descendants of the late stallion, Mateo.

Thanks for speaking out to ensure that the Pryor herd and Cloud’s family line will continue into the future! Stay tuned for an update on our latest visit.

Happy Trails!
Ginger

Copyright (C) 2008 The Cloud Foundation All rights reserved.