Feral Kitties, month 4 – and on

They are doing well, coming now regularly mornings and late afternoons for some food, then hang out and sometimes play. They still follow me around to some degree. Blue Boy is definitely the boss at the 2 feed bowls. He goes to check out what she is having (I might give her some wet cat food after all) …and she then goes to the bowl he just left. They do that 3 or 4 times like that…funny. He is bigger than her. Not sure how they are doing with the rodents….some of whom are now living INSIDE the coops (smartypants), an area the cats can’t get to. We’ll see how it does with the garden vegetables later this year. They are hanging out and living near the coops and raised beds, so keeping fingers crossed.

Kitty girl is still  acting more cautious and shy than her brother.

photos from March 10, 2017

Feral Cats – Month 2 and 3

For how it all started, click here

For the first week’s report, please click this link.

For the first Month, click here – month 1 (actually, more like week 2-4)

This starts the log of the second and third months of the feral kitties, January and February 2017

January 2, it has been 1 month and a day for Lacey Girl Kitty Thomasina and 3 weeks for Blue Boy Thomas. They were both inside their bankers box cave in the morning…took feed from a spoon. While I was letting the chickens out and feeding them, they BOTH ventured out into the feed storage room. I heard both their voices. They answered when Socks, the stray came by and called me. Socks promptly disappeared fro the day. Neither one are overly scared, but I do not make any sudden moves. I was able to approach them with feed-spoon and Kitteee sound. Blue Boy is very active, including climbing the hardware cloth fence and I think he would like to get out.

The cats were looking at the chickens and vice versa. They can see each other through the fence and will have plenty of time to get used to each other.

I had not brought my camera as I didn’t expect such activities.

Plan is to leave them free in the feed storage for 2-4 weeks, depending on how they do and how quickly I can finalize the main coop area they will gain access to next.

January 6, 2017

I sure hope you are ready for some feral Kitty pics…because here are some…🙂 – so far they are only allowed free inside the feed storage room, with chicken view, but they cannot get to each other – lots of time to get used to all the commotion in the chicken run.

January 9, 2017

oh dear…this afternoon, girl feral kitty seemed to have disappeared. they were in their afternoon :”i am napping phase” and didn’t come out…so i looked….(had to get a flashlight) …ONLY Blue boy in the cave….the other house (there is a larger animals house on top of the big dog crate) looked empty too …i looked in all the places and behind all the things in the feed storage room…no girl. this can’t be, there is NO way she can get out….so finally i check UNDER the pet bed in the house…and there she was curled up between the pillow and the pet bed….i am not sure why she moved there, only that blue boy looked awfully big in the cave.

January 11, 2017

very short video this morning

and Touchdown  in the afternoon

so the last 2 days i noticed the feral kitties were rubbing each other when it came to eat from the spoon, even trying to rub against the spoon, which is messy as it put cat food onto their fur….and this evening, they came even closer and Blue Boy wanted to be petted… 🙂 you know how cats rub against your legs, tail up…even purring…girl to, though not quite so….and i ended up petting them, boy mostly…so soft…and he came back for more….the short kitty video on the post below is from this morning

Since that day, they have been more and more coming out when called and into being stroked/petted. Blue Boy could be picked up and last evening, the girl to was quite happy to be petted.

I opened the little door between the feed storage room and the chicken run for the last 3 or 4 nights and they were back in they respective caves each morning…

 

Until this morning, January 18 –THEY WERE  NOT THERE.

I have no idea how they got out…but they didn’t get back in…

not in their cave, not the feed storage room, nowhere in the chicken run.

Not the release I had planned.

The good part: Rather then 2-4 weeks as recommended everywhere, they had a total of 5 and 6 weeks respectively to get adjusted, they are neutered, there are a lot of hiding places around the coop. There have been well fed and looked healthy. The release didn’t go quite as I had intended, as I was not able to teach them the cat doors…and then let them out while i was around during a sunny day!!!

Reassuringly, sometimes newly released ferals stay away for 2 or 3 days only to appear again…I hope so.

Update: posted March 7, 2017 for month 2-3 (January & February)

It took several days after their escape for them to be seen in the feed storage again, but the food was gone each morning.

By the end of February (definitely Boy by February 19), they both had learned to use the cat doors and I stopped propping them open towards the end of February.  By then, Blue Boy had started coming around in the afternoons as well as the  mornings. Kitty girl almost always shows up 1-2 hours later than Blue boy in the afternoons, only comes half as many times in the mornings. During bad weather/rain, I don’t see them at all. This first happened February 17…no sighting of either of them all day…rainy, stormy day and I was worried.  During good weather, the now often both come in the mornings  too. It seems weather is influencing quite a bit how much they come out…as well as how hungry they are.

Mornings (I suppose they learned from me calling the cows on my way to feed the chickens)  and late afternoons seem to be the times they look for food. The girl has remained quite shy, much more so than her brother, who I can pick up and he purrs on my lap, though he too still prefers to jump off  rather soon. I still freak out when one of them (usually the girl) does not show up at all one day….wondering if a raccoon got to them.

Blue boy is much bigger than his sister.

In the late afternoons after eating, they stay out for a while, sometimes start to play a little, follow me around in the garden or into the chicken coops, especially the boy. Eventually, I will leave the doors to the coops open for them to hunt any rodents that might still be hiding in there.

And how is it going with the chickens? Pretty well I would say. They got used to each other, the chickens might still make some low alarm noises, though the kitties are still the more cautious ones, and if the feed storage is open and a chicken wants to eat the cat food and starts getting close, as in 4 – 6 feet,  to the feed dish…they make way. As a result,  the people door is kept closed at all times now and so far the chickens have not figured out how to get through the closed cat doors.

How is it going with the other (stray) cats? : seems to be going well. Socks is about twice as big and they respect that, but I have seem them all 3 be in the feed storage at the same time.

What are they being fed:  the 2 feral and the by now 2 strays coming by share 2 cans of wet food/day. if the strays don’t show up, the feral get the wet. Then there is almost a cup of dry for each of them too….however, they don’t finish it all by the time I go up to the house, and I am not sure if the strays end up eating it or even the raccoons.

I probably will cut down on the food once it gets warmer as they won’t need to spend calories to maintain they temperature.

It appears that Blue Boy does hang around the coops in plain sight. Time for some photos soon. When the girls stays around, she is usually hiding under the bamboo or other things and is not immediately  visible. I have not looked for and don’t know where their safe spot is, but they must like it and when it rains, they don’t come out ……unless very hungry.

They don’t appear to ever stay overnight in the feed storage to sleep….despite the cat beds and heating blanket. I will keep them for next winter, but if they still never use it…then the cat beds go to storage.

Feral Cats – First Month

Ok, Reporting as it goes.

For what happened in the very first week, please see this post here.

No sightings until December 11. Generally, I will only post news …

Dry cat food had been disappearing each night, and also, eventually, the soft food offered on a spoon with a long handle when I placed it in the handle-hole opening of the cave (upside down bankers box).

So today, December 11, I did not give them any food during the day, then in the evening, did the wet food offering..and noticed…it was gone after a few minutes, while I was still working in the area….yay…

so then, I offered it a few more times and she seemed to be waiting for it…and then, I saw her taking it from the spoon and eating with me there…me saying Kitteeeeeeeh. Alright, this is progress. After I left and came back, I could see a tail disappearing ….she had come out to check for food I suppose. Shining a light through the handle hole: they were sitting side by side……. it is pretty cozy in there.

more as the months goes on.

December 12, 2016 – some food was eaten during the day. This evening at dusk – eating off the spoon, licked clean – associating Kitteee-kitteee…comes out with paw through handle hole…went outside for food/spoon…saw me….hissed…went back in  🙂

PLAN: slowly leave food out only during the day, less and less at nighttime – to encourage coming out. offer wet food twice a day, morning and evening on spoon.

December 15 – widened the handle opening…as they had clogged it with cloth. Actually, make it bigger in height. Food still disappears, the female will take it from the spoon – plan…carefully open the hole even more…they got scared with the activity at their cave…but i want them to start seeing me…not just hearing….

December 18, 2016

She even looked at me a few times today

December 20

Today, I saw the boy eating from the spoon, saw one of his paws too. and in the evening, the girl came out and went into the wooden box, observing me from there.  She is associating the Kitteeee sound with the wet cat food on the spoon.  From today on, wet food only from the spoon when I am there. Dry food at night. I did make the opening bigger again too

 

December 24

Girl Kitty came out part way for the first time.

December 25

Then again on Christmas day – see image…but then, guess way…after not seeing boy all day (he had been showing up at the window the previous days, he came out alltogether at dusk…while I was there….and he didn’t just dash back in when he saw me…iI just said my KittyeeeKittee word and slowly left while he started eating….:) it is 2 1/2 weeks for him.

I use that word repeatedly, make sounds with the spoon and the wet food can …then offer the food.

Decmeber 24

This morning, little feral girl kitty came out halfway out of the cave for some wet cat food 🙂 – just saying it because it is a first

December 25

A feral girl kitty sighting 🙂 – boy has been eating from the spoon with her for 2 days now too, inside their cave that is, no pic. his eye looks ok as far as visible. (for those who remember he had a corneal abrasion)

this afternoon, little feral boy kitty came out the front …and not only did he not dash back into the cave when he startled after seeing me…he stayed by the food, started eating as i left…he musta been hungry. (for those who might follow this feral kitty adventure)

December 26, 2016

oh, Blue boy feral kitty came out of the cave for wet food this am….his r eye . right upper right cornea…still cloudy, but more grey instead of white. might be scar tissue, in any case, nothing i can do about it.

January 1, 2017

This morning – Blue Boy feral kitty came out and stayed out for a while, investigating…so today I made it the day they got to go out….out of the crate into the feed storage room. Tha was in the afternoon, after clearing out some more things. Girl didn’t take long to venture 🙂 – now I have to make sure the door to the feed storage is really closed.

It has been 1 month since the first of the ferals arrived, 3 weeks since the second. This concludes the first month of report.

Feral cat – the first few days

In the late afternoon on December 1, 2016, we picked up an about 7- 9 month old female feral cat from the vet. She had been trapped the day before, see the story of how it started here.

So here she is in the dog crate…on Day 0willow-kitty-1-20161201_7033

I had prepared a large dog kennel for her with a litter box, food and water, a wooden box and a blanket to hide, and a pet bed with a heat mat. The kennel then was surrounded from 3 sides to protection. Once in there…she has  been hiding during the day.

Leave her alone…be patient. It will take time.

The first night, she pooped on the heat blanket….lesson: put potting soil (or sand?) into the litter box, not cat litter. Feral cats are used to dirt. In any case, I topped the litter off with organic potting soil. The food didn’t look touched. She had knocked over the water bowl.

Day 1, December 2 with us: I saw her try to hide in 2 spots during the first day, her body was visible, but her head/eyes buried. eventually she went into the wooden box.        Night: she ate! , messed around in the litter box, with a lot of dirt ending up in the water bowl.

Day 2: Not to be seen during the daytime – hiding in the wooden box….so this lead to: get a bankers box, cut opening into it, put over the heating blanket.                                         Night: she ate the food, messed with the litter box and bit and scratched the carton by the door…trying to get out I presume. I went out at midnight and YES, she was on the heating blanket inside/under the banker’s box.

Day 3, December 4 – She stayed on the heating blanket under the bankers box all day. I have to get a flashlight to shine it through the handle opening so see her. I realized that it would have been better to set up the environment differently, in such a way that I have access to both kennel doors, but too late now. I moved one of the feed store bins to another area to have more room to open the kennel door.

This was the first evening I offered soft food on a spoon and placed it on the bankers box handle opening. She didn’t touch it.

I knock before I go into the feed storage room, talk to her. Sometimes the stray cat comes by and gets fed there. Neither has acknowledged the other’s existence if one is to go by behavior.

willow-kitty-1-20161201_7052She is under the bankers box, the cat in front is the stray, we call him Socks.

Note: I am a believer in using what you have if possible. This feral cat shelter to tame her is functional, though I think an empty room in a house would work better…but that is not an option. It will take time, maybe more time than I thought.

If trapping is successful,  one of the 4 remaining feral cats will join her next week.

Notice the clawed and bitten cardboard. And that piece of cloth, she gets that inside through the kennel bars.

I am happy that she found the heat mat acceptable now that the box is there.

I wish it all looked more elegant …..

December 5, day 4 – it must have been a wildish night, as the bankers box was nowhere on the heating pad any more and more card board torn to pieces. She had eaten during the night.

willow-kitty-1-20161205_7052I had to fix the bankers box to the kennel metal. and also fixed the inner flap so it would stay up. The Kitty was in the wooden box, it was cold, and I was hoping she would find her way back into the heated “cave”. I gave her more food. She looked more relaxed back in the wooden box. Sometime in the afternoon, she ate and went back on the heating blanket and into the “cave” yay. Socks the stray came and for the first time must have realized there was a cat in there somewhere. Could be that the scented cat litter was covering up the  cat scent. BTW …do NOT buy scented cat litter…it stinks to high heaven. This one was gotten for me, I forgot to say : “non-scented”. She was peeking through the handle-hole again. I talked to her in images. Anyway, here we are ready for the night again.

December 6, Day 5

This morning they are going to trap again. Talked to the first one in pictures this am, telling her to let the others know to go into the traps…and which one she would like to have come live with her. The image I got was that of the grey one.

A couple of hours later…they had caught 3, the grey one being one of them.

She peek out from the “cave” through the handle hole. The cave=cat bed and heating pad covered with an upside down bankers box.

December 7, Day 6 + Day 0

The girl…took the food from the spoon that i had on the handle hole of the ‘cave’. – Progress

Picked up our second feral willows kitty from the vet today. It is  male, probably siblings less than a year old, thinking from a spring litter.  He is staying in the dog crate though for the night…facing her kennel. It turns out he has a corneal abrasion….so in case he looks worse for some reason, I can take him in.

He was very demonstrative in making sure he was not facing me….:)

willows-kitty-2-20161207_7125 willows-kitty-2-20161207_7127

 

Had to take a picture through the side hole to get his eyes. You can see on his right eye the white….I just hope it will bet better.

 

December 8, day 7 …1 week for 1, day 1 for the other. Going by what I see this morning, they had a very active night. Boy pooped and ate and tried to rearrange everything in the dog crate. He eye didn’t look worse and I think maybe a little better. So he was let into the large kennel…now they are both in the cave. He still turns his back to me…what a little character. Pictures…they will all look the same for now, they still have to come out into the kennel space when I am around, but food is gone over night

This concludes the report of the first week of the feral kitty adventure….Plan is to create a post in probably increasing intervals for the coming years to let everyone know the progress or what happened in the adjusting of the feral kitties. Thanks for reading.

Check these links to find out what happened

for the rest of December 2016

during month 2 & 3, January and February 2017

Natural Dog Training

What is the number 1 cause of death for dogs in the Western “civilized” world? – directly or indirectly: Behavior problems. Therefore, we cannot help K9s in the long run without addressing dog behavior and our relationship with dogs.

In the course of looking for a training method that works and deeply honors the true nature of dogs, we came across Kevin Behan’s Natural Dog Training (NDT). I think many people naturally do the right things regarding their dogs, but as far as training and rehabilitation goes, Natural Dog Training may be the Continue reading Natural Dog Training

Natural Dog Training for shelter dogs – “Eyes”

Natural Dog Training for Shelter Dogs – “Eyes” exercise – eye contact

Before we even go into this: the “Eyes” exercise is NOT staring a dog down – in the “Eyes” exercise, the dog chooses to make eye connect – this is an entirely different thing.

In January 2012 I started working at the local shelter as an official volunteer. This meant I am now getting their e-mails – and in the first week of January, there was a list in there with dogs needing special attention – because they have been there too long. One of them is Flo.

Of course I am wondering: how do I work with dogs at the shelter …say, 3-4 times a week – to make any difference? Continue reading Natural Dog Training for shelter dogs – “Eyes”

ARTICA RIP – Run free – PTS by adopters

This pure white four month old has stolen the hearts of all the SCGSR volunteers! Artica is a little shy, and she’s looking for a family that can help her bloom!
Fostered by Marcy!
Adopted 08.14.11!

(This was her on socal shepherd rescue in the summer.)

KILLED by the adopters, through their Vet, for being “anxious” we found out today, December 20, 2011. There might be Continue reading ARTICA RIP – Run free – PTS by adopters

Inspired to Action blogs

Thank you so much!!! you’ve inspired me, and Jenny called me and said lets do this. We’ve never done it before but we’re gonna give it our best! 🙂

G. on fb: Some friends and I are collecting blankets, beds, small comforters, baby blankets and stuffed animals and doggie toys to donate to shelters this winter. If you have something you’d like to donate please send me a message. Thank you!

if we get blankets, was gonna take them to West Side German Shepherd for Macfarland…

She made this flyer to take around as well as a black and white handout for door to door:

YEah, I’ll take Spirit one day and go door to door to drop off flyers and Bravo another day… and then drive around on those mornings to pick up. 🙂
fingers crossed!

We’ll keep you posted

Check out the Doggie-Pad page and this

fun to watch video

Baby died today – what a sweet one – Run free

She was a sweet girl – and people did try hard – in the end – her time had come – Is it a consolation that she had food and care for many years? Rip sweet angel. It is right – you were loved….

RIP sweet sweet Baby - Gone but "NEVER" Forgotten 13

Brooklyn Center

My name is BABY. My Animal ID # is A079001.
I am a female tricolor germ shepherd. The shelter thinks I am about 12 years old.

I came in the shelter as a OWNER SUR on 11/09/2011 from NY 10310, owner surrender reason stated was NO TIME.

EUTH MEMO
No Euth Memo

MOST RECENT MEDICAL RATING, BEHAVIOR RATING & WEIGHT
11/21/2011 Exam Type CAGE EXAM – Medical Rating is 3 C – MAJOR CONDITIONS , Behavior Rating is NONE, Weight 37.4 LBS.

Coughing / sneezing R/O K/C / uri Start doxy tabs – 1.5 tabs sid x 10 days

Profile date 11/09/2011 PET PROFILE
Profile Comment: SWEET DOG, WAS FED WET AND DRY FOOD. ONLY GOES AFTER DOGS WHEN WALKING OUTSIDE.
Length owned 1 YEAR, Spends day time in or out? INSIDE, Spends nights in or out? INSIDE, Housebroken? YES, Mated? ONCE, Travel in Car ? YES, Leash? YES, Obedience? GOOD, Escapes? NO, Fence? NO EXPERIA, LOVES MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN, LOVES CATS, DOGS,

11/09/2011 PET PROFILE MEMO
Dog Information Sheet 1: – Why are you surrendering this dog? family changes 2: – How long have you had this dog? 14 yrs 3: – How many people are in your household? 2 adults 1 child 4: – Is your dog house trained? N/A 5: – Has accidents if left alone more than ? N/A 6: – Is your dog paper trained? yes 7: – How long do you usually leave your dog alone each day? rarely 8: – Where is your dog kept when alone? loose in house 9: – Has your dog ever lived with other dogs? yes 10: – How does your dog behave around other dogs? plays, barks 11: – has your dog lived with cats? yes 12: – How does your dog behave around cats? ignores 13: – How does your dog behave around strangers? friendly 14: – How does your dog behave around children? tolerates 15:- Does your dog know any commands? sit, down, stay, come here – but say “Baby” 16: – How does your dog behave on leash? excited, walks calmly 16B: – Lunges, growls or barks at? dogs 17: – What does your dog normally eat? both 18: – Please specify brand, amount, and times: Alpo, pedigree, Kibbles & Bits 1-2 twice daily 19: – Does you dog have any behavior problems that you are aware of? no 20: – Does your dog have any medical problems that you are aware of? If yes, please provide as much detail as possible: no 21: – Is there anything else you?d like to tell us about your dog? she’s full of life Jessica Medina

WEB MEMO
No Web Memo

11/15/2011 BEHAVIOR EVALUATION – BEGINNER
Exam Type BEHAVIOR
Evaluator: Jason Handler: Jeremy Helper Dog: A916635 Baby walks calmly on leash and was sociable toward the handler during the assessment – soft body, low wag. She was calm and relaxed during handling and had a low body position during the tag test, but followed the assessor at the end of the leash. She did not resist being handled while eating, and was easily pushed out of the food bowl, but was not interested in toys or rawhide. Baby was relaxed when approaching the helper dog, but was not playful. Look: 1. Dog holds gaze with soft eyes, soft body. He allows head to be held loosely in Assessor’s cupped hands. Dog holds gaze for three full seconds. Sensitivity: 1. Dog leans into the Assessor, eyes soft or squinty, soft and loose body, open mouth. Tag: 1. Dog stands with his tail low and wagging, and comes toward the Assessor in a friendly manner when the Assessor ceases moving. Squeeze 1/2: 1. Dog gently pulls back his paw. Food: 1. Dog lifts head and ceases eating when you reach to pull the bowl away or push him out. Toy 1: No interest. Reassess at future date. Rawhide: 1. No interest. Reassess at future date. Dog-dog: 1. Dog approaches helper dog to investigate, loose body, then turns away.

11/09/2011 INITIAL PHYSICAL EXAM
Medical rating was 3 NC – MAJOR CONDITIONS NOT CONTAGIOUS, behavior rating was NONE
Scan positive #402918006E Temp. – 101.7 RR – 22 Female.. geriatric Tolerates handling but tense, nervous Nuclear sclerosis Severe tartar, gingivitis and dental disease AMB X 4 QARH

11/21/2011 CAGE EXAM (LAST MAJOR EXAM)
Medical rating 3 C – MAJOR CONDITIONS ,
Coughing / sneezing R/O K/C / uri Start doxy tabs – 1.5 tabs sid x 10 days

 

She had 354 SHARES

Here just a few posts of a couple of hundred.

Animal Rescue Cross-poster i just emailed..
BrightStar GSD Rescue
Email: AskBrightStar@rochester.rr.com

North Star German Shepherd Rescue
Email: northstargsdr@earthlink.net

Shepherds Hope Rescue
Email: toomanyshepherds@aol.com15 hours ago ·

Debbie Stoller left mssg with amsterdog and trying to get through to shelter

Debbie Stoller i can’t get through to brooklyn and i have to go to work now.i can pick up and foster this dog and transport to nj but i CAN NOT keep her indefinitely. if there is someone out there who will adopt i will keep trying to make this happen.

Debbie Stoller i tried contacting amsterdog, and 2 other rescues, via phone and facebook msg. left phone number with each. still haven’t heard back. is there anyone out there who can help get a hold put on baby so i can pick her up later today?13 hours ago ·

Debbie Stoller finally got through to brooklyn just now. Baby is gone. RIP poor sweet girl. I’m glad you had at least 14 years with a family.

Francesca Lofaro

We walked in the rain last night. When we walked back I dried her off, I took her face in my hands and kissed her and hugged her. I took a blanket and put it in the dryer for 10 minutes so she would have a toasty blanket to lay down on. She finished all her food. Tomorrow I will give thanks for being able to show Baby some love in her final hours. I share this through tears with all of you so you know she had some loving on her last night on earth. Run free Baby doll. 9 hours ago
To all the people, who adopted and fostered dogs like Baby in the past… Thankyou, Baby a perfect temperament, loveable old friend that more than anything else appeared on the wrong day of the calendar. While Baby is gone and I am sad, I remember those that have and will go the extra yard for the senior pro friends, Thankyou for all the other days when I feel such joy and relief from that incredible word safe. Baby I am so sorry… You were a great dog, who even under such stress continued to shine.
Jackie Ostrander francesca thank you for showing her love in her final hours at least she knew she wasnt alone and unloved..
Anna Perrone Lodi Beautiful Baby :”(( Thank you Francesca, so much for loving her on her last night. It makes a difference. RIP Baby ♥

The Dog-gie Pad Project – Inspiration

Photo by Katherine Adams (I think)

The day I found the doggie pad page on facebook, I had looked at a lot of shelter dog images and seen some of the dogs lying on little pieces of cloth or blankets on their otherwise bare kennel floors and thought…wow, nice that they do this for the dogs. Not everywhere, just some, and it was a good thing for the dogs. That night I found doggie pad  page and project – a lady got inspired one day and started making blankets for other dogs elsewhere … – so inspiring, I decided to make a page here just to show you that if you are open to it and willing …you’ll see a need where you are and start acting.  Here is her  facebook page: The-Doggie-Pad-Project. Read how it all came about (copies from the page on facebook, in case you don’t have a facebook account) – or scroll for more images at the bottom of this page 🙂

How the “doggie pad project” began …

by Kat

I was looking at the pictures of the dogs at MCACC eastside that were posted on
Craigslist by one of the gals that take pictures of them, in hopes of finding them a home. I noticed they all look so sad and were laying on the bare concrete. I emailed the photographer Kathy and inquired if the dogs ever have anything to sleep on … Kathy responded that when there are materials to put in the kennels, they do …

This was heartbreaking to me. As I looked at my dog Bowie, who was adopted from that facility, I wondered how many cold lonely nights he spent there. I just knew I had to try to do something to help the shelter dogs! For a few days Kathy and I emailed back and forth about the situation. I shared my plan that “Every dog in the shelter would have something to sleep on every night” Kathy was wonderful and supportive! As I don’t drive, she offered to come and pick me up the nights she takes the pictures!

I posted on Craigslist asking people to donate any comforters, blankets, bedspreads that they don’t need for the shelter dogs. Many like myself, did not know that there was a need for the bedding and I started getting responses.

The first pink comforter showed up and I looked at it and thought that this could give one dog a bed, or I could cut it into smaller pieces and help more than one … and the sewing began …

In the first couple days, I had made 35 doggie pads from donations. I was so excited and Kathy came to get me to go to the shelter to place them. We were there after hours, so the kennels would be unlocked so we could gain access. I was introduced to Janet and told her about our plan and showed her the 35 pads. Janet thought it was wonderful, but there were 357 kennels! She advised to try to give the adoptable dogs the bedding to help us narrow down deciding which dog would be off the concrete that night. note : Bowie was located at PetSmart by MCACC, so I had never been to the shelter before …

I realized that our efforts that night were only a drop in the bucket, so much more needed to be done. There was one mamma dog in there with her new litter of puppies, she looked so sad trying keep her puppies warm and fed. We placed a doggie pad in her kennel and watched her arrange all her puppies on it. Then she looked up at us and in her eyes I could see that she was so grateful. Kathy and I both had tears in our eyes and knew we were about to start an amazing journey together.

I stepped up my postings on Craigslist, thanked all that donated and told them about our first night at the shelter and having to choose which dog would get something to sleep on and the mamma dog with her puppies. I promised that I would keep on sewing as long as I had the donated materials to work with. The emails and donations came pouring in! So many wonderful people stepped up to help! I was sewing at least 40 hours a week and Kathy and I were placing them at night when she was taking pictures …

I began wondering where all the pads were going, as I didn’t see the last ones we brought. It was then I learned that they were all picked up in the morning and bagged to be washed. Then at night, if there were any to put down, more bedding would be placed. We were shown the huge pile of soiled bedding in plastic bags and MCACC did not have the facilities to keep it up.

Kathy and I talked about it and decided the only way to keep the doggie pads in use, was to ask for help with laundry. There went another huge plea for help on Craigslist to help … again we had another great response from kind folks. LuAnn’s office raised money to pay for a huge laundry day at the laundromat, where a gal name Jessica spent 8 hours washing and folding with me. Many others, that I never got to meet, went on their own and picked up 3 or 5 bags and washed it with their own money. Others offered to bring some home and get them cleaned up and returned.

It was an uphill battle, despite our efforts we couldn’t supply the demand needed … I am not sure how it happened, but once in a while a laundry service was used and caught us up … thank goodness!

The donations kept coming and I kept sewing as I promised. I started taking pictures to show all that were helping and what their donations were actually helping! Then I burned out both of my sewing machines and ran out of thread. We didn’t have the money to buy a new machine or supplies and I was so sad, so much more needed to be done!

My husband Bob went on Craigslist and contacted everyone that had a sewing machine for sale (I didn’t know about this at the time) and told them what my friends and I were trying to do for the shelter dogs. An amazing lady said she would just give me, her sewing machine so we could continue on … A lady that works with LuAnn donated a box full of threads which LuAnn brought to me! We were back in business! I said many prayers of thanks for all these wonderful people that have come together to help the shelter dogs!

I have met some of the most beautiful people in this world by working together on this project! There is this one senior that has really touched my heart. She is not in good health, but likes to go to yard sales on the weekends. She spreads the word about the shelter dogs sleeping on concrete and asks if they would donate any bedding they have in their sale … every sunday that she was able to get donations, I find them by my front door, waiting to be sewn into doggie pads … even to this day!

I lost track of the total amount of doggie pads made after 4,000. Aside from MCACC east and west, some also went to Circle L, Circle M, Helping Orphaned Hounds, Lost Paws, Rockstar Rescue and Second Chance Ranch rescues … Just to name a few!

Now that the nights are cooling down, I have started asking for more donations and help with placing the doggie pads in the kennels at night. Many from last years effort have responded that they will try to help and a few new ones too! I try to educate that its best to make the doggie pads from a donated comforter rather than just placing the whole thing in one kennel. The doggie pads helps more than one dog at a time and reduces the amount of laundry! Also, by giving them bedding and getting them off the cold concrete, it may help their chances of getting adopted and not getting sick. For those that will not get out of there, maybe just give them a little love/comfort in their end of days …

I pray we can achieve our dream of “Every dog, has something to sleep on, every night in the shelter”.

There are so many people involved in this project and projects of their own, maybe, just maybe …

Kat

All dogs deserve a home, all wild K9s to be free