Friday, July 29, 2011

The Critter Place NEEDS YOUR HELP!

The Critter Place is a private sanctuary, located in Weeki Wachee, FL that provides a safe haven for neglected, abandoned, and abused animals.

For the past 23 years they have taken in animals in need without question, but now do to a recent job layoff, the fourth one in the past three years, The Critter Place desperately needs your help to continue to care for the animals that call this beloved sanctuary their home.

Because I strongly believe in the work that The Critter Place is doing for these animals in need, I have started a Chip In with a goal to raise $500 for them. Every little bit helps, and the animal appreciate it more than you know.

These animals have been through far to much in their lives to have to loose their home now. Please open up your heart, and show these animals that some people really do care by donating to The Critter Place today.

The animals Thank You. :)

Meet some of the now safe, happy, and healthy residents of The Critter Place
and read their not so happy stories.

Unwanted and headed to slaughter.

Saved from a kill auction.

Pork Chop!
Not "cute" any more.

Homeless and Unwanted.

Pom Pom, Nada, and Ducky 2!
Were going to be destroyed because they didn't sell.

Starving and lonely.

Deformed and unsell-able.

Bait pig for hunting dogs.

Family moved to an Assisted Living facility.

Sasha (dog) and Buster (cat)!
No longer wanted by their families.

The Chickens!
Were going to be destroyed because they didn't sell.

Thank You for your help!!! :)

For more information about The Critter Place click on the links below.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spay Day!

The second Sunday of every month in Tampa is ACT's Spay Day. This is where with an appointment, caretakers can bring in feral/stray cats and kittens in humane traps to the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), to get them spayed/neutered, vaccinated, checked out for other health issues, given flea medicine, de-worming medicine, and ear-tipped as part of the TNR program (Trap-Neuter-Return), all for only $10. Each month around 100 cats are spayed/neutered on this day.

ACT's Spay Day is made possible by grants and many volunteers, including the awesome Veterinarians who volunteer their time to do hundreds of surgeries for these poor homeless cats. ACT also excepts feral/stray cats Monday-Saturday without an appointment for spay/neuter surgeries and ear tipping for a discounted rate of $25 per cat.

Spay Day as documented by me! :)

Bright and early the cats arrive in traps.

One by one they make there way through the back door and to the first station.

Since these are feral cats and usually not friendly, they have to be given a shot of anesthesia why still in the trap. A fork is used to confine them to one side so as not to hurt the cat. This is for the safety of the volunteers as well as the cats.

About a minute later they are out like a light. This is when the cats are taken from the trap and put on the table for inspection, tagging, and a shot of penicillin.
This is the room that I volunteer in. :)

Even though he looks awake, Mr. Kitty is out cold.

Penicillin shot.

Say good bye to the family jewels! ;)
No more baby making for him. And good thing, this guy, Big Orange, is from my hood. =)

Big Orange looks so happy while he is under. I love his little mouth freckles. 

You are getting neutered!!!

My friend Olya holding Big Orange.
He looks like he is awake, but is not or he would tear her face off.
We gave him lots of hugs and kisses while he was out.

This is me!
 Every cat deserves some lovin... even if it is while under anesthesia.
This guy is from my hood too. He is actually friendly, so wouldn't mind my kisses. It very sad that he doesn't have a home, and since he is friendly he was likely thrown out. :( Finding friendly cats outside that want a loving home is the hardest part of being a TNR volunteer, but it's also why it is sooo necessary that we spay/neuter as many as we can.

With every Spay Day comes kittens... lots and lots of kittens!
Unfortunately with so many kittens being born daily on the streets, there is not enough room for all of them in rescues and at no-kill shelters. :( Many of the kittens brought in on Spay Day have to be released back outside like the adults, but there is a program called the Street Kitten Program, where 15 friendly, healthy kittens are placed with St. Francis Rescue Group each month. This is arranged by appointment only, and there usually is a long waiting list to be considered for this program.

The "Street Kittens" arrive in carriers and are given shots of anesthesia while being held since they are friendly. They then go through the same process as the rest of the cats with the exception of not being ear-tipped and they get a few extras since they are going up for adoption.

Here is Olya putting some drops in the kittens eyes.
This is done to all of the cats, it keeps their eyes from drying out during the surgery.

Here is an example of the tag that each cat receives at our station.
It tells the cats number, so they know which trap to put them back into at the end, their sex, and any obvious health issues that need to be looked at. (ie. nursing mom, worms, fleas, wounds, etc.)

Such a beautiful kitten.
Sadly enough, this kitten is not part of the Street Kitten Program, so she has to go live back outside. :(

This is Purrsilla, Olya's foster kitten. :)
We rescued her off the side of the interstate overpass.
It was a bad situation and we have no idea how long she was there, but luckily she went right into the trap for food, and is friendly. There was no room fro her in the Street Kitten Program, so but luckily she was recently adopted out through the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

This is Tiggie! aka. Kitten Face!
I rescued her from Hillsborough County Animal Services along with her brothers when they were only 1 week old. I just happened to be up there when a lady brought them up in a box, she said they found them under a truck with no momma. I took her and her brothers and paired them up with a nursing mom and my friend Candace fostered them.
Tiggie was adopted out this past weekend! =)

Kittens waiting for shots.

Kitten getting an ear-tip.
Ear-tipping is a process where about 1/4 inch of the tip of one ear is removed while the cat is under anesthesia. This is the universal sign of an altered feral cat. It lets feral cat trappers such as myself know that they have already been spayed/neutered, that way they are not trapped again and put through the process of being sliced open to only find that they have already been spayed. It is also a potential lifesaver if the cat ever gets brought in to Animal Services. Many counties, including mine let feral colony caretakers know of any ear-tip cat that shows up so we have the option of rescuing them and taking them back to their colony.

Here are some females with shaved bellies waiting their turns for spay surgeries.

More females. Including Purrsilla the kitten. :)

Female going in for surgery.

The Doctors in action!
Thank you so much for donating your time!

Spay surgery in progress.

Close-up of spay surgery.

More spay surgeries.
It's much easier to neuter than it is to spay, for both the doctor and the cat.

Female coming out of surgery and on her way to recovery.

Nursing moms getting extra fluids after their surgeries.  

After all is said and done, the cats are placed back into their traps and are ready for their caretakers to come pick them up.

This is my crew in traps recovering after surgery.
I leave my ferals in traps for no less than 24 hours so they can recover.
I change the paper daily and provide food and water in the traps.
This is the safest way of recovering a feral cat for both the caretaker and the cat, as most feral cats are not friendly, but still need time to recover.

This is Pete!
He was not a happy camper once he woke up.

This is Big Orange.
He was even less happy.
But I'm happy to report that he is back to himself roaming my hood without making babies.

This is the friendly boy in my neighborhood.
He is doing great but I really wish I could find him a proper home.
I didn't get good pictures of the other cats I brought in, but I had 6 total adults and Tiggie the kitten on this Spay Day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That concludes Spay Day as documented by me.
I didn't take the greatest pictures, but I'm not a morning person and Spay Day is super duper early. But I hope you now have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. It's basically like a kitty assembling line with about 100 cats and tons of volunteers. It's pretty amazing to see in action. Hopefully this will encourage you to get active in your local TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Program.

To find out more about  the TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Programs for feral cats in your area,
contact Alley Cat Allies, your local shelters, or google TNR or low cost spay/neuter with your city and state.

There is no such thing as a "responsible breeder"!
Every animal BRED = another animal DEAD!