2010 ENDS AND 2011 BEGINS --PROGRESS IS MADE BUT A LONG WAY TO GO
In our area, 2010 was a very busy kitten year, a situation we try hard to prevent. To end feline overpopulation in our community, it takes more than our 20 volunteersundefinedit takes all of us working together--pet owners, veterinarians, concerned citizens, HOAs, community organizations, etc. Recently, a man where we were trapping feral cats asked me how long a feral cat lives. The answer to that question is the same as how long his pet outdoor cats will liveundefinedmuch less than an indoor cat due to predators, disease and injuries. One of his cats is not neutered but he isn’t worried about thatundefinedit’s a male and can’t get pregnant. When I pointed out the number of kittens in the area that look like his cat, the fact seemed to startle him. Simply “fixing” the females doesn’t end the problem. There are low-cost spay/neuter options in our communities and if we are going to be serious about the cat overpopulation problem, we need to take action. Encourage your vet to offer spay/neuter services for strays/ferals at a rate comparable to those of the discount facilities in Tucson.
Paws Patrol started a Trap/Neuter/Return program (trapping, spaying or neutering, and vaccinating) for feral cats in April 2006. Since that time, nearly 1000 cats have passed through our volunteers homesundefinedferals and tame cats alike. There’s information below on our success rate with returning many fewer feral cats to their colonies than we picked up, due to adoptions of many cats that were actually tame.
In 2011, we want to spend more time educating the public on the benefits of spay/neuter and the affordable options available in the area so that the spring and fall kitten seasons begin to lessen.
There are many ways you can become involved in this effort. Check out our website, www.greenvalleypawspatrol.org, or call us at 520-207-4024.
Patti Hogan, President
FOSTER HOMES NEEDED
Landon and Rocco (she says she should be Roccette) were adopted by a serviceman last year. Landon writes: “Our dad had to go for specialized training and returned us to Paws Patrol, hoping someone might be willing to foster us until April, 2011, when he will know if he can take us back. Right now I’m playing surrogate parent to about 13 kittens and I’d really like my quiet life back.” Rocco says: “I’d like a warm lap that isn’t already covered with kittens! I do rather like the doggies that live here though.” These two kitties would especially like being fostered with another Military family. They will provide their own litter box and scratching post and, of course, any medical needs will be covered by Paws Patrol. See below on ways you can help kitties like Landon and Rocco:
Be a “Virtual Foster”. Even if you can’t take a cat home to foster, you can help support a foster cat each month:
· It costs about $25 per month to provide vet care, food and cat litter for each cat. Currently, we have about 39 cats in foster homes, and even without serious healthcare costs, we still spend about $1000 per month.
· Commit to a $25 monthly donation and be a Virtual Foster.
2. A second way to foster is to take a cat home until a permanent home is available.
Even with funds being very low last year, we trapped 200 cats and returned 115 of those to their colonies. Since we started Paws Patrol in 2006, we've trapped 950 cats, and returned only 1/3 of those to the colonies. In the past 2 years, not 1 cat has escaped while in our possession; that is quite an accomplishment considering ferals are very crafty at figuring out escape strategies! Our goal is to reduce the number of unspayed/unneutered feral cats. We can be proud of our accomplishments. For 2011, we need help coming up with ways to increase our adoptions. Remember, kitten season will start by early March and we are still full of fall kittens!
NEW PAWS PATROL FEES
Since Paws began in 2006, we have not charged a fee for picking up a feral cat and having it sterilized, even though our costs for vet services can range up to $100 per cat. Last year, we instituted a new fee structure in Arivaca on a trial basis--$10 per cat up to a maximum of 5 cats, and no charge for additional cats. The change was well received, and helps to offset some of our expenses. So, the Board has decided to extend this fee structure to all our covered territory as of January 1, 2011 for individuals. Businesses will be subject to a different fee structure: $10 per cat if the cat is being returned to them; $25 per cat if it needs to be relocated.
In December, we were very pleased to receive two grants for the first time:
The Country Fair White Elephant to help with the cost of spays/neuters, and one from the Thornton S. Glide, Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation to assist with other medical costs. We are particularly honored to be recognized by local organizations for the work we are doing in the Santa Cruz Valley to reduce the overpopulation of feral cats.
THE VET’S CORNER
Each edition of our newsletter will now have a section provided by one of
the vets we use. This month, Dr. Joanne Lefebvre, provides valuable infor- mation on why NOT to declaw a cat. You can find this article and up to date information on Paws’ Facebook page
Paws Patrol has a number of volunteer opportunities that can fit your lifestyle:
1. Foster Care
2. Event Planner
3. Event Workers (Farmer’s Market, Tubac Festival of the Arts, etc)
4. Assistant Trapper
5. Vet Transportation
6. Board Member
If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities and how you can help, please contact Chloe Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paws Patrol produced a full color calendar in 2009 and 2010 featuring many of the tame and feral cats we trapped, and the comments from the public were quite impressive. All of the money raised from the sale of the calendars was used to spay/neuter feral cats and provide other medical needs for the cats. For 2011, many of the businesses who previously took ads to pay for the calendar felt they needed to cut back on expenses so we decided not to produce a calendar for this year. We've had many requests asking us to again do a calendar for 2012, and to do so, we need to put a project team together by March 2011. If you would like to work on the next calendar, or buy an ad, contact us at 520-207-4024.
Tubac Festival of the Arts
Once again, we are pleased to have a booth at the Tubac Festival of the Arts, February 9-13. We will have information on our programs, raffles, and bios and photos of our tame cats for adoption. Please make plans to stop by and say “hi”.
Cat Adoption Fairs
On the second Sunday of every month, we have a Cat Adoption Fair at Green Valley Canine from 1pm-4pm featuring many of our tame cats and kittens. These great felines are fostered in our homes and well acquainted with daily life such as doorbells, phones, vacuums, TVs, kitchen countertops, outside doors, and sometimes, kids and dogs. Because these cats live with our volunteers, we know their good and bad points 24/7, like who purrs all night or who likes to open the kitchen cupboards. If you need an indoor companion, come see our great cats that need permanent homes. Our next Cat Adoption Fair is Sunday, January 9.
4th Annual Volunteer Showcase
On Friday, January 21 from 2pm-4pm, stop by the West Center and visit the many organizations who are looking for volunteers. Sue Piersma will head up our table and will be glad to speak with you about the volunteer opportunities at Paws Patrol.
Animal Care Center Open House
On Saturday, January 22 from noon to 4pm, the Animal Care Center in Green Valley will have an open house and everyone is invited. A photographer will be on hand to take pictures of your pet for $20, and there will be food for sale. In addition, we will have cats for adoption. Any pets adopted that day will get a gift certificate for a free exam at a later date. Proceeds from the day will be split among Paws Patrol, Animals in Need, and The Animal League of Green Valley. This is a fun, easy way to help us raise money for our cats, so make plans to come join us for a day of fun.
If you would like to meet some of our great volunteers, learn more about what Paws Patrol has coming up, and see how you can be involved, plan to attend our next volunteers meeting on Monday, February 21, 3pm-5pm. This is your chance to bring ideas on how we can educate the public on spay/neuter benefits, raise more funds, find more adoption venues for our foster kitties and get involved in helping the stray/feral cats in our area. The meeting place will be announced later.
ALTERNATIVE IDEAS FOR HELPING PAWS
JEWELRY BENEFITS PAWS PATROL
Board Member Chloe Wolf creates cat jewelry with 100% of the sales (except for shipping costs) from her kitty bead items going to Paws Patrol.
Items include earrings, necklaces, chokers, ankle bracelets and bracelets. Prices range from $4 to about $20 and can be found at the “GottaHaves” store on Etsy.com
PAWS PATROL RECEIVES CAT BED DONATION
Paws Patrol received two Kuranda Cat Beds this Christmas through their “Donate a Bed” program. Kuranda's program enables individuals to donate beds to the shelter of their choice at discounted prices. If you choose to donate a bed to Paws Patrol, the donation will be sent directly to Paws in your name. Your donation is 30% to 35% off of Kuranda’s retail prices. Donations that are given as gifts are acknowledged with a special gift card mailed directly to the donor.
Paws Patrol could win $10,000 as part of the Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Pet) Photo Contest. Beginning January 5, pet owners are invited to enter photos of their pets weekly for a chance at the grand prize. The public will vote on their favorite pets, and the grand prize winner will have their pet pictured on a Bissell box, receive a Bissell product and a $500 pet shopping spree. Plus, the grand prize winner will choose a pet charity to receive a $10,000 donation.
Enter the contest at www.bissell.com/petcontest and select Paws Patrol as your choice pet charity if you win.
PAWS WISH LIST
· Card Tables
· 4 ft Tables
· Dry food for fosters (Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup for the Soul)
· World's Best Corn Cat Litter
Your donation will help us care for the animals! It's easy to send a safe and secure contribution using PayPal, and you don't have to have a PayPal account. Just click here: Paws Patrol PayPal