Monday, January 31, 2011

A Great Start to the Week

On this cold and gray Monday morning, I came in early to grab the van and head just north of the Plaza in Kansas City. In the slight drizzle, I picked up 21 feral cats and transported them for surgery to No More Homeless Pets KC. As I am writing this, a couple of these kitties are being spayed and neutered. This is a great way to start the week!

Some people may view this as barely a drop in the bucket when it comes to the feral cat population of Kansas City, but I view this as just another small step towards making Kansas City a No-Kill community.

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Millie and Her Munchkins

Last Friday, I was asked to help a family who had taken in a stray dog who had just given birth. It seems the dog followed the oldest son home from school for a couple of days in a row and they decided to keep her and name her Millie. Because his mom and younger brother were allergic, as happens a lot in our community and communities everywhere, she was kept outside on a chain. She became pregnant and six weeks ago she gave birth to five little munchkins.
The family tried to take care of them, but they barely had enough money to put food on their own table and they were quickly running short of dog food since they now had six mouths to feed instead of just one. They called No More Homeless Pets KC to see if we would be able to help them.
I made a few phone calls and sent some e-mails as I really wanted to get them out of the cold and snow as soon as possible, especially with more snow in the forecast. Knowing they had been living outside for six weeks with nothing more than an Igloo and a tarp, I really wanted to find them a warm place to stay. Luckily, I convinced Wayside Waifs to take them in and put the puppies in to foster.  
Since the people who called weren't sure what breed Millie was, I really had no clue what to expect. In cases like this, I have found all sorts of dogs in all sorts of conditions. I have found dogs who were skinny, parasite infested, aggressive, injured, etc. Rarely do I find dogs who are happy, healthy and friendly. When I arrived at the home, I quickly realized Millie and her munchkins were all of these!
After catching all the pups and loading them in to the van, I transported them to Wayside. Millie and all the pups seemed really happy to be in a nice warm building. The pups were loaded in a "puppy bus", instantly got comfortable and made themselves at home. After being medically checked over and once they are of age, all the pups will be made available for adoption. Millie will be made available for adoption once she has been deemed medically and behaviorally ready.
Keep an eye out on their website for Millie and her pups---Joe, Barbie, Sheree, Markee and Tye. They are adorable and are going to make some people very, very happy. Contact Wayside or respond here if you are interested in adopting Millie or one of her Munchkins or if you are interested in fostering them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Feral Cats

Did you know there are an estimated 82 million free roaming cats in the United States and more than 250,000 in Kansas City?

Did you know 82% of cats in households are altered, whereas 2.9% of stray and feral cats are altered?

Did you know 81% of Americans would rather see a cat stay where he/she is outside over having the cat euthanized?

Did you know more than 70% of cats entering shelters in the United States are euthanized? Did you also know this is the number one documented cause of death for cats in this country?

Did you know Trap and Euthanize (which has been utilized for decades by many, many animal control organizations) does NOT work?

Did you know Trap and Euthanize only helps to cause the vacuum effect (documented worldwide) which sees the number of feral cats reduce temporarily after the trapping, but the intact survivors continue to breed and more cats move in to the area (which must have been good territory or the other cats wouldn't have stayed)?

Did you know TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is the only proven, effective method of controlling the population of free roaming cats?

Did you know No More Homeless Pets KC operates the largest TNR program in Kansas City, with over 100 traps to loan to citizens who practice TNR?

Did you know the HERO program is more than happy to help with TNR and to offer advice for any one who wants to try out their hand at TNR?

Did you know NMHPKC has feral cat packages for $15 and $25?
($15 includes spay or neuter, rabies vaccine, pain medication, an antibiotic injection and an eartip; $25 includes all of the above plus an FVRCP vaccine, flea treatment and dewormer)

For more information on what you can do to help the feral cats in our community, please visit or contact us at (816)333-PETS.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I received a call about Barkley from the woman who has been taking care of him for the past couple of months. It seems, a "friend" dropped him off at her house as she could no longer take care of Barkley or really do anything with him. Barkley is very anti-social with people. He does well with other dogs, but is terrified (and I mean terrified in the-I am going to run from you and scream any time you come near me-sort of way) of people. 

I went over to get Barkley to bring him to No More Homeless Pets KC for neutering and shots. He had been in the backyard as he wouldn't come back in to the house. He had access to a dog house with straw, but would not go in to it. With it being so cold and snowy, I felt the sooner we could get him inside and altered, the better it would be.

I went over on a cold and snowy day and found Barkley hanging out in the backyard. As soon as I would get anywhere near him, he would yelp and run as far away as possible. I grabbed the snappy snare out of my van and went to work following him around the snow-covered yard until I could get close enough to get him. After a few failed attempts and about 15 minutes, I finally got control of him and got him in to a carrier.

Once at No More Homeless Pets KC, we got him set up in a kennel with some blankets. The following morning, he had surgery, was vaccinated and heart worm tested. He went home that night and is staying in a pen set up in the house. This allows him to stay warm and begins to allow him to get used to being around people. If you work with dogs like Barkley or know someone who would be able to work with him, please let me know and I can pass along your information to the woman taking care of him.

With a little work and a lot of love, Barkley has the opportunity to make someone very happy. I am very happy I got to meet Barkley and only hope everything works out for him. I am just thankful that he has a warm spot to sleep each night and someone who cares enough to try to help him find a forever home! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I know, not the best picture in the world, but Pesky was a little nervous when he first arrived at Wayside Waifs. HERO received a phone call from a woman in Independence who is taking care of the feral cats in her neighborhood. She also mentioned she had one cat hanging around her house who wasn't feral, but she didn't have the money to take him in and adopt him herself.

I set up a time to bring her some food for the feral cats and check in on the cat she named Pesky (due to the fact that every time she came out of her house, Pesky would weave in and out of her legs non-stop while she was outside). When I arrived, Pesky was on her front porch and welcomed me by rolling on to his back and begging for a belly rub. After seeing this, I made a few phone calls and convinced Wayside Waifs to take him in for adoption!

Pesky is available at Wayside Waifs and is just waiting for that new home where he can weave in and out of the legs of someone new. Stop by and meet him...hopefully he won't be around long enough to need a new photo!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Tips for Pets

Today in Kansas City, it is cold and snowy. I know many people were upset with the length of time it took them to get to work, having to shovel the driveway and how cold it feels. Think about all the dogs and cats who are stuck outside today...some without food, water or shelter.

The best place for pets to be is inside with you! If this isn't possible and they have to remain outside during the bitter cold, please follow these recommendations:
  • Please make sure they have shelter from the weather. Dog/cat houses should be elevated two inches off the ground, and a plastic flap installed at the opening to cut down on wind from reaching the pet.
  • Dog/cat houses should be heavily lined with straw. Do not use blankets or towels to line housing, as once these items become wet/damp they will freeze. I have seen this happen and the blankets and towels will become solid sheets of ice.
  • Animals require higher caloric intake when housed outside during winter months. Feed them more! In addition, it is critical pets always have access to clean, fresh water. Pets cannot obtain adequate hydration by eating or licking snow.
  • Antifreeze can be fatal if ingested by pets. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has been exposed to antifreeze.
  • Make sure your pets have ID tags on them at all times. According to the ASPCA, more pets are lost during winter months than any other time of the year.
  • Knock on your car’s hood and honk your horn before driving in the event a cat has climbed inside the engine compartment seeking warmth and shelter.
  • Remember, the law requires pet owners to provide their animals with proper protection from the elements. For pet owners who don’t have the resources to provide their pets proper protection, No More Homeless Pets KC can help.
The HERO program is here to offer assistance with dog and cat food, doghouses, straw and assistance for feral cat issues. No More Homeless Pets KC can also help pet owners with spay/neuter and affordable veterinary care. Please contact NMHPKC at 816-333-PETS if you have or know of any animals in need of help.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nine White Huskies

In mid-December, HERO was called to Mound City, KS, to pick up some puppies from a mobile home community. The owner of these dogs had decided that he wanted to breed and sell white Huskies. The night before the call, he had been arrested. His family stated he was going to be in jail for a long time and they couldn't take care of all the dogs he had.

Upon arrival, I found the community to contain five mobile homes and in the center, there were three dogs chained to trees with dog houses next to them. It seems the owner had bred the mama dog twice. He couldn't sell most of the first litter and her 10-month-old puppies were still there. Apparently, he decided to breed her again and there was a litter of 6-week-old puppies living under the trailer.

The older dogs were easy to get...I unchained one, took two out of pens in the back of the mobile home and one who was running the neighborhood came back to see what was going on. All of these dogs were quickly loaded into the van and I went to work trying to get my hands on the little pups who were under the mobile home. These puppies had never been handled by people and were obviously a bit nervous when my head showed up underneath the mobile home and started reaching for them. The first two came quick enough and were placed in a carrier. The other three took more time.

After spending an hour crawling around underneath the mobile home (I couldn't quite reach them) and trying to lure the puppies out in to the open, the previous owner's cousin squeezed underneath the mobile home and was able to get to the area where the pups were hiding. She handed them to me and we were done! Two hours after arriving, I was headed back to Kansas City with four ten-month-old dogs and five six-week-old pups. Each one was all white with blue eyes or bi-colored eyes. Wayside Waifs was willing to take the young pups and get them in to foster and luckily, they had room for the older pups as well!

The younger pups are still in foster and should be available for adoption within the next week or two. One has an eye injury and the vets are waiting to see if it heals or if the eye needs to be removed. Three of the older pups have been adopted. One is still available for adoption at Wayside and is on their website. Her name is Snowball and she is a beautiful dog looking for a forever home with a new friend who knows about huskies!

Days like this are the great days with the HERO program and No More Homeless Pets KC. When we all work together, we can help more animals and get dogs like this off chains and in to loving homes!
Photo Credit: Josh Solar