Monday, September 10, 2018

Letter from the Executive Director #3

Hello World!

Wow! It has been a crazy and mildly hectic past few weeks at the Humane Society offices. Our computer is officially back up and running so hopefully I won't be away for so long again!

This past weekend we had an amazing time at the Great American Market. We were working with Friends of the Emporia Animal Shelter, Coldwell Banker, and Emporia Arts Council to raise money for the Emporia Animal Shelter. A huge thank you to everyone who came down and donated to this amazing cause. We had two gift baskets that we drew for after the Market was over. So huge Congratulations to Kaila Mock and Jess Penn!! They are our two winners!

Our next big event is of course our Dog House Build! We will be building these dog houses on Saturday September 29th between 9am and 1pm. We are extremely thankful to the 10 ESU athletes that have volunteered their time and will be coming to help us build dog houses. We are still taking donations to go towards buying materials for this event.

The Humane Society of the Flint Hills will also be at the David Traylor Zoo's Safari Edventure! We will be teaching kids about what an animal shelter is, what does it take to be a responsible pet owner, and why should you spay/neuter your pet. We are super excited to be able to talk to the kids in the community and help them learn about animals and their care. This will be taking place October 4th and 5th between 10am to 2pm. If you would like to sign your class up to attend please contact the David Traylor Zoo about how to go about this. We hope to see you there!

It's been fantastic talking with you all again! Please remember, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me (Caitlin) at 6220-342-4477 or email me at director@humanesocietyflinthills.org .

Have an exciting and wonderful day,

Caitlin
Executive Director

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Costs of Adopting a Cat


Disclaimer!
I will fully admit that I myself have never owned a cat. I lived with my best friend in college for a year, and her cat Thomas O’Malley, graciously allowed me to stay as well. He was/is a sweet (when he wanted to be), chunky cat. My friend since then has gotten another cat Meeko, who she rescued after he nearly got hit by a passing car. Madeline (my friend with the cats) graciously agreed to answer my questions about owning a cat. She grew up having in cats in the house, so I feel comfortable using her as my source of cat owning information!

Money

·        First, we are going to talk a little bit about what it takes at the Emporia Animal Shelter to adopt a cat. It’s the exact same as adopting a dog, except for the prices. To adopt a cat from the shelter, there is a $20 adoption fee plus $55 spay/neuter deposit that you will get back once you have provided proof that you have had them spayed/neutered. All cats (and dogs) adopted from the Emporia Animal Shelter must be spayed or neutered, this is Kansas law.

·        Madeline rescued both of her cats as kittens. They were both strays that no one was taking care of, so she took them in off the street. But she still got both her boys neutered so they wouldn’t start spraying/marking all over the house. She was able to get them neutered around 8 weeks old.

·        Food

o    There are a wide variety of options to feed your cat. There are cheap food options as well as the high dollar products.  But what has been recommended to me, is to look for the food that is right for your cat. Just like humans, cats can react to different brands and types of food. So, if you notice a significant weight gain on the same amount of food, change in your cat’s litterbox habits, or amount of food they are eating, it might be because the food is not right for them.

·        Vet Expenses

o   Cats need to be vaccinated once a year for Rabies, Feline Leukemia, and FVRCP. The FVRCP vaccine helps prevent a few different common viral upper respitory infections. The vet will also check them, listen to their heart and lungs, check their teeth, and more than likely check him/her for parasites.

o   Cats can also have unexpected medical costs just like us. If they eat something they aren’t supposed to or get in a fight with another animal, those vet bills can get expensive.

·        Litter

o   You will need to buy litter and a litter box, which admittedly are not that expensive. But the ‘expense’ will come when you must take time to empty and clean your cats litter box. It will also depend on what type of litter you use. If you use a clay litter, replacing it twice a week and cleaning it every day is recommended. But if you use a self-clumping litter you may only need to change the litter every two to three weeks.

·        Collars

o   A lot of people do not put collars on their cats, and the decision on whether to put one on your cat is entirely up to you. If you have an outdoor cat, it might be a good idea to put a collar on your cat, so people know that it does belong to someone and that it is not a stray. Madeline has collars on both of her cats because, “I know I would be a disaster if one of my boys ever got out and the collar increases their chances that they would be brought back to me.” She also feels more comfortable knowing that they have identifiers and has attached bells to their collars, so she can hear if they are getting into trouble.

·        Toys

o   Keeping your cat entertained so they don’t become destructive will be important. Buying them catnip mice, cat wands, or scratching posts, will probably be beneficial to their mental wellbeing. Or as Madeline says, “All the toys.” From a professional stand point keeping your cat active will help greatly to cut down on obesity and obesity related health problems.

·        Grooming

o   This isn’t so much an issue with cats. Cats in general will pretty much groom themselves. If you have a cat with long fur, you will probably need to brush your cat more often to help keep the hairballs to a minimum. Brushing your cat once a week for a short haired cat is recommended.

o   Claws will need to be trimmed regularly so that they don’t get to long and become painful for your cat (or yourself). On this note, I would like to take a second to talk about declawing your cat. The Humane Society of the Flint Hills strongly recommends that you do not declaw your cat. Studies have shown that cats who are declawed have more litter box issues and can be more aggressive, not to mention the amount of pain they are in after this surgery is done. Obviously, if a vet says that it is medically necessary then please listen to your vet.

·        Fleas

o   This past year Madeline has struggled with getting rid of fleas and keeping them gone. Her cats are strictly indoor cats, they never go outside. But she still struggled with keeping the fleas away. There are many things you can buy to get rid of fleas on your cat. There are dusts, shampoos, sprays, and Spot-on treatments such as Frontline, Advantage, and Stronghold/Revolution. Spot-on treatments tend to be a little safer than the other traditional remedies. But there are also medications that your cat can take such as Capstar and Comfortis, just to name a couple. Talk to your vet about what would be best for your cat.  Madeline has started giving her cats Frontline once a month to ensure that they won’t be getting fleas again anytime soon.

·        Companionship

o   We generally think of cats as solitary or independent creatures. But each cat has its own personality, some cats may prefer to be alone all day, while others need a little more companionship. While dogs can be socialized at dog parks and taken on walks to meet new people/animals, cats don’t generally have that option. “It’s definitely not required to have more than one cat, but I know my boys are happier with each other,” says Madeline. You are going to have to gage whether your cat will be accepting of another cat in the house, as well as, if you can afford two cats.



Once again, just like with the similar post on dogs, I would like to reiterate that I am in no way, shape, or form trying to discourage anyone from adopting a cat. I just want to help you take everything into consideration, before you bring your new furry companion home. You will need to be prepared to budget for food, litter, vet visits, medications, and anything else your pet could possibly need. If you have any questions about owning or adopting a cat you can call the Humane Society office at 620-342-4477 or the Shelter office at 620-340-6345.


This is Meeko (above) and Thomas O'Malley (below). 
These are the felines I reference in this post!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Letter from the Executive Director!

Hello Everyone!

Wow! This has been a whirlwind two weeks on the job and with this blog up and running! As this is the beginning of the month of August, I thought that I should do another Newsletter/update/talk post (I don't know what to call this letter format).
School will be starting back up soon and everyone's life will get super busy. The Humane society is just as busy this month! We have dog adoption events, dog obedience classes, and an awesome fundraising event being held in our honor by Beard Team Kansas! These guys are a not for profit organization that raise money for different organizations in our community. They recently decided that the Humane Society of the Flint Hills would be the organization they are supporting this go a round! We are extremely grateful that they would honor us in this way, and we hope to see you at all of their fundraising efforts!
I have also been preparing for other upcoming events and trying to drum up some new board members for the Humane Society (if you know of anyone who might want to join our board of directors, please have them contact me)! In between all of these other activities, I have also been typing up new blog posts to keep you guys informed and up to date on what we at the Humane Society are up to! I hope you guys have been enjoying the content so far (let me know if you think I should write about  a specific topic or if I need to add to something).
I'm sure you are thinking, "Okay Caitlin, you have told us about all of these events happening in August and the upcoming months. Why haven't you given us any dates and times?" That is because I was waiting to add drama and suspense for my new announcement! I have added an 'Future Events' page to our blog that will be the master list of future events! I will still give you a what's coming next month post at the end of each month, but this will be updated on a regular basis, removing past events and adding new events as they are announced.
Well I have a dog adoption event I need to finish getting ready for, so I will sign off! Please remember that if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me by email at director@humanesocietyflinthills.org or phone 620-342-4477!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and week! Until next time,

Caitlin
Executive Director
Humane Society of the Flint Hills

Edit:
P.S. I figured out what I'm going to call these! 'Letter from the Executive Director' Look for more of these in the Future!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Costs of Adopting a Dog

Talk it Out

Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment. Not necessarily your life, but certainly theirs. It isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Whether you are a single person looking for a companion or a family looking to add a new addition to the home, you need to take careful consideration of what adding this new life into the house will mean.

Money

I have had Petey for less than a year, and can say from personal experience I wish I had planned and budgeted a little better than I had. Here are the things that I wish people and gotten me to consider when I was preparing to adopt Petey.

·        Adoption Fees – to adopt any dog from the Emporia Animal Shelter there is an adoption fee that helps to cover the costs that go into caring for the animal while at the shelter.

o   $100 for a Purebred or a puppy

o   $75 for any other dog that has been there less than 2 weeks

o   $25 for all dogs that have been there 2 weeks or more

·        Spay/Neuter Deposit

o   $130 deposit that will be refunded to you with proof that you have gotten your dog spayed or neutered.

·        Food

o   This is can be a big expense depending on what type of dog food you feed them, and how big of a dog you have.

·        Vet Expenses

o   You have to take into consideration that once a year your dog will need all of his/her vaccinations, heart worm checks, fecal check, and a general physical.

o   Also you need to consider the fact that your dog could get sick and need to visit the Vet more than just the once for his/her normal visit.

·        Collars

o   For an adult dog, this probably won’t be a big deal. Collars are relatively inexpensive. But if you adopt a puppy, those little guys out grow collars like crazy! Either be prepared to buy multiple collars or by an adjustable collar that will hopefully last until they stop growing.

·        Leashes

o   Be aware that some leashes work better for certain dogs than others. If you are getting a big dog and aren’t sure how they are going to walk on a leash, buying them a retractable leash probably isn’t the best idea. Big dogs tend to do best on stationary leashes, until you can work with them enough to really know how they are going to do on walks.

·        Medication

o   Heartworm Medication

§  I usually only have to buy this once a year! Heartworms are nasty parasites that take up residence in your dog’s heart. The treatment for Heartworms is extremely expensive compared to the amount you will spend once a year to prevent them.

o   Flea and Tick Medication

§  This I have to buy a couple times a year. There are topical flea and tick medicines, pills your dog can take, or even flea collars. You will just need to weigh the pros and cons of each and see which best fits yours and your dogs lifestyle!

·        Toys

o   Now I’m not saying that your dog needs 100 different toys, but finding one or two that they like can help keep them entertained and prevent them from being destructive. Petey likes his chew bones (nylabones or rawhide), Kong’s, and balls. These keep him distracted, entertained, and when he is chewing on a bone, his teeth clean.

·        Crate

o   For a newly adopted dog, crates can be a good tool to have. For small dogs travel crates can make car rides to the vet easier and safer. The Humane Society of the United States recommends that all dogs when being transported by car, be transported in a crate. By doing this, they say is reduces injury to the dog and passengers in a car, should an accident occur. I mainly use a crate at home when I’m leaving the house. I love my dog and think he is the biggest sweetheart in the world, but he has separation anxiety and can get destructive when left alone. His crate keeps him safe and has the added bonus of not allowing him to destroy the furniture in my house.

·        Grooming

o   This can mean buying dog shampoo and nail clippers and doing it all at home or it could mean you take your dog to the groomer. This one is totally up to you and your budget.

·        Pet sitting/boarding

o   If you go out of town overnight or on vacation, leaving your dog alone for that length of time probably isn’t a good idea. So if you leave on vacation and can’t take your dog with you. You will have to consider where you will be able to board your dog and how much that will cost. The other option is to find someone you trust enough to give a spare key to, so that they can take care of your dog.
I am not in any way trying to discourage anyone from adopting a dog. But you really need to be ready to fully commit to owning one for the rest of their life. Petey has been my perfect companion, and I don’t regret getting him one bit. But I also have to budget carefully to provide for Petey and myself.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Foster Homes for Animals and What That Means

What is an Animal Foster Home and why are they important?
When most people here the words Foster Home, they usually are thinking about human children, not animals. But our shelter is currently looking for people to provide a foster home for our dogs and cats. This would be a temporary placement to get eligible dogs and cats out of the shelter into a home environment. A shelter environment can be noisy and frightening to an animal, this means that the animal might not show its normal personality and be passed over for adoption. It’s not fair to the animal or the prospective families who are missing out on wonderful dogs or cats because they are frightened or confused by their environment. A home environment allows the animal to feel comfortable and relax. The dog or cat will start to show its normal personality and allow for it to have more personalized care. All of this makes it easier to adopt the animal and find them an amazing forever home!
How do I Become a Foster Home?
Here is where you come in. If you would like to become a foster home for one of our animals, here is what you do:
Step 1. Come in to the shelter and fill out the application.
Step 2. One of our shelter staff, will call you to set up a home visit. This is state required. All they are looking for is a safe environment for an animal, no chemicals where they could reach them, a quiet place for them to go if they need alone time, etc. They will not judge you on how clean your house is!
Step 3. If you get approved, wait until they have an animal eligible. If you don’t feel comfortable with the current animal or if you don’t feel able to care for them this time around, you can always say no. The Animal Shelter will then contact you the next time around.
Other information it’s important to know!
You have very few out of pocket expenses! You do not have to pay for any medical expenses or food expenses. Thanks to the wonderful and generous Friends of the Emporia Animal Shelter (FEAS) they have covered all medical expenses, and the Shelter will provide the food for your foster animal. You would need to provide a place for the animal to sleep, leash and collar, dog bowls, and maybe a toy. The shelter will take care of screening applications for your foster animal, and will advertise the animal for adoption. Once the have a qualified family or person for adoption, they will contact you and make arrangements for you to bring the animal back out to the shelter to meet its prospective new family! 
As always if you have any more questions please reach out to me or the Animal Shelter.

Meet Rebel! He is currently available for adoption!

A Helpful Dialog on How to join the Humane Society of the Flint Hills


Me: Want to help out the Humane Society, but don't want to join the board of directors? 
You: Yeah, but I don't know how to go about that!
Me: It’s a fairly simple process! You just contact me (Caitlin Flood, your friendly neighborhood executive director!), whether that’s through facebook, email, phone or coming into our office, and ask for a Humane Society of the Flint Hills new member application. It will then only take a minimum yearly donation of $15 dollars (You can donate more if you would like!). 
You: Well what if I want to specify what my money is used for? 
Me:You can do that! We give a few options on the application, such as General Fund, spay & neuter fund, Emergency Animal Care, and Animal Vaccinations. If you don’t see an option you like you can write in on the form what you want your money to go! You can contact me on Facebook at the Humane Society of the Flint Hills, phone at 620-342-4477, email at director@humanesocietyflinthills.org, or visit my office at 215 W. 6th Ave. in Emporia, KS
You: Wow that's awesome! Thanks for being so helpful!

Me: Don't forget, If you have any questions about the Humane Society or how to help us and the animals we serve, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

August Upcoming Events


Hello fellow animal lovers!

It’s your friendly neighborhood Humane Society Executive Director here! The sun isn’t quite shinning, but I’m sitting here in the office praying for rain! What we got Sunday morning was not nearly enough!

I figured I’d give you guys an update on next months upcoming events!

·        August 5th through 11th Water’s True Value is having a “Dog Days of Summer” Sale! They will be doing a pet supply sale all week. But on August 5th, 8th, and 11th between 1pm and 3pm the Emporia Animal Shelter and Humane Society will be out there hosting a Dog Adoption Event! We won’t know until closer to the day whether we will have any animals to take to the event, but we will still be there with adoption posters and information about how to adopt or even foster an animal! Also they are letting us keep a cat condos out there all week so we can try to get one of our wonderful feline friends new homes too!

·        August 7th starts our next dog obedience class! We still have spaces available for this class! It only runs three weeks and starts at 6pm. These classes usually last about an hour. It will help your dog learn some basic commands and maybe even a trick or two! These classes take place at Hammond Park in the Shelter House on State Street. These classes only cost $35, which you pay the day of the 1st class. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to this class we have another one starting of September 11th. Please contact me at 620-342-4477 or email me director@humanesocietyflinthills.org.

Letter from the Executive Director #3

Hello World! Wow! It has been a crazy and mildly hectic past few weeks at the Humane Society offices. Our computer is officially back up a...