Thankful Thursday

We been losing a lot of pals. The lastest was our pal @Ryker_Tyker. @MaggieTKat wrote a lovely blog about him and you can read it here: Remembering @Ryker_Tyker.

This may seem like an odd way to start a Thankful Thursday post, but all these losses  lately reminded me how grateful I am for all the wonderful friends I’ve made since I started twittering, blogging, and being on Facebook. Anipals and their humans are amazingly loving, giving, and so supportive of one another. Everyone I’ve met here works in some way to make life better for anipals and their humans, even if it’s just by giving an animal a home.

I’m especially thankful for @Mulder_cat & Scully_Cat and @Staffpurrson. Mom knows @Staffpurrson from a different online community and he introduced Mom & me this wonderful community that we otherwise would never have known existed.

I also want to thank @Rumblepurr. He was the first one to find my blog the very first day I posted it. I don’t know how, but he did. And then he wrote a blog introducing me and my new blog, and the rest is history!

So I just want to make sure you all know how much I care about you all and how glad I am I found you all. We sometimes forget to say that and just sort of take each other for granted. I wanted to make sure that my online friends know that I never take you for granted even when I forget to say it. Now I have to make sure I let my offline friends know it, too.

Hugs, purrs, smoochies and lots of love to all of you.

News!

All kinds of news this week. The first item is that the book about #lakewithpetie is finished and ready to order. It’s called Summer at the Lake with Petie and is available here: Summer at the Lake with Petie. You can see a preview at the right. I was thrilled at how many pals sent stuff for me to put in the book! There are poems, stories, pictures, memories, and even original artwork. We have some very talented anipals in our community. Not only is this a wonderful way to remember the amazing summer we had, but the proceeds are going to Duncan’s Place cat sanctuary. It will make a great Crispmouse present for your humans, so buy lots of copies!

Duncan’s Place cat sanctuary is also where my brofurs are coming from. Cathy at Duncan’s Place cat sanctuary sent me more pictures of them.

I finally have names for them. The cream colored one is gonna be Evel Kneivel and just EK for short. We’ve been told he’s a bit of a daredevil. The grey and white one is gonna be Bandit because he looks like he’s wearing a mask. Mom’s picking them up Friday night!

Edit: Just found out from Cathy at Duncan’s Place – turns out the grey & white one is a girl. So instead of 2 brofurs I’m gonna have a sisfur and a brofur. Cathy called her Babette and I think I’m just gonna call her that and not change her name again. Bad enough everyone thought she was a boy and called her Bob all these weeks. I’m not gonna change her name yet again.

So that’s the good news. Now the sad news. We lost our good friend, Gunner, this week. He crossed the bridge on Thursday. PepiSmartDog escorted him across the bridge and arranged a wonderful welcome banquet for him. The banquet was held at Nipclub so that all the anipals could see Gunner off and wish him a good crossing. It was a wonderful banquet for a wonderful pal.

That’s if for this week. Next week I’ll have lots of news after the brofurs get here. Wish me luck! Smoochies!

Blog the Change – Duncan’s Place

Blog the Change

Pumpkin’s Mom here. Pumpkin’s letting me take over her blog for today.

I started this blog just for fun. It never even occurred to me that it would be anything other than fun. About the same time I started this blog I got involved in the Twitter Anipal community and started reading other pals blogs. I saw what others were doing with their blogs and with the connections they made through Twitter. I decided I needed to learn more about using social networking to help others and went to BlogPaws West 2010. I came away from BlogPaws determined to do what I could to help. I’m still going to have fun with my blog, but I’m also going to try to do some good with it.

I contacted some shelters letting them know I was looking for someplace to sponsor on my blog. It was amazing that none of the places got back to me. I finally had success when I contacted Duncan’s Place. Duncan’s Place is a cat sanctuary started by Cathy Campbell. They don’t have a facility, so they foster cats in homes until they can adopt them out. Their mission is to make sure every cat in their community has home. I think that’s a pretty awesome mission.

From Cathy: “Duncan’s Place is named after my late beloved kitty. He was my first cat,and a lot of little furry lives owe a lot to him. Duncan was a Scottish Fold and was a rescue, too. I now have another Fold, Ainsley, who is also a rescue. The neat thing about Folds is that they can all trace their ancestry back to the same female Suzie, so Ainsley and Duncan are related.”

I had a nice long talk yesterday with Cathy and asked her some questions. I was really curious about how she was able to run a successful cat sanctuary without a facility. It turns out she does manage to do it –  and quite well, too. Since 2008 when Duncans Place opened, they’ve rescued 133 and adopted out 113 cats. Not bad for a small operation with no building of its own.

Here are the questions I asked and her answers. Unfortunately I’m not great at taking notes, so the answers are all my paraphrasing and not direct quotes from Cathy.

Q: What happens to cats you can’t place?
A: They stay in foster care until they’re adopted. Sometimes they’re adopted by the family that fosters them. None of the cats have ever been sent to another shelter because it couldn’t be placed. They also try not to move the cats around to different fosters so the cats have nice, stable, comfy homes where they’re cared for as part of the family until they find their forever home. Duncan’s Place is a no-kill sanctuary, and cats stay in foster care until they find homes.

Q: Is the sanctuary how you support yourself or do you have another job, too?
A: Cathy is not supported by the sanctuary. She works as a vet tech and also as a massage therapist, both for humans and for animals. How she finds the time to run the sanctuary and coordinate supply distribution, listing the animals for adoptions, arranging adoptions, making sure all the cats are properly cared for, keeping up the website, getting donations, and doing all the other things that need to be done is amazing! I don’t think I could do it.

Q: Do the fosters supply everything for the cats or do they get supplies from the Sanctuary?
A: Both. Duncan’s Place has some extremely generous donors that give them lots of supplies. The foster parents buy some things themselves and the rest comes from the food and other items donated to Duncan’s Place. These supplies are also distributed to families that need help feeding their pets and also to people helping to feed feral cat colonies.

Q: Do you find it’s harder to get donations without a facility?
A: It’s more difficult to get donations from the general public, but they’ve had some success getting donations from some corporations and some of the local businesses. Here is a list of some of the corporate donations they’ve received.

  • Merrick Pet Food
  • Avoderm Pet foods
  • Drinkwell
  • Bach’s Flower Essences
  • Catit Drinking fountains(Hagen pet company)
  • Hartz
  • Dr. Esley’s Precious cat litter
  • Idexx laboratories(FIV/FeLV/HWE tests)
  • Home Depot(shed & cat enclosure)
  • Lumber Liquidators(donated laminate flooring)
  • Tiki Pet Products

That’s a very impressive list for an organization that hasn’t been around that long. And impressive as that list is, it still doesn’t cover all the costs they incur. There’s an equally impressive list of individual donors, but they still need help. Caring for so many cats and trying to help people in the community who need assistance caring for their pets takes a lot of resources.

Q: Is it hard to place the cats without a facility where people can just come and see them?
A: It is a little harder when people have to make appointments. On the other hand, people who make appointments are more serious about adopting. Out of 113 adoptions, only 3 cats have been returned. That seems like a pretty good track record to me!

Q: Would you like to have a facility someday?
A: Yes. Cathy would like to have a facility where the cats could be cared for in a cage-free environment. She doesn’t want a large place, just a small one where the cats could get enough individual attention and be cared for in a loving environment until they find their forever homes.

I learned something about cats in foster care, too. Since they live as part of the family and interact with everyone in the household (including kids and other pets), they tend to adapt well to their new homes after adoption. I’d never thought about this before. All my cats came from friends whose cats had kittens, or were rescued from the street.

Duncan’s place is about finding homes for cats. Sometimes that means helping families in distress keep their pets with them. This can be help with spaying or neutering, vaccinations, food and litter, or whatever else they can think of to keep cat and family together.

They also work with Northern Colorado Friends of Ferals. They help with the trap, neuter, release program. They’ve also taken in ferals that were young enough to socialize and helped them find homes.

Most of you already know about my first project to help the sanctuary – The Lake With Petie Memory Book. Pals have been sending me pictures, stories, poems, and memories to put in the book. The proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Duncan’s Place. I was hoping to have the book finished by the end of the month, but I’m waiting for one of the contributors to come back from vacation, so the book may not be ready until November. I’m still taking submissions, so if you want to add anything DM Pumpkinpuddy and I’ll send you the email address to send it to. Please remember that you must have the right to publish whatever you send me. We used a lot of cute stuff that was copyrighted for #lakewithpetie tweets. That’s considered fair use. But since this book is going to be sold, we cannot use that stuff without violating copyrights, so be careful what you send.

I’ve also signed on with Sponsered Tweets. Watch for the hashtag #ad on my tweets. For every #ad tweet link that gets clicked, I earn money. All money earned from ad clicks will be donated to Duncan’s place. (@Boriskitty is doing the same thing for the places he supports, so please click on links in his ads, too.)

Sorry this is so long. Now you know where Pumpkin gets if from! Check out the Duncan’s Place website, and if you can, make a donation. You can find them at duncansplace.org. You can also find Duncan’s Place on Facebook (Duncans Place).