Ketchikan Dog Park
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|Posted on June 20, 2016 at 3:21 AM||comments (49)|
We have added some new talented board members to our crew and now our website is getting a redesign!
Check in often for information on how the Dog Park project is going and for our upcoming events!
Pets need more than just love - they need your care!
|Posted on October 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM||comments (0)|
Recently our board members and volunteers were saddened to learn that a placement we made turned out to be a poor one. We discovered that one of our dogs was hit and killed on the highway after being allowed to run loose on more than one occasion. We all grieved for that sweet dog, whose second chance was wasted.
We try so hard to make sure that our rescues are placed in homes where they are not only loved, but cared for. There is a difference. One of the reasons we ask so many questions on our application form is to try to discern which homes can do both. Sometimes people think our questions are too personal. Is it our business who lives with you in your home, for instance? Yes, we think so. If someone staying with you has convictions for domestic violence or behavior which might negatively impact a placement, we want to know about that.
We ask for a letter from your landlord if you rent, because some people tell us they own their homes when they don't. They badly want a pet, they know their landlord bans them, and they hope to sneak one in under the radar. When the landlord finds out, as they inevitably do, what happens to the animal? It is rarely the owner who ends up homeless.
Lots of people without fenced yards do a great job managing their pets. You don't have to have a fenced yard to adopt from us. But we will ask you what your plan is for keeping your pet safe. In the case of our recent loss, we were told the dog would never be off leash outdoors unless it was in an area under the stairs which would be fenced for it. It sounded like a good plan. It would have been, had it been followed.
Accidents happen. We're sure the owners are sad about the loss of their dog. We wish more proactive steps had been taken to keep this from happening, because this loss does not just impact the owner. It impacted the driver who hit the dog and the other driver who witnessed it. They were frantic as they drove to the veterinarian and devastated when the dog died in the truck on the way. The staff of the clinic, who knew and cared for the dog, were saddened. The board member who fostered the dog and delivered it to the new owners is deeply saddened.
Second chances are precious things. We wish this one had been permanent.
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
|Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM||comments (2)|
With October tagged as Adopt-A-Dog Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the AVMA reminds pet owners to "carefully consider your family, home and lifestyle before bringing a new canine companion into your home."
"Adopting a dog is a fun and heartwarming experience that can transform your life for the better, but it's also a very serious decision that shouldn't be taken lightly," says Dr. Clark K. Fobian, president of the AVMA.
"The primary reason dogs are given up to animal shelters is unfulfilled expectations, so before you even consider bringing a dog into your life it is crucial to take time, involve your family, and give careful consideration to your expectations and the needs of the dog to be sure it's a good match. Your local veterinarian is an excellent resource for answers to your questions."
So, what questions should you ask before adopting a dog?
To view an AVMA brochure on how to select a dog, click here. For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
|Posted on October 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM||comments (99)|
Everyone involved in the Ketchikan Humane Society wants to thank all the incredibly generous people who made our third annual autumn auction such a success. So many people offered to help and to donate desserts, artwork, jewelry, gift certificates, wine, antiques, crafts, baskets, toys, tools, appliances, and gadgets galore. Ketchikan is a small place and the merchants here are constantly being asked for donations for one thing or another. They sometimes have to dig pretty deep to help, and they rarely say no. It's good to think about that when we are asking for "just one little thing" from a business which has probably been asked for something by other people at least ten times that month already. Those business owners are our neighbors and friends; they want to help, and one way we can thank them is by patronizing their establishments.
We are so humbled and so thankful for all the businesspeople and individuals in Southern Southeast Alaska who care so much about helping abandoned and abused animals, and about reducing our unwanted pet population. We made enough money to carry on our low-cost spay/neuter program and our free feral cat altering program for another year, plus enough to provide veterinary care for our rescues. Since January we have taken in at least 113 rescues; I don't have the numbers in front of me as I'm typing this, but that's close. If it were not for the compassion of our foster families and the generosity of all the many people who donated, baked, attended, and bid, we could not do what we do, and what would have become of those 113 animals?
On the very morning we were setting up for the event, a lady called to surrender a mama dog and two female puppies who were in danger of being shot because they were unwanted. We didn't have a foster home available, but Gretchen Moore of Groomingdales Pet Resort, who moonlights in her tiny amount of spare time as the Ketchikan Humane Society president, offered to donate some of her kennel space at her boarding kennel to the trio. The puppies were still nursing. All three of them settled in, cozy and safe. They will be available for adoption when they have been spayed. Watch this site for photos, and thank you so much again.
Alaska Totem Trading
All American Auto
Allen Marine Tours
Ann Margaret Shuham-Hardy
Arctic Bar & Liquor Store
Arrowhead LP Gas
Best Western Plus Landing Hotel
Bob and Laura Jackson
Bolling Family Estate
Brett and Edelweiss Serlin
Brynn Bolling Castle
Carol and Friend
Crazy Wolf Studio
Eric & Heather Muench
Ernesta Ballard and Ed Fisher
Fish Pirates Gifts
Food Services of America
Forget-Me-Not Sweater Shoppe
Frontier Shipping and Copyworks
Gateway City Realty
George Inlet Lodge
Groomingdales, Gretchen Moore
Hiz & Hairz
Inter-Island Ferry Authority
Island to Island Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Marna
Jeff & Kim Langkau
Jerry and Sheila Hughes
Jim and Connie Wingren
John & Louise Harrington
Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Ketchikan Public Utilities
King's Barber Shop
KRZ Farm/Kristin Buchanan
Kurt Beche & Dr. Trista Welsh
Last Frontier Restaurant
Liane Budden, Alaska Photographer
Lighthouse Tesoro Service
Madison Lumber and Hardware
Matt Olsen's TSAS Lemonade Stand
Mike & Michal Beth Elerding
Milner, Howard & Palmer
Murray Pacific Supply of Alaska
NAPA Auto Parts
North Shore Gardens
Rain Country Nutrition
Ravens Brew Coffee
Ron & Sherri Moyer
Ron's Plumbing & Heating
Roseann Lynch and Friend
Schmolck Mechanical Contractors
Seth & Jena Cameron
Sourdough Bar & Liquor Store
Starboard Frames and Gifts
Stephanie Brissette Photography
The Bauer Kids
The Day Spa
The Dog House
The Drill Team
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
The Narrows Inn
Timber & Marine Supply
Tom & Mary Fabry
Tongass Trading Company
Zach Coss and Agnes Moran Family
. . . and Dessert Makers, Anonymous Donors and anyone we missed!!
We're having a whing-ding and you're invited!
|Posted on September 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM||comments (204)|
As Jed and Granny used to say, "Let's have us a whing-ding and invite the neighbors!" The KHS is having a big ol' party this Saturday, September 21st at 5:30 up at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The Clampetts didn't charge to get in to their parties, but we're going to, because we have had 107 homeless animals to tend to since January, and if we're going to keep doing it, we need to raise some money.
How can we judge how many unwanted kittens and puppies have been spared sad fates because of our low-cost spay and neuter program? What about our free feral cat spay and neuter program for those who have feral cat colonies in their neighborhood---how many people will never have to discover sick and wild kittens under their porch or behind their house because of the work of the Ketchikan Humane Society?
So, we're havin' us a whing-ding and you're invited. Come select from our tables full of delicious finger foods. (Sorry, but the fixins' don't include no possum with gopher gravy.) Buy a beer or a glass of wine, browse our auction items, outbid your buddy during the live auction, and feel really good the whole time you're doing it because you're helping our community's abandoned and abused animals, and you're helping to make Ketchikan a cleaner, safer place for the two-legged and four-legged alike.
|Posted on September 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM||comments (5)|
I’ve been working with the Humane Society for about a year and although I do provide valuable services on the tech and logistics side of things, I rarely get to meet our rescues. About a month ago I had my first opportunity to help rescue a dog. A small black dog had been spotted in the Jackson/Monroe area for several days. Local residents had called Animal Control and the Humane Society and there were posts on Facebook as well. He seemed friendly but extremely skittish and no one was able to get near him. It was clear this dog did not have a home.
A local teen who often volunteers with the Humane Society called us on a Friday morning to let us know that she had the dog in her sites. For once, I was able to leave my job and I joined Gretchen and Tori in the rescue. We parked next to the construction area, divided our treats and leashes and started wandering around the area. The little black dog soon made an appearance and showed great interest in us – but regardless of how much we ignored him or teased him with treats, he simply would not approach any closer than twenty feet and he often escaped on well established trails under homes and through thickets. After an hour we decided our approach wouldn’t work and we left to regroup. We got permission for a local resident to setup a humane trap and we contacted Animal Control for further assistance.
In the mean time, one of our other board members went to the area with one of her own dogs to see if she could lure the little dog to safety. And it worked! The little lost dog was so desperate for attention he risked everything to approach one of her sweet dogs. He surrendered happily as soon as the leash was around his neck. He was immediately relieved to be off the street.
I got the word that afternoon that he’d been successfully rescued and later I got a photo of him after a bath. He had been covered in fleas and his coat had been matted and tangled – but after the bath he no longer looked like a stray, he suddenly looked like someone’s pet! Because I had helped look for this dog I realized I felt a different sense of ownership and responsibility. When someone called me a few weeks later and asked to meet Waldo I was thrilled. (I got to call his foster home and ask, “Where’s Waldo?”) When he was placed successfully in a forever home just a few days later I was completely elated.
KHS has rescued and placed nearly 100 animals already this year. Why was Waldo different? You can understand anything logically but until you’ve been through it emotionally it’s impossible to truly appreciate it. My thought is this: This works. We truly are saving animals one at a time and there is no magic involved - it is boots to the ground, hard work, dedication and love - and it works! Nothing has warmed my heart so much as seeing that little dog in the arms of his new family.
Doggy Common Sense?
|Posted on August 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM||comments (108)|
We love our dogs. We would never tolerate hearing an ugly word against them from anyone else. But, I have to say, they are dumber than a box of rocks. If their collective IQ were gasoline, they wouldn't have enough to back out of the garage.
We built them a dog house. It cost a lot of money. It's on skids so that it's moveable and off the cold ground. It has a little ramp up to it so that the two lame ones don't have to climb steps. It is insulated. It has natural light, an electric light, and even a little heater on an extension cord. It has cozy beds, a big water bowl, and toys. But if we have been away and come home on a drizzly day, do we find our dogs reclining in the new dog house? We do not. We find them huddled on the back deck next to the kitchen door, a little furry dogpile of sadness, desperately checking their watches and hoping some kind stranger will come along and fix them a pot of coffee.
A sarcastic friend looked at the dog house when it was finished and asked why we didn't just go ahead and put a flat-screen television in it. (I'm not mentioning any names, but his initials are Don Hall.) He agrees that our dogs are something less than brilliant. If someone on television rings a doorbell, for instance, our crew can't tell it from our own doorbell. They leap howling to their feet as one unit, as if they were all connected by puppet strings, race across the living room, fling themselves down the stairs (and no, this is not why two of them are lame) and attack the front door like the Vikings attacked Britain. Or the grey one, who watches television, and, when he sees something on it he objects to (and he objects to nearly everything, particularly babies and other animals,) leaps off the sofa, races across the living room, skids to a stop under the television, and barks maniacally until we squirt him with the squirt bottle. That dog ends up taking more showers than we do.
Dave Barry wrote a column once about Lassie, who was so much smarter than her family, who kept getting trapped under the farm equipment, that they would have starved to death if Lassie hadn't filled out their crop reports for them. We could use a couple of Lassies around this house, but what keeps showing up here are anti-Lassies; we get the kind of dogs who not only would not understand that they were supposed to rescue us, but who would wedge themselves under the farm equipment with us, in the hope that we had forgotten to take the dog biscuits out of our pockets before we allowed ourselves to be flattened by that big green John Deere tractor.
As I said, we love them, and would not hear a word against them from anyone else, but truth be told, none of them are winning any medals in the Dog Brain Olympics. We've learned to live with it. But if someone out there knows Lassie personally, would you give her our phone number?
The Tough Business of Rescue
|Posted on August 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM||comments (4)|
A friend told me recently that she doesn't want to know about the sad things that happen in Ketchikan regarding animal abuse and neglect. She said I shouldn't tell her because she can't stand knowing about it.
I don't know exactly what to say about that. On the one hand, it is really hard for me to know those things, too. Sometimes what I know keeps me awake at night. Not knowing would be a heck of a lot more comfortable, that's for sure. On the other hand, not knowing also means I don't have to act to try to change things. If I choose not to know there's a problem, I don't ever have to try to solve it or help make it better. How does that change the sad stories into happy ones?
There are lots of happy stories our volunteers could tell you. Waldo is dry, warm, and fed now. He was being eaten alive by fleas; when we put him in the tub, the water running off him was bloody. He wouldn't have survived much longer running the Ketchikan streets. He'd have been hit by a car, attacked by a larger dog, tortured by unsupervised children, or eaten something toxic when hunger drove him to raid a garbage can. But as I type this, he's romping through the grass in the back yard, having had a great breakfast; there isn't a flea on him, he's "going to the vet to get tutored," as the Far Side cartoon put it, and someone is soon going to be cuddling and loving him and bragging about their great new dog.
Almost fifty cats and kittens have been placed in good and loving homes since January. Their new families are so proud of them; they send us pictures, they tell us stories, and every one of those happy stories helps take away a little of the hurt we feel when we know of something sad. The foster family who cares for the majority of our kittens has endless patience. Without their willingness to know the sad stories, to take in the hurt and damaged ones, and to rehabilitate and rehome, can you imagine how much more sadness there would be out there?
Happy endings are our goal, but we sure could use some help. We need good foster homes. We need people to volunteer to help with our fundraiser by helping set up, or work in the kitchen, or bake, or just attend and bid on things. We'll have adoption and foster applications available at the cocktail party and auction, which is Saturday, September 21st, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. up at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. Come hear some happy stories and help us create new ones. Thank you!
Why You Should Consider Spay/Neuter
|Posted on August 19, 2013 at 12:46 AM||comments (4)|
Sometimes people ask us why we are so adamant about the importance of spaying and neutering our pets. There are a lot of people out there who just plain don't want to do it, and cost is not always the deciding factor. Some people who are opposed to spaying and neutering think it's unnatural. Some people are afraid it will cause their pet to gain too much weight. Some people (sorry, and not to generalize, but it's usually men) are worried that a male dog with no testicles will look funny or will suffer self-esteem problems. Some people think it will stunt their pet's growth. Some people delay the procedure because they believe the myth that animals must have at least one estrus cycle (heat) in order to develop properly, or have at least one litter in order to develop properly. Some people just love puppies and kittens and want some around all the time.
I had never seen testicular cancer or mammary tumors in dogs and cats before I started volunteering at a veterinary clinic. I had no idea how common cancerous tumors are in unaltered animals. I had never seen a male dog with testicular tumors so large that the dog could no longer poop because its prostate gland was so swollen that it flattened out the intestine. I had never seen a female dog in pain with multiple cancerous mammary tumors. I had never seen an owner crying because he or she had never been told that failure to spay or neuter could result in their pet getting cancer. I hope I never see any more of any of this, but I know that's not likely, because mammary and testicular cancers are relatively common in unaltered animals, especially as they age.
We have a little dog with a mammary tumor. Luckily, it seems to be progressing slowly and it has not yet affected her health. She's too old now to have it removed. The risk of surgery is higher than the risk of letting the tumor remain. She came to us after her owners decided to euthanize her. She gave them nineteen puppies over a period of eight years, which they sold at a good profit. Despite being warned that multiple pregnancies were damaging her, that her uterus was so thin and fragile that she risked bleeding to death with each litter, and that all the puppies were at risk, these people continued to breed her. When her last litter of five puppies was delivered, with several of them dead (they all eventually died), and with pregnancy-related diabetes symptoms, her value to them was gone. Our veterinarian told them that her health problems were curable, and that if they agreed to surrender her, our vet would find her a home. That was fine with them. They didn't care much what happened to her one way or the other. When she was spayed, the vet discovered gangrene in her uterus. Once she recovered, she was still diabetic, but that is such a manageable condition. She has been one of the best dogs we've ever had. Her story is not unusual. We tell people about her because she's a prime example of why females shouldn't be bred over and over again, and why spaying would have prevented not only her health problems, but the suffering of the last litters of puppies.
Weight gain is manageable with exercise and calorie intake, just as it is with people. Male dogs with no testicles have no idea that they're gone. They don't care. They still pee like boys, they still know they're boys. You want people to look with awe on your male dog's scrotum? Invent square testicle replacements. You'll draw crowds.
We generally spay and neuter our rescues fairly early. Many vets like to wait until the pet is five or six months old, but we have to pick our poison. Do we place an unaltered animal in someone's home on the promise that they'll bring it back at six months and have it fixed? They may mean well, but what if they get busy and at seven months, a female goes into heat and gets pregnant? What if a male gets loose and impregnates a neighbor's dog or cat? We have no way to monitor where the offspring go. People always say they will only place in good homes, but they don't usually have the resources to monitor that, and truth be told, they're usually ready to place them pretty early because a litter of puppies and kittens can make for a huge workload. We don't know where the puppies or kittens will be placed. We don't know how many of them will never be altered and will go on to contribute to the huge unwanted and abandoned animal problem. So, while we know that about six months is optimum, we alter before placement to ensure that we're not contributing to an enormous and very sad situation.
The KHS is not opposed to selective breeding by knowledgeable, conscientious, educated breeders who know what they're doing and take their job seriously. We are opposed to the backyard breeders (and there are many of them in Ketchikan) whose primary motivation is cash, and who continually turn out weak, inbred, and even mixed-breed puppies which are passed off as pure-bred to unsuspecting buyers, and whose breeding facilities are substandard and unhealthy. We're opposed to it because we're the people who see on a weekly basis the pain and suffering these animals endure. We are the ones who rescue them, get them veterinary attention, socialize them, and try to find them homes. The fact is, there are never enough homes. Some of us have as many as five dogs and cats, which is all the Borough will allow without an animal establishment permit, and rightly so. We have them because we love them, but also because nobody else will take them. There will always be more unwanted animals needing homes than there are loving homes to take them in.
Please spay and neuter your pets.
Rest in Peace
|Posted on August 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM||comments (125)|