Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I was going to try to do regular posts but life got in the way. I've been busy with a new job coordinating volunteers for the local humane society and some of my own volunteer stuff. The new job is great. I can see kittens outside my office window and had a parrot for a neighbor for the good part of a month. He was adopted a couple weeks ago and though he is missed, it is much quieter. As I'm training volunteers to work with small mammals, I've been learning new rabbit and guinea pig skills. One of the nicest surprises is the shortage of dogs we have presently. We've been taking dogs from as far away as Michigan to fill our adoption kennels. Ten years ago, when I was volunteering with Minneapolis Animal Control in their shelter, summer months meant a lot of dogs. So spay and neuter efforts for canines are really paying off, at least in our Twin Cities metro area. I wish I could say the same thing for cats. Another thing that is different here, is that most of our animals are owner releases while in Minneapolis, at least back then, most were strays.

Today was supposed to be one of my short days, only four hours, but things kept happening and I couldn't get out of work. We had a staff meeting in the morning where I learned that staff had found a cat hiding under one of the cages and when they brought him back to his own cage, they found his roommate (they'd come in together and so were kept together) was also gone. Escapes themselves are not uncommon. Visitors sometimes leave cages open or barely latched. Cats are escaping from the cat colony all the time since they're confined to the room but not in cages and a few sit in wait for the door to open. Most of the time they're caught right away. This cat was still at large from the night before. A few hours later, I was sitting at my desk making phone calls and heard a little noise. When it happened again. I looked down expecting to see a mouse (wild not one of ours) and at the back of one of the shelves under desk, peaking over a stack of dog walking logs, I saw pointy gray ears and glowing eyes. It took two of us to get him out since whenever I tried to move him, he wedged himself in the opening at the back of the shelf.

Later, we had to come up with a plush dog toy policy. One of the dogs earlier in the month had been given a toy with a voice box in it complete with battery and had swallowed the voice box. Staff noticedthe fragements of the toy right away and the exam staff was able to induce vommitting. It ended well for this dog but I wanted to share the story because of the danger in case someone else had a toy destroyer. Gambit chews anything to pieces in minutes., especially while he's on this enforced rest thing again. This week, he destroyed a wooden spoon while Alan was in the shower. You wouldn't even know it was a spoon from the splintered remains. I've said it before but it bears repeating, thank goodness for kennel training. We wouldn't be able to both leave the house otherwise.