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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : pet corner April 29, 2016

6/11/2009 10:38:00 PM
Keeping your cat inside
The Verde Valley Humane Society
The Verde Valley Humane Society "Pet of the Week" is Cinderella, a beautiful lab mix that has been living with us since Feb. 5. She has more than waited for her prince charming. Cinderella had puppies on March 17th and has watched them all get their new forever homes. It's her turn now. Cinderella and all of the other adult dogs and cats have discounts on the spay/neuter portion of their adoption fees. You will find Cinderella's fee discounted by $40.

Sandra Trautman
Verde Valley Humane Society

Often I am asked to repeat information due to new people moving into the area or to touch on specific topics.

With what I have seen over the past several weeks it is time for me to reiterate this information without being asked.

We have been experiencing an sudden increase of people missing their cats. We have several flyers hanging in the office and pages of lost cats in our "lost cat" book.

The sad truth is that of all the cats coming into VVHS, they are hardly ever reunited with their owners.

Plenty of people come in looking for their lost cat, but they hardly ever make it this far. The roads between home and the shelter can be treacherous for stray animals.

It's so sad to watch someone come in the door week after week looking for their lost pet. So many times the results are fruitless.

Many times visitors come into the Verde Valley Humane Society and tell us that they keep their cats outside or give them freedom to run in and out of the house.

I shudder each time I hear those statements and try to explain to the family that each time a cat is outside; it is prey for larger animals.

It's often irrelevant since many people insist that cats need to be outdoors. The desert all around us doesn't seem to change their minds.

On a regular basis, I see coyotes on Sixth Street when I come to work in the morning and then again on Mingus just beyond the Airport.

What about the javalina that we see wandering around our neighborhoods each evening?

Even if the cats weren't used as a food source, they would still be attacked or trampled to death.

We have prickly pear cactus and other cactus plants all over our yard. Almost every single one of them has been robbed of their flowers.

Thinking about it gives me a very uneasy feeling inside. What lurks and has dinner at my house when I am sleeping? Would you want your cat out there?

Cats don't stand a chance of survival when attacked by a wild animal. Please don't put them out for wild animal bait, protect them as we do our children and dogs.

Even though cats are said to be America's most popular pets, it is also said that they are also the most likely to die prematurely.

Some of the causes can be: being run over by speeding vehicles, numerous poisons, abuse by humans, attacks by other animals and from various diseases.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, one reason for this unfortunate distinction is that many cat owners don't realize the amount of dangers their pets face when placed outside the home.

Many people believe that when their cat leaves home and doesn't return that it has found a new home or it will return soon.

Often I hear that the way the owner keeps the cat happy is to let him explore the outdoors. It's also what can cause them die unnecessarily.

In reality many times it has become the victim of prey or outdoor hazards. This mind set also causes the owner to have no desire to even look for the animal.

Many times the animal is sitting right here at VVHS waiting to be claimed by the owner.

Instead some people think that their cat will just come home on its own and don't go through the steps to find their lost friend.

Sure your cat may find its way home, but that is virtually impossible if he is picked up and brought to a shelter.

Be diligent in your search when your cat is lost. Don't assume he will return on his own.

Unfortunately many cats that are impounded are never claimed. After your animal is at the shelter for five days, your animal will be put up for adoption.

Don't wait for your cat to come home, call the shelter immediately. You can reach us at 634-7387.

After that post flyers at VVHS and in the vet offices and talk to everyone you see. Make sure that the writing and picture are large enough on the flyers you post.

Most cats would probably love the freedom of the outdoors. But, there are other alternatives.

These tips are offered by the Humane Society of the United States.

• Provide a screened in porch or sunroom for your cat to experience nature and the fascination of the outdoors.

• Purchase a harness and train your cat to walk on a leash.

• Install a window perch to put in a sunny window.

• Consider building a "cat fence" or similar enclosure.

• Have one on one time with your best friend. Use feathers, toys, paper bags and cardboard boxes to keep him entertained. Keep your cat busy, making his life fun and exciting.

• Spay or neuter your cat, it helps curb the desire to roam.

Just because your cat is kept inside doesn't mean that he doesn't need proper identification.

There are safe collars made for cats. If the cat is restrained by something the collar breaks away, releasing your cat from the object.

An even better solution is to have your best friend micro-chipped. Call the Verde Valley Humane Society to make an appointment.

This service is also provided by your vet. It takes minutes and could be one of the best investments you've ever made.

When an animal is impounded at the Verde Valley Humane Society, it is immediately scanned for a microchip.

The chip identification numbers are registered in a database, making it very easy to locate the owner.

As cat owners, we need to give up the belief that cats are self-sufficient survivors that have nine lives.

Millions of Americans let their cats go outside, knowing full well that the fence that protects their canine friend provides absolutely no protection for their feline friend. Please protect your cat as you would your dog.

Did you realize that protected cats often survive to the age of 17, while outdoor cats may only live two to five years?

Aren't those facts alone should be enough to make you want to keep your cat inside?

Please do everything humanly possible to protect your cat from getting outdoors.

Even the most diligent pet owner can accidentally have their pet escape.

Are you being responsible pet owners? Have your animals been spayed or neutered?

VVHS has grant money available to anyone that applies. The entire process will take only minutes of your time.

The concept of spaying/neutering obviously hasn't caught on to the degree, which is necessary.

Several days a week we receive boxes and carriers containing litters of kittens. The cats are the worst right now, but that will soon change to dogs having puppies.

Folks the best thing you can do for your pet is to have him ore her spayed or neutered.

If you are one of the many people thinking that you don't need to worry because your pet is a male, please think again.

We all know that these females can't conceive unless they have a male partner. Is your logic as it is because you won't have to deal with the puppies or kittens?

Please do your part when it comes to reducing the number of animals being born in the Verde Valley.

The money is yours for the asking. You can choose the vet of your choice and get as many cats and dogs spayed or neuter as necessary. Let's stop littering!

Stop in the shelter located at 1502 W. Mingus and fill out the necessary paperwork. Isn't your pet worth five minutes or your time?

Have you called for pick up or delivery of your gently used items for the giant Flea Market that the Verde Valley Dog Agility Club is hosting for us on June 20th and 21st?

If you still need to make arrangements please call (928) 639-4884 and leave a message. Someone will return your call in a timely manner.

Please watch the Verde Independent for further details and location. This will be a fantastic event with all proceeds going to the VVHS New Building Fund.

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