Paw Prints Nov 2012
Panhandle Animal Shelter NEWSLETTER
Cheers to new beginnings and farewell to some long time friends who were adopted this year.
Robby Boris Goldie
Mitch Kierra Miss Kitty Candy
Shelter 208-265-7297 www.pasidaho.org
Thrift Shop 208-263-0706
A few days after Christmas a dirty, scared, senior pug named Gracie entered the Panhandle Animal Shelter. Her owners had purchased her from a breeder not realizing Gracie was in need of medical care. The extensive medical was more than the family could afford, so they made the difficult decision to bring her to us. It turns out Gracie came from a puppy mill not too far from Sandpoint. We recognized the name of the breeder and instantly felt sorry for this little pug. Over ten years ago, the Humane Society and sheriff were called in to investigate this breeder and eventually shut them down. They discovered 230 dogs alive, 15 dead, and 25 dogs needing to be humanely euthanized. The owner spent nine months in jail after being convicted of 16 counts of animal cruelty. In Washington State, after someone has served their time and is beyond their probation period, they can legally start their breeding business again. Gracie had been used as a breeding dog. We can only assume by the wear on her little body that she has had many litters. A pug can have on average five puppies in a litter twice a year. Normally, under good circumstances you would not breed after the age of six, but in the case of puppy mills, common humane rules donâ€™t apply. Gracie probably gave birth to over 60 puppies in her life. Thanks to our wonderful vet community, a benefactor and foster mom, Gracie received all the medical care she required and more love in a few months than she may have had her entire life. The foster mom was with her 24 hours a day, bringing her to work and allowing her to sleep next to her at night. Now Gracie spends her days at work with her Mom. At night she goes home to a loving house with two little kids that adore her, a warm bed, tasty food and an enormous amount of love and affection. n
President’s A Flourishing Front Yard Report Over the past year, Gail Bolin has been letter from the president by Suellen crettol
Fall is definitely in the air which signifies it is time for our Fall Newsletter. This one is packed full of stories which remind us how important the Panhandle Animal Shelter is to our community and the county as a whole. By reading this newsletter you will learn the new ways we are striving to help our animals and our community. We will help clear up some common misconceptions people have about our shelter and you will meet some adoptable animals and celebrate a few successful adoption stories. It is a pleasure to congratulate Christy Syth on her first anniversary as the manager of the Thrift Store. Christy and crew are doing an outstanding job of promoting special sales events and keeping our merchandise moving. She welcomes volunteers to help in many different ways, so don’t hesitate to step forward to do this. With Brad Stewart serving as our Shelter Manager, we so appreciate all of his accomplishments within the Shelter to better serve the animals and those of you who come to adopt them. This past spring we were happy to welcome Gina Pucci, Alex Lett, and Danny Moering as new members to our Board of Directors. All three of them have stepped up to the plate to take on responsibilities with the Board and their service is definitely appreciated. Gina has been overseeing the landscaping which is beginning to be a beautiful sight to behold. Alex has been busy with marketing while Danny is in charge of bequests and other special gifting. There are such a variety of ways to support our Shelter and we hope that you will find a way in which to participate. All in all, I think I can speak on behalf of the Board of Directors that the Shelter is in good hands with Mandy at the lead and the rest of the team which dedicates themselves on a daily basis to fulfill our mission of caring for lost, abandoned, neglected and often abused dogs and cats. We thank you for your continued support.n
actively working on garnering the funds, materials, and volunteers to turn our weed-infested front yard into a thing of native beauty. In the fall, it finally happened. With the help from local businesses and volunteer groups we now have a newly native landscape. The process was long and unfortunately is not over, but we sincerely appreciate the efforts of everyone involved. Specifically we would like to thank: Gail Bolin, owner of Earth Wise, President of the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society and the Idaho Master Naturalist- Pend Oreille Chapter. • Gina Pucci, Building and Grounds Chair for the Panhandle Animal Shelter • LDS Sunnyside Ward • John Hastings and his 60 Sandpoint High School Students • A-Team Excavation for the donated dump truck • D & D Excavation for loading • McFarland Cascade for donating the mulch • All Seasons Garden • Cedar Mountain Perennials • Clyde Shilling for the Picnic Table. n
PAS Goes to Vegas Baby By Mandy Evans
his past May I was granted the wonderful opportunity to go to the Humane Society of the United States annual conference in Las Vegas. The trip was funded by an ASPCA tuition grant which the shelter applied for earlier in the year. I came back with a vast amount of information that has proven to be helpful in our effort to be more efficient. One of the sessions I attended was focused on keeping pets in people’s home specifically in underserved areas. In 2013 we will continue to increase the number of pets we can spay and neuter through our low income program and work to create more targeted programs that will assist those who need it the most. Our animal care protocols have changed as well. Most of our cats are in the cat lobby so they can be adopted faster. We are starting a new enrichment program that 2
will include dog playing groups. Next year, the American Shelter Dog will be a new dog breed at the shelter. If we know the dog breed because the owner tells us when surrendering, then we will list the breed. If we have to guess, it will be an American Shelter Dog. Why are we doing this? Because the breed does not dictate how that dog will act. Too many times we get caught up in the idea of what a breed is and it doesn’t meet our expectations. Each dog is an individual and this is why all our dogs are assessed using a standard test. Their personality is the focus of the kennel card, not their breed. I am grateful to the ASPCA for allowing me the opportunity to learn. We can’t grow living in a box. It is learning from others that will help our shelter become a flagship animal shelter for the Pacific Northwest n.
Misconception 5:The shelter is funded through tax dollars. Panhandle Animal Shelter is a private organization. We are not supported through tax dollars. We do have contracts with area jurisdictions to be the intake and holding facility for stray dogs. Because these jurisdictions are city and county governments, their budget is based on the tax revenue they receive through the residents and businesses. We are paid to do a contracted service for those entities. For general operating support, we do not receive any assistance through tax dollars. We continue to help animals because of our generous supporters.
By Mandy Evans
I visit many groups throughout the year to talk about the animal shelter. I truly enjoy when people ask questions about the shelter and allow me to correct the misinformation out in our community. Below I have outlined the ten top subjects mentioned the most. Misconception 1: The Panhandle Animal Shelter does not euthanize any animals. This is not true. When we say we are no-kill it means we will not euthanize animals to free up space to accommodate new animals. If a dog or cat is suffering, extremely ill and/or tormented due to a terminal illness, we will provide the animal with a humane end to its suffering. We can also euthanize if a dog is exhibiting extreme aggression. This process is quite detailed to ensure it is objective. Traditional shelters or pounds hold animals for three to five days, which is the standard hold for stray animals awaiting their family to come find them. Once the hold period is up they will or can euthanize. Each shelter is different and many have a focus on their "live release rate" improving. This is a wonderful trend in shelter care. Our shelter has successfully operated with little to no waitlist for dogs all year. This is due to changes in our procedures which put more emphasis on finding homes for our animals.
Misconception 6: 24 hour service Staff are only onsite during the day. If an animal requires overnight monitoring, a vet or foster parent will provide that service. Our open-to-the-public hours are noon to 5:30pm, Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from noon to 4:30pm. We open at 2pm on the first Thursday of the month to allow us time for staff training.
Misconception 7: The shelter will pick up animals. We receive phone calls on a daily basis with the request to come pick up a stray animal. We do not act as an animal control agency and unfortunately don't have the capacity to investigate, help or retrieve stray animals.
Misconception 2: The Panhandle Animal Shelter is a sanctuary for pit bulls. We take in stray dogs in Bonner County. Pit bulls enter our shelter as strays and owner surrenders. We receive four times as many Labradors, Retrievers and herding dogs as we do pit bulls. But a pit bull entering our shelter over the age of 6 months will take longer to find a home. BUT THEY DO FIND FOREVER HOMES.
Misconception 8: We shelter more than dogs and cats. Our facility is designed to house dogs and cats. This is all we can accept, though our front desk is knowledgeable in recommending appropriate resources to help with other animals.
Misconception 4: The Panhandle Animal Shelter is obligated to take every dog and cat. We are a private, non-profit which means we live our mission to diminish the number of lost, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs and cats through adoption, litter prevention and identification of missing pets. We use our best judgment to determine our daily intake based on current occupancy and staffto-animal 'humane care ratio'. To help us control our population and provide the best care to our animals and our community we have the following guidelines: • We will take dog strays. • Owner surrenders are accepted if we are not full. If we are, we put them on a waitlist. • We will not take an owner surrender dog who has a bite history. • We do not take feral cats. We don't take ferals because they require a high level of care, and are considered a wild animal. We do, however, work with people to assist in spaying and neutering.
Misconception 10: We keep animals forever. Yes, there are cases where a dog or cat will be with us longer than most. But the vast majority move through our shelter fairly quickly. Typically, we have a dog no more than 5 weeks and a cat no more than 8 weeks. At the beginning of 2011, this was twice as long. We are constantly making strides to help our animals find their forever homes faster. We also try to ensure the adoption is a good fit. n
Misconception 9: The animals at the shelter are throw away animals. Rarely do we receive any animals for owner surrender because of issues with the animal. Typically and especially in our current economy, we receive animals due to sad circumstances. People have to move and can't bring their pets, lose their home, moved into an assistance shelter that won't allow pets, death, can't afford, etc. The front desk staff and volunteers are amazing for their ability to help these people through the difficult situation of saying goodbye.
Misconception 3: Aggressive or dogs at risk of being euthanized are transferred to kill shelters. People believe we do this as a work around to our "no kill" policy, but it is untrue. It states in our bylaws that we cannot transfer dogs or cats to a shelter unless they abide by our euthanasia policy. It is because of this and our value system that prevent us from sending our trouble animals away to be killed.
Found Loving Homes in 2012 Robbie “Stallone”
A Home at Last
by Yofi I came to the shelter when I was only 10 weeks old, and I wasn’t too sure about people. I loved all of the other kitties—I liked to wash the faces of the smaller kittens and take care of them—but I usually tried to hide from strangers. The shelter is a nice place. There’s always enough to eat, and comfy beds to sleep on, and toys to play with. Lots of cats are happy to be there, getting petted by all kinds of people every day, until they find their forever home. Some kitties, though, don’t feel safe with people we don’t know. At the shelter, we hide or slink into corners. Most people don’t even look at the “shy kitties.” They don’t realize how much love we have to give, and that we’re just saving our loyalty for the special person who will take the time to earn our trust. So nobody wanted me. After a while I got too big for the kitten room, and went to the teenager room. Then I got too big for the teenager room, and went to an adult room, and still nobody wanted me. I made friends with a lot of other cats. But all of my friends got adopted, and I missed them a lot, and still nobody wanted me. After awhile, I stopped making friends. I just curled up in a box whenever strangers were in the room, and kept to myself. One day, some people did take me home. I had never been in a home before, and I wanted to hide under the bed and get used to things a little at a time. Even though the shelter staff told the people how shy I was, they wanted me to come out right away and sit in their laps. In a few days, they brought me back to the shelter. I was almost two and a half years old when one day, I pulled out some fur and hurt my skin. When the shelter staff tried to give me medicine, I got scared and tried to bite them. That’s when they sent me home with a foster mamma. She already had a shy kitty of her own, so she knew all about it. She put me into her foster room, and told me I could hide under the bed just as much as I wanted to. I started to trust her, and came out to be petted. When I was better, she said I was a big sweetie and she couldn’t stand to see me sad at the shelter again. She said if I could get along with her cranky old man cat, I could stay forever! Well, that was months ago and I’m still here. My new brother doesn’t like me very much, but he’s getting used to me and sometimes even sniffs noses with me. I have a new name—Yofi, which means “beautiful” in Hebrew. I have a bunch of toys that are my very own, and a special cozy bed. I even have my very own food and water bowls. Mamma says it’s amazing how well-behaved I am, even though I’ve never been in a house before. I still hide under the bed when there’s a loud noise or a stranger. The rest of the time, though, I run around the house, playing with my toys, watching the birds out the window, trying to get my new brother to like me, and making Mamma laugh by sleeping in the middle of the hallway with all four legs in the air. But my very favorite thing to do is cuddle with Mamma on the sofa. I purr my loudest, and give her all the love I was saving all that time at the shelter. I try to get her to stay there as long as I can. I’m even learning to sit in her lap. Mamma says, shy kitties are the best companions, because when we choose our person, we give our whole hearts. And I have.n
by Mary Levy
ack in the day, 6 years to be exact, a reluctant, retired prize fighter named Robbie entered the old shelter flanked by 4 lady pit bulls. (“If ya gotta go to jail to stay alive, better take your harem with you.”) He cast a long shadow and prepared for a premature retirement from the ring where he would be treated as a worthwhile being. Three of his ladies were soon adopted and the fourth, Sherry, agreed to hang there in a monogamous relationship with the battle scarred and cauliflower eared hero. What made the relationship successful was the fact that Robbie gave Sherry everything she demanded…and she demanded! The couple became the most walked, visited, and loved in the shelter. Volunteers and the public in general asked about their welfare on a daily basis. They had become a kind of “poster child” for the cause of Bully breeds and fighting pitts. Robbie’s predominant scars and disfigurement were a constant reality check. No one felt sorry for Robbie and everyone marveled at the gentle survivor. On June 10, 2011, Sherry and Robbie shared their final quarter pounder. Sherry fell asleep for the last time. The entire staff and a host of volunteers were in attendance. Robbie sat near for a respectable amount of time. He then walked close to his dominant partner, sniffed a bit and returned to his much smaller kennel. No longer was there one to tell him when he could eat or on what bed he could crash. The story of Robbie has been told many times. For those of us at the shelter, we have seen very prejudiced people switch attitude after a walk with our hero. The fact that he adored babies and small children, and considered himself a lapdog didn’t hurt either. The staff and volunteers at the shelter have always known that in right timing, a perfect home would manifest…we know that about every dog that enters. Because of our “no kill” philosophy, Robbie was assured the longevity he deserved, and was finally gifted with a forever home in Spokane. Rumor has it that there is a rather svelte Rottweiler in the picture, along with couches, cats, and all the mandatory munchies. This is a serendipitous shelter. Shortly after the funeral for Sherry took place, we were blessed with a few teenagers who joined the volunteer program and dedicated their after school hours and entire summer to the health and care of our residents. Mackenzie (13 yr old twin) took a shine to our Robbie. She walked him every day, gave him many baths, and even created a photo album of “Just Robbie”. One would think that the “attachment” to Robbie would have torn her apart when he was adopted, but not so. These great teens acquire an acceptance of “what is right for the dog” and joyfully send them off. They see potential and worth in every animal here…a lesson to mankind. The shelter has indeed become a teaching facility.n
Looking For a Home this Holiday Season
Helping those in need
Maggie’s Story by Brad Stewart
Maggie is a 6-year-old Golden Retriever. Maggie came to the shelter in July 2012 because her parents, an elderly couple had to move in with their daughter and the daughter refused to take the dog into her home. They had Maggie with them most of her life. Maggie was very upset and would not allow anyone close to her when she arrived. She would growl at staff and bark at anyone walking past. We moved Maggie to one of the larger rooms in the day lobby where she could see people walking by and people would be able to talk with her. Maggie continues to growl at people, but wags her tail at the same time. She is still with us because her vocal nature intimidates potential adopters. The truth is, she is a wonderful loving dog looking for her forever home. She loves being with people. She knows several commands, she can sit, stay, come and she has no problem with other dogs and appears to just ignore cats. n
Early in the morning a member of the PAS family showed up to work and saw a bright pink blanket covering a pink carrier left outside the front door. She lifted the blanket to find a sweet black and white cat and a five dollar bill and this note,
“I am leaving an abusive relationship and can’t take my cat with me. His name is Oreo. He is two years old, neutered and current on all his vaccines until January 2013. He has lived indoors all his life and is litter box trained, good with children as long as they are respectful of him and don’t try to pack him around. HE DOESN’T LIKE THAT! All I can donate to help is $5. Please take care of my sweet boy and find him a good home.” This is what we do at PAS, we not only help abandoned and lost animals find homes, we provide a safe place for those in our community to bring their loving pets when the circumstances in their life won’t allow them to keep them. We were proud to be of assistance. Oreo is at the shelter waiting for his new forever home. He is exactly like his owner described him, a sweet boy. n
Help us continue our mission
he good news is we have been able to operate with little to no waitlist for dogs most of the year. Through an enhanced focus on adoptions and truly helping our harder to adopt animals to be seen in a better light, we have been successful in reducing our average length of stay for dogs and cats. We need people like you to help us continue our good work. We will continue to gain knowledge, improve and become more efficient so we are providing these animals with a comforting transitional home. We sincerely appreciate your continued support and hope you will make a contribution today. n 5
by Christy Syth Greetings from the management and staff of the Panhandle Animal Shelter Thrift Store! We have had an exciting year, with lots of changes to the layout and look of our store. If you haven’t stopped by for awhile, consider yourself officially re-invited as we are offering the same rock-bottom pricing and great customer care you have come to expect; with a fresh and organized look that makes your shopping easier. Our sales staff would love to assist you in finding those special items and treasures that you are searching for, and help you save a ton of money in the process. • We have special sales coming up that customers will want to watch for. In the Christmas spirit we will be transforming our store into a winter wonderland of gifts, cold weather apparel and seasonal décor. Want to turn that dingy den into Santa’s workshop? Look no further than our convenient Ponderay location and save your reindeer the long flight north. • As many of you already know, our thrift store is the main source of revenue that supports the many wonderful animals awaiting adoption at Panhandle Animal Shelter. Every donation of gently used merchandise makes its way to our sales floor in a timely manner, and every purchase means continued care for these loving pets. To accomplish this successfully, we rely on the efforts of many great volunteers from the community in addition to our own small staff. If you would be interested in volunteering, please contact me. We would love to have you on our team. n
Canine Behavior Specialist
y dream from a young age was to be a Veterinarian. As it so often does, life took a turn and I found myself needing to work rather than pursue my dream. After my children graduated high school, it was my turn to return to my dream … somewhat. I finally began my education in Veterinary Sciences and became a Veterinary Technician. I worked as a Vet Tech for 7 ½ years under the guidance of some truly amazing doctors. One of these doctors pointed out my natural rapport with animals … frightened dogs in particular. This led me to continue my education and training in the specialization of Canine Behavior. In June 2010, I was asked to join the team at Kootenai Humane Society where I spent 2 years fine tuning their behavior program by introducing group socialization, improved “match making” between the dogs and potential adopters, and providing training for the staff and volunteers. Within those 2 years, I assumed the responsibility of Shelter Manager where I learned the many nuances of caring for our four legged friends in less than ideal circumstances. As an extension to my shelter duties, I actively participate in the Pawsitive Works Program as a Youth Advisor/Dog Trainer. This program brings local at-risk youth together with local shelter dogs with the goal of developing life lessons for the youth and greater adoptability for the dogs. My goal is to bring all my skills, training, education& insight into play while helping the dogs at Panhandle Animal Shelter become better adjusted to shelter life. I plan to make the best adoption match possible for these dogs and provide training and education to the staff, volunteers and public; consequently increasing adoptability and general canine behavior knowledge while reducing the need to re-home dogs due to “behavior issues” n
Instead of giving Uncle Harry another ugly tie this year… let us help you with ALL your holiday shopping. Here are some suggestions that will bring smiles to their faces and warm feelings of having done the right thing:
This last September marked the conclusion of our fourth Yappy Hour season. With the support of our local businesses and attendees, we exceeded our fundraising goal for the season. Fred and Michelle Colby, the owners of Laughing Dog, successfully won the traveling “Top Dog Trophy” this season by bringing in over $2,500 at their April event. Thank you to Laughing Dog, all our sponsors and to each of you who continue to help us grow this wonderful and fun program. We look forward to seeing you in April of 2013 at Laughing Dog Brewery in Ponderay! n
2013 Season Schedule
• Buy your holiday gifts and decorations from the PAS Thrift Store. • Give a gift certificate in any denomination to either the PAS Thrift Store or the Animal Shelter. The certificate can be redeemed for adoptions, merchandise, or any item listed below. • Honor a loved one or a beloved pet with a “Forever Building Tile.” These beautiful granite tiles line the exterior of the Animal Shelter. They are engraved with your custom message and come in three sizes ranging in price from $200 to $350. • Microchip a family pet. This $25 item can make the difference between the safe return of your buddy or the unthinkable alternative. • For $150, an “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” sponsorship plaque will be displayed at the Animal Shelter for one full year. • Become a member of PAS. This $25 annual membership allows us to keep those “doggies” and “kitties” safe, warm and well fed. • Go “Green” and stop littering! Help a family in need with a gift certificate to offset the cost of spaying or neutering a pet. Certificates are available from $5 to $100. • Make a donation to PAS. Do it in your own name, or in the names of others. If you give us their names and addresses, we will notify them that you donated to PAS in their honor. How easy is that?! • Remember PAS in your estate plan. This simple act of inclusion in your bequests allows us to achieve goals and establish programs that reach far into the future. Consider giving a gift to yourself. The simple acts of volunteering, fostering, adopting, and attending Animal Shelter events reap rewards that not only benefit the wonderful animals in our care, but also bring YOU the knowledge that YOU make a difference. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any contribution, whether it is time, money, donating or purchasing items from the Thrift Store, or enjoying a great Yappy Hour. n
(Last Thursday of the month, 4pm to 7pm)
New Shelter Manager
April – Laughing Dog Brewery May - Taylor and Sons Chevrolet June - Pend Oreille Winery July - Trinity at City Beach August - Evans Brothers Coffee SeptemberEichardt’s Pub
Brad Stewart came to our shelter with the idea of living out his desire to volunteer at an animal shelter when he retired. Well, it didn’t take long for this wonderful man to get engaged in the daily operations of shelter life. Brad has been a wonderful gift to our organization and our animals. His heart and head are in the right place; combining his love for animals with his nursing and training background, he has helped us become more organized, educated and consistent. Brad became our official shelter manager in May 2012. We are incredibly grateful to have a wonderful and dedicated individual on our team. n 7
Individual . . . . . . $25 Family . . . . . . . . $50 Business . . . . . . $250 Sustaining . . . $1,000
Mission Statement To diminish the number of lost, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs and cats through adoption, litter
Cat & Dog Room Sponsors $2,500 - $15,000
prevention and identification of missing pets.
Newsletter Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mandy Evans Kennel Sponsorships Layout and Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randy Wilhelm $150 Writers: . . . . Kat Hoerth, Mary Levy, Connie Taylor, Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bill Borders Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Selkirk Press
Forever Tiles $200 - $350
The Panhandle Animal Shelter is a 501 C 3 that funds itself solely through community contributions, grants, and Thrift Shop revenues. We do not receive any city or county tax dollars. Please help us help the animals and donate with the enclosed envelope. No donation is too small and you can give in many ways. If you have any questions about choosing a contribution please contact Mandy Evans at 208-265-7297.
SEE OUR NEWSLETTER ON THE PAS WEBSITE www.pasidaho.org TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
Return Service Requested
870 Kootenai Cut-Off Rd Ponderay, ID 83852 SANDPOINT, IDAHO Permit No. 275
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE