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Waiting for Adoption

compassion issue

Priceless. Please Take One


Issue 9 Dec - Jan - Feb


A Welcome Note from the publisher Founder & Publisher

SIRENA JOHNSON Graphic Designer | Art Director


Contributing Writers



And we're back! After a seasonal hiatus, taken for personal reasons, Hudson Valley Paw Print is back in full swing! October was both Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog and Pit BullAwareness month. I honored both and adopted a new member to my family from Out of the Pits (our feature rescue on page 16-17). Gibbs is a Pit mix and let me tell you, he is the sweetest boy and and I feel so blessed that he rescued me! If hearing “Pit Bull” makes you cringe, I plead with you to open up your heart and mind to these misunderstood creatures. It is my belief that there are no bad dogs - just bad pet caretakers. Love for the animals~

Contributing Illustrators


CHRISTINA BAAL Cover photo by

Sirena Johnson Founder & Publisher


of Reflective Photos & Member Photographer of HeARTs Speak Special Thanks


© 2016 Hudson Valley Paw Print P.O. Box 246, Athens, NY 12015 518.567.5707

ON THE COVER Logan is still single and looking for a lifetime mingle! Once upon a time “Logie Bear” was insecure and hesitant of strangers, but now Logie got his confidence back and is looking to show off his skills! Logan is a medium energy, dog-friendly, companion who’s doing everything to find a family who will love him and continue his training. Logan comes with free handling lessons from his trainers FOR LIFE, rescue back-up FOR LIFE, and a ton of never ending LOVE and NIBBLE KISSES! Contact Mari at

All articles and content in this magazine are copyrighted by Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Any material, in whole or in part may not be reproduced unless prior written consent is given by publisher. While we strive to feature highly reputable companies and organizations, we are not liable for any claims made by such.


Winter 2016-17 the feline kind Feline Immunodeficiency Virus  4 - 7

local tales Morgan’s Cat Cafe  8 - 11

DIY Paw Balm  12

special feature Buddy the Christmass Husky  13 - 15

rescue spotlight Out of the Pits  16 - 17

pet resources Helpful Contact Information  19

Magazine not in your area yet? Subscribe for only $25/year & get Paw Print delivered directly to your mailbox! Details on

Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine  | Winter 2016 -17 

Viru s


FIV Feline


Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Not a death sentence, and very possibly a love story

the feline kind

By Janet Kash In the summer of 2009, a big, burly, feral tom cat with a huge head showed up in my yard. He was beautiful - tiger and white markings, polydactyl front feet the size of muffins, a tattered ear, baleful yellow eyes and a white lightning strike down his nose that reminded me of the scar Harry Potter received from “He who shall not be named”. For over a year Patch would appear on my deck for morning and evening feedings. He defied all trapping efforts until the early Winter of 2010 when he appeared at the back door with a badly wounded back leg. It was then, I was finally able to grab him and bring him in from the cold. Janet Kash has been involved in cat rescue for more than a decade. She lives in Greene County with her husband and six cats.

Given his history, I was not surprised when Patch tested positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). FIV is often known as the “fighting tom cat disease”. It is primarily spread through deep, penetrating, blood-to-blood bites among intact male cats fighting for mates and territory. It is a slow developing lentivirus, which over many years weakens a cat’s immune system and makes the kitty more susceptible to illness. It is not contagious to humans. FIV is the equivalent of HIV in people. It is not to be confused with feline leukemia (FELV), which is a much more aggressive virus easily spread among infected cats through mutual grooming, shared litter boxes and food plates, as well as other common close contact. Not long ago, FIV cats were routinely euthanized. Sadly, this practice continues today, but not in such large measure due to an increase in public education and advances in scientific research. This virus is not a death sentence. Cats infected with FIV, when provided with good nutrition and routine veterinary care (which all cats should have anyway), can live as long and as healthfully as felines without the virus. One reason I was not surprised or upset about Patch’s positive FIV diagnosis (determined through a quick blood test at my vet’s office) is that I was familiar with FIV positive cats through many years of rescue volunteer work. I currently volunteer for a completely no-kill, free-roaming, non-profit, all volunteer, cat shelter and sanctuary. We have always had one room dedicated to FIV positive cats, and have rescued and adopted out many who ▲

continues on the next page


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1609 Route 9, Wappingers Falls, NY would have been euthanized elsewhere. We keep them separate for two reasons. First, a few of our FIV positive cats are feral, or just plain crabby and can engage in the kind of rough play and occasional biting behavior that may transmit the virus. Second, by keeping our FIV cats apart from the larger main population of shelter residents, they are less exposed to common kitty ailments, like upper respiratory infections. Owing to their lower immune system response, FIV cats need to be watched closely and may require medical attention from the outset if they catch colds or other relatively routine illnesses. They should also be kept strictly indoors for their own health and safety. If they are aggressive, it is especially important to keep them inside to protect other roaming outdoor cats from being bitten and infected. Intact felines should be spayed or neutered. In recent years, more evidence than ever before has come to light that FIV is not easily transmitted among positive and negative 6

Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17

cats in the same environment, given the absence of aggressive biting behavior. According to a report published in “The Veterinary Journal” in 2014, Dr. Annette L. Litster studied a mixed population of FIV negative and positive cats living together in two different shelters and found no evidence of transmission in more than two years. She also found a number of FIV positive mother cats who gave birth, did not transmit the virus to their kittens. Cornell University Feline Health Center, while generally advising against mixed populations, has said the risk of transmission between FIV positive and negative cats is low in households in which the animals do not fight. The European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases reached similar conclusions and recommend against euthanizing cats simply because they have tested positive for FIV. Over the entire six years I have owned Patch, I have never worried about him living communally with my other FIV negative cats (none of whom are allowed outside for the protection of all). After Patch received antibiotics and recovered from his initial infected leg wound, I had him neutered. In the time since, he has never demonstrated any aggressive or biting behavior. If anything, all Patch wants to do is cuddle. I am one of many people I know who maintain mixed households of FIV positive and negative cats without any evidence of virus transmission. Patch is about 12 years old now and has never been sick while living in my home. He will be getting a dental procedure soon for two bad teeth which may be related to his age and/or his FIV status. Cats with FIV are often more prone to gingivitis (gum disease) and stomatitis (inflamed and painful mouth tissues) over the course of their lives.

PawFact Neutering a male animal will, in almost all cases, eliminate or reduce aggression, urine marking, spraying, fighting with other males and wandering off. It will also lengthen his life and improve its quality.

I feel lucky to have Patch in my life. I truly hope people seeking to adopt a feline friend (or two) will not be afraid to give FIV cats a chance. They can live as the only cat, reside with other FIV positive companions or under the right circumstances, be part of a mixed feline household. So if you think you might want to open your home to an FIV cat, education is key. Please do your homework and learn all you can. Until people decide to truly take the fear out of FIV, these loving kitties will be overlooked and not have the chance they deserve for happy homes. We can change that; One cat at a time. One love story at a time. ✹

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Morgan’s Cat Café A Purrfect Blend Right Here in the Hudson Valley By Laura Betti | Photography by Judy Curran

Bobbi Jo Forte, Chief Cat Herder and founder of Morgan’s Cat Cafe, is a 20-year animal rescue veteran and mother to a 9-year-old avid animal lover named Morgan. With a desire to do more for homeless cats in our communities – and to eat in a café where everything on the menu is compassionate to other species – the idea for Morgan’s Cat Café was born.


Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17


local tales


What Exactly is a Cat Café?

Who’s Morgan? Morgan is the 9-yearold daughter of Bobbi Jo Forte, Chief Cat Herder of Morgan’s Cat Café and Living Eden. Morgan has been helping her mom with cat rescue since she was three years old. Her love of animals and understanding of how to interact with them is years beyond most people, serving as an inspiration to children and adults alike.

Morgan’s Cat Café, now open in Red Hook, NY, is a unique non-profit, themed café where animal lovers can unite to enjoy adoptable kittens and cats while dining on healthy, gourmet eclectic Asian cuisine. The “Cat Café” concept is relatively new, but is popping up all over the world. In a Cat Café, people and cats are able to enjoy one another’s company in a Café setting. The cats who live at the Cat Café come from local rescues or shelters and are healthy and available for adoption. In the United States, because of Board of Health regulations, cats are required to be separate from the food area, or Café part of the business. A special large enclosure houses the cats at Morgan’s Cat Café, but they do not live in cages. Morgan's Cat Café’s rescue efforts will focus on feral and orphaned cats and kittens in our area. There are presently thousands of homeless cats in Dutchess County alone. Without rescue efforts such as TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release), fostering and adoption, these cats are in jeopardy of starving, injury and breeding, which all lead to a life of suffering. While only open for a few months, Morgan’s Cat Café has already made a significant impact on the quality of life for homeless cats in our area.

Illustration by Christina Baal 9 

Showing Feline Fortitude Opening this unique café required rigorous approvals from the ZBA, local Planning Board and Department of Health. The process was long and arduous and met with many “no’s”, but Bobbi Jo and her team were persistent. When asked about this process, Bobbi Jo’s response was, “Thank goodness our personalities hear ‘no’ and think ‘opportunity’. Just because something is new to the area doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.” Their persistence certainly paid off!

I’m Hungry! Feed Me Right Meow!


When visiting Morgan’s Cat Café, guests can expect to walk into a new and exciting café experience. A beautiful, whimsical mural covering the wall of a cat enclosure will greet you immediately. A look around will uncover a light and bright layout with plenty of seating, including two inviting counter bars. Your walk to the register will include quite an assortment of gourmet desserts, fresh salads, spring rolls and more to choose from for your dining pleasure. While dining, you will be able to view cats through the cat enclosure windows. The menu has something for everyone, including traditional Yakisoba noodle dishes, teriyaki rice bowls, gourmet salads and vegan wraps, miso soup, coffee and tea, and a few fun surprises. All of the desserts are dairy free and provided by the local Tastebudds Café. Yum!

Opportunities for Adoption & Special Events The goals for Morgan’s Cat Café are to create a tourist destination and a unique attraction where animal lovers come to experience a new and unique adoption venue. Unlike traditional shelters that may feel overcrowded and overwhelming to some, this gives visitors a joyful alternative. None of the cats are caged, in fact, they are free to roam the enclosure to nap, play and interact as only cats can do. Morgan’s Cat Café is collaborating with the Ulster County SPCA and the Dutchess County SPCA. They are also a non profit rescue and adoption agency. Each kitten or 10   Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17 

UsUsUsUsUsUsUsUsUsUsUsUs cat available for adoption is posted on the Morgan’s Cat Café website, with a photo link to an adoption application specific to each one. Interested adopters are encouraged to check the website frequently and to complete the adoption process as outlined. A volunteer will follow up with those interested in adopting after reviewing the application to make sure it’s the right fit for the person and the cat. In addition to dining on great food among furry friends, Morgan’s Cat Café serves as a unique venue for children’s birthday parties, private parties and additional special events. Get your "cat fix" by attending fun events and classes like yoga with kitties, cat lover singles night and more. There is also a gift shop area where you can purchase gifts for cat lovers and Morgan’s Cat Café memorabilia.

How You Can Lend a Helping Paw

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Morgan’s Cat Café is a hub of good deeds geared at ending the needless suffering of our neighborhood cats. If you’d like to donate to their efforts – including rescue, fostering, vetting and the costs of operating the Café – please head to The Café will serve as a safe refuge for vetted, homeless cats who are awaiting adoption. There’s a great deal that happens behind the scenes to make this possible. Your donations will be used for everything that is required to operate this special Café. Your donations will also support the active rescue efforts that are part of this charity model. Many volunteers help to make this organization a success, but every little bit counts. Morgan’s Cat Café relies on donations and income from food products and merchandise sales to support operations. In addition, a substantial effort is made to secure grants and sponsorships to sustain the Café and rescue efforts. s You can find out more about Morgan’s Cat Café at 11

DIY Do It Yourself


Balm Winter weather can be harsh on doggy feet. This balm will provide a protective, moisturizing barrier for those cold weather walks. Apply a small amount to each paw pad just a few minutes before a walk. Also works great for treatment of dry and cracked paw pads and even on dry noses!

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2 Tbsp Olive Oil 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil 4 Tbsp Shea Butter 4 Tbsp Beeswax Âź Tsp Vitamin E Oil A Pot or Double-boiler Small Container with Lid

Instructions Place ďŹ rst four ingredients in pot and heat on low until fully melted, stirring often. 21 second street athens, ny


Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17

Remove from heat and add the Vitamin E oil. Pour into container and let sit to cool and harden before capping. Use and store for up to one year!


The Christmas Husky COMES TO THE HUDSON VALLEY, BRINGING CHEER AND HOPE FOR RESCUE DOGS By Dorothy Wills-Raftery With the beautiful Shawangunk Ridge as a the ailing dog, and went online to find help. backdrop, a group of people excitedly gath- Amazingly, a community of pet rescuers and ered on the deck of The Parish Restaurant dog lovers came together from all areas of the in New Paltz to meet a very special dog—a globe to form “Team Buddy” in a joint effort rescued Siberian Husky known as Buddy, the to bring hope, love, and a family to this Husky Christmas Husky. His is an incredible story, in such desperate need. Through their dedfrom abuse and abanication, funds were donment to rescue raised to help Buddy Seeing Buddy, and knowing and love, as told in begin his medical the book Buddy, the what he's been through, kind of treatments, and Christmas Husky~A led him to his formakes him a symbol for hope True Holiday Miracle. ever foster mother, Once, so unrecogniz“Mama Shay,” a/k/a and perseverance. able as to what type Shari Baillargeon. Matthew Sweeney, owner, of dog he was, this Today, Buddy is a The Parish Restaurant, New Paltz amazing Husky now superstar! He has was traveling up the many fans and East Coast from Georgia to the Hudson Valley “family” members who visit his Buddy, the for a “meet & greet” and book signing event. Christmas Husky Facebook page. Buddy’s story began on Christmas 2011. He was a lone Siberian Husky who slowly stumbled out onto a snowy street in an Arkansas town. Wounded, shot, sick, and starving, he collapsed in the road and was almost hit by passing cars, until a stranger heard the blaring of horns and rushed out to rescue him. Dubbed “Buddy, the Christmas Husky,” this Good Samaritan made room in her home for

“Buddy loves to go on trips, visit with his friends, and make new friends. He loves the attention. He’s a bit of a ham!” says Shari. “When the opportunity to meet Dorothy and Buddy fans in the Hudson Valley was mentioned, we couldn't pass up that opportunity!” Buddy’s foster sister Nala was also along for the ride, heading to her new forever home in Massachusetts. 13 

special feature Dubbed the #TravelingHuskies, these best canine friends made stops along the way in various states to meet some other very special folks – members of Team Buddy! According to Shari, “Buddy loves to ride anywhere! If Buddy made all of the decisions, I am sure we would be traveling most of the time!” While fostering dogs can be quite costly, including ones with special needs or injuries, Shari offers heartfelt thanks to all those who donated to help Buddy, including Nala’s new mom who also made the trip possible. “Thanks to Susan, our trip was planned and taken care of. She flew to Charlotte, North Carolina to meet us and we all took this awesome road trip together.” says Shari.

Buddy the Christmas Husky~A True Holiday Miracle, written by Kingston resident Dorothy Wills-Raftery and illustrated by Barbara K. Slocum can be purchased online at www., or through A portion of sales from the books is donated to Shari’s “Buddy’s Buddies” fund that assists with Buddy’s ongoing care, and when his vet bills are current, she uses any leftover money to help other fosters and pets in need treated at UGA.

PawTip If your dog eats too fast, try putting a tennis ball in their food bowl. They will have to eat around it which slows them down.

In New Paltz, Matthew Sweeney, owner of The Parish Restaurant located in the Water Street Market on Main Street, graciously hosted the event. Visitors came from as far away as New Jersey, Massachusetts, and various corners of New York; some with their dogs! Complimentary bowls of fresh cool water for the dogs was provided by Matthew and the event was catered with homemade dog treats baked by Amanda Favoino, owner of the neighboring Paws of Distinction pet boutique. “Having a pet-friendly restaurant is a great thing,” notes Matthew. “Strangers become friends here all the time, meeting on our deck with their pets. Pets are an instant icebreaker.” The #TravelingHuskies also stopped in Paws of Distinction and received the VID (very important dog) treatment from Barbara Favoino. The dogs eagerly sniffed around the boutique filled with everything a dog could dream of, especially the “petessiere” section, with all of its delicious homemade treats! “Barbara was so kind to us and is a real animal lover. The pupcakes they supplied for our meet-and-greet at The Parish were a huge hit! Buddy especially enjoyed them, he had never had anything similar to a pupcake before!” says Shari. “Paws of Distinction shop has almost everything you would want for your furry friend. Buddy brought home many goodies from there that he shared with his brother Bentley and foster sister Zoey. They thoroughly enjoyed everything and it was all very healthy for them.” Shari says that while meeting people is definitely Buddy's favorite part of their trips, “receiving treats comes in a close second!” As far as the current status of Buddy’s health, Shari says that the great news is that he has “far surpassed all expectations of his specialists” at University of Georgia (UGA) Veterinary College of Medicine. “They

14   Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17 

were hoping to keep his lymphoma progressing at a slow enough rate for him to enjoy a reasonable life span, but Buddy has kept his lymphocyte count either declining or maintaining at every test so far.” Shari also said that they still have many issues to deal with due to his previous years of abuse and neglect, but with all of his supporters helping and the excellent care he receives from UGA, he is doing well and thoroughly enjoys his life. Matthew enjoyed meeting the traveling Christmas Husky. “At first I knew nothing about Buddy, and after speaking to (Dorothy) about hosting the event, I looked up Buddy's story online and was moved by it. It started out tragic and really brought people together to show the true side of human nature and how people that care and love have the power to heal. Seeing Buddy and knowing what he's been through kind of makes him a symbol for hope and perseverance.” The Hudson Valley captured Shari’s heart. “It’s beautiful! Thank you all for receiving us so warmly into your lovely community! We had such a wonderful visit with everyone we met…and the many people we met along the way. Buddy would not be where he is today without all of you. You are all a part of our Buddy family.”

Buddy enjoying his first real Christmas morning in his new home! Photo courtesy of Shari Baillargeon

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Out of the Pits By Sirena Johnson with Aaron Krein Consider Donating Out of the Pits is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non profit organization, your donations are fully tax deductible. All members of Out of the Pits are volunteers, so your money goes entirely to saving the dogs.

Out of The Pits is a not for profit organization dedicated to the rescue, adoption and public education on the American Pit Bull Terrier. Founder, Cydney Cross made the transition from Greyhound to Pit Bull rescue after researching and realizing a great need for advocacy of this victimized breed. In 1994, Out of the Pits was formed and over 20 years later, this organization has successfully rehomed over 6000 Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes and helped many more stay in their homes through owner counseling.

Community Programs Delilah


Jenju, Delilah and Whitley are all available for adoption! For more info contact


OOTP’s main focus has been education. Throughout the year, the organization hosts public education clinics where they highlight the positive aspects of the breed. They also visit dozens of schools presenting a program that teaches kids about pet care and the humane treatment of animals, using certified therapy Pit Bulls as models. Out of the Pits is dedicated to helping owners spay and neuter their Pit Bulls and their program “Fix-A-Bull” does just that. To address the Pit Bull overpopulation crisis in

Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17

rescue spotlight Approximately 30-40% of all dogs entering shelters and rescues are Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes. It is estimated that more than 80% are euthanized and typically 1 in every 600 of these dogs will ever find a loving home.

our area, they partner with local veterinarians to offer low cost spay-neuter surgeries. OOTP believes education plays a part in this area as well. Despite the overwhelming number of unwanted Pit Bulls in our shelters, people continue to breed them. It is no surprise that OOTP has a steady influx of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes needing homes. They receive an average of 1000 calls per week to take unwanted dogs but are only able to help a small percentage of these. They frequently hold adoption clinics throughout the area. Their website, is also updated regularly with the photos of a wide variety of adoptable dogs. It is their goal to help you find a dog well matched to your family and lifestyle. After the adoption application is signed, Cross says they use the term “welcome to the family” to let adopters know OOTP will always be available to them should any problem or need arise. The program “Pit Bulls Helping Pit Bulls” raises money to help pay for veterinary costs of primarily the elderly, single parent and Veterans in need.

How You Can Help Your monetary donations pay for the food, housing and veterinary care of the adoptable dogs. Donation of all types of dog related materials are also needed. Since Out of the Pits is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non profit organization, your donations are fully tax deductible. All members of Out of the Pits are volunteers, so your money goes entirely to saving the dogs.

A DoG WaGs ITs tAiL WiTh ItS HeArT – MArTiN BUxBaUm

PawFact The average dog has the intelligence of a two year old child.

OOTP is always looking for volunteers to help out in many different ways. They are especially in need of foster homes. Since they do not have a facility, the number of dogs they take in is directly related to the amount of foster homes available. To find out more please visit their website at At one time, the Pit Bull was considered one of America’s favorite breeds. It is the mission of Out of the Pits to help restore the breed to its former position. They believe that only when the true nature of the breed is recognized, will a sufficient number of loving homes open up to the many thousands of displaced dogs filling the streets and shelters. You can find out more at 17



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Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine | Winter 2016-17


pet resources EMERGENCY ANIMAL HOSPITALS & HOTLINES Animal Emergency Clinic-Poughkeepsie..................................................................................................845 Animal Emergency Clinic-Kingston ............................................................................................................845 VCA Animal Specialty & Emergency Hospital - Wappingers Falls ....................................................845 VetMedics Veterinary Emergency Transport Paramedics ...................................................................845 Orange County Animal Emergency Service ............................................................................................845 Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic-Latham ................................................................................518 ASPCA Poison Control Center | .................................................................................888 To report adverse food & drug effects in pets.........................................................................................888 To anonymously report dogfighting .......................................................................................................877 To anonymously report a puppy mill ...................................................................................................... 877


Columbia Greene Humane Society | .......................................................................................518 Mohawk Hudson Humane Society | ............................................................. 518 Dutchess County SPCA | ......................................................................................................... 845 Ulster County SPCA | ................................................................................................................ 845 Hudson Valley SPCA | ..................................................................................... 845

471 8242 336 0713 632 3200 202 7200 692 0260 785 1094 426 4435 FDA VETS TIP HSUS MILL TIP

828 434 452 331 564

6044 8128 7722 5377 6810

To find an animal shelter or rescue group near you: or To adopt a pet (specific breed, gender, age, etc.): or For low cost spay/neuter services or certificates: or For a list of local wildlife rehabilitators: To find a local T-N-R program for feral cats:


PawFact Domestic cats, on average spend about 70% of their day sleeping and 15% of it grooming!

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Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine  
Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine  

Winter 2016-17