Thank you for your patience in the not so weekly version of the newsletter lately. My intern Katie was hired here at WHS and while I am so excited and proud of her… I am behind from training a new intern. All good things! This newsletter is dedicated to all those who suffered the heatwave to be here, the drive here was hot, parts of this building are hot, walking dogs is hot. Thank you all for being troopers!
[toggle title=”Cat Volunteers”]Mam Protocol
Some of you may have seen the Mam Protocol signs on certain Cat Mama kennels.
These signs are SUPER important for not only space reasons (as mam protocol helps them get altered and available to be adopted in a timely manner) but also for the cat’s health. When a litter of kittens begins to wean, mama becomes engorged and is then susceptible to mastitis, an infection of the mammary glands. This is a painful medical condition which would need to be treated, and further prevent a mama kitty from getting altered and out of the shelter. One way to prevent mastitis is by preventing the mammaries from remaining full of milk. To help speed the process and prevent mastitis, we place weaning mamas on “Mam Protocol” which gives them smaller rations of food and water over a period of time until they are no longer engorged. This then allows them to be altered and adopted! If these signs are removed, these mamas will continue to get fed and we have to start the Mam Protocol over again. This means they must then wait an entire week before getting fixed, and we are taking that space away from another! If you see a “Mam Protocol” sign on the kennel, please leave it be! If you see one on the floor from a kitty being naughty and knocking it off, please let a staff member know ASAP so we can replace it on the mama’s kennel and prevent us from starting mam protocol over again. Thanks for helping us keep these mamas comfortable, healthy and out of the shelter sooner, freeing space for another kitty that needs us!
New Info Board in A cat room!
Have you seen the cute note board in A cats? Go check it out and add a note about your favorite feline friend!
WHS’s Working Cats Adoption Program
The Working Cats Program is a simple and green concept: relocate
Semi-social cats to suitable areas where they can work with humans who in return provide them with a place to live. It’s a different kind of forever home where the cats can do what’s natural – control rat and mice populations.
People and businesses who participate in the program accept
responsibility to make sure their cats are properly fed, have clean
water available at all times and vet care when needed. A homeless cat
gets a home, and a pet owner gets a natural, safe and effective means
to rid their property of rats and mice.
The adoption fee for a working cat is $25. This fee includes
spay/neuter, rabies, FVRCP, ear tip and dewormer.
As a cat volunteer this means if you have a customer who is interested in adopting a mouser or a barn cat or a working cat or an outdoor only cat… we do have options. Cats that wouldn’t normally be placed in a home due to their behavior here may do great in one of the above situations. The intake staff will know if we have any cats available at the time and they can show the customer those cats and give them the details. This is a new program we have launched in order to help continue our goal of saving more cats! Please let us know if you have any questions.
[/toggle][toggle title=”Tidbits and Goodies”]Kimmi- “Supa purrfect!!!”
[/toggle][toggle title=”Shout Outs”]Carol Cahill Thank you for being a kennel buddy with every single dog you could this last Tuesday the 9th. Each dog got 7 minutes of love and attention.
Austin, Gail, and Terray! You three have been a huge help this week keeping my data entry going and my copies made and office organized. Thank you for that and for some great conversation. You make my job easier to do and fun to boot!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Willamutt strut”]Sprinting to the Deadline!!!
It’s just around the corner.
Registration is going on now, hurry and sign up and get your T-shirt! Make sure to put 6/14/15 on your calendar as a day for fun, friends, and fur! We hope to see you there. Register at the following:
[/toggle][toggle title=”Kimmi’s Fact of the Week”]It costs approximately $10,000 to train a federally certified search and rescue dog.
[/toggle][toggle title=”Playgroupies”]I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce to you playgroup. Now we have all heard this word and maybe even seen a group happening way out in the far yards, but what is playgroup exactly?
Playgroup is a time where the dogs get to get out of their kennels and just be dogs. They see and hear each other and smell each other repeatedly on a daily basis. They get frustrated that they cannot say hi. They cannot learn about each other, they cannot share their enthusiasm for life with each other because leashes and bars separate them. Playgroup is a great way for our dogs to alleviate that stress and frustration. By reducing this stress it also reduces the amount of leash re-activity we deal with and it keeps our dogs from getting depressed as well.
Playgroup is a time where dogs get to be off leash, they get to feel free to express themselves in the most natural way possible. Bars of a kennel and leashes hold dogs back from how they would normally act or react in certain situations. This is akin to that annoying game siblings play where whenever you start to talk they talk over you and after about 4-5 times you either want to hit them or cry. The dogs feel this stifling of expression day in and out and it will wear on them significantly but playgroup gives them a reprieve from this feeling.
Playgroup is a time where a dog can expel a large majority of its energy. Every dog holds and uses its energy differently some are more mental energy while some are more physical. Playgroups give them a chance to burn that energy their way and as rigorously as they like on an almost daily basis. This means they are more likely to relax in their kennel, to rest and to keep quiet. This vastly improves their kennel presentations and makes them more adoptable and helps them to stay sane for their time with us. This is especially wonderful for those dogs who are unfortunately long term residents.
Playgroup teaches dogs how to interact with each other. Dogs that come to us with little to no dog to dog skills or rough skills have a chance to learn not only from other dogs but from people as well. They learn what is and is not acceptable and how to communicate with each other. This builds their doggy resume making them a better fit for more families as they become more adaptable to new situations.
Playgroup is a way for us to learn more about them. Take away the blinders of the shelter and the limitations of movement and expression and we learn more about a dog’s play-style, energy level, motivators, and ability to accept information from people and other dogs. All these things give us a better picture of what this dog needs to be happy and healthy in their forever home. This makes finding them an adopter who won’t return them much more likely. It gives dogs a second chance and sometimes a third or fourth.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video about playgroups, click here. If you have questions or concerns about playgroups we would love to talk with you about them. Feel free to contact Kimmi Berg, Lee Nichols, Jessi Keller, and Catherine Comden. For other videos from Aimee Sadler and her Playing for Life program here is her you tube channel ( there are a couple of WHS videos in there from her last visit here) as well as her website which includes access to their manual so you can better understand how we want to run playgroups here and why.
If you would like to be a part of this excellent experience for our dogs please e mail Kim.Berg@whs4pets.org to get started.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Stay cool out there it’s getting crazy hot!!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Volunteer Opportunities”]Training to be a red tag dog walker? Need some classes? Need to take the assessment? Here are the upcoming dates!
Red Tag Bouncy Class: Saturday June 13th from 2-4pm
Red Tag Assessments: Saturday June 27th (to take the assessment you need to have completed both of the above classes as well as have watched the shy/fearful dog video)
Conflict Resolution: Are you like me and dislike stressful conflict? Would you like to learn some great skills on minimizing conflict? We are lucky to have the Executive Director from Cat Adoption Team come down and give us a workshop for staff and volunteers on conflict resolution. I went to this workshop a few weeks ago with Rachel the shelter manager and BJ our ED and we were thrilled that she was willing to come share this knowledge with us! She will be here on June 18th in the Ed Hall at 10:15 am and it is a 90 minute workshop. There is no need to register and it’s FREE!!! It is geared towards helping people in animal welfare organizations resolve conflict but the basic principles can be used anywhere! I hope to see you there!
Dog Treat Chef Wanted: Do you like cooking? Do you love dogs? Do you like cooking for dogs you love? Well then we totally have the job for you. We are very fortunate to get tasty meat bits from Word of Mouth Bistro every week. We are also lucky in that some pet supply stores give us the sample bags of high quality kibble and we even have volunteers who love to make up batches of hot dog jerky pieces. We are looking for someone who is able to put all these tasty things together into snack or sandwich bags so that we can freeze them. A sort of dog training trail mix! We would be going through this quickly as we are building up our training program and our volunteers need more high value tasty things to offer our dogs! If this sounds like something you would be interested in please e mail me at email@example.com and we can make a plan! I hope to hear from you soon Chef Boyardoggie!
K9 Adoption Ambassadors needed!
Do you want to be part of the adoption process at WHS? Yes, this means YOU get to help us send these wonderful pets HOME! We are looking for 2-4 volunteers to help us speed up the adoption process so we can send more pets home. Last summer (June-August), we averaged almost 250 pets per month going home – that’s amazing, right!? Help us raise that number this summer! We are looking for volunteers who are comfortable with showing adoptable dogs to potential adopters as well as being able to provide accurate information about the pet they are interested in. We also have a need for someone who can talk with adopters on the wait list about the following topics:
Vaccine information and history
Food (the food included in adoption and how to transition to new food)
Rabies vaccine and licensing
URI and Kennel Cough Waiver
You will also be shown how to make an ID tag for the pet!
Contact Kimmi at Volunteer@whs4pets.org to find out how to get started.
At Natures Pet Market
4555 Liberty Rd S
Offering the area’s first Pet Tech First Aid Certification and Training program. The class will be held Saturday, July 25th from 8am-5pm and the fee is $125.00
The course is designed for shelter employees, rescue personnel, kennel staff, groomers, obedience trainers and pet sitters, and pet parents. Those attending will learn how to effectively deal with chocking, breathing issues, bleeding, poisoning, muzzling, heat injuries, senior and dental care as well.
Classes are hand on and taught by Suzanne Brean a certified instructor and professional dog trainer.
Register online here
Bring your lunch on the day of the course. Snacks and Drinks will be provided. For more information, Call Suzanne Brean at 541-974-0324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
[/toggle][toggle title=”Happy Tails”]
WONDER EARS HAS BEEN ADOPTED!!!!!!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Laundry Room Update”]We have had an issue with overflowing the laundry room even with clean laundry. We need to make sure that we are utilizing the appropriate areas to stack folded clothes but if those areas are full then the clean and folded laundry needs to be moved to the areas throughout the shelter where they are available for use. The laundry room now has designated areas for certain types of folded laundry as well as a cart to use to take the clean laundry around from room to room. The animal welfare team staff will be making a concerted effort to work on restocking more frequently to avoid an overflow and keep the process running smoothly. If you have some time to switch a load of laundry, fold it, or put some away that would be a great big help! If everyone takes a stack of clean laundry and puts it away or pitches in even just for a couple of minutes we will see a huge decrease in our workload all the way around.
[/toggle][toggle title=”Dog Volunteers”]You must contact your team captain in advance if you are going to miss a shift. Team captain contact information is in the volunteer room.
You must wear long pants, close toed shoes, you cannot wear tank tops. I know it has been quite hot but the dress code doesn’t change with the weather here.
YOU MUST KNOW THAT YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND APPRECIATED. THANK YOU!!!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Meet the Staff”]
Kirsten Straus is our Intake Supervisor. You will frequently see her buzzing around the exam room and the intake desk in the lobby.
Kirsten is the proud mommy of two adorable cats Frodo and Pomegranate. Kirsten is a cat person through and through. Kirsten loves video games, eating new things she hasn’t tried yet and when time allows she likes to read. She graduated in 2013 from Willamette. She is from Idaho originally (she totally loves potatoes).
She is a great resource if you have questions about cats that have recently come in or making sure a cats needs are met. We are so happy to have her on the team. Stop by and say hi!