Adoption & Fostering

Meet Sassafras!

Sassafras
This weekend a cute vanilla cat showed up in our driveway. He was super-friendly, coming over to be petted and cuddled. He let our toddler pet him; he let me pick him up and pet his tummy and put him over my shoulder like a baby. He purred deeply. He followed us up and down the driveway.

He was obviously not neutered, and looked like he had some eye issues and I think fleas. His face and tail were scratched up and some fur was missing. He was skinny. And he had tummy troubles, and an uncomfy-looking butt (sorry if this is TMI).

Sassafras

I now knew who had been pooping all over the place for the past week.

It’s been getting cold out at night. I thought of this sociable, lovey cat who really did not feel very good probably being left out in the cold again.
Sassafras

I reasoned that I’d rather worry about a worried human than about this cat having another night out there.

So, I called Tompkins County SPCA and asked if it made sense to bring him in. They said if he was a house cat and someone called in looking for him, they’d give him needed veterinary care and neuter him before giving him back.

All things considered, I think this was the best decision for the cat, and the cat is the one with less power in this situation. I try to side with those with less power. So, sorry human, if you’re out there: your cat has taken a trip to the SPCA and may go up for adoption if he isn’t claimed. : /

Sassafras

I took the liberty of naming this dude Sassafras; it seemed to suit his gregarious nature and appearance, somehow. I know that if he does go up for adoption, he’ll get a wonderful home and a happy life — he’s a lovely, sweet cat who obviously thrives on attention. If I hadn’t brought him in so quickly, I would have fallen in love. I think I already kinda did. Like all cats I’ve encountered and had some connection with, I’ll probably remember him forever.

Sassafras

Good luck, Sassafras. Whether it’s back where you one day came from, or in a new home, may your future be full of clean floors and enticing toys, clawable carpets and scratching posts, delicious food, cool fresh water, open windows in the summertime, lots of play and cuddle sessions, and safe afternoon naps in warm pools of sunlight, in your very own territory, surrounded by your very own human family. I’ll be glad to think of you there, rather than worrying about you roaming our driveway all winter.

Thank you to SPCA of TC for taking in Sassafras and providing his medical care free of charge! I could not help all of these cats without this incredible service and support. If you can, please consider donating to Tompkins County SPCA, Browncoat Cat Rescue, or another local animal rescue or shelter operation. The folks that do this work, and the animals who depend on them, really need us to pitch in. Whether it’s a few dollars, a few hours of your time, or a donation of towels or food, your contributions can make a huge difference.

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Another ethical grey area: Duck cuddling

duck and veteran

Image description: On a suburban street, a burly man in sunglasses and a trucker cap tenderly cuddles a white duck in his arms, talking to him or her and scratching his/her tummy. The duck is relaxed and cozy-looking. Three more ducks walk around behind them, among chain link fencing and an orange construction fence.

This is one of those things that I see as a vegan and wonder if it could be done ethically. The story behind the image is that this guy is a veteran living in Ohio who keeps ducks for therapy. According to this short Gawker post and the AP article it links to, this “keeping” apparently consists of caring for them, watching them, and spending time with them. It doesn’t say anything about taking their eggs or feathers, or eating their bodies, or breeding or selling them. Maybe some of that is involved; maybe the particulars of this situation are in some way exploitative. My guess is that these animals weren’t rescued from a factory farm, for example.

But what I’m seeing here is the potential for a very sweet and symbiotic way for veterans and other humans to take a lot of solace in the company of animals who need homes. If sanctuary animals in need of adoption were paired with humans who need their company, that seems like a smart, benign, and even beneficial relationship. Could the concept of “therapy animal” be expanded to become an explicitly mutual, respectful relationship intended to benefit both parties?

Read the article and tell me what you think about this subject.

Humble Teacher Shocks Community By Leaving $8.4 Million To Charity

Awesomeness:

A retired teacher who worked with special-needs kids, the late Margaret Southern drove a 1980s Cadillac, lived in a modest home and had just one indulgence in life: taking her friends out to eat from time to time.

So when the Greenville, S.C., community learned that the humble resident, who died at age 94 in 2012, had left $8.4 million to the Community Foundation of Greenville, a group that provides grants to targeted programs, they were pretty shocked to say the least, Greenville S.C. News reported…

It’s the largest gift the Community Foundation of Greenville has ever received in its 56-year history and Southern requested that the money be spent on the causes she cared about most — children’s education, special needs programs and the humane treatment of animals, the organization said on its website.

Half of the funds will be given to the Greenville Humane Society, a no-kill adoption center, and the rest will be distributed among a number of other organizations.

The Greenville Humane Society was particularly grateful for the gift since it hasn’t been able to keep up with public demand since it opened a new facility, Director Kim Pitman told the Greenville Journal.

Pitman just regrets not having had the opportunity to meet Southern.

“She strikes me as a kind of person I would like,” Pitman told Greenville S.C. News, “doesn’t put on airs, smart, loves her animals.”

Help reduce predation by cats – adopt a baby feral!

browncoat-adoption-event
You can help minimize damage on local ecosystems by feral cats, by helping to reduce feral cat populations. A great way to do that is to adopt socialized feral babies and to attempt to feed them more responsibly than they can feed themselves. All three of our cats were once ferals (from Brooklyn), and they’re now very happy housecats.

To adopt a new kitty friend right here in Ithaca, go to Browncoat Cat Rescue’s Adoption Event at Ithaca Grain and Pet Supply at 1011 W Seneca, Ithaca, NY on Saturday, September 28 starting at 10:00am:

28 Cats and Kittens available for adoption on September 28th! Come and meet the kitties, and learn about fostering/adopting. Homemade goodies will be provided!

Click here to learn more about Browncoat Cat Rescue and click here to share and RSVP to the adoption event listing on Facebook.

Animal Rescue Fundraising Shindig!

rescue-fundraiser
This just in from Browncoat Cat Rescue:

Americana Wineries is having a book release shindig, with fundraising for rescue groups (Seneca County SPCA, Pet the Pet, and Browncoat Cat Rescue!) There will be live music, face-painting, food, wine, raffles, a silent auction, and adorable animals to meet! Eat, drink, and save some lives.

Well mannered dogs are more than welcome to attend!

Come by BCR’s little tent, and meet my boxes of kittens :-)

Saturday, June 1, 2013
12:00pm until 6:00pm

RSVP on Facebook

Some vegan news and some news of vegans

I’m still caught up in the world of new parenthood, but I had to share these few things that have been sitting in my in-box. Hope you’re all having a beautiful spring!

A human and a wombat, hanging out

A human and a wombat, hanging out

From ajakwerth on YouTube:

Douglas is an orphaned Wombat who was taken care of at a school camp (where we have been WWOOFing) near Tallangatta in Victoria, Australia. This video is 3 years old so he was just a little baby there! He was meant to be released into the wild someday but since it’s been a long while ago I lost touch with the family who runs the camp…

Humans have a really weird relationship with other animals.

Do we love them or hate them? Do we respect them or not? Are we troubled enough by the inconsistent and sometimes exploitative and violent ways we treat them, to change our actions? More

Doggy Talk

Last week a man named Michael Upchurch was doing his route on the back of a garbage truck in Muncie, Indiana, when he heard someone crying. He found a six-week-old puppy in a recycling bag: “This ole’ doggy here hollering, ‘Save me.’ I guess in doggy talk.” More