IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR
It’s Spring and time to renew VSAP’s Annual Membership Dues. If you haven’t done so already, you can make payment through our FB page, our website or you can mail it to VSAP, P.O. 39221, Solon Oh. 44139.
You can also drop your payment off at The Purr-fect Place (our resale shop), 715 Broadway Ave., Bedford. Mon thru Sat, 11:30 to 4:00 pm. By dropping your dues off at our shop you will receive 20 percent off your purchases on that day only.
Your membership will help us care for animals in need.
Also, kitten season is here and we will be helping many little ones survive.
Membership is $40.00 per family and $25.00 for single.
Your contribution is tax deductible.
It’s a New Year…to Volunteer!
Wow, here we are and it’s already 2017! If by now you have already broken some, or all of your well-meant new year’s resolutions, Valley Save-a-Pet has a way you can redeem yourself! Please consider volunteering some of your talent and time to our organization.
“Volunteer?” you say? “Even though my heart is willing, my time is precious and my schedule unpredictable. I would not know how to explore this possibility without being concerned that I am being sucked in over my head.”
Well, you’re in luck once again! Valley Save-a-Pet offers a wide array of volunteer opportunities, each with various time commitments/length of service framed in for you in advance. Once a week? Once a month? Worker bee at just one special event?
Explore the variety of options we have to offer, and add your own talents to the list. To view some of our current areas of need, just click on the Volunteer tab at the top of this home page. If none of our immediate needs seem to match what you have to offer, use the message space to tell us what your skills and talents are, and what you might like to do for us on a trial basis. The key to any successful volunteer program is to match talents with needs, and that’s our ultimate goal.
We already know you are an animal lover or you wouldn’t be on our website!
Please email any requests for further information to firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our experienced volunteers will respond to your email within 3 days, and we can go from there.
Celebrate 2016 with us— Paws up!
Postponing Pet’s Arrival May Be the Best Gift of All
Valley Save-a-Pet of Solon, OH, urges potential pet owners to do their homework before placing any animal under the tree on Christmas morning.
“We’re no Scrooges,” says Chris Stropki, experienced Valley Save-a-Pet adopter.
VSAP discourages anyone to give a pet as a “surprise” gift, no matter what day of the year it is. Potential pet owners need to understand and accept the responsibility a pet brings with it.”
Two of several questions for potential owners include:
- Who will care for the pet on a daily basis?
Children can lose interest when they realize the chores fall to them, and Mom or Dad will not be happy when they have to step in.
- Is the head of household realistic about the costs associated with pet ownership?
While Valley Save-a-Pet always spays or neuters the animal before adoption, microchips it, and brings its vaccinations up to date, the pet will require regular vet visits and supplies for years beyond the initial adoption fee.
In some instances, VSAP may suggest subbing in a “Pet Promise” for the holidays. A plush animal, with a certificate, food bowl, collar, and toy will extend your child’s anticipation of a special pet on its way in the new year. If you have already fallen in love with a particular VSAP animal, the organization may hold it for you until the holiday hubbub is over, when you can introduce the pet into your home during a more routine, less stressful time.
For 40-year-old Valley Save-a-Pet, the goal is to match each animal to its forever home. “A pet is a lifelong commitment, not a toy,” emphasizes Melody McClurg, President of the organization.
Taking it for a ‘test drive’ for a few days during the most hectic time of year is unfair to both pet and family.”
Whenever it’s the right time for you to get a pet, Valley Save-a-Pet (440) 232-9124, and/or your local shelter will be glad to hear from you.
It’s not all about you choosing a pet,” says Melody.
It’s also about the pet choosing you. When it’s right, you know it.
That’s what VSAP looks for.
That’s what we do.”
TRAP, NEUTER, RETURN
A Lifesaver for Feral Cat Colonies
(Posted 10-14-15) Any cat lover in Northeastern Ohio who’s ever been curious about or helped care for a colony of feral cats knows of B.J. Propp and her excellent reputation as an expert in the field of TNR – Trap, Neuter, Return. Valley Save-a-Pet has worked with B.J. since 2004, when both joined forces to improve conditions for approximately 150 barn kitties at a large Ohio racetrack. We’re pleased to present this informational interview in order to raise awareness of the TNR movement and to educate others in understanding the many benefits of this very cost-effective, humane way to both improve the quality of life for these animals and to safely reduce the size of a cat colony over time.
- BJ, how did you get involved in TNR? I worked at a large Ohio racetrack where there were lots and lots of barn kitties – 150! — whose job was to be mousers. I noticed there was a high death rate, especially for the kittens. Surrounded by the situation every day, I knew something had to be done. I brought the issue up so many times that I was finally challenged to do something about it myself!
- How did you start? I began to identify ways to help those barn cats at the racetrack. Though I received a $200-per-month stipend for food, it was nowhere near what I needed to be successful. That’s when Valley Save-a-Pet stepped in to provide food for the animals and Have a Heart Spay/Neuter certificates. It took more than another month before I was able to find a veterinarian who would be willing to provide the reduced fee, spay/neuter component so critical to the program’s ultimate success.
- What has been your biggest or most dramatic TNR success story to date? Valley Save-a-Pet and I joined forces to have 150 cats at the racetrack spayed/neutered. After that successful effort, as the oldest cats passed away, the colony reduced in size from 100 adults to 20 adults, and no kittens have been born for the last 8-9 years.
- What do you think are the most misunderstood aspects of TNR? First, that feral cats and stray cats are the same thing. Strays most likely are, or were, somebody’s pet. Feral cats are almost always born and raised in the wild. Second, that these animals don’t deserve to live, when in truth, they serve a purpose in this world, especially as hunters.
- Did you ever trap something other than a cat? As might be expected, I have trapped a few raccoons, but over the years, the two most unique trappings each involved a possum. When the trap was opened to free the first possum, it scooted off, just like the raccoons always did. However, when I released the second possum, it just “played possum,” and I had a really hard time trying to get it to understand that it had been set free. I never, ever had a problem with skunks. Because the traps are covered with cloth to calm down whatever animal is caught, even if a skunk had been trapped, it would just spray the trap and the cloth.
- What should a person who might be interested in becoming a colony caregiver know? First and foremost, it’s a very rewarding experience. It’s also very demanding work and very time-consuming. It requires incredible patience. Once, it took me more than 2 weeks to trap a big ol’ Tom. Potential caregivers must have stick-to-it dedication. Traps should be checked twice a day. The cats need to be fed. The winter months are exceptionally challenging for both the colony and the caretaker. Occasionally, an animal must be also be trapped because of a veterinary emergency. Not all animal organizations are on board with TNR. At least one radical national organization favors a mass roundup and immediate euthanization of entire colonies. Relocation is another deadly option, as the relocated colony will be in other animals’ territory. To learn more about TNR, and about becoming a colony caretaker, visit reputable websites like “Alley Cat Allies,” ASPCA sites, or call animal shelters in your community to get connected to a local TNR group.
- Your biggest frustration? Pet owners who give up on their inside cat – often because it becomes pregnant or starts to spray – and make it an “outdoor cat.” Even if they still feed that cat, it does not have survival skills.
- Where would you like to see more progress for TNR? Right now, TNR animals are spayed/neutered and given a rabies shot, but other types of vaccinations, or deeper medical problems, cannot always be addressed.
- How soon are the animals reintroduced to their colony once they’ve been spayed/neutered? Males can be returned to the colony within a day or two. Females are fostered for a minimum of one week, since their surgery is more complicated.
- Ever catch the same cat twice? A quick procedure called ear tipping is done by the vet at the same time the animal is spayed/neutered. A tiny piece of the left ear – just ¼” — is nipped off. The colony caretaker must look at each trapped animal very carefully to spot this marker. After all, who wants to be spayed/neutered more than once? Meowch!
- Can feral cats be tamed and adopted? No, with two possible exceptions: very young kittens who might be able to be socialized through fostering, and adult cats who were once someone’s pet. The latter will be very afraid of people, but they will also remember that not all people are cruel. It definitely will take a lot time to regain the trust of cats who once were with people, when the people they encounter now are likely to throw rocks or hot water or shoot bb’s at them to get them to go away.
- Final thoughts? The ASPCA confirms that 50% of feral kittens die before they are one year old. The lifespan of an adult feral cat who does not have a caregiver is 2-3 years. With a caregiver and TNR in place, these animals can live to be 10 or more in the world they grew up in, contribute to, and deserve to enjoy.
Valley Save-a-Pet, Inc. endorses the TNR movement and supports caretakers of feral, “community cats. To learn more about the Trap, Neuter, Return movement, please contact us at (440) 232-9124 or email your questions to email@example.com.