Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa Paws Photo Event

Tis the season to prepare for Christmas. There's the Christmas tree, decorations and of course the Christmas cards (skip the impersonal e-card and give a card!) and of course photos with Santa!

Now your pets can join in the festivities by getting a photo with Santa at the PetSmart in Midtown Miami.  This includes dogs, cats, iguanas, birds, you name it! For $9.95 you will receive a digital photo of your pet with Santa and an exlcusive holiday frame. This means you can scan the photo for other uses!

It's happening every weekend until Christmas so don't delay!
Times: 11am-4pm

$5 of every photo package will be donated to local adoption programs. So take the dog for joy ride in your car and to his/her favorite store and take the photo and you'll be helping homeless dogs and cats find homes!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is now upon us! It is the time of year that we give thanks for all that we have received and we renew our hopes of doing more than we already do today.

This year the Riverfront Cats are all happy and healthy thanks to the resident volunteers at the Wind and Ivy. Each day the 17 cats are fed proper amounts of food so no food is leftover to attract ants or flies. Even after lingering rain showers, the volunteers never fail to feed the cats, even if they have to go out at midnight. Thankfully no new cats have joined the Riverfront colony. Sadly we lost one cat to an unprovoked dog attack earlier in the year. The dog was asked to wear a muzzle for everyone's protection. 

More recently, a new cat bore a litter of three kittens across the street on 3rd Street. Thanks once again to the sacrifice and effort of Christine Michaels, lead volunteer, she rescued the two friendly adoptable brothers and found them loving homes.

With your help, we can continue to feed the cats, ensure they are healthy and not suffering from any illnesses or injuries. As you plan to feast with friends and/or family this Thanksgiving, won't you consider donating cat food to help our volunteers and the community? Most of the food is paid for out of the pockets of the volunteers. It adds up quickly.

Please click here on how you can help.

Wishing you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.

Alicia Grecco

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Pet Dangers

Thanksgiving and Christmas are joyous holidays but at the same time they can be dangerous for our pets if we're not careful.

The last thing any pet owner wants to do on Thanksgiving is rush their pet to the animal emergency room!  But, the truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned during this time of the year. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster?
  • A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones!  The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis.
  • Poultry bones, especially cooked, have potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or, if large amounts are consumed, could cause an obstruction.
  • Other foods to avoid include:  grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing Xylitol, and chocolates.
  • All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door.
  • Remember, keep your trash can secure.  Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous.  A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc. may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.
  • Decorative plants are also a source of danger. Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and lilies are often deadly to cats. Poinsettas, despite their reputation, are not deadly and often cause little more than mild stomach upset.
  • Some holiday decorations are also dangerous. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats. Keep an eye on electrical cords to ensure puppies and kittens don’t chew on them.
  • During family gatherings, it might be best to keep pets confined if they are overly anxious. Also, monitor people going in and out of the front door. Pets might take advantage and try to escape.
  • Remember that Knowles Animal Clinc is open 24-7 during the holiday weekend. The address is 1000 NW 27th Avenue.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kittens, Smirnov and Stoli


These two kittens were found across the street in the empty fenced-in lot on 3rd Street. And now they need a loving home!

They are brothers and six months old. Smirnov is the Russian Blue and his brother Stoli, is the brown tabby.

Smirnov is all Russian-- intelligent, handsome with his short clean cut look, the blue-gray fur like a luxurious coat straight out of Dr. Zhivago, stoic and penetrating green eyes leave you mesmerized. For fun, Smirnov hunts for invisible creatures and then bounces around in a wild bunny hop. All he's missing is the vodka.


His brother on the other hand may have been nursed with vodka. His paws clumsily grab at dangling objects unable to pin them down.  A timid kitten, he peaks around the door watching his brother take a big step into unknown, wide space--the living room. An object moves and Stoli quickly scurries under the bed. His small round baby face is so endearing, he welcomes the cradling, the cooing, and the endless scratching of his head or belly rubs.  Stoli wants to be a kitten forever. 

These kittens need a loving home. They are both deflead, dewormed, received blood test, vaccinated and neutered.  You can adopt either kitten for only $75.00 or make their day and adopt both brothers for only $85.00. Any vet would charge $250 just to neuter them! If you adopt both kittens, you'll receive A GIFT BASKET that includes not one but two luxurious cat pet beds, premium cat food both moist and dry food, and the ASPCA cat handbook! Retail value for gift basket is $65.00.

According to cat experts, it's better to adopt two cats than one. They are happy and healthier when they have a playmate and are less likely to destroy your home. They are complete opposite but understand and love eachother.

If interested, please call Christine at 786-205-6165..

P.S. the mother is a new cat on the block but she does not reside where the Riverfront cats live by main entrance. The mother needs to be spayed before she gets pregnant again! To donate to this effort, please call or email Christine! Remember this is not the job of Animal Services or Humane Society. It's our responsibility--the community's responsibility. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feral Cats Live Healthy Outdoors

Recently and  ironically, a well known animal organization, PETA, believes in trapping and euthanizing feral cats.

First "feral" cats are essentially cats that do not socialize with humans. However, they can still be fed by local volunteers and live just as healthily as indoor cats.

Another well-recognized organization, Alley Cat Allies, spoke out against PETA's claims. Here is a link to their website that explains the science behind feral cats.

The general public knows very little about cats, less about homeless cats, and even less about feral cats. Please share this posting with all your contacts. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Update--new kittens discovered

It has been awhile since I walked by the empty lot on 3rd Street where Alfonso, a homeless man, used to "live". As I walked by I  noticed not one, not two, but three older kittens. Oh no!!! How could I neglect this section where cats could easily hide and give birth?! Well, the reason is obvious, Alfonso had amassed a literal mountain of trash that was so repulsive I would get nauseous at the sight alone not counting the eery spiders and record-size cockroaches.

Immediately I noticed the kittens were already 5-6 months old. THIS IS BAD NEWS. This means the females can get pregnant any minute! Oh cat goddess help me!

What to do? Well one positive aspect of Alfonso living on the lot, is that he had been feeding the cats dry cat food. So the kittens were used to getting close to humans. After the City of Miami evicted Alfonso for trespassing on private property, I took over the feedings with permission from the owner.
In total I counted two females and two males.  This means the Riverfront condos could have 20-50 cats within a year! In addition to the 17 that live on or around the property.  (How? Each female can give birth three times year to a litter of one to seven kittens). I witnessed this last year and rescued every kitten! But I can not do it alone anymore.

With expenditures averaging $150+ a month just to feed the regular colony of 17 cats, and the countless hours and sacrificing many nights feeding the cats, our three volunteers have limits. It was time to alert the association and educate them in order to effect a community-action plan to stop the cat population from exploding and reaching crisis proportions as they are experiencing in Miami Beach.

Sadly, after two months of sending emails via a middle person (no one will give me contact information), the Master Association of the IVY and WIND and MINT have yet to return any of my messages to just set up a meeting.

Residents witness the hurried exterior improvements such as brick pavers, the rows of palm trees and shrubbery, and new fencing costing a few million dollars. Why won't the association set aside 20 minutes to address an  "exterior feature" that will affect the neighborhood? I have offered a win-win-win solution  for the residents, the cats, and the assocation. Could it be that the three individuals on the board are not animal people? Possible. Also the cost to sterilize 5 cats is $70 each. $350 is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions spent on "aesthetic" improvements.

Given the urgency of the situation, I will make a final attempt to reach out to the association before turning to the media for help.

Here's hoping for the best.