Friday, February 25, 2011

Black Cat gives Thumbs Up

In the tradition of cute/ridiculous animal things, we present one video that defines both words with ease. This cat appears to have the opposable thumbs every other cat in the universe is lacking, and at about 13 seconds in totally looks like he (Jimmy) is giving a thumbs up sign. Watch and be amazed, and make sure you stay for the bonus "thumbs down" sign at the 00:31 mark. Didn't we say black cats were special!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Response from Master Assoc.

Update August 1, 2011: Still no response from Master Association.

Dear Residents,

It's quite sad that no one from the Master Association has returned my emails (three emails have been sent) or telephone calls. Click here to read email recapping my meeting with the assistant to Riverfront Association.

Please know that I walked the neighborhood and discovered  more stray cats which was no surprise. So I turned to the association and suggested a budget of $1,000 to spay/neuter any new strays for year 2011. What is $1,000 divided among 1,500 units? 66 cents a unit! They have spent millions of dollars on landscaping and anti-earth friendly tar for our roads but zero for the animals that live here. That are inherent part of this land.

What does this say? As many of you have indicated "they only care about money". Perhaps so.  But what is astounding is that this issue IS also about money. Imagine had residents volunteers not done anything two years ago to spay/neuter the cats. This property would have had 100 cats easily. The Master Association would have had to spend far more monies per cat to "remove" them which means to send them to their death.

This is the difficulty we (true animal lovers) face in trying to educate a community. Many just don't care. If the Riverfront Association wants hundreds of cats to run amok...

Who are the players?
  •  Key International (original developer; still heavily involved in outside association)
  •  ST Residential     (new asset management company overseeing the master association & the MINT)
  •  Starwood Capital (invested millions for the exterior improvements)

Christine Michaels

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Counter Protest Against MDAS

Maria Gonzalez demonstrates another solution to the shelter problem.
Organizers did not agree and screamed at her with blowhorns
On February 15, a woman by the alias "Rose Bloom" organized a protest against  Miami Dade Animal Services and demanded that the director, Dr. Sara Pizano resign. They claimed conditions were not acceptable for the animals. While animal advocates all agree conditions need to improve, many other volunteers with reputable organizations also support Dr. Pizano who has made notable progress. Christine Michaels had the opportunity to attend and protest the protest.
Click here to read Elinor Brecher's article in the  Miami Herald. According to Christine...
I had the opportunity to attend and speak in defense of Dr. Pizano. Some protestors just have no civility. It's disturbing to me how simple facts are grossly distorted. To show their ignorance, one protester approached a fellow volunteer stating that we (Cat Network) "don't take in black cats". Can you believe that! As if we cat loving folks discriminate against black cats. Apparently they didn't know WE organized the Black Cat gala to increase awareness and adoptions!
I was quoted at the end of the article but was not fully quoted. For clarification, "I agree with the protest's goals of demanding government provide more funding for the shelter." But I do not agree or can stomach extremist tactics such as those by No Kill Nation members on a Facebook page for this protest.  The comment by Amy Restucci on Facebook that I don't believe Auschwitz occurred was beyond disturbing on many levels.  Other protesters were starting to see their true colors. Shame on No Kill for using jihadist-like rhetoric.

I am proud to be a member of Cat Network that truly cares about animals first!

Sallie Byrd (former director of Humane Society) and Christine Michaels (Cat Network)

Charlene shares a positive solution of teamwork
Organizers of protest yelled at her "Traitor"

Rescue organizations believe there is more than one solution.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Photographer Helps Homeless Pets

To all my fellow animal rescue volunteers. Here's a great story and lesson on the need to take quality photos to increase your adoptions. Find a friend, neighbor or anyone with a digital camera. Take lots of photos and remember to take the photo at same level as pet!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elvis is Dead

Dear Neighbors,

With a heavy heart I report that Elvis is dead and Bobbsie is missing for several weeks and is presumed dead. Elvis was the only white and black cat and was the most shy of all the cats. He was found dead by one of the volunteers on SW 3rd Street.  We don't know the cause but perhaps he suffered internal injuries from being run over by a vehicle. Drivers race like speed demons on that road.

Bobby's brother, Bobbsie, has been missing for weeks and is presumed dead. He was a soft gray colored cat. He mostly resided by the alley or the "cat resort" which is the paved area on the east side of the bridge.

This is the life of street cats.

At the same time, SIX new black cats have joined the neighborhood. They are about a year old and could be Johnny Walker' siblings.  They do not appear to be social with humans and will have to be trapped for sterilization and live outside.  Therefore I will be contacting the Master Association for their financial contribution. Please click here on my efforts to get Riverfront Association involved.

Please consider donating cat food for our Riverfront cats or make a small financial contribution so we may buy cat food and flea/tick/heartworm/parasite medication which is added to their food.

For Financial donation, please use PayPal and send to

Christine Michaels
Lead Volunteer, Riverfront Cats

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ASPCA provides Grant to MDAS

The ASPCA will provide Miami-Dade County with a grant of $139,000 to help at-risk and homeless cats and dogs.

Dear Neigbhors,
Southern Florida, especially Miami, continues to face huge challenges in tackling the crisis of homeless pets. But Big Brother has stepped in. Below is the press release announcing that the reputable and highly recognized ASPCA will provide a grant to the Miami Dade Animal Services where record numbers of unwanted pets are dropped off everyday and most are put to sleep. There aren't enough resources to tackle this issue. Soon I will send the email of the mayor and county commissioners where you can voice your concern and ask government to work with all the rescue organizations and media to raise awareness and help save many adoptable, healthy pets from euthanasia.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently announced that it will provide Miami-Dade County with a grant to provide positive outcomes for Miami-Dade’s at-risk and homeless cats and dogs.

Totaling $139,000, the grant is part of the ASPCA Partnership launched in October 2010. The ASPCA Partnership organizations include Miami-Dade Animal Services, the Humane Society of Greater Miami and The Cat Network. Miami-Dade County was chosen for its leadership and strong, collaborative infrastructure.

“The purpose of the ASPCA Partnership is to reach out to those communities that need our help the most,” Ed Sayres, ASPCA president and CEO, says. “The Miami-Dade community faces a number of challenges, specifically an overpopulation of at-risk animals and a municipal shelter that is over capacity, but if the partners and community work together, we can continue the lifesaving trend and improve the lives of the county’s homeless dogs and cats.”

The grant will help the partner agencies by: improving shelter medicine protocols; fine-tuning agency operations; enlisting veterinary medicine professionals to help identify areas for improvement in the spay and neuter clinic; adding special adoption events for the coming seasons; funding a staff position to increase the number of lost pets reunited with their owners; and investing funds in the form of additional grants so that successful programs can continue to impact the future.

“More animals were adopted in Miami-Dade in 2010 than ever before, but our success continues to pale in comparison to our challenges,” Dr. Sara Pizano, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services, says.  “We are looking forward to launching improved programs and protocols in 2011 that will increase adoptions, reunite a greater number of lost pets with owners, and increase spay and neuter opportunities for the 37,000 animals expected to enter area shelters this year.”

Since the ASPCA began its Partner Community program in 2007, close to one million animals have been adopted, returned to owners, or spay or neutered as a result of the exceptional collaboration among partner agencies in each community.

For more information, visit the ASPCA’s website.