Monday, September 19, 2011

More Cats on FPL Lot

UPDATE September 27, 2011 : Two emails were sent to the PR department and still no response.

Sure enough as I was jogging last week, I noticed a small black cat crossing the street just one block north of my building in an area dotted with homeless people eating or sleeping on the sidewalk. I slowed down to a slow-motion walk to get close to the black kitty. This was not Sonny, or Cher or Nicky, or Scotty. This was a new cat! Oh no! Immediately I turned and asked all the homeless men if they had seen this cat before. Most said no but one man said yes and that he regularly fed the kitty leftovers. Then he continued "there's a mama cat that gave birth to a litter of five kittens but one or two already died". I learned they live in the gated lot of Florida Power & Light.

I will be contacting FPL to alert them and ask for their participation in funding the TNR efforts (Trap, Neuter, Return). Let's hope the decision-makers are open to learning the facts and quickly stop the overpopulation of homeless cats. I'll keep everyone posted!

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Video: Myths about Feral Cats

UPDATE: A mother and her six kittens were discovered one block away. A homeless man has been feeding them. We need to get them spayed/neutered!  Please donate for this next round!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are you an Animal Lover or Spectator?

by Christine Michaels

What does it mean to be an "animal lover"? Does it mean feeding a hungry, homeless animal? Does it mean contributing a few dollars to a neighborhood effort to spay/neuter stray cats? Does it mean you would pick up an injured dog on side of road and rush it to nearest animal hospital and spend the thousand dollars if you had the money? Aaah and that is the crux. Often people have the money but would rather spend it on material things. We say we are a nation of animal lovers, yet during a recession people are dumping their animals into streets, an act of cruelty per the law.

More specifically I'm faced with a recurring issue that weighs heavily on my mind and emotional wits. I really need some feedback on this one.

Two coworkers live in same apartment building where they care for an outdoor stray cat. To protect their identities let's call these coworkers Roger and Jane. Both are single, no children, no dependents and are gainfully employed at prestigious advertising firm.  Often when congregating in the kitchen I hear stories of many nights out with friends. Per Roger "I never am home only to sleep at night. If I'm not at work then I'm out with friends" which explains why he does not adopt a homeless pet. Perfectly understandable.

However, Roger and Jane each feed Milo, the apartment's pet. Roger feeds him at night and Jane feeds him in the morning. Now of course I have educated them on the critical need to neuter Milo to reverse epidemic of homeless cats AND to stop animal cruelty.  I have shared personal, DETAILED stories of injuries by kittens and cats. This conversation has endured for well over 7 or 8 months. Roger jotted down name of closeby vet and the hours. I even offered to help with picking up Milo after surgery, etc. To this date, nothing has been done. Roger's refrain, "I'll talk and coordinate with Jane".

What time investment is required? 20 minutes to place Milo in a carrier and drop him off at vet on the way to work. 20 MINUTES! I even loaned them my pet carrier and offered to pick up Milo post surgery and do his post care! Roger is insistent on partnering with Jane. Therein lies the problem. Jane, in our last conversation,  shared she just doesn't want to make the time.  I was shocked! A wave of questions bubbled up to my lips I had to hold back "Then you're not an animal lover, are you?" "Why not be part of the solution instead of the problem?", "Do you not care that half of kittens are born,  die under 8 weeks of age?" This doesn't have to happen if people spay/neuter the animals they feed or care for.

Can Roger and Jane afford the $25? Absolutely!
Do they have the time? Absolutely!
Do they care? I suppose not. But it pains me that someone with the time and means and knowledge does nothing and is now intentionally part of the problem.

Here's where I believe that a full blown regional EDUCATION PSA campaign is necessary. There is a high recall (advertising lingo for "many people remember a particular commercial" ) of the ASPCA commercial with Sara McLoughlin. The story of an abused or abandoned dog, it pulls heartstrings, the tear geyser is gushing, and motivates you to open your wallet and donate. I did. What Miami needs is a brief video following the life and struggle of a mother cat and her kittens, the host of dangers they face.  A picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.

Do I think Roger and Jane are "animal lovers"? No. Another term is more fitting "Animal Spectators". Spectating from a distance and not wholly investing in their welfare are two different things. Roger and Jane love to watch Milo and feed him but care nothing for his general welfare and that of other cats. Once Jane was worried that Milo had evident injury. Something with his paw, he was limping. I lent her my carrier to take Milo to vet.  She never took him. Sadly I think I'm bordering on generalization in stating that Generation X is a generation of instant gratification. We hear if often and I see it. The "spoon feed me" or "it's not my problem" mentality.  My priest recently preached from the pulpit "Those who have the least, give the most". He's so right.

More recently, our CEO sent an inspiring message in commemoration of 9/11. He reminded us that "Silence is not a legacy" and encouraged us to not let evil prevail and speak out about an injustice. I used this opportunity to appeal to Roger and Jane. Roger came to see me immediately--a ray of hope. Again "I'll speak to Jane and coordinate with her." This was Friday, September 9th. That light of hope has vanished.

Why doesn't Roger just take Milo? Good question. At this point I don't want to ask for fear of nagging. There's that fine line between friendly encouragement and maintaining cordial professional working relationship. Rocking the boat at an employer is never wise.

I decided, I have to let it go. It's not easy, it's torture and instead convert that rage and frustration into pure energy to propel me to reach my dream of an educational campaign. Only then will we reverse this tragedy!

What do you think? Please share your opinion by clicking on "Comment" below.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Help U.S. Soldier bring Companion Dog Home

Amazement and frustration. Those are the sentiments that run deep, collide and lead to this posting. We hope any reader can help.

U.S. Soldiers are caring for stray dogs in battlefield. This is no surprise. For many soldiers it's the only semblance of normalcy or family life because war is anything but a normal and happy routine.

Given the high rate of post-traumatic syndrome that so many soldiers endure upon their return home, bringing the dogs home has shown to be therapeutic. Unfortunately, the military does not officially allow soldiers to "adopt" dogs or pets while serving but those restrictions have been loosely enforced.

The frustration is that the military does not offer any assistance (financial or physical) in bringing the dogs home with the soldier who chooses to adopt the dog after his tour of duty ends. Soldiers have to shoulder the $800 cost for a local courier to take the dog to a shelter and departing city like Kabul. This is a heavy burden on a soldier's military wages. This is the case for Army Sergeant Tim Johannsen who is trying to bring Leonidus, (nicknamed Leo) to his home in Illinois.

Then he must turn to nonprofit organizations like Puppy Rescue Mission that raise funds to help soldiers ship the dogs. It costs $3,500 for kenneling, vaccination and air flight. Anna Marie Connan is the wife of a serviceman who started this nonprofit organization in Colorado.

The dogs can be therapeutic in helping soldiers readjust to civilian life, said Cannan, who started the program after her husband brought a dog home from a deployment in Afghanistan.

She said that if the military made it easier to send dogs home, there would be fewer cases of post-traumatic stress. [Miami Herald]
With the growing number of studies that show the MEDICAL benefits of pet ownership, it is bewildering how factions of society are slow to change rules and laws with regards to pet adoption and ownership in the army and in condo dwellings that prohibit pets. But we are confident the tide is changing as long as we communicate to our legislators that health should always be a priority.

At the very least, shouldn't we do something for these men and women who sacrifice the ultimate price in going to war? They are separated from their families for a total of years, are often emotionally scarred and in need of a support system to reintegrate to family and social life back home. This is not easy. There is nothing easy about war. The scars run deep, often years. A dog, an unconditional friendship is often more therapeutic than a medley of drugs. Please read the entire Miami Article which offers topline results of numerous studies. It's on the second page title:


In the meantime, YOU can help Sgt. Johannsen in bringing Leo to his new home in good ole' USA and not left to die in war torn Afghanistan. His family has created a website to share their story and to collect donations.

Also, there are 20 dogs waiting to be shipped from Iraq and Afghanistan. To donate to this worthy effort, visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Audrey "Tiffany" Hepburn

Winner of the nationwide black cat photo contest by Best Friend Animal Society

Magnifique! Introducing the petite, sprightly and sassy Audrey "Tiffany" Hepburn (remember her role in "Breakfast at Tiffany's)?  We should have named her Holly Golightly after her nemesis as she uses her female charm to seduce you into spoon feeding her moist food and whatever she wants.  Tiffany has that exotic  look, like Bast (ancient Egyptian goddess), which explains her divaness. She is the ruler of her kingdom. And to believe she was once living on the streets! Yes Tiffany went from rags to riches!
Click here to see her former environment--a black diamond in the rough. Formerly called Audrey.

Tiffany is a year old but quite small for an adult cat. She has a lot of energy and needs a home where she can freely run and climb and also a playmate (another lively cat) to expend that energy.

She prefers moist food over dry food which is much healthier and may explain why she doesn't get fat like most indoor cats.

For only $75.00 you can adopt a gorgeous black female cat that has been bloodtested, vaccinated, spayed and with a microchip. U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan war can adopt this gorgeous pet at no cost! All medical paperwork is available. Also, you will receive a lovely gift basket containing a luxurious pet bed, ceramic pet bowl, several cans of premium moist cat food, bag of dry food, several toys including her favorite ones with cat nip, a book about cats AND a bottle of Coppola wine (red or white). Christopher Coppola and Otto, his black biker cat were the celebrity guests at Black Cat gala and have personally donated the bottles of wine for anyone who adopts a black cat from this website.

We'll also include her sleek, satin white collar with bell and bow.

This photo at top was winning photo for a contest sponsored by Best Friend Animal Society to raise awareness of the beauty, elegance and intelligence of black cats. This was just announced, so if you're interested in meeting and adopting Tiffany, please contact us right away.

Mylee-- blind, deaf & perfect!

Mylee is an 8 year old super sweet cockergirl who needs a foster or permanent home URGENTLY. I took her out of Miami Dade Animal Services from deathrow after securing a committment from a foster home and now the foster home wanted her out after only 3 days for other reasons.

Little did anyone know, Mylee is blind and partially deaf. There are misperceptions about blind animals. Often they are super human with extra sensory abilities that make up for the blindness and can walk on a leash and move around and play like any normal dog. And the joy they bestow is beyond anything of this world.  For more examples of blind animals, read this summary about Homer, a blind cat that saved his owner from an attacker and so much  more!

Please if anybody can help, call me urgently at 786-416-2860. She is spayed, has all shots, hw-negative and has no other diseases and weighs 22 pounds. Just a gentle lovebug who probably never had any luck so far poor baby. Like other pets, knowing she is loved and care for, she lights up and becomes playful and happy and walks very well on a leash. Unlike other dogs, Mylee is an excellent car rider, even long distances no problem. Mylee is Ms. Congeniality and gets along with other dogs and people and cats! So sweet just needs affection. Upon adoption,  food will be provided, also her dog crate.

Thanks so very much for saving a life and making a difference.
Stephanie E.