Monday, September 12, 2011

Rescue Profile: No Paws Left Behind Rescue & Transport

Volunteers Joan Dunham & Cindy Neal
helping secure pets for transport.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left behind.

Some people spend their lives wondering when “someone” is going to do something to help the homeless pets of Kern County. Then there are people like Teresa Walker, who established No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport, a nonprofit organization that pulls pets out of local shelters and transports them to northern California to waiting rescues.

Asked why she has chosen this action to help save pets, Walker said, “I volunteered at the SPCA and worked with two local rescues working to save Kern County shelter dogs. I wasn’t happy with the number of animals I was able to foster, spay/neuter, provide medical care and find loving homes for . The need is so great, and I felt I was not making a difference.  I decided transporting Kern animals to established rescues would allow me to save a larger number of them.”
Thus, No Paws Left Behind was formed. The organization transports pets from Kern County Animal Control as well as shelters in Shafter, Wasco and Delano to established rescues in northern California such as Big Dog Rescue, Wing and a Prayer Rescue, Second Chance Cocker Rescue, Noah’s B’Ark Rescue and the Milo Foundation, just to name a few. No Paws also provides regular transportation for Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. To date, over 200 cats and dogs have been pulled from local shelters and driven up north where they may live in a safe and loving environment while awaiting their forever home. All rescued pets are spayed or neutered before being adopted and receive medical care if necessary.

Every rescue transport is coordinated between the shelters holding the pets, the rescues accepting the pets and the people with No Paws who are doing the driving. Before each transport, the van used by No Paws has to be cleaned and sanitized, as well as all of the kennels used to hold the animals during the drive. This in itself is an all day process. On transport day, the entire trip from Kern County to the Bay Area and back, typically with several stops along the way, takes approximately 15 hours.

Pets awaiting transport to
Northern California rescues.
Photo courtesy of No Paws Left Behind.
Each trip carries around 35-40 animals, though No Paws has transported as many as 54 in one outing. No Paws utilizes a 12-passenger cargo van that has had the seats removed to make room for the kennels needed to secure the animals for their journey.

When asked about the hardest aspect of coordinating the rescue transports, Walker answered, “Making sure everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be   there, so things run smoothly.”

All of the work No Paws does to secure new homes for shelter pets is done at no charge to the shelters or rescue groups. The organization relies on donations to their 501(c)3 organization to cover the cost of gas, which typically runs $190 for each round trip.

Interested in lending No Paws Left Behind Rescue and Transport a hand? Head to their website and make a donation towards their next journey. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can get homeless pets one gallon of gas closer to a forever home.

*Originally written for the Bakersfield Voice

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cell phone cases to sigh for...

Did you know that you can go to Zazzle and make a customized cell phone case featuring your pet?

O.K., maybe you did know. It was news to me, though, which means I spent way too much time checking out these these cool cases.

Not sure I'd ever put my phone down if I was looking into these eyes:

Or this one:
Love this one, too!
How about one with your pet's photo on it?
Or use your phone to deliver a message just by placing it on the table: 
Or bring out your pup's inner rebel:

Sure, they're a little pricier than what you're going to find ready-made, but all the other phones will wish they were as cool as yours!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

C-A-T-P-O-O-P, Part Two

"Worried? Do I look worried to you?"
"O.K., I'm back now. Sorry about that, but I already live with three(!) cats, plus mom gives noms to Bob and Brin, so when I see a cat, I figure the least they can let me do is give it a chase, right?

But, back to my story. There I was, hanging out on the bed with Mom when she reached behind her and got her scissors. Now, I get the scissors a lot - to keep the hair out of my eyes, to get rid of super pesty mats and for when I get into the bad weeds that get wound in my fur, so I wasn't all that worried.

Then I hear a big 'snip' and WOW! I see a huge chunk of my hair in Mom's hand. Then she did it again and again. Holy moley --- Mom's gonna make me bald, just because of some cat poop!

She kept cutting and cutting, and I was getting pretty worried. Mom never went to dog groom school or anything...what if I look like a big ol' dork when she's done? How will I ever face the other dogs again? Or the cats?

Then she said she was done. She opened the door and told me to go find Dad. Man, what was Dad going to think? He said he liked my long hair.

Dad took one look at me and said he
loved it! He kept touching my new, short hair while telling me how soft and fluffy I am now. He said I look bunches smaller and that my cut made my short hair look all bouncy. Hmmmm, maybe this isn't so bad after all.

Of course, you know there had to be one more insult. I had to go to the dog wash. Geez, I didn't even smell like cat poop anymore, but was that good enough? Nope - they had to make me smell like Cucumber Melon, or some other silly scent. I don't even get to smell like a dog.

So, what do you think? Mom says the pictures aren't the best because she's bad with a camera, but they'll have to do for now.

"Guess I should be glad I got to keep my tail and my leg fluff."

"Mom says it looks like I got a body wave in my hair now."
"Mom tried to find a hairy "before" pic for you to see how much she cut off."
"See? I'm not really all white. Down by my skin my hair
is light brown. You can see it lots better now that it's short."

"Yeah, I think I'm going to dry a lot faster
when I fall in the pool next time."
"So, that's my story. The biggest lesson I learned? Sometimes you have go through a little cat poop to make a big change in your life."

Don't forget to check out other great blogs on today's hop!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Trouble is spelled C-A-T-P-O-O-P"

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, Darby found himself some cat poop the other day...

*tap tap tap*

"Uh, Mom, you said I could tell the story and you'd type what I said."

O.K., Darby. I'll let you tell it.


"Well, I was out for morning patrol and I found me a great pile of cat poop, fresh and everything, like a gift, almost. No way I was letting that go to waste so *bam*, in I jumped, sliding and smushing it all over me. And I did great! I had poop and grass pieces from the corner of my eye all the way down my side in big brown swirls. I was super proud of how well I got it smushed in --- until my folks caught me.

'Darby, why the hell did you do that?' Dad said.

'Because he's a dog,' Mom answered (duh).

'Well, he's not coming near the house like that. We're going to have to hose him off.'

'Of course we are, since I actually have on decent clothes and managed to dry my hair today so it would look decent tonight,' Mom said.

Mom went in to change clothes and get some shampoo while I hung out in the back yard, drawing flies. She came back out and Dad held my collar while she washed out all my hard work and tried to make me smell like a clean dog. It took a while, but she finally said I was as good as I was going to get and told Dad to let go of me.

Happy!!!! I was happy to finally be free, plus I was wet, which is almost as good as poop, but not quite, so I did what love doing when I'm wet --- I found a spot on the grass and rolled around. Yep, I got more grass in my fur, even if I missed the poop patch this time.

I trotted back to Mom, tail held high. Then I noticed she had "the look". Not the scary look when I know she's mad, but the other one...the one that says she's getting her way, no matter what. She said something about a 'last straw', but that didn't make any sense. It was grass, not straw. Geez, even I know the difference.

She told Dad to go in the house and go back to work. Then she went in and left me in the yard for a few minutes.

When Mom called for me, I came in, like I always do. She asked me to come into the back room. She had the radio on and a nice blanket on the bed for me, so I hopped up and stretched out. I figured we were going to do some 'grooming', since she likes doing it back there, but I was not ready for what happened next.

Mom reached behind her and...

CAT!!!!!! There's a cat out back and I've got to go RIGHT NOW.

I'll have to finish my story tomorrow..."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Bad Kitty Bo says, 
"No one appreciates the importance of having a strong labor force quite like a cat. 
Now, go forth and labor to serve me this Labor Day!"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Update on the Strabies

It's been about three weeks since Brindle (henceforth known as "Brin") decided to join his buddy, Bob, in campaigning to become the newest members of our family.
"Hi, I'm Brin, and I've decided these peeps are O.K." 
Turns out he is a super sweetheart with a cool, ultra-laid-back personality. All of our cats are pretty nonchalant about his visits, which are beginning to happen while the sun is still up --- unlike Bob, who still has a healthy enough respect for the white devil dog to wait until after sunset to make his appearance (which is why there's no Bob photo yet).
Trying to get a picture of him at his height is almost impossible,
because as soon as I crouch down, he's heading over for pets.
 Brin really enjoys being petted and, despite his super thin frame, he will regularly stop eating to come over and get some scritches. There are times when it seems that the food is a secondary consideration to having a little people company. This is not the case with Bob, who seems to be under the impression that every meal may well be his last. We've toyed with changing Bob's name to "Dyson", but he seems happy enough with Bob the Cat.
"I dig this table. Safe and close to the water hole."
Brin spends some time on one of the outdoor tables nearly every night, just chilling out. It makes our heart happy that he finds it to be a safe place where he can rest for a bit. You'll rarely catch Bob up there, as it's entirely too far from where we drop the food.

We've taken to calling them "The Strabies", a nonsensical word I made up as a contraction of "stray babies". I have no idea how this will ultimately play out. My husband (who also has a nickname - the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man, because of the softness of his critter-loving heart) has a serious infatuation with Brin and mentioned that we might need to figure out some type of shelter for the winter. A section of yard that is double-fenced allows the Strabies pretty easy access while keeping them safe from dogs (including the Doodlebug) and might be a good spot for a cat house. Fortunately, Southern California winters are a long way from unbearable, and a long time from now. Today, the weather is fine, the Strabies know the yard is all theirs once the sun goes down (with the exception of Darby potty outings, but they've figured out the signs and know how to disappear when they hear his tags jingling), and we're in their corner.

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