This is an archived newsletter. Information featured in it may no longer be pertinent or accurate and some features may be missing.

Spring, 2006

Inside This Issue

  • Microchipping to Protect Your Pet for Life
  • FieldHaven Alumni
  • Junior Volunteers United
  • Memorial Gifts
  • Upcoming Events
  • 1 + 1 = 14: The Alarming Math if You Don’t Spay and Neuter
  • Our Wish List
  • 92 + 67 = 0: Life Saving Results of FieldHaven’s SNAP Program
  • Foster Homes Needed
  • How You Can Help
  • Play Time with Your Cat

Microchipping to Protect Your Pet for Life

The insertion is so easy: it takes about two seconds and most animals hardly flinch or seem aware of it, but it can protect your pet for a lifetime. It’s called a microchip.

A microchip is a tiny electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice. It is injected underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The chip is then readable by a scanner that every shelter and veterinarian has. Shelters are required to scan every pet that comes into the shelter.

The scanner will display an identification number that is registered in a national database, which contains your contact information. It’s that simple!

Microchipping works for dogs and cats.

Microchipping is for all pets, even indoor-only cats. What if your kitty got out? Or got away from you during a trip to the vet? Even if your cat wears a collar with ID, they are made to come off if your kitty gets its collar caught (please be sure to always use the breakaway type). The microchip is always there.

All FieldHaven adoptables are microchipped and registered at the time of adoption. The database information is provided so you can update your contact information. It is important to update the database if you move or your phone number changes. Last year, a neighbor of FieldHaven’s found a dog loping down the road with a collar but no ID. We were relieved when we scanned a microchip, but that relief turned to disappointment when the contact information in the database was out-of-date. None of the phone numbers or other contact information was up-to-date, so we were unable to contact the owner.

Dog owners have adopted the microchip idea, but cat owners still seem to be on the fence as to the benefit of chipping their cats. At FieldHaven, we’ve had some experiences that brought happy smiles to several families. Last fall, a FieldHaven volunteer was contacted about a cat wandering around a busy, main street in Roseville. When we scanned the kitty, a chip was found and through the national database, we contacted the owner. They promptly came over to claim their adventurous feline: she had been missing for two years!

Another experience brought the very best Christmas present to a Lincoln family. A black kitty was found in Sun City. Her microchip revealed her home was in downtown Lincoln – this girl had been doing some hiking! A FieldHaven volunteer returned her home on Christmas Eve. That gave new meaning to Home for the Holidays!

Microchipping can be done at any vet as well as many shelters. At FieldHaven, we can microchip your pet for $20, including registration. We have some special deals for FieldHaven adopters. If you’ve adopted a kitty from FieldHaven, we will microchip your other pets for $15 each. We started our microchip program in early 2005: if you adopted a kitty prior to that, we will microchip him or her for $10.

Call or email to schedule an appointment.

For more information on microchips, visit www.24petwatch.com.

FieldHaven Alumni

We love to stay in touch with our FieldHaven Alumni. We like to think of their Forever Home Families as an extension of our FieldHaven Family. Please drop us a line to let us know how your family members are doing.

Madeline

Madeline as a kitten

This little girl fooled all of us! She was just a little tyke, living in a foster home with her mom and siblings when she suddenly couldn’t even stand up. Her human foster mom rushed her to FieldHaven where we examined her and found her temperature to be less than 98 degrees, when normal for a kitty is 101 – 102! She could barely hold her head up, let alone walk. Veterinarians never could find a diagnosis for Madeline, but for several weeks foster moms rotated giving her round the clock care while she slowly recovered.

Madeline as the beautiful cat she is today

Madeline had some residual balance issues and a slight head tilt, but that didn’t prevent Sonia from falling in love with her the moment she saw her as a teenage kitten. We told Sonia that Madeline had some issues and we weren’t sure if she would outgrow them, but Sonia was hooked!

We are so grateful that fate brought Sonia and her family to FieldHaven. Sonia keeps in touch with us and here’s what she recently wrote:

“It is unbelievable how good she is with the kids and our dog. She was the perfect addition to our family. We’ve had a lot of people meet her. They are amazed how affectionate and relaxed she is. The kids carry her around the house and she purrs the whole time. She loves them.”

Thank you, Sonia, and we love you, Madeline!

Snow Angel, Frasier, and Sallie

We had heard great things about FieldHaven, so we were excited when we made our first visit there. My husband and I were hoping to adopt a couple of teenaged littermates. When we got there, just such a pair had arrived at FieldHaven just hours before! All seemed perfect until we went into the cat trailer to look at all the others “just to make sure.”

One resident was a very shy 10-month-old who had been in a difficult situation and was not fully socialized. Instead of running away from us, she walked right up to my husband and I, purring loudly! She had obviously chosen us – we never considered refusing her request. I don’t think any of us have regretted our choice for a moment (well, Snow did have some serious reservations when she found out she had to be put in a carrier for the ride to her new home, but it has been all good since then!)

With some hesitation because of his age, we also adopted her 10-year-old stepbrother, Frasier. He has turned out to be a snuggly joy to us and we are very happy to give him a home, but I still wanted a playmate for Snow that was her own age. Again, our wishes were granted when one of the FieldHaven foster moms called about a “wild” cat that was trapped in a field with four kittens. This very sweet and nearly starved girl was not wild at all, probably just dumped there when she had her kittens. She had been blinded in one eye, but was still a friendly and loving girl full of happy chirps and always ready for a game. She and Snow tear around the house in their own private versions of tag and “hide and seek.” Sometimes, even old Fraiser joins in.

Even though adopted as adults, they all are great pals, and often sleep together and groom each other. They have made our live immeasurably richer. I could not imagine life without our three FieldHaven kids.

Debbie K.

Junior Volunteers United

February 4th marked the first official meeting of the Junior Volunteers, ranging in ages from 8 to 15. This group of young persons will meet on the 1st Saturday of each month and spend time learning about responsible pet ownership and how to teach that to others in the community. They devote time to service projects, like clearing out some of the storage areas at FieldHaven or disinfecting and sprucing up the Cat Trees and Towers.

They’ve also been addressed by Rosemary Frieborn from Friends of Placer County and Dr. Roberta Peterson, our resident Shelter Vet. The Junior Volunteers of FieldHaven plan on making a real difference in the lives of cats and kittens that come into the care of FieldHaven. They are actively organizing several fundraising events to take place in the upcoming months. The group plans on purchasing a coin counting machine in order to quickly add up the pounds of coin donations received each year. Another planned purchase is a credit/debit card machine to quickly transmit adoption fee transactions. They look forward to making additional funds available to the SNAP Fund and the Garfield Fund.

You don’t have to be a junior to be involved in this active group of volunteers. If you range in age of 4 to 94 and wish to learn more, please join us or contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Peri Oldham at [email protected] or (916) 223-9934.

Memorial Gifts

In memory of her Mom, Happy Sweeley, given by Sharon Jones.

Upcoming Events

Open House at FieldHaven

Sundays – 10 AM – 4 PM

PetSmart Adoptions

Roseville (near Kohl’s)
2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month

Junior Volunteer Meetings

First Saturday of each month at FieldHaven.
Contact Peri at [email protected] for times.

See an up-to-date event calendar here

1 + 1 = 14: The Alarming Math if You Don’t Spay and Neuter

Kittens enjoying a supervised romp in the garden

A FieldHaven volunteer took a phone call one afternoon from a distressed and caring woman. Her parents had both passed on and she was selling their farm to developers. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were fourteen “barn cats” of varying ages that needed to be removed before the developers came. Her parents had let “Tommy,” their pet, start a family, which had grown and grown. The volunteer gave the usual spay and neuter lecture, but felt upbeat and energetic and responded with, “Yes, we can help you.” Thus began six months of very hard work that still continues.

Of the fourteen cats, six were 4-month-old kittens, just past the age of being able to socialize. That would mean the risky business of relocating them, and hoping they would stay put. Often, if not done right, they get hit by cars or killed by dogs or wildlife. Three of the 4-month-old kittens were relocated to a wonderful man’s ranch in Lincoln. The momma disappeared, which still breaks our hearts, but the three kittens remain. Sadly, one of the 4-month-old kittens had to be euthanized. Animal Spay and Neuter found her to be very ill from a liver problem. Another of the 4-month-old batch was hit by a car before it could be trapped and removed with its siblings. Another heartbreak!

The last 4-month-old is in a foster home and needs more socializing. Her name is Sweetie. She loves to be petted and scratched as long as she is in her safe zone, her cage. You can even give her medicine, but she will not allow you to pick her up. Three of the original fourteen “barn cats” were tiny, 5-week-old kittens, and could be socialized if we could find another foster home that could take on the very time consuming task of socializing the kittens. The volunteer that received the original call took the three, 5-week kittens to her house for socializing. Once you look in their eyes you are doomed to socialize. One has been adopted, two remain.

The last four were breeding adults. Three had to be left there. We absolutely had no place to put them. A neighboring farm said they would care for them. Unfortunately, two of these were not altered because they continually elude the trap.

This story could have been prevented by spaying one male and one female cat. Please help us stop unwanted and homeless pets!

Our Wish List

Things we can always use around the Cat Trailer:

  • Paper towels
  • Inkjet printer paper and Post-its
  • Kitty treats (our kitties like a variety)
  • Nail clippers
  • Bleach
  • Envelopes (all sizes)
  • Cat food for our feral colonies
  • Extra large litter pans
  • Odo-Ban Cleaner (available at Sam’s Club)
  • Digital thermometers
  • Medical supplies (if you work in a dr’s office or hospital)
  • Brooms, mops, dustpans
  • Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR)

92 + 67 = 0: Life Saving Results of FieldHaven’s SNAP Program

FieldHaven’s Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) was introduced in early 2005, when FieldHaven was awarded a grant by the Community Foundation of Lincoln. The purpose of the grant is to use the funds to assist the residents of Lincoln with spaying and neutering of feral and stray cats and providing education on the importance of addressing the issue of animal overpopulation.

Results: The first 12 months of the program provided spay/neuter surgery for 159 cats (92 females and 67 males). Additionally, education was provided by counseling caregivers on the management of stray and feral colonies. Youth education was provided through FieldHaven’s youth volunteer program and hosting educational sessions at the shelter for several scouting groups.

Impact: Based on the accepted formula that each female cat will produce 2.8 surviving kittens in each litter at the rate of two litters per year, the SNAP has essentially prevented hundreds of unwanted births in the first 12 months of the program. The table below provides statistics on the prevented births over a 3-year timeline. Surviving female kittens are factored into the statistics.

Conclusion: All of us at FieldHaven are proud of the success of this program and look forward to reporting even more dramatic results in the future. The community support and appreciation is demonstrated by the numerous letters of gratitude we have received from program recipients. Our thanks to the Community Foundation for helping us to start SNAP!

Feral cat births prevented in the first 12 months of the SNAP program

Female Cats Potential Year 1 Births Potential Year 2 Births Potential Year 3 Births
92 515 2,597 13,087

Please start chanting “Spay and Neuter” to all your friends and family. Refer them to FieldHaven for low cost programs in their areas.

Foster Homes Needed

Importance: The foster care program is vital to saving lives. Taking cats or kittens into foster care gives them an opportunity to be socialized. Without foster homes, we cannot rescue as many pets.

Time Involved: This will depend on the needs of each animal. Some foster cats/kittens are young or have health issues so it is important to understand the needs of each foster cat/kitten and how much time you have available. We can match you up with the appropriate foster cats/kittens depending on your time. Time required also depends on the number of animals fostered. The length of time you will foster also greatly depends on the individual cats or kittens. The foster period could be from two weeks to several months.

Lots of love goes both ways for a Foster Parent!

Qualifications: Most important is love and concern for pets. Time and desire to socialize pets. Willingness to provide food, water and medication, if necessary. Provide a clean living environment and daily care.

Expense Involved: FieldHaven will provide food, medical care and medications. Foster parents provide litter, toys and other items. We will also provide you with a Foster Kit of supplies you may need during the foster period.

Please contact us at (916) 434-6022 or see our foster page for more information. Lots of love goes both ways for a Foster Parent!

How You Can Help

We need your help (and funds) to continue to do all the work you admire us for. In addition to operating funds for our programs, here are other ways you can help:

Volunteering: Volunteering your time and talent is needed and welcome. No amount is too small. Junior Volunteers are welcome, too.

Donations Through Payroll Deductions: If your company has a giving program through United Way, FieldHaven can be specified as a beneficiary. If you’d like us to come give a presentation to introduce FieldHaven to your co-workers, email us at [email protected] or call (916) 434-6022.

Services: Do you or the company you work for have services or skills that we could use at FieldHaven? How about making copies? Or building materials? Maybe you’re really great with a video camera and would like to take some footage of “life at the Cat Trailer” – it could be the next hit reality show!

Speakers Bureau: We can use your public speaking skills or love of children to help spread the word by giving educational presentations in schools or speaking to adult groups about FieldHaven.

Give the Gift of Life: Ask your friends and family members to make a gift donation to FieldHaven instead of giving you gifts for your birthday or holidays. If you are having a birthday party for your child, maybe the kids could bring gifts for the kitties instead!

Play Time With Your Cat

It has been said that domestic cats “Are just a whisker away from wild.” This is easy to believe when you see their amazing speed and agility at play. Play time with your cat is a great way admire their abilities, bond with your pet, encourage them to use their scratching post, and bring a smile to your face. It also gives an indoor cat much needed exercise and a way to channel their natural instincts. Play works especially well for those wild eyed youngsters who are more inclined to get into mischief than to want to snuggle. You don’t need to spend lots of money to have many fun toys for you kitties. Paper bags, ping pong balls, and crumpled bits of paper are all toys kitties love.
Here are some games to try:

“Under the Rug”

Put a feather teaser with a long handle under an old throw rug with the feathers showing. Slowly pull the feathers under the rug. There is hardly a cat anywhere that can resist diving for the feathers as they disappear under the rug! Even older cats sometimes cannot resist this game.

“Chase the Bird”

Drag feather toys on and around your cat’s scratching post. They will associate play and scratching with the post. Occasionally add a little catnip or a cat treat to the post.

“Mouse in a Bag”

Many cats love to hide and play in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Roll the edges of a bag so they stay open and just put them on the floor. For an extra treat toss a toy mouse or ball in the bag and watch your kitties dive in to “catch” it.

“Chase the Mouse”

Tie a bit of crumpled paper onto a thick yarn or string and drag it across the floor or scratching post – kitties love to chase as it bounces and hops along the floor. They especially love to pounce on it just as it disappears around a corner or into a cardboard box. Some kitties love to hide in a bag or box, then leap out and surprise the “prey” as it goes by.

“Kitty Handball”

Toss a ball into the bathtub. It is like a little “kitty handball” court where the ball rolls back to them. Some kitties love to chase toys around in the enclosed space.

“Tag”

For this game all you need is 2 (or more!) young cats. They will invent endless games. If you adopt a pair of kittens they will keep themselves and you amused for many hours.

Also see our updated website at www.fieldhaven.com for lots more ideas.