Treasurer’s Treasure

The Treasurer’s Treasure    (Tami Bruhn-Nelson, LCHS Treasurer)

It was a cold dreary January day in 2010 when I saw him.  He had been brought to the Shelter by a kind person who felt sorry for the starving cat who he’d found under the porch.  The vet and Shelter staff did not know if the cat would live.  He was nothing but a skeleton and he had no energy left to eat.  After fluid IV’s he was brought back to the Shelter.  They coaxed him with cottage cheese and canned food.

Me Crosseyed?

Me Crosseyed?

On my visits to look at kittens I walked past his cage.  He just laid there and looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes.  They were CROSSED.  I wondered if he saw two of me.

I'm Ready for a Home

I’m Ready for a Home

I didn’t allow myself to wonder if he’d still be there the next time I came by.  Each visit I thought I’d see a slight improvement.  He started standing!  Two months went by and I’d look into those beautiful blue eyes on each visit.  And then the day came…

He was ready to be adopted.  He weighed all of 7.5 pounds.  Not exactly a healthy weight since that is what a healthy medium sized kitten weighs.  But he was alive and ready for a family.

I couldn’t let this Siamese mix cat out of my life – much to my husband’s dismay.

Knitting Supervisor

Knitting Supervisor

I named him Spunki because he had the spunk to cling to life.  The Shelter Manager at the time warned me he would not eat dry food.  When I adopted Spunki I made a promise to him that as long as he was in my life I would buy him canned food.

 

I’ve kept my promise as evidenced by this photo.  Petsmart staff laugh when I check out with cases of Friskies shredded canned food.  I’m not sure they believe it is for one (1) cat.

One Cat???

One Cat???

 

A FOREVER HOME

A FOREVER HOME

 

Transport

A TRANSPORT IS MORE THAN LOAD AND GO

 

The Lemhi County Humane Society (LCHS) Salmon Animal Shelter is so fortunate to have good working relationships with other animal shelters and rescues.  Since we are able to transfer our animals out to larger metropolitan areas the time an animal must wait for their forever home is significantly reduced.  There have been several instances that as dogs are unloaded from our transport vehicle an individual spots him/her.  They have literally run into the office saying “I want the dog that is coming in.”  Adoption YES!

Transport Starts Here

Transport Starts Here

Because we try our best to only transport healthy and well-adjusted animals these groups keep saying yes when we request a transfer.  If the animal does not fit in for any reason we will always bring it back to the Salmon Animal Shelter.  The LCHS treasures these relationships.  Without them we could not operate as a no-kill shelter.
A transport is not as simple as putting a dog or a cat in the vehicle and driving to a destination.  There is great effort put into communication and logistics.

100 Cars for Good

100 Cars for Good

The first step is for the Shelter staff and Board members to decide which animal has a better chance to find a home outside our area.  Then determining which group could best assist in their adoption.   The Shelter Manager makes contact either via email or telephone.  Accurate personality descriptions are a must in addition to pictures.  Some rescue groups require pictures of every angle of a dog.  (Dogs generally don’t understand the need to stand STILL while being photographed.)

Pose to the Right

Pose to the Right

 

Pose to the Back

Pose to the Back

 

Pose to the Left

Pose to the Left

Post to the Front

Post to the Front

Patiently waiting for a response is difficult because we so badly want our animals to find good homes NOW.

 

Once an affirmative response is received the leg work begins.  Finding a person to transport is the easiest part.  Mike O. is always “on call” as are our Board members.

Transporter Mike O.

Transporter Mike O.

The Shelter Manager verifies every animal has been spayed/neutered; chipped (dogs); wormed; and is up-to-date on vaccinations.  For transports into Montana a visit to the vet is necessary for every animal in order to obtain a Health Certificate.  A phone call is then made to the State of Montana for a permit number.  Each animal is described in detail (breed, color, age, rabies vaccine number, etc.)  Every piece of paperwork in the animal’s file is copied to accompany the animal.  By doing this step the receiving rescue group has a complete history of the animal.  We believe this helps our animals get into their system more quickly.

Paperwork Paperwork

Paperwork Paperwork

Some groups require that the health records are scanned and emailed to them in advance of the transport.  We do whatever it takes to get our animals moved so they can find their forever homes.

Transport Crew

Transport Crew

On the day of the transport the Shelter staff is hands on.  Dogs are individually crated unless they are puppies.  Puppies tend to like to cuddle for the trip.  Cats can be crated if their personalities allow.

Transport Loading

Transport Loading

 

 

 

 

Depending upon the transport some dogs are allowed to ride loose in the vehicle.

Cody and His Bed

Cody and His Bed

 

 

 

When pulling out of the Shelter with our Teton Toyota van loaded the noise can be DEAFENING.  Barking and meowing to the max.  Normally within a few miles all becomes quiet.  Then there are those that continue to make noise the entire trip.

Loaded to the Max

Loaded to the Max

One recent transport was with ten cats that had languished for months at our Shelter.  Within three weeks at the Humane Society of Western Montana (HSWM) in Missoula every cat had a family.  Totally heartwarming!  Another recent transport included ten dogs to HSWM and within one week everyone had homes.  That is what it is all about – ADOPTIONS TO FOREVER HOMES!

Bluebell's Intake at HSWM

Bluebell’s Intake at HSWM

It takes a great deal of effort on many levels to pull off a successful transport.  The payoff is so worth it.  To find a forever family for every animal that finds itself at the Salmon Animal Shelter is our reward.

Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye.  Little Bluebell touched our hearts.  There were a few tears shed watching her be so brave at her HSWM intake.  A few more were shed the next day when we were told she was ADOPTED.

MEANT TO BE

Meant to Be

Wally came to the Shelter in the spring of 2013.  He and his owner were living in the man’s pickup truck and it had broken down in Salmon.  A local church opened their doors to the man and the Shelter opened its doors to Wally.  The original plan was the man would be in a rehab program for a few months and return for Wally.  Sometimes plans having a way of changing.  Wally found himself available for adoption.

Available for Adoption!

Available for Adoption!

Wally was approximately 2 years old when he entered the Shelter.  He is a Shar-Pei and German Shepherd mix.  Although he is a wonderful dog he exhibits traits that made him a little more difficult to place.  He is very loyal and friendly.  BUT he doesn’t always like every person who he comes in contact with.

Wally was somewhat depressed when he no longer had a pickup truck to call home or his man.  However, he learned to accept Shelter life.  He liked the 2 squares a day.  Rarely found a dog that he didn’t buddy up to.  And he loved to go on the daily dog runs!  He was often the Star of the Shelter Facebook page!

Wally is the Leader

Wally is the Leader

In the fall of 2013 Wally was one of 12 dogs taken to the Western Montana Humane Society adoptathon event in Missoula.  All the dogs were put through a regiment of behavioral tests before they could participate.  Well, Wally was the only one who didn’t pass.

It just so happened a Shelter Employee (Mike) was a transporter.  Wally liked Mike and he liked Mike even more after spending the night on the bed with Mike!

This bed is COMFY!

This bed is COMFY!

Mike felt terrible that Wally wasn’t going to find a home that weekend.  Wally didn’t seem fazed when he returned to a familiar place – the Salmon Animal Shelter.

Perhaps Wally already knew something that no one else did?

Mike had to quit working at the Shelter in January, 2014 because of back problems.  He always asked about Wally.

The winter and spring of 2014 came and went.  Wally showed the new Shelter dogs the ropes around the Shelter.  He was an outstanding leader on the daily walks!

Wally & His Friends

Wally & His Friends

In June it became clear that one of Mike’s rescue dogs named Gary was not long for this world.  Mike didn’t know hold old Gary was but his age was showing.  Ramps were built.  Trips to the vet were made.  Pain meds were increased.  Gary finally let Mike know it was “time.”  Mike had always told everyone that when he lost a dog he would be up at the Shelter to find a new soul waiting for a home.  Mike allowed himself a grieving period.  Then he went to go adopt Wally.

Ready for a Ride Anyone?

Ready for a Ride Anyone?

During this time a couple showed an interest in Wally.  They had a fenced yard and seemed like the perfect fit.  Mike didn’t have a fenced yard.  Mike decided their home would probably be better for Wally.  The trial weekend came and went with Wally remaining at the Shelter.

No Issues!

No Issues!

When the Shelter doors opened on Monday Mike was there to see how Wally interacted with his other 2 dogs.  NO ISSUES!!

Mike adopted Wally.

My Favorite Spot

My Favorite Spot

The President of the Humane Society knew Wally would end up with a single man.  Hmmm it appears Wally knew which single man he wanted for his own.

Wally adjusted perfectly to life in a house with no behavioral issues.  Period.  His only quirk is he is very protective of his new truck.  Given he called a truck “home” for two years Mike can work around that!

MY Truck!

MY Truck!

Now the question is asked.  Who saved who?  Most everyone would say Mike saved Wally.  However Mike disagrees.

Whoever saved who –

IT WAS MEANT TO BE!!!

Life is Good

Life is Good

Parvo Puppies

PARVO & PUPPIES

The “P” Word One of the most exciting, yet worrisome, events at any shelter is the appearance of puppies as shelter residents. While our shelter loves having them, and we rarely have any problem finding homes for them, puppies are a double edged sword. This spring we received a litter of gorgeous Heeler/Aussie mix puppies. Because they were such wonderful dogs folks immediately started clamoring for a PUPPY!

ADORABLE PUPPIES!!

ADORABLE PUPPIES!!

While we wanted the pups to get adopted and go home with their new families as quickly as possible, our first concern was for the health of the pups. The person who brought them to us had said that the mother did not nurse them for very long and that she had been giving them milk replacer since about 2 weeks of age. Unfortunately, this was a red flag indicating that the pups had probably not gotten a lot of antibodies from their mom, which meant that they would be prone to disease, especially to attack by the parvo virus.

Parvo is one of the most common serious dog disease problems encountered in any animal shelter – and the most worrisome for the owner of any new puppy. The parvo virus can live in the environment for up to a year. It causes an acute, highly contagious disease that most often occurs in puppies 6 to 20 weeks of age. The virus has a tendency to attack rapidly-reproducing cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract, which causes the cells of the tract to die and sluff off, producing a foul smelling diarrhea and the inability of the puppy to absorb food or water. Young pups become dehydrated very quickly.   If proper veterinary care is not immediately begun- which typically involves putting in an IV and giving the puppy fluids – puppies can die.

Starting at 6-8 weeks puppies can receive the first of three vaccinations to protect against parvo, but puppies aren’t fully protected against the disease until after they’ve received their 3rd injection, anywhere from 10-16 weeks of age. We tend to vaccinate early in the shelter environment so that the third vaccine is given when the puppies are 14 weeks of age.

This particular litter of pups DID receive their initial vaccination upon arrival at the shelter, but it proved to be too little, too late. Within the first 6 days of arrival all seven of the puppies began to show signs of the virus, meaning that these pups had been exposed prior to arrival at our shelter, since the virus must first enter the gut of a puppy and then requires an additional 3-7 days for the disease to cause symptoms. Once we observed early signs of the disease – listlessness, not drinking water – all seven of the pups were immediately started on IV fluids and other supportive treatment.

There are various strains of the parvo virus and this particular strain proved to be especially virulent. The pups would appear better and then would sink back into the throes of the disease. This continued over the course of a week, at the end of which only 3 of the pups survived.

Parvo disease is spread from dog to dog mainly through exposure to contaminated feces. It is also spread through contract with contaminated objects which can include hands, clothing, food and water dishes, toys and bedding  Insect and rodents can also provide a means for disease spread. Parvo must be treated by a veterinarian! Parvo can have a fairly high mortality rate in puppies – up to 48% – despite early or aggressive therapy. There is no specific cure, so treatment consists of providing supportive care so the body can produce enough antibodies of its own to neutralize the virus. Puppies that survive for 3-4 days generally have a good chance of making a full recovery within a week, depending on the virulence of the strain that is infecting the puppy.

Unfortunately, at shelters, animals with parvo may be adopted out while they are incubating the disease, and then become ill a few days later in their new home. New owners often don’t know what to look for and sometimes don’t get the animal to a veterinarian in a timely manner. Although the puppies in this particular litter had not gone to their new homes yet they had been adopted.  Seven puppies were sick and seven adoptors were hoping their puppies would pull through.  It was an agonizing time for all.

Berta is one of the puppies from this litter that pulled through. She was a very sick little girl who spent a week at the veterinarian struggling for her life; but the struggle paid off.

Survived Parvo!

Survived Parvo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now she is living the dream life of any shelter dog. She has a family that loves her and 2 canine and 1 feline companions.

She has a basket filled with toys.  bertaparvo1basket

So what is in Berta’s future?

Having play dates.

Play Date

Play Date

Teaching Oso that he can play!bertaparvoosoplay1 He didn’t know how to play until Berta came into his life.

Play Oso Play

Play Oso Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nap time on a soft bed with a little big brother.

Nap Time

Nap Time

 

Living life to the fullest!!!

Adopted Chompers

IT WORKS! 

Nominating a dog at the Salmon Animal Shelter for Mascot finds them their forever home.  We are two for two.  Only dogs who have called the Salmon Animal Shelter home for a significant numbers of months qualify.  Chompers was well-qualified.  She is was us for 1 1/2 years.

Looking for a Home!

Looking for a Home!

 

 

 

In January, 2014, Chompers was nominated as the Shelter Mascot.  The weblog story featuring Chompers stated:  “The last dog that was going to be nominated for mascot (Nubis) was adopted.  Chompers – you are hereby nominated to be Shelter mascot!”  We also questioned in the story if it was the name Chompers that had kept her at the Salmon Animal Shelter for almost one year.

Chompers in Camo

Chompers in Camo

 

Silly Chompers

Silly Chompers

In April, 2014, Chompers was transported to the Montana Animal Companion Network (MTCAN) as a guest at the home of Judy.  Every Saturday the MTCAN holds an event in front of the Hamilton, MT Walgreen’s.  On April 19, 2014, Chompers, renamed Chandra, was one of the featured dogs available for adoption.

I'm in Montana now!

I’m in Montana now!

On May 4, 2014, Chandra found her forever home.  She hit the jackpot big time and she certainly deserved it.  Not many dogs can keep their good nature when they are sheltered for 1 ½ years!  A retired couple adopted her and there is no more home shuffles or abandonments at a shelter in her future!  She is with her family all the time and they even have a grandson she can play with.  Woohoo!

Aaaahhh - to be LOVED!

Aaaahhh – to be LOVED!

So was it the name Chompers which delayed her finding a forever family?  We aren’t sure because she is back to being called Chompers.  Once the couple’s grandson  learned that her original name was Chompers, he INSISTED she was not a Chandra.

We doubt Chompers cares what she is called.  She is just happy to have her forever family that adores her.