Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Denise's RAVS experience

I drove up to Bemidji last Tuesday and stayed with friends there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night -- Thanks again to Paul & Cathy and Maria for their hospitality and friendship and a special thanks to Cathy & Sonia for food treats each day for the volunteers!

I worked at the clinic all day on Tuesday and Wednesday, trying to help wherever I was needed: animal care, kennel cleaning, preparation of pet food and flea medications for giveaway, etc. I borrowed a friend's Jeep Cherokee so I could haul a load of supplies up to Red Lake and transport animals afterwards -- another Thanks to Gus who traded vehicles with me for the week.

I provide foster care for cats and kittens, so it is a special treat for me to work with dogs and cats at Red Lake. Most of the cats that come into the clinic are in pretty good shape. No doubt there are lots of sick and injured cats, too, but no one brings them in.
The skinny, mangey dogs really break my heart. They are so ready for attention and training; they just want to please you. Time and again we hear from the shelters that take in the dogs and their adopters that the Red Lake dogs have a wonderful temperament. Is it gratitude for the improvement in their circumstances? Photos of them soon.
One more Thank you to my friends who came into my home twice a day while I was out of town to look after my foster kittens-- I can't leave town without that help!
We packed the Jeep full on Friday morning with two large dogs, five adult cats, four older kittens and a momma cat with her newborn kittens. Almost all were dropped off at Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud.
I offered to take the momma cat with the newborn kittens into my home for foster care and they are now part of Feline Rescue. The young tiny skinny momma cat had a special "flank" spay to avoid problems with the five kittens nursing on her belly. It took me a few days to find a food she really likes, but now she is eating well and she's got the hang of caring for the babies. I was panicked when she wasn't eating well and the kittens were making a mess of their bedding and screaming in hunger, so I did some syringe-feeding to tide them over, but mom, Tatiana, is fully in charge now and the kittens are racing around in the bathtub and wrestling already!

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