At Fur Kids Foundation, our board members LOVE their adopted animals. In fact, the majority of us have adopted our pets from rescues or shelters—those are some bragging rights, if I do say so myself. Below are some snapshots of the pets that stole our hearts. Can you guess which pet goes with which board member?
We love our rescues so much that we want to help shelter pets find their way home this year. April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, and to help some of the pets in our local shelter find a home, we’ve paid half of adoption fee at the City of Gillette / Campbell County Animal Shelter for Ava and Rosey!
We feel that in a perfect world, every pet would have a home, and every home would have a pet. Do you have a rescue pet that you love? Tell us about them below in the comments.
Update: May 21, 2014
Fur Kids Foundation is happy to report that both Ava and Rosey are in their furever homes! However, there are still many dogs, cats, and kittens looking for a place to call home at the Animal Shelter. If you're looking to add a new furry member to your family, please consider adopting. For a list of the adoptable pets at the Animal Shelter, click here.
On April 2014, Red Hills Veterinary Hospital (RHVH) opened its doors to the community. Before they opened, Fur Kids Foundation sent Garry Gotfredson, DVM, or Dr. G to his clients, some questions to answer about himself, his clinic and his veterinary practice philosophy.
First, let’s tell you a little bit about Dr. G.
Dr. Gotfredson was born and raised in Worland, Wyoming, and raised cattle, sheep and horses—and this is where his interest in veterinary medicine began.
“My favorite part of raising animals was "doctoring" the sick ones. It was from these experiences that my desire to help animals and people grew,” he said.
After attending the University of Wyoming, he was accepted to veterinary school and graduated with a DVM in 2008 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation he has practiced in both emergency and mixed animal hospitals in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.
An outdoorsman, Dr. G says he tries to spend as much time with his wife, Janell, and his two-year-old son, pictured above.
Dr. G describes Red Hills Veterinary Clinic as a modern, high-quality, full-service veterinary clinic that focuses on individual pet and pet owner needs, as well as livestock and equine services. He enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and working on a variety of patients—he especially enjoys orthopedic surgery, anesthesia and internal medicine. He has taken several advanced courses in orthopedic surgery, anesthesia, dentistry and ultrasonography.
“I want people to know that I strive to communicate well and do my best for both the pet and the owner when they are at my clinic,” Dr. G said.
There are three unique procedures that pet and livestock owners will have with RHVH. They are:
The Clinic also plans to offer pet wellness programs to allow preventative care for their clients’ pets.
“Much like the health care for humans, we feel that preventing disease is much more cost effective and better for our pets, rather than simply treating the disease,” Dr. G says. “Owners are able to choose various package levels to meet their budget and pet needs. By providing this service, we see pets receiving medical care much earlier than the average pet.”
Fur Kids Foundation is happy to report that Dr. G will also participate in our program to help families in Campbell County pay for veterinary care they may not have expected. The Clinic also plans to set goals to donate and provide services to organizations that support pet care in the area.
We did ask Dr. G what makes him happy to be a veterinarian. To which, he responded:
“There are many cases that are rewarding. To me, cases where animals have a life-threatening injury and I am able to deliver treatment or medical techniques that save the animal’s life within minutes are quite memorable. For example, when an animal has been hit by a car and is clearly having trouble breathing. This is because they have chest trauma resulting in free air around the lungs. Veterinarians can step in and "tap" the chest to remove this free air, which will immediately resolve the restriction, and allow the pet to breath with ease.”
There you have it, folks! Dr. G is a great guy who clearly has a passion for helping animals and the people who care for them. We’re excited to have Dr. G and Red Hills Veterinary Hospital in Gillette, and hope you are as well.
Red Hills Veterinary Hospital is located at 2007 S. Douglas Highway next to Aarons Furniture in Gillette. Below is RHVH’s contact information and where you can go to learn more about their services and staff.
Ever wonder what your cat is really thinking / saying when you walk through the door from work at night and he yowls at you? Or, when you are scratching his head and he seems to like it, and then quickly runs away?
Yeah. Me too.
While I don't believe I'll ever find the magic handbook on my cat's ever-changing attitude, I think these info-graphics do a pretty good job of giving cat lovers an idea of what our little purr monsters are really up to. Or, perhaps, helping out non-cat-people (is there such a thing?) to what their friend's cat is thinking about them. Check them out!
Have you seen any other info-graphics or read any articles on cat postures and levels of trust? If so, please share them in the comments.
As you may know, Fur Kids Foundation exists to help financially strapped pet owners in Campbell County, Wyoming afford medical treatments for their pets. While we aren't the only organization in the nation that provides assistance for veterinary care, we are the only organization in Northeastern Wyoming that does (as of April 2014).
As of May 13, 2014, the Foundation has helped more than 50 families and granted more $10,000 in aid since we helped our first case in September 2012. (PSST: Check out our Success Stories page to read about the pets we've helped!) The average cost of the cases Fur Kids Foundation has helped is roughly $190, but we have given as much as $665.
There are times when the Foundation receives six requests for assistance a month, and times when the Foundation receives four requests for assistance a day. And, we are also very fortunate to work with all of the veterinarians in Gillette who often deeply discount their services to clients who reach out to the Foundation for help, allowing us to help more families in need.
However, you may not know how we do what we do.
Typically, the Foundation raises funds by soliciting donations from businesses and individuals as well as hosting fundraising events. Many of you have likely participated in one of our events such as Pet-A-Palooza, Holiday Portraits with the Grinch, and many more. We also apply for numerous grants, as well as list ourselves with other businesses that donate a portion of their proceeds to nonprofits such as AmazonSmile or BISSELL Partner for Pets. And, when we're really lucky, businesses host fundraising events on our behalf like what Annabelle's Cookies, Hands on Pottery, Petco Gillette and Photo Imaging Center Gillette have done for us in the past year. The most money the Foundation has ever amassed at any one time is $4,000, which was raised at the 2013 Pet-A-Palooza.
So, who are the people who run this organization and put these fundraisers together? A volunteer force of animal lovers with full-time jobs of their own. And, may I also point out, generous hearts. The Fur Kids Foundation board members and volunteers all contribute their time, talents and money to the Foundation every year. Countless hours are put in each month by board members and volunteers to process applications for assistance, hang posters for fundraisers, plan other fundraising events, write thank you letters to donors and volunteers, reach out to businesses for donations, write blogs and update the website and social media pages (Facebook and Twitter), among other duties.
We also work very hard to make sure that the majority of our money goes to helping families. However, there are costs that we do have to raise additional money to pay for such as insurance for the board of directors and events, marketing, and booths at events where we can get information out about our organization. The majority of our marketing is done online and via word of mouth, and so far that has been working well for us. We can safely say that less than 20 percent of the money raised goes to cover administrative costs.
The only reason the Foundation has the money to help pet owners is because of the very generous donations by businesses and individuals, as well as the dedication our board members and volunteers have to helping families keep their pets healthy.
Fur Kids Foundation has made a big impact on the community and has helped many families. Our board members and volunteers are very proud of this impact, and we look forward to doing much more in this community and region for many years to come. However, the only way we can survive is if you want us to. Help us continue to help families in Campbell County, Wyoming afford pet care. Donate today.
As a former ferret owner, I have first-hand knowledge of the good, the bad, and the smelly.
Ferret Myth No. 1: Ferret's stink!
They don't stink. I mean if you don't bathe them and change their bedding on a regular basis, they might... but then again so would you. You should know that ferrets are born with scent glands, mother nature has granted them with a natural defense, just as she did the skunk. However, the scent a ferret gives off isn't nearly as offensive as the skunk. More often than not, more so in the U.S., ferrets have their scent glands removed.
Ferret Myth No. 2: They're just like a cat, so you can buy them cat food and they can use cat litter.
Well, they're not a cat. Unless, your cat is a dog and then the answer would still be no. They're nothing like cats. They're nothing like dogs. They're just ferrets.
You wouldn't compare a horse to a lion, would you? No, because they're different species, right? As are cats and ferrets. So, you can't feed a ferret cat food. Why? Because ferrets are carnivores. They eat meat and have a high metabolism, which means they need to eat often. It also means they poop a lot.
Now when I say they poop a lot, I mean they poop all the time. They are big corner poopers, and the pet industry has happily complied by manufacturing corner shaped litter boxes. Buy 10. Seriously. Because your ferret will poop everywhere and anywhere, so you might as well give them some options.
Why can't I just buy some cat litter? Well, you could. But then it would eventually kill your ferret. How? First of all, ferrets are much lower to the ground than cats. Second, most conventional cat litters are clay based and they give off a dust. Ferrets are more likely to inhale this dust, because they are lower to the ground, which isn't really that good for them. So, you'll need to purchase a newspaper based litter. NO CLAY! Also, ferrets don't bury their poo like cats, so you'll need to scoop it out on a daily basis. Otherwise, they will keep pooping in the same spot over, and over, and over again.
Ferret Myth No. 3: They're easy to take care of, just like a hamster or a Guinea pig.
So, they're not a hamster or a Guinea pig. Just like they're not a cat, dog, horse, or lion. They're a ferret. It's not that they are a difficult animal, but you shouldn't assume they're easy either. A hamster may be content to hang out in it's cage all day long, with little human contact. A ferret on the other hand would not. They need socialization and play time out of their cage a least four hours every day. Since they are entirely too cleaver and curious for their own good, they need a safe play area. So you will need to “ferret proof” where ever you plan on letting them play. Because if they can fit their head into/through something, then they can fit the rest of their body. Trust me when I say this, they will squeeze themselves into just about anything and everything. So, an old basement with an open well, or drain would be out of the question. Unless, you want to murder your new pet. I'm guessing you don't, so, choose their play area wisely.
Because of their innate curiosity, I wouldn't let them “roam free” either. So, those four hours of play time will need to be supervised. My boy, Kisser, if left unattended would usually worm his way into the sofa springs and he frequently chewed a few holes in the lining of my box spring mattress and would often hide out there.
At the end of the day a responsible pet owner needs to do his/her research before adopting or purchasing any pet. Of course adopting a pet from a rescue or a shelter is preferable, and just like there are dog/cat/horse rescues, there are indeed ferret rescues. Ferrets end up in rescues mostly because their owners had no idea what they were getting themselves into and became overwhelmed. It's actually a reason lots of pets end up in shelters and rescues.
So, be a responsible pet owner. Do your research. Find a friend of a friend who has owned or currently owns a ferret. Talk to them. Ask them honest questions. Play with their ferret(s). Then make a responsible decision. Because ferrets really are a joy. When happy, they dance around making their squeaking noises and they can be affectionate and sweet. They're also pretty smart. I trained Kisser to come when his name was called, he could sit up for treats and roll over.
Have you been thinking about adopting a ferret? Want to know more about them? Or do you currently own a ferret and want to share some fun stories or help out with some advice? Then check out the resources below and leave a comment!
Ferret Rescues in Wyoming:
Frazzled Ferret Rescue
Director: T. Reimers
Director: Ann Clark
Ferret Rescues in Colorado:
Ferret Dreams Foster Home
Director: Matthew Jaramillo
Director: Lee Wise
Denver, CO 80210
The Crafty Ferret Rescue
Director: Vickey Bishop
Director: Stephanie Sheme
Also, check out the American Ferret Association, Inc! They are a fantastic resource!
This video from Pets 101 and Animal Planet is very informative too!
Please note: Fur Kids Foundation has received a donation for Nolan. While we will give this donation to the Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue, we want everyone who is reading to know that you have to use a link within this blog to donate to the rescue. If you’d like to donate, you can do so on Paypal using this link: http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2C66QQFY6N9PW. Fur Kids Foundation is separate from the Rescue; please do not use our Donate tab or the Paypal buttons on this site.
April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month—a month when the ASPCA encourages supporters to “Go Orange for Animals”.
Well, here at Fur Kids Foundation, we’ve chosen another option to help animals. As you may know, we’re the only organization in Northeastern Wyoming that provides veterinary care to families with pets who need care during a time when they cannot afford it. However, sometimes we learn of other cases that need a helping hand.
Remember the story of Kobe? The beautiful red heeler who had two broken back legs? In December, we stepped in and provided some assistance to him and his care takers. Today, we want to tell you about Nolan and the amazing work that the Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue is doing to give this handsome fella a chance at life.
Nolan is now in Sheridan; however, his story began in Gillette. Sadly.
On April 3, Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue introduced us to this fella with this post:
Can you imagine living on the street as a cat with only half of your limbs? Visualize trying to hobble through the Wyoming snow, barely able to hold yourself up with your one front leg and one back leg. You can’t chase prey; you can’t even jump up into a dumpster in a desperate attempt to find some old moldy scraps thrown out by humans. You can’t run away from danger, or climb to safety.
That’s right. Nolan is surviving on only TWO legs. Initially, the Rescue could only assume that “he climbed up into an old car hood for warmth and was chopped up by something like a fan belt when the owner started the car.”
Later, on April 4, the Rescue posted this:
Some interesting new developments in Nolan's case—it turns out that the lady who found him and took him to the shelter had just witnessed him being tossed out of a car by someone (legs already cut off)… All I know is that it was a green car near the intersection of Kluver Road and Plumcreek Avenue in Gillette. If you have any information that might help give us further insight into what happened to Nolan, please message us or call 307.461.9555.
And, according to the Rescue's assessments, they believe that one leg was cut off about three months ago, and the other leg was cut off a month ago. Nolan is also cut and bruised from head to toe from being thrown from the car. He is also terrified of men. Shortly, the Rescue will be filing a report about Nolan to the Gillette Police Department. If you know anything, please call them at 307.461.9555.
Following Nolan’s story on the Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue Facebook page has made all of the Foundation’s board members quite upset. We cannot fathom someone doing this to any animal and hope that whoever has will be caught.
In fact, his story spurred us to donate to his cause. Yes, we are dedicated to helping animals in Campbell County, Wyoming, but this special little dude is very deserving in the eyes of this Foundation, so we made an exception.
We do know that the Rescue is in further need of paying for Nolan’s vet bills and wound care. He will eventually need corrective surgery to sew up the skin on his stumps, and he also has several broken and infected teeth that need to be surgically removed. But, he can't have surgery until he puts on some weight and is healthier. If you’d like to donate to the Rescue to help Nolan, you can do so on Paypal. They also have a Amazon wish list and are in need of extra bottles of Vetericyn to help clean Nolan’s wounds—bottles are $24.89.
If you can't donate, the Rescue asks that you please share Nolan’s story and their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wyocatrescue, with your friends! The more people who care, the better off all animals will be.
And to those that run the Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue, thank you for your good work for your community, and all of Wyoming. The Fur Kids Foundation board truly appreciate's your efforts. We are all pulling for Nolan.
Spring has finally sprung, and it has been nice to get out and walk my dog at one of more than 30 City parks in Gillette. (Download a map of the parks here.) In fact, I was in a meeting the other day when Northwest Park, off of Burma Avenue just north of town, was mentioned as a park many dog owners frequent because it's out of the way. I decided Cooper and I would give it a shot.
It's a beautiful park with a windy, paved trail that gradually climbs up and then back down, and comes equipped with a small playground, basketball courts, a shelter for hosting parties and a (fairly) clean port-a-potty. It also acts as an arboretum of trees and native grasses, all of which are labeled with plaques. The trail is about a half a mile and provides for some nice views of the City.
But, I do have one complaint: this beautiful park was absolutely littered with dog waste, an issue that has previously gotten under my skin.
Now, my circle of friends will often poke fun at me and call me the dog poo fairy. And, while everyone should know that there is no such thing (especially if you've read about Santa Cruz' scoop the poop campaign), I acted as one for this park this weekend. After Cooper and I walked a couple of laps and went home on Saturday, I decided that we would return on Sunday with some bags, gloves, Purell and a small trashcan to pick up some of the piles of poo we spotted. I managed to fill up a small wastebasket, concentrating on going no further than six feet from the pavement, by just cleaning one side of the path.
April 22 is Earth Day; and this year, I have a challenge for dog owners: pick up after your dog. See, dog poo is litter, too. Please don't leave it behind on one of your walks for someone else to step in, another dog to eat (yuck, I know) or for a child to end up playing in, which may be more disgusting than the dog eating it. It's also the neighborly thing to do.
Also worth noting is that Keep Gillette Beautiful just began a Scoop the Poop campaign targeted at educating dog lovers the importance of picking up after their four-legged friends. Those of you who attended GDOG's Lucky Puppy Play Date in March may have been given a free dog waste bag holder for your leash with the Scoop the Poop logo on it (to the right), something the group hopes to do for more dog events. In the future, you may also see additional dog waste bag holders in parks and they may be stocked more regularly. I'm sure you'll be seeing more information about this initiative in future blog posts.
In the meantime, if you walk your dog on public streets or let your dog roam your back yard, please remember to scoop the poop. You make the difference.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!