Sunday, November 10, 2013

Too Cute for Words

Life with a foster cat. Filled with staring contests and day naps.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dogs are Pets, Not Science Experiments

As we enter the season of giving, I’m going to make my yearly plea for you to please read the labels of the products you buy and read up on the companies you support. Many companies that produce cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, ect test on animals. And by animals I mean Beagles. Most people probably think of a rat or mouse when they hear animal testing ((not that I think this makes it any better)) but we are actually talking about Beagles locked in cages who never get so much as a bathroom break. I’ve made the switch myself and it is not easy. As someone who wears makeup every day at work and has a regular appointment with the salon, it was extremely difficult, time consuming, and expensive to make the switch but not impossible. It took a conscience effort but I can now tell you with great pride, from my hair color to my lotion every product I use in my bathroom was only tested on willing participants, not caged dogs. But this was a very long journey as well. I’ve never had the money to ditch all of my products and run out and buy more expensive ones. I did it one foundation and shampoo bottle at a time. I challenge you to replace just ONE item in your cabinet this holiday season and tell ONE friend about it. I would also encourage you to read up on the Beagle Rescue Project and see just how you can save a life this Christmas without even having to step foot in a shelter.

The Numbers Game

I cannot believe it’s been months since we last blogged! I’ll spare you the details for once, but basically my laptop wasn’t functional for a while. But the good news is we are BACK!


Of course our first blog back I have to use to attack MADACC. The September numbers recently came out. Although the month by itself is a bit better, the year to date numbers are truly heartbreaking. Basically, the “shelter” has increased its lifesaving capabilities by 2%. At last check in July, they were on pace to save 6% more animals. I cannot tell you how defeated I feel and how sick this makes me. THOUSANDS of animals are being KILLED in the “shelter” every year! Outrageous.
Some might think, hey 2% increase is better than 2% decrease. Well here’s the thing. There are 200 No Kill communities currently across the country. These communities went No Kill virtually overnight. They didn’t start by decreasing the killing a couple of percentage points at a time; A couple of dozen animals at a time. They went from killing to not killing. MADACC is not on the No Kill path. In fact, MADACC doesn’t even seem to know where the No Kill path is located. My frustration level is at an all-time high and my heart is overwhelmed with dread for all of the animals in Milwaukee County. It’s almost enough to give up….. and then there’s Sinatra.


Sinatra is still alive. He was rescued, fostered, and adopted. He is my own personal experience with survival. Beckham was rescued and is being fostered. I cannot wait for him to get adopted. I will probably sob when that day comes, but yet I still look forward to it so we can open up another space in our apartment, our lives, and our hearts for another animal in desperate need of rescue. Life is greater than death and that is what keeps me motivated to continue to take on the system. Fostering is only one portion of the No Kill equation but it’s what allows me to continue to fight for all of the other pieces to come together. Again, I will desperately plead with you to find a small portion of the equation for you to start implementing in your own life and in your own community. For those of you who already adopt, volunteer, foster, or call for action THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. Please don’t give up. Together we can and WILL save them all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

6% Of The Way There

At the last MADACC Operations Committee meeting, the year to date death numbers showed more than a 6% increase in lives saved ((although they didn't phrase it this way)). I’ll stand on my soapbox once again to say a 6% increase is better than any decrease but come on Milwaukee; we can do better than this. The one positive I have taken away from the last several meetings is there always seems to be at least one life saving initiative mentioned. Even something seemingly insignificant to the casual attendee, will make an impact in the long run. This month it was the initiative to ID all cats and kittens upon admission to the shelter. Keeping a closer tab on all cats and kittens will make it easier to reunite these pets with their owners if they are lost or it will make it easier to move them into adoptive or foster homes.

Another item discussed that probably seemed not only insignificant to some but also down right boring was the addition of a second washer and dryer. Again, this will help save lives! How? A clean shelter is essential to the lifesaving process, something I learned first-hand as an intern at Found Chicago. The majority of my work there involved cleaning the facility. The cleaner the shelter, the less disease, less disease means healthier animals and less time, money, effort spent on nursing sick animals back to health. This all leads to being able to move more animals out to homes and fosters creating more space within the shelter: a true trickle-down effect.

6% is a start, but it certainly is not an end. However, I continue to applaud the work of the executive director. She manages to leaves me feeling as though she is slowly but surely starting to turn this backward, old, rusty ship around. 6% down, 84% to go to achieve a safe haven for Milwaukee area pets.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Besties

Beckham, Missy, and Mister are three peas in a pod. 

 


As much as we love this awesome cat, Beckham is still looking for his forever home. You can check out his profile and find out how to adopt it by visiting www.milwaukeepetsalive.com

Saturday, July 13, 2013

And Then There Were Two

I often feel this blog is my one woman island. I jump up and down and wave my arms for help and the people on the planes that fly overhead wave back but the planes keeps on going; and I'm still stuck on the island. Right when I start to question it all, when I realize my foster has been with me for almost two months without interest, when animals are still being viciously killed at the hands of the local shelter a single comment can keep this blog going. That comment came a few days ago from a co-worker. She said "did I tell you I'm going to foster cats through Milwaukee Pets Alive? The lady is coming over in a few hours to talk it over with me."  Wow! Someone was listening, and better yet someone took action. Someone joined me on the island.

As much as I would love to change the world, change PETA ((or better yet get rid of PETA)), and change MADACC, changing one person's world view is a pretty amazing consolation prize. My co-worker was always an animal lover and already a cat owner, but now she is a life saver! She has also saved my passion and my blog. One pet parent, one foster, one life saver at a time.... the animals and YOUR stories keep me going. WE CAN DO THIS. WE can save lives. WE can be the change we wish to see in the world.... And then there were two.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ready, Set, Adopt!

Beckham is ready for adoption so we wanted to let the world know and share the link to his petfinder profile. So ready or not here he is: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/26467465
Help Beckham find his forever home. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What About the Adventures?

I've been wondering if some of you have been wondering what happened to the dog adventures. So I've been coming up with that response in my head and decided maybe it was time to type it out.

When I first adopted Missy and Mister my life was in a very different place. The older I get, the less life seems to be about me, or even us. Not to say we aren't out having adventures and messing up. What’s more adventurous than fostering cats in your bathroom with a door that doesn't latch and two curious dogs on the other side? I can’t think of anything. What’s more adventurous than taking on the systematic killing of animals? Nothing. Our adventures and missteps may have adjusted a little to the left but we have become far from boring.  I’ll work to through in a few more cute stories, pictures, and videos about the lovable Missaroo and Mister too along the way. What you won’t be reading is anything about my personal adventures away from the dogs and our causes because it really isn't about me anymore. OK, it never really was, I just finally figured it out.


An Up Hill Climb

The more I attend the monthly MADACC operations committee meetings the more I realize we are really starting this effort from rock bottom. I continue to commend the efforts of the new executive director who gets asked questions from the board like “is there more than one Petco in the metro area?” Is there more than one Petco?!?! Anyone, I mean anyone off the streets who owns an animal can name the closest Petco whether you shop there or not. I mean think about it right now. Where is your nearest Petco? You can picture it right? We are clearly not dealing with pet owners. We are clearly dealing with administrators. These constant conversations about statistics, not animals, about where are the pet stores in the area, about how the staff is doing, is just mind boggling; mostly because while they are chitchatting animals are being murdered behind closed doors. Let’s chitchat about that shall we? Well at least the executive director seems willing to talk about it. I’m beginning to see why sees afraid to just walk in slam the door and say we are going No Kill. She is starting from rock bottom.

Now that my rant about the lack of animal talk at Tuesday’s meeting is over, let’s talk about some of the lifesaving initiatives that are just beginning. First, they are working to get a grant to help pay for spay/neuter of their cats. Already spayed and neutered cats are more desirable for adopters and rescues. Again, the more we can move out the more we can save. Also, volunteers are running an off-site adoption at the Petco in Oak Creek. This is GREAT. One, it saves lives and two it proves the worth of volunteers.  And coming in September, MADACC will be opening its doors to the public for a weekend. It is part of a special weekend in Milwaukee where other businesses and agencies also open up their doors for tours. What’s great about this is two-fold as well. First, exposure. People need to know where MADACC is and that MADACC is accessible. Second, transparency. People need to know what is going on behind MADACC’s doors. We are paying for it after all.

We really are starting at rock bottom when it comes to life saving initiatives. All of these things are amazing for MADACC but these ideas just begin to skim the surfaces. Most of these ideas I’ve already seen done, succeed, and completed on a much larger scale. Again, small steps for MADACC, HUGE steps for the one or two more animals it saves. We must continue to fight. We must continue to tell them this is a step in the right direction but we need much more than this. We support you so far but we need to save thousands of more animals saved a year. The best part about starting at rock bottom is there is no place to go but up. Push.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shame on You PETA

Funny that when I clicked on my blog this morning the first ad I saw was for PETA; Funny, because I'm about ready to blast them. I guess Google Ad Sense isn't as good as it thinks it is. Anyway....

Yesterday was "Just One Day" the 12th anniversary of the No Kill movement and a day when the No Kill movement asks "euthanasia" techs to put down the needle and pick up a camera to market animals in need instead of just writing them off and killing them. PETA wrote this article in response. It basically says the No Kill movement is full of it because there are two fates for animals: death or hoarding and death is better than hoarding. It also suggests that the No Kill movement supports breeders. Um, no. What the F PETA!?!

First, there are more options for animals in shelters than hoarding or death. There are 150 No Kill open-admission COMMUNITIES, not shelters, COMMUNITIES in this country. How could this be? According to PETA this means those communities must be filled with sick animals who are placed one on top of the other. There's just no possible way that those animals are safely and humanely adopted out at record speed. There is no possible way that those communities have found how to properly clean shelters ((it's called Kennel Care look into it)) There is no possible way the humane societies and shelters in the community have come together to hold massive adoption events, transfer animals between facilities or into foster homes. Nope. PETA says that is just impossible. Dear PETA, that is possibly the most illogical argument I have ever heard of. Mostly, because I have seen it done with my own eyes. I have volunteered in an open admissions shelter that works with the local humane society to do just that. I have saved two cats who were at the top of the kill list. I have adopted two dogs who were in perfectly good health. I have interned in a rescue that took dogs who the world has deemed as unsafe and seen them transformed into pets again. That's really all the proof I need. PETA where is your proof that No Kill doesn't work?

Secondly, No Kill supports breeders???? Seriously PETA you are as bad as the tabloids. How irresponsible as one of the largest non-profits in the country to just write whatever you want as though it were fact. There is absolutely no proof that No Kill is supported by breeders. Why would a group who's mission it is to save SHELTER animals, who works with SHELTER administrators, who saves SHELTER animals be in business with breeders? PETA does not hep shelter animals. Maybe they are the ones in cahoots with breeders? After all, the more they continue to convince the public that shelters are horrible places where animals either die or are hoarded the less people will want to adopt from shelters. Shame on you PETA for not standing up for shelter animal. Shame on you for convincing yourselves it is a "burden" to take care of animals for a living.  You are not a friend of shelter animals and you are not a friend of the truth.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June is Adopt A Cat Month

Did you know that June is adopt a cat month? Well it is! These spring and summer months are when most litters are born, causing an overflow of cats and kittens at shelters. Because we know kill shelters claim to kill in the name of space, this is also the time of year when most cats and kittens are killed at the hands of humans. There are several things ANY shelter can do to help with this problem.

First we go back to our basic No Kill equation: TNR. Trap, neuter, release programs save lives. This allows feral cats ((who pose no threat to humans)) to live safely while preventing them from reproducing. Next, adoption specials. It's ALWAYS cheaper to adopt out an animal at any cost than to kill it. That's just plain math. So give the cats away for basically free and you will still be better off than trying to hold them hostage for a ridiculous amount, kill them, and then get nothing in return for them. Especially when it COSTS money to kill them in the first place. And finally, market, market, market these animals! Pet over population is simply a myth. The reality is there are more people looking for an animal every day than there are animals currently in shelters. So take these cats out of the shelters, get them to adoption events, show them off with the best pictures you've got and get them into forever homes. Like right now. Do it.

And of course for you at home, ADOPT. VOLUNTEER. FOSTER. DONATE. And if you don't know where to begin, well get to reading previous blog posts right here. Start with Beckham of course! He would love to be your cat of the month!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Beckham (As In, Bend It Like)

The newest foster looking for a place to rest his head is none other than soccer star David Beckham! OK, maybe not that Beckham, this Beckham:


He is a one year old cat looking for an active home. He loves to play. He's very curious and seems to enjoy exploring the new terrain. I love getting to know him and everyday seems to bring a new personality trait. And of course he is sup adorbs! He will be up for adoption very soon. He just needs to be neutered first. So ladies start filling out your adoption forms now because this hottie soccer star won't be on the market long. Besides who wouldn't want to be this guy's Posh Spice? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Step Forward, 1,031 Steps Back

By the end of April, MADACC had managed to kill 1,031 animals. The worst part? This is about 30 more lives saved this year compared to this time last year. SICK. Just sick. This is a perfect example of why shelters need to go NO KILL. They cannot simple say we will work to do better. This is what happens when the goal is "doing better" 30 more lives save, 1,031 killed, MURDERED. Trust me when I tell YOU, that saving one life is better than saving none. I believe that I can help. I can save one life at a time and that does make a difference to me and the one life I saved. But one life saved and 1,031 killed is not good enough for a shelter system; a shelter run on the backs of animal loving citizens. I think even folks who don't really care too much about animals as a whole would still agree this is outrageous! At the very least, this is a poor use of tax payer money and is a down right inefficient way to run a government entity.

So what do we do? We continue to push for no kill reform, we continue to support any and all better practices that MADACC comes up with, BUT we continue to hold them accountable. We continue to tell MADACC that we will work with you, we want you to succeed but killing 1,031 animals in four months is not good enough, it is not acceptable and we are watching...

Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate. WE can do this. WE can change the system.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Foster Program Will Save More Lives

The most recent meeting at MADACC was the most promising yet. Unfortunately, I arrived a few minutes late to the new location ((more on that in a minute)) and I missed the public comment portion. But what followed was a hope-filled executive director's report. MADACC has re-vamped its foster program to include short-term fosters. They are teaming up with the Wisconsin Humane Society in order to get animals out of MADACC, into a transition home where they can recover from colds and such ((like Sinatra needed)), and then instead of being locked into a foster home until they can get adopted, the animals will go to the Humane Society where they will be safe until a forever home comes along. I love this idea for two reasons.

1. The ultimate goal of this is to get cats and dogs out of MADACC in eight days. This is important because right now it's clear the shelter is not properly set up to deal with sick animals. And when one gets sick, it quickly spreads. Taking the animals out sooner will help with this. It also gets animals out before they can be put on the kill list. Right now MADACC has to keep an animal for eight days then they are allowed to kill it. I'm glad this new ED realizes this is the case and is doing everything she can to prevent that, although she is unwilling to take on the board right now and just put her foot down and say we will not kill here any longer.

2. It takes a village. No really, read my Master's thesis. The one area where Nathan Winograd and I disagree is on this point. I think it takes an entire community, an entire animal welfare system, everyone, in order to save every animal who ends up in Milwaukee County. I have always been a big advocate of community support and collaboration  Teaming up with the Wisconsin Humane Society and individual fosters is a HUGE step forward toward No Kill Milwaukee.

The best part about the meeting, we were talking about SAVING lives, not just killing less, but SAVING! There is a difference. Another part I also appreciated, more and more people from the community continue to show up to these meetings. So much so that they had to move the location to a bigger room at the West Allis city hall building. I am so glad no one is letting this new executive director off the hook, and I'm even more glad she doesn't seem to want us to either. Ch-ch-changes are a coming.

Oh Yeah, You Two are Dogs

Now that it's back to being just the three of us ((Sinatra was adopted, see post below)) I thought I'd share a true Miss-Adventure. Recently, on one of our walks the grossest thing in the history of all of our walks happened. Somehow, someway Missy managed to pee on Mister. Now, I'm not surprised one of them peed on the other, but I was 100% certain when that went down, it would have gone down the other way. I can't tell you how many times Missy narrowly missed getting Mister all over her. Mister is a true boy who will just pull up and lift without any regard for where he is or what he's near. Missy isn't much better, except for one huge difference: she's a girl dog! She doesn't lift to pee!

So how exactly did this happen? Missy does not know she is a girl dog. She insists she can do anything her brother can do. Often times she climbs up on bushes and mounds to pee, and everyone once in a while even lifts one of her legs very awkwardly off to the side. And one time Mister's curiosity got him into a BIG mess. He just always has to sniff her biz, and one time that biz got right on top of his head. I tried to clean him off with an empty plastic baggy I had handy until I could wash his head when we got home. The whole thing didn't even seem to faze either one of them. In case there was any doubt before, yeah they are a couple of dogs after all.

A special shout out to anyone who made it to the end of this post. I don't think I've written the word PEE that many times before. So, thanks.

Sinatra Saved!

I cannot believe we went the entire month of April without posting! I think that is some sort of record for us, and one we aren't proud of! Not that the dogs and I haven't had our fair share of adventures in the past month. It's amazing what not having the Internet in your home will do for your blog. Anywho, we he have the BEST news. On April 11th, Sinatra went HOME. He now has his very own forever family. They have re-named him Myles (which I don't really like better than Sinatra, but whatev) and he now has a dog brother, a cat brother, and two loving parents! It was hard to say goodbye to my little bud, but I couldn't be happier for him.

I would love to foster another animal in need just like Sinatra. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him, other than he had a cold and was out of time. That is no reason to die. And thank goodness he didn't. We hope Milwaukee Pets Alive will continue to let up open up our hearts and our home to another fantastic cat. Sinatra saved. Who's next?


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saving Sinatra Still



Sinatra and I have reached the two month mark. He is still hanging out with the dogs and me and I am still very happy to have him. However, as hard as it will be, I’m also very ready to let him go. Sinatra needs a home where he can get much more attention. Missy does not like him being here and refuses to let him be. She’s hoping she can bark him right out of the apartment. It works for now, but it is not a life. A Sinatra deserves a life, the best life. Ever. So far he’s been to four adoption events, three at the Petsmart in Greenfield and another at the Petsmart in Brookfield. There have been a few folks that have shown some interest but no takers yet.

Sinatra is the best cat. The greatest part about our two months together has been getting to see his personality come out. He loves people. He likes to watch TV with me, hang out on my chest while I read, or play on the ground. He gets a bit mischievous, but I think that has a lot to do with his boredom. He also seems to be pretty happy just exploring the apartment. He wants to be where ever I am. I wish he could do that more, but because of Missy he can’t. So we continue to show his picture by blogging, posting, and tweeting about him. I also bust butt to make sure he gets to his adoption events. If you know someone who is lonely or in need of a lap cat please consider telling him or her about Sinatra. You can help be a part of our life saving journey. All it takes is one to save Sinatra.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Finally, A Real Response

As you know, I started an email campaign shortly after I moved to Milwaukee. It started with my alderman, who never responded, and ended with the mayor. In between, I also emailed several other city leaders in several other cities on a variety of animal rights issues and will continue to do so on a need to basis. However, I say that the email campaign ended with the mayor's office because I finally received a REAL response, if not a satisfactory one. About this time last month I received A response but this time I received this:

Dear Ms. Baumann:

Thank you for contacting my office with your concerns regarding the Milwaukee Area Animal Control Commission (MADACC).  I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am grateful for your support and commitment to our community, and I will take your suggestions into consideration.

I am dedicated to ensuring that the animals in the City of Milwaukee are safe, healthy and cared for and I commend MADACC for providing effective and cost efficient animal control services. As you know, MADACC represents 19 municipalities in Milwaukee County and their work assures temporary shelter is available, veterinary and humane care for animals in need is prioritized and a central location for owners to find and recover their lost pets is accessible to the public.

I have heard from a number of constituents who share your concerns over the future of MADACC. I want you to know that I have shared your message with the other participatory municipalities and MADACC staff. I am confident that the recently appointed Executive Director, Karen Sparapani, will demonstrate capable leadership during this transition and I urge you to welcome her perspective and continue participating in this discussion in a productive manner.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Your concern for this issue is admirable.   Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any other issues you feel merit my attention.

Sincerely,

Tom Barrett
Mayor

As far as the mayor is concerned this issue has been settled. Not so fast mayor, you forgot to mention NO KILL anywhere in your email to me. That is the issue in which I emailed you about. I am, however, extremely grateful for the email and I'm impressed I got such a long one. I've never thought the mayor was a bad guy and I still don't, just misguided and over simplistic when it comes to the issue of No Kill. And until that day of No Kill Milwaukee comes to pass emails to someone will continue. I will move from here to MADACC directly.And of course, I will keep you updated along the way. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Marching On

The Fight for No Kill marches on in Milwaukee. The new executive director of Milwaukee Area Domestic Care and Control has taken over the reign. The media has drawn attention to the killing at the shelter and to the plight of Milwaukee's court case dogs. Unfortunately not all is well in the animal world. I was unable to attend the most recent MADACC operations meeting because of a last minute change to the monthly meeting (I suspect foul play) but MADACC has for the first time posted the time and date to this month's meeting on their Facebook page (a good sign). The new director promises change in a year, I promise to hold her to that. Even if there are significant changes in a year's time, the true test will be to change the law and culture of killing. The only thing worse than continuing the killing now would be have it stop under one director, just for it to be re-implemented under a new one in a few years time. I only have a couple of years here in Milwaukee and it's my mission to the city to go No Kill once and for all. So until Milwaukee is considered a No Kill community we must march on. What a good month to get started. Let's not only show the citizens of this city it can be done, let's convince them it must be done.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Saving Sinatra

What I love most about this blog it that it gives me the chance to show the power of the pen, or in this day in age, the power of the Internet. My blog has gotten more unique page views since I started writing about the No Kill movement in Milwaukee than anytime in it's three year existence. But I believe in more than just the power of the written word, or any other words, above all I believe in actions. That is why about a month and a half ago I decided to put my money where my mouth is and foster a cat. Today 3-year-old Tabby Sinatra is looking for his forever home. This is how I would describe him if anyone were to ask:

Sinatra is quite the crooner.. He loves to lay in the sun, or better yet soaking up the rays while taking over your lap. He digs attention, petting, and purring. But don’t let this lover boy fool you, he’s quite the champ. When Milwaukee Pets Alive rescued him from MADACC he had a pretty bad cold and a cracked tooth. He didn't let any of that bother him while he ventured around his foster home. When it came time to get neutered and have that tooth taken care of, his only worry was a taking a trip in the car. Once he was back to his foster home, he recovered quickly and was back to jumping, purring, and eating hard food in just two days! Nothing fazes this guy, not even the dogs barking at him from the other side of the door. As thankful as he is to be in his foster home, he’s ready to love his forever home so much more. Take him home today.


But since I'm all about the words, a picture would be better right?




So help me help this little guy. He's getting a little stir crazy at my place and deserves to be someone's number one guy. You can adopt him through Milwaukee Pets Alive.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Finally, a Response

After sending more than a dozen emails to local government officials about the mass killing of animals at MADACC, I finally received a response from the mayor's office. Although it was not from the mayor himself, which I would have preferred, any response is welcome. ((I emailed my alderman several times and never heard anything back which he will regret when I help his opponent campaign against him in the next election.))

Back to my response: The city emailed me with a tracking number of my "case" showing that I am "dissatisfied with the euthanasia at MADACC." When I click on the link it really only shows me that my case complaint is "open" but hey, at least I am officially on record and I brought it to someone's attention.

Again, all this is is a step in the right direction, just as my last post showed as well. And really what this means is that I will continue to push the No Kill agenda forward. I truly believe that enough "open cases" will force local government to do something about this. Enough pressure from tax payers usually can move mountains, even if ever so slowly. Like many things in my life right now, this is a marathon not a sprint. So put on your most comfortable running shoes people because I am in it to win it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction

The killing of animals continues in Milwaukee. I attended Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Care and Control's (MADACC) first operations committee meeting of the new year. There the board discussed how the staff was doing, how the staff had the flu, and how much a new fence would cost. Oh yeah and more than 5,000 animals were killed by them last year. Although the staff is humanized during these meetings, the animals are nothing more than numbers and statistics. Sick. About a week later, MADACC announced it had hired a new executive director.

The new executive director is definitely a step in the right direction. She comes from a neighboring No Kill humane society in a Milwaukee suburb. The question now becomes, will the board support her No Kill practices? Right now, based on the meeting I attended, I'm not too confident No Kill is right around the corner. I truly believe it only takes one person to say "we will no longer kill healthy animals and we will work to ensure the health of every animal that comes through our doors" however, this board seems to be straight from hell. I had the privilege of attending operations meetings regularly as an intern at Found Chicago. There we talked about how the animals were doing, how many more animals we could save, and we used their names, we did not refer to them as numbers. It wasn't about numbers, statistics, and money. It was about giving each animal the time it needed to be adopted into the right home. And we certainly met more than once a month. The MADACC board acted like they never saw each other outside of the meeting, so they had to use the meetings to catch up, instead of discussing the needs of the animals. I hope this new director can change this, but it seems to be a philosophic and culture that needs to be changed, not just a position change.

It is still an uphill battle and so the emails continue. Right before I wrote this blog I sent an email to my mayor letting him know the board still needs to be changed and he needs to get involved in order to help the companion animals of Milwaukee. I will continue to email, blog, and show up until Milwaukee goes No Kill. I hope you will take the time to get involved as well. Please help the Missaroo, Mister, and me make a change in our city.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's that wonderful time a year again when it feels like a fresh start is right around the corner. When everyone is hopeful about the days to come and the end of the cold is getting near. It's also a time to update you on how the dogs and I are doing. Over the Christmas holiday Missy got Kennel Cough for the third time. We made a trip to the vet who mentioned she might be one of those sicky dogs who catches everything. Um, yes that describes the Missaroo to a T. Well, she suggested putting a little powder immune booster in with her food. I know I have said this about a thousand times but I love our vet! Instead of just saying "yep kennel cough again here's some expensive meds see you next year" she gave us something to prevent Missy from constantly returning to the vet every few months. AND the best part is Missy doesn't mind the powder over her food. So much better than forcing her to take pills.

Other than that, the dogs seem to be adjusting to Milwaukee quite nicely. They, however, hate the mass amount of salt thrown outside our door and on every sidewalk in the city. It burns their paws and forces us to stay inside most days. Too long of a walk (more than 15 minutes) and they start limping around. I also have to make sure I wipe their paws and get in between their paws, which also means shorter walks because this is more time consuming. Something I don't have a lot of during the work week.

As for our plans for the new year, they are pretty simple.
1. Continue to push for No Kill in Milwaukee. I have taken my email campaign to the mayor's office. Screw you alderman who won't email me back.
2. Call Bill more. We're off to a pretty good start so far. :)
3. Visit Bill. I'm not sure when he will be ready for visitors, but I think he might be in the next six months.
4. Save lives. We are also in the process of this as we speak when it comes to animals. Plus, I can give blood again in less than a week, so humans you are included in this goal as well.

So how is your new year going? We would love to hear from you. Also we wish the best to you and yours and all of the pets in the world. No matter what happens this year, let's agree to make this world a better place than it was last year, OK? Love!