Pets – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:18:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Dog park to be ready in six weeks, City says https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/21/dog-park-to-be-ready-in-six-weeks-city-says/ Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:18:32 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7125 By DAVID SCHOLZ Martinez Tribune MARTINEZ, Calif. – Six weeks is the timetable for the opening of a long-sought after dog park in Martinez – albeit a temporary home – after the Martinez City Council’s recent unanimous approval to locate the facility near the John Muir Amphitheater. The temporary facility will be situated there for …

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The future location of a dog park in Martinez, near the John Muir Amphitheater at Waterfront Park. (JOHN GRUBKA / Martinez Tribune)
The future location of a dog park in Martinez, near the John Muir Amphitheater at Waterfront Park. (JOHN GRUBKA / Martinez Tribune)

By DAVID SCHOLZ
Martinez Tribune

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Six weeks is the timetable for the opening of a long-sought after dog park in Martinez – albeit a temporary home – after the Martinez City Council’s recent unanimous approval to locate the facility near the John Muir Amphitheater.

The temporary facility will be situated there for up to three years during which time City Engineer Tim Tucker and local dog enthusiasts will search for a permanent home for the park.

“The park works well for now. However, we want to look at other possibilities for the long-term. This was a good way for a short-term three-year fix,’’  said Martinez Dog Park Group members.

“We understand there are some difficulties in the Marina Park area with fitting in all the recreation uses that all Martinez citizens want. However, we do not want to displace any other activity because we think there is room for all.’’

The group cited many positive features to this short term solution, including the presence of mature trees, the site not being prone to flooding, and recognizing it is an under utilized space with existing city water and restrooms.

Funding of $50,000 is now earmarked to do both permanent improvements to the amphitheater and the necessary work for the temporary dog park.

Tucker noted that work includes paving, water line work, fencing and gate installation, and signage for the park prior to its official opening.

“[At the same time] we will work with the dog enthusiasts to aggressively locate a permanent site over the next year to 18 months and establish a clear scope of work for a permanent home for the dog park,” Tucker said.

Citing grants that the City of Oakland received for its dog park interests, Tucker said Martinez would pursue like funding for its permanent facility after a site is secured.

A condition for the dog park being positioned at the amphitheater calls for it to be closed during events and for any set up or clean-up period needed. Any fencing that conflicts with amphitheater use will be removable or there will be gates installed.

The amphitheater is currently booked for nine events this summer. Staff indicated the dog park would be closed during those events, and that notice of closure dates would be posted.

The idea for the dog park being located near the amphitheater gained momentum in January after the State Lands Commission staff issued a clear condemnation of other proposed sites, berther’s and Yacht Club lots, saying: “Fencing and limiting use of trust land to special interest local groups (such as a dog park) is not in the spirit of the Public Trust Doctrine.’’

State Land’s staff indicated they have never allowed a fenced dog park on trust land grant property.

Positive sentiment was expressed at a well-attended gathering Jan. 28 at the amphitheater where attendees noted how well the site drains, the presence of perimeter fencing, shade trees, benches, adequate surfacing, adequate space, and nearby parking.

Need for restrooms was also discussed. But this was deemed a low priority due to the limited duration dog park users would be at the site and the proximity of other restrooms, according to a City staff document.

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Renowned international dog trainer & veterinary wife call Martinez home https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/10/renowned-international-dog-trainer-veterinary-wife-call-martinez-home/ Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:36:02 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6715 MARTINEZ, Calif. – Famous in the world of dog care and training, John and Kate O’Connor are one of Martinez’ best-kept secrets. John revealed some of his insights on dog training, based on lifelong work with canines that began in Ireland. With John’s award-winning dog training work in the Irish Police Force, Royal Parks Police …

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Internationally recognized dog trainer John O’Connor in front of his residence in Martinez. (MARTINEZ TRIBUNE / On File)
Internationally recognized dog trainer John O’Connor in front of his residence in Martinez. (MARTINEZ TRIBUNE / On File)

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Famous in the world of dog care and training, John and Kate O’Connor are one of Martinez’ best-kept secrets. John revealed some of his insights on dog training, based on lifelong work with canines that began in Ireland.

With John’s award-winning dog training work in the Irish Police Force, Royal Parks Police Dog Section and British Kennel Club Obedience & Working Trials competitions, and Kate’s experience as a veterinary nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and exotic animals at the London Zoo Hospital, the couple founded their training, boarding and grooming business in Portugal, where British-born Kate grew up.

John focused on his deep interest in canine behavior modification during that time and by 1990, the pair moved to Martinez, where they continued their mutual interest in animals.

While John trained dogs for police departments, qualified them for American Kennel Club (AKC) and Schutzhund competition and became a licensed Canine Good Citizen evaluator for the AKC, Kate managed the of City of Antioch Animal Control before accepting a position as Director of Animal Services for the City of Berkeley in 2000, retiring in 2015.

John and Kate have developed training programs, and written books for all breeds of dogs, but John’s work with German Shepherds has made him the trainer of last resort for dogs with aggressive behavior.

According to John, the three causes for serious behavior issues are related to genetics, fear, and abuse or trauma. By genetic, John means some dogs are dominant by nature.

“That’s not a fault, and cannot be eradicated, but it can be modified and managed,” he commented. “Those dogs will never be Rin Tin Tin or Lassie. They will challenge you for leadership.”

O’Connor explained that aggression from fear of the unknown is the most common cause. Exposing puppies and young dogs to all kinds, ages, and sizes of people, and to different environments is a way to head off problems with aggressive attitudes later.

“This is especially true for working dogs, Shepherd, Doberman or Border Collie types of dogs,” he remarked. “These dogs are really aware. They go by scents.” There is a common belief that dogs can smell eight different scents among people, according to O’Connor.

Separation anxiety or defense of the owner are related to aggressive behaviors caused by the dog’s sense of danger. The trauma-caused aggression is also related to fear, but a good trainer can help the dog overcome, or at least moderate and control the behavior.

O’Connor said training the owner is just as important as training the dog. “It’s all a mind set. You have to remember, ‘This is a dog … I am in control.’ It has to be mental and physical,” he said.

Owners sometimes think the dog’s misbehavior is their fault, according to O’Connor. “It’s not,” he said. “But people think they can rationalize with a dog or bribe them into good behavior with rewards. It doesn’t work.”

Rewards are useful if you want to bring a dog to high-level precision performance, but O’Connor points to the fact that you live with the dog, and “the reward is only as good as the distraction. You could give a dog a steak in some situations and it wouldn’t make any difference,” he said.

Choosing the right dog is important. “If you see a perfectly behaved dog at a dog competition and think your dog (same breed) can perform like that, you could be mistaken. Performance dogs are chosen with great care and when a well-chosen dog does not perform at top level, trainers will sell that dog and find a better one.”

The type of dog has to fit the owner. “I ask people who plan to buy a dog, ‘Why?’ What are you going to use if for?” O’Connor commented, suggesting that people select a breed that fits into their lifestyle, personality, and purpose. Not just because they have always liked the looks of a shepherd, for example. “It’s like the Irish saying, ‘Horses for courses.’ You pick a horse for the course they will run.”

The O’Connors are winding down the classes and boarding part of their business but still work with individual dogs when time is available. Check out www.Euro-Training.com for more about the couple.

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Martinez animal shelter receives 33 dogs Jan. 3 https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/06/martinez-animal-shelter-receives-33-dogs-jan-3/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:57:34 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6262 MARTINEZ, Calif. – Overcrowding at Contra Costa County Animal Services is always a problem, but the issue was made significantly worse Tuesday, Jan. 3, when 33 dogs came into the Martinez shelter. A post on Smart Paws Pet Resources’ Facebook page showed nine dogs crowded into one kennel at the Martinez shelter. The post was …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – Overcrowding at Contra Costa County Animal Services is always a problem, but the issue was made significantly worse Tuesday, Jan. 3, when 33 dogs came into the Martinez shelter.

A post on Smart Paws Pet Resources’ Facebook page showed nine dogs crowded into one kennel at the Martinez shelter. The post was made on Wednesday along with an urgent call to potential adoptive families.

“Only by seeing and sharing the crisis we face of homeless pets in our county can we make a difference, because everyone can do something,” the post read. “We need adopters and fosters to get these dogs out.”

Not all of the dogs shown in the post were immediately available for adoption, with some awaiting health and behavioral screening, but the shelter has hundreds of dogs, cats, rabbits and even Guinea pigs ready for adoption.

“Foster, adopt, donate to your favorite rescue, volunteer,” the post stated.

To see a list of available animals, visit the shelter in person at 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez. Some of the animals are also available for view online at www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/59/Animal-Services.

Remember to spay and neuter your pets!

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Dogs compete at Mutt Strut https://martineztribune.com/2016/09/23/dogs-compete-at-mutt-strut/ Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:12:01 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=5279 MARTINEZ, Calif. – About 70 people and 40 dogs participated in the Mutt Strut last Thursday at the Martinez Amphitheater. The strut offered local dog owners a chance to show off their beloved pets, with prizes going to Best Name, Best Tail, Best Costume, Looks Most Like Owner and Best Trick categories. The top placing …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – About 70 people and 40 dogs participated in the Mutt Strut last Thursday at the Martinez Amphitheater. The strut offered local dog owners a chance to show off their beloved pets, with prizes going to Best Name, Best Tail, Best Costume, Looks Most Like Owner and Best Trick categories.

The top placing dogs included:

Best Name: Honey Bee (1st), two dachshunds called “Oscar and Meyer Brothers” (2nd), Pork Chop (3rd);

Best Tail or Fastest Tail: Auggie Doggie, with a killer thumper of a tail (1st), Whiskers (2nd), itty bitty Max with a curly tail (3rd);

Best Costume: Zoey and Chloe the Beach Babes (1st), Nikki the red nosed clown (2nd), swimmer Izzie Mae and Chachi as Jaws (3rd);

Looks Most Like Owner: Ranger (1st), Calvin (2nd), Moritz (3rd);

Best Trick: Bubba doing multiple tricks (1st), Rex zig zagging through his owner’s legs (2nd), and Buster taking himself for a walk (3rd).

Congratulations to all the participating pooches at the 2016 Mutt Strut, and many thanks to the Martinez Recreation Department for such a wonderful community event.

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Probe into dog’s death may bring changes to shelter https://martineztribune.com/2016/07/08/probe-into-dogs-death-may-bring-changes-to-shelter/ https://martineztribune.com/2016/07/08/probe-into-dogs-death-may-bring-changes-to-shelter/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2016 08:30:37 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=4599 By DAVID SCHOLZ Martinez Tribune MARTINEZ, Calif. – Investigation into the erroneous euthanization of an already-adopted dog last month is nearly complete. As Contra Costa Animal Control Services wraps up its probe, new procedures may be part of the findings. “We are going to work hard to ensure this never happens again,’’ said department spokesman …

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Barbie, the 4-year-old Pit Bull mix erroneously euthanized last month by Martinez Shelter staff. (COURTESY / On File)
Barbie, the 4-year-old Pit Bull mix erroneously euthanized last month by Martinez Shelter staff. (COURTESY / On File)
By DAVID SCHOLZ
Martinez Tribune

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Investigation into the erroneous euthanization of an already-adopted dog last month is nearly complete. As Contra Costa Animal Control Services wraps up its probe, new procedures may be part of the findings.

“We are going to work hard to ensure this never happens again,’’ said department spokesman Steve Burdo, who noted 2011 as the last time such a tragedy occurred.

“We take this hard,’’ he continued, “and we are going to use this as an opportunity to learn from it.’’

An investigation to learn how the process broke down in the case involving Barbie, a 4-year-old Pit Bull mix who was mistakenly euthanized by Martinez Shelter staff June 18, commenced immediately following the incident.

Animal Control has seen a sharp rise in its live release goals since 2011 when the percentage was just 46 percent. By the end of 2015, the percentage had reached 75 percent, and through May of this year, the live release rate had inched upwards to 79.4 percent.

“We clearly did not hit the mark this time,’’ Burdo lamented. “This is more the exception than the rule.’’

Animal Control Services does not have the benefit of managed intake, so it must accept between 25 to 40 animals each day.

As a result, like a used car dealership, it has to hustle to ensure a lot of adopting is occurring at its Martinez and Pinole shelters to balance its available shelter space.

To that end, Burdo said staff works hard to help citizens achieve adoption. This includes a lot of promotions to remove the financial burden that may prevent prospective candidates from taking home a cat or dog.

An example of a promotion now through Saturday, July 9, involves free adoptions of animals at the shelters that already have been spayed or neutered.

Another solution involves working with rescue groups so the caregiver serves as a foster home for the animal as “a way to get (citizens) on the road to animal companionship.’’

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‘Pets for Vets’ services now available at the VA https://martineztribune.com/2016/06/17/pets-for-vets-services-now-available-at-the-va/ Fri, 17 Jun 2016 08:00:42 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=4480 By DAVID SCHOLZ Martinez Tribune MARTINEZ, Calif. – Animals weren’t the only beneficiaries from a recent visit of the Animal Rescue Foundation’s (ARF) mobile clinic to the Martinez VA – their owners also received a lift of spirit. Among former service personnel who took advantage of ARF’s hospitality was Army E-4 specialist Al San-Miguel of …

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Al San-Miguel watches his dogs, Ava and Hicks, during a recent visit of the ARF mobile clinic to the Martinez VA. (DAVID SCHOLZ / Martinez Tribune)
Al San-Miguel watches his dogs, Ava and Hicks, during a recent visit of the ARF mobile clinic to the Martinez VA. (DAVID SCHOLZ / Martinez Tribune)
By DAVID SCHOLZ
Martinez Tribune

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Animals weren’t the only beneficiaries from a recent visit of the Animal Rescue Foundation’s (ARF) mobile clinic to the Martinez VA – their owners also received a lift of spirit.

Among former service personnel who took advantage of ARF’s hospitality was Army E-4 specialist Al San-Miguel of Concord, who brought his two dogs, Ava and Hicks, for free treatment. San-Miguqel adopted Hicks from ARF.

ARF’s Mobile Clinic performs wellness exams, gives vaccinations, installs micro chipping, and answers questions about basic pet wellness.

“This is fantastic,’’ said San-Miguel, who acknowledged veterans find it hard to ask about services like those ARF provides. “I’m so happy to receive the help.’’

The mobile clinic will return to the VA June 24, July 8 and 22 beginning at 9:30 a.m. to continue providing its services at no cost to veterans who present a military I.D. Pets of veterans are checked in on a first come, first serve basis, and this continues to 1 p.m. or until full.

The mobile clinic is parked near the Center Avenue entrance to the VA Center.

Only cats and dogs are served and there is a limit of two animals per veteran. Dogs must be on-leash and under control at all times. Cats must be in carriers.

So far, the mobile clinic has made two visits to the Martinez VA , the first taking place at end of 2015. A total of 37 dogs and 12 cats belonging to 35 vets have been served, according to Bobbe Bartlett, development director for ARF.

The current types of services provided will be expanded in the future to include spaying and neutering. Veterans who had previously brought their pets to the clinic will be given priorirty for these surgical procedures.

“We are grateful to have the chance to visit with the veterans in Martinez,’’ Bartlett said.

For more information about the Pets for Vets program, visit www.arflife.org.

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Shelter halts animal surrender services https://martineztribune.com/2016/02/05/shelter-halts-animal-surrender-services/ https://martineztribune.com/2016/02/05/shelter-halts-animal-surrender-services/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:04:10 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3196 MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Contra Costa County Animals Services Department (CCASD) announced this week they will be temporarily ceasing the acceptance of owner-surrendered animals at their shelters in Martinez and Pinole due to the volume of animals at both facilities. Certain exceptions to this temporary freeze will be made for animals that are injured, unhealthy, …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Contra Costa County Animals Services Department (CCASD) announced this week they will be temporarily ceasing the acceptance of owner-surrendered animals at their shelters in Martinez and Pinole due to the volume of animals at both facilities. Certain exceptions to this temporary freeze will be made for animals that are injured, unhealthy, under 12 weeks of age, or as otherwise required by law. The agency has also indefinitely closed its night deposit boxes for animals that are surrendered during hours that the department is closed to the public.

“Surrendering an animal to the shelter should be a last resort,” said Beth Ward, Animal Services Director. “High owner surrender rates lead to overpopulation in our shelters, which increases the possibilities that animals will get disease and/or experience behavior problems. Properly managing shelter inventory and the health of the pets in our care improves the chances of finding homes for the animals in our care.”

CCASD expects this temporary freeze on accepting owner surrendered animals to be in effect for roughly a month, during which time the department will be developing an intervention program to help support families in keeping their animals in their homes. During this period, CCASD will continue to receive and impound animals that are sick, injured or abandoned, as well as strays and animals that are confiscated as a result of active investigations or impounded by other law enforcement agencies in Contra Costa County.

County residents can visit www.ccasd.org to view a list of online resources to support them in keeping their pets. 
  

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Dog park workshop back on schedule https://martineztribune.com/2016/01/01/dog-park-workshop-back-on-schedule/ Sat, 02 Jan 2016 01:44:33 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=2844 By DONNA BETH WEILENMAN Martinez Tribune MARTINEZ, Calif. – A citizens-driven effort to open a dog park in Martinez is back on schedule after a second public workshop initially appeared to need rescheduling, both City Engineer Tim Tucker and one of the park advocates, Melissa Mohoi, said. A growing group of dog owners and their …

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A group of dogs enjoying Paso Nogal Dog Park in Pleasant Hill. (LISA WHITTAKER / Courtesy)
A group of dogs enjoying Paso Nogal Dog Park in Pleasant Hill. (LISA WHITTAKER / Courtesy)

By DONNA BETH WEILENMAN
Martinez Tribune

MARTINEZ, Calif. – A citizens-driven effort to open a dog park in Martinez is back on schedule after a second public workshop initially appeared to need rescheduling, both City Engineer Tim Tucker and one of the park advocates, Melissa Mohoi, said.

A growing group of dog owners and their supporters have been lobbying the Martinez City Council since September and using social media links to revive the drive to build a local dog park, where dogs can play safely off-leash.

The matter currently is in the hands of the Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission (PRMCC), which appointed a subcommittee to examine the issue more closely, and which organized a public workshop Dec. 9 at City Hall.

That session, which attracted between 30 and 40 participants, including members of the PRMCC and the City Council, began with a review of where the city started considering the dog park a dozen years ago before such a project was put on the back burner.

After those attending heard about the amenities many dog parks have, they began looking at potential sites that could be chosen for the first Martinez dog park, said Mahoi, who has been instrumental in organizing park supporters and who has been active on the group’s Facebook page.

“We vetted a lot of ideas,” she said.

Among them are the amenities pet owners would like to see at the dog park –  lights, restrooms and shade, preferably from trees.

One proposed spot is a former automobile dismantling yard on Marina Vista Avenue, which Tucker said is no longer toxic.  That place is one Mohoi said she could endorse, so long as the city could assure pet owners the site is safe. But it’s not her first choice.

Mohoi said she still is hoping the city will decide to put the park somewhere downtown, possibly near the marina in a space large enough that local pet-oriented businesses could visit and cater to dog owners.

She said she prefers a marina area site near the basin walking trail, and liked Tucker’s suggestion of adding a fence to separate dogs from nearby railroad tracks and create a less leash-restrictive walking area for people and their dogs. “It would make it a secure location,” she said.

Another suggestion she said she liked was asking someone to donate land to be used as a dog park.  “The American Kennel Club recommends one to two acres minimum,” she said, although she has seen dog parks of different sizes that have become successful.

She said she was pleased that the workshop had some lively discussions without becoming a debate. “Everyone came together,” she said.

Mohoi said citizen participation is the only way to keep the project on course and to prevent it from languishing as it has in the past. That includes having pet owners becoming active participants in the park’s upkeep, she said.

Such a concept can work, Mohoi said. An example is Point Isabel Dog Owners (PIDO), active in pulling weeds and cleaning the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline dog park, established in Richmond in an agreement with East Bay Regional Park District as a mixed-use open space where, according to the organization, “responsible owners may bring their dogs to run off-leash.”

Those park supporters formed a nonprofit organization, and if necessary, Martinez dog park supporters might do the same, Mohoi said.

“I want to let the city know we’re here to stay, and to get it (the park) built.”

While park advocates are determined to keep the proposal moving forward, they nearly hit a small glitch when Tucker said the date of the next workshop, Jan. 13, 2016, appeared to have a conflict with another City Hall meeting.

That’s been cleared up, Tucker said, and the second workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 in Council Chambers at Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St.

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‘Outcast’ seeks pledges during drive https://martineztribune.com/2015/10/19/outcast-seeks-pledges-during-drive/ Mon, 19 Oct 2015 19:42:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=1995 By JULIE LINFORD Special to the Tribune We meet a lot of people who care about and care for our community’s free-roaming cats. But this summer, a couple of caretakers really stood out from the crowd. Each of them have a decent sized group of cats that they care for in their yards: about a …

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By JULIE LINFORD
Special to the Tribune

We meet a lot of people who care about and care for our community’s free-roaming cats. But this summer, a couple of caretakers really stood out from the crowd. Each of them have a decent sized group of cats that they care for in their yards: about a dozen. These cats primarily came after the housing bust in 2008. Others were born there. But the overriding thing about each of these people is that they’ve always continued to care for and care about the cats in their charge, no matter what.

Aside from cats, these two individuals have something else in common. They each have cancer. No one ever wants to hear that they have cancer, let alone know how to handle it when the news arrives. Everyone handles it differently. Some shutdown. Some find strength they never had. Some leave the outcome to someone else, whether it’s their doctor or their chosen spiritual guide. The only thing for certain is that life has changed.

You see, each of these women, despite their medical challenges, never wavered in their responsible care of the cats. Daily, they provided food and fresh water. They continued to conduct trap-neuter-return (TNR) knowing that they needed to keep the population under control. And when they could no longer physically conduct TNR and could no longer afford the cost of spay/neuter and vaccinations for these cats due to mounting personal medical bills, they reached out for help.

It takes the commitment of so many people to make a TNR program successful – the volunteers at rescue groups, those willing to pull cats from the shelter before their euthanasia day, and most especially the caretakers who commit to observe, feed and water cats in their colonies. It’s a daily commitment for a lifetime that generous people like these two women make, even through the difficult challenge of cancer. They help inspire us to continue to do the work we do to save community cats.

Please help us to continue to do this lifesaving work with a donation to our pledge drive; no donation is too small or too large. Visit www.youcaring.com/5250 to pledge.

Outcast Cat Help
(925) 231-0639
www.outcastcat.org
facebook.com/outcastcathelp
outcastcat@outcastcat.org

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Outcast launches Caring campaign to save cats https://martineztribune.com/2015/10/02/outcast-launches-caring-campaign-to-save-cats/ Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:49:58 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=1745 By JULIE LINFORD Special to the Tribune How do you think your pet cat would react if they suddenly ended up in a noisy, cold, and scary animal shelter? For some pet cats, this experience is so foreign and frightening that they panic, act out and earn themselves a trip to the feral ward. Such …

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Seal Point-Maine Coon mix “Washington,” rescued on the day he was to be euthanized. (JULIE LINFORD / Courtesy)
Seal Point-Maine Coon mix “Washington,” rescued on the day he was to be euthanized. (JULIE LINFORD / Courtesy)
By JULIE LINFORD
Special to the Tribune

How do you think your pet cat would react if they suddenly ended up in a noisy, cold, and scary animal shelter? For some pet cats, this experience is so foreign and frightening that they panic, act out and earn themselves a trip to the feral ward.

Such was the case for one beautiful 5-year-old Seal Point-Maine Coon mix named Washington, whom I found in the feral ward of Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) on his euthanasia day on Christmas Eve of 2013. Washington’s sad story began when his elderly owner could no longer care for him, and returned him to the place she had adopted him when he was eight weeks old, CCAS.

It’s not uncommon for people to turn in their owned cats for understandable reasons like hers, thinking that their cat will find another good home quickly because, well, it’s such a great cat! But Washington got scared in the shelter, acted out by hissing and growling, and earned himself a trip to the feral ward.

Walking through the feral ward on that fateful Christmas Eve, I spotted Washington and realized he was actually a really nice cat. So I learned more about his story from shelter volunteers and decided to rescue him.

When I brought Washington home to foster, his sweet personality came out quickly. But after a few days, when I started giving him a claw trim, I realized that his claws were short and raw. It turned out he was so scared and upset in the shelter he had severely damaged some of his claws and attached nail beds trying to escape his cage. The veterinarian said incredulously, that Washington needed surgery to repair the damage to his paws.

Washington had his surgery and after about three weeks with his paws wrapped in bandages, he was fully healed. This wonderful cat is now renamed Wesley and is living the spoiled life every cat deserves with one of our volunteers here in the Bay Area!

If you would like to support our work, we currently have a campaign to help save free-roaming cats: www.youcaring.com/5250

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Outcast Cat Help is a 501c(3) California non-profit organization dedicated to helping the community humanely control and care for the stray and feral cat population. We are 100 percent volunteer operated with no paid staff. We help the “outcast cat” … the cat nobody owns, that lives on the streets or in your backyard, or behind the restaurant. We provide low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations for these cats. Other services are also available.

Outcast Cat Help
(925) 231-0639
outcastcat.org
facebook.com/outcastcathelp
outcastcat@outcastcat.org

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