Tag Archives: paws

Mutt Strut: Thank You!

The 7th Annual Philadelphia Mutt Strut was a resounding success! Thank you to everyone who donated to my fundraising page. Our team made our goal, and judging by the number of people there, the event was a big success for PAWS.

Pippin had a delightful time meeting other dogs, participating in the talent contest, and learning to chase a lure. He made friends with my former co-worker’s beagle, and we even convinced him to wear a Halloween costume. You can’t tell from these pictures since the hood wouldn’t stay on his head, but he’s supposed to be a black cat. Putting the costume on him initially was something like what I imagine parents of small children go through with snowsuits in the winter time. First he wriggled, then he tried to bite me, then he gave up a went limp. Once the costume was actually on him though, he seemed kind of proud of himself, and now that’s he home, he doesn’t want to take it off. After all the excitement, costume included, I suspect he will sleep very well tonight.

MuttStrut1 MuttStrut2

Thank you again to everyone who helped my team raise funds for Philly’s largest no-kill animal shelter, and for giving me a good excuse to put a corgi in a kitty costume.

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Philly Mutt Strut

I signed up for the 7th Annual Mutt Strut yesterday. It’s an event I’ve had my eye on for a while, but this will be my first year participating. It’s basically a leisurely walk, on a hopefully gorgeous day, amidst a chaos of dogs. It’s also a fundraising event benefiting PAWS, Philly’s largest no-kill shelter.

Anyone paying attention has heard me talk up PAWS before. They are a fabulous organization, doing good things to save homeless animals and place them in loving and permanent homes. I’ve fostered cats through PAWS and worked with others who have done the same. I can attest to PAWS’ dedication and caring, and I want to support them in any way I can.

So, come October, I will be strutting with my mutt (pictured at right). I will hopefully be joined by some of my co-workers. We constantly share stories about our dogs, so it seemed only right to get together, let our dogs meet each other, and support a wonderful cause while we’re at it!

I’ve set up a personal fundraising page for the Mutt Strut. If you happen to have a few dollars to spare for a great cause, I’d be thrilled if you’d consider using them to support PAWS. I’d be equally thrilled if you’re inclined to spread the word about my fundraising efforts, or, if you’re local to Philly, if you’d consider signing up to strut with your own mutt. Any support you can lend will help PAWS save lives and provide medical care, shelter, and food for cats and dogs awaiting their forever homes.

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Every Cat Has a Dozen Secret Names

There are the names their mothers call them. There are the names they call themselves. There are the names their owners give them, and the various nicknames they accumulate along the way. In the case of foster cats, there are even more names – the ones they come with from the shelter, the ones their foster folks give them, and the names given to them by all the people who care for them along the way to their permanent homes. All of this is a very long-winded way of saying we’ve taken in a family of foster cats. The first thing I did upon getting them home was give them new, temporary names. As much as I appreciate the Phillies as World Champions, and feel adopted-hometown pride when they do well, it just wouldn’t do to have a litter of kittens named after baseball players. The cats came to us as Sally (momma cat), Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay. They are now Sparrow (momma cat), Wren, Thrush, and Starling.

Foster Cats
As it turns out, kittens who never stay still are remarkably hard to photograph. Sparrow is in the background, Thrush is in the foreground, and Wren and Starling are doing their best impersonation of a two-headed kitten here. Wren is the grey one.

Mother cats with un-weaned kittens are usually the highest-need (i.e. most at risk of being euthanized), but also the lowest maintenance, since the mother cat basically does all the work. So far, our family is working out beautifully. Sparrow is gorgeous, but incredibly shy. When humans are around, she spends most of her time in the cat carrier/bed area where she feels safe, warily looking out at us. The kittens are by turns small, sleepy bundles, and staggering, little balls of adorableness. They have no fear.Starling, the smallest of the three, is the bravest, of course. They mewp, rather than meowing, and they haven’t entirely figured out walking without falling over yet. They aren’t eating solid food yet, but they all seem intrigued by the notion. Wren, for one, is fairly certain that eating solid food involves chewing on the bowl, not what’s inside it.

More gratuitous kitten pictures below the cut, and some shameless pimping for PAWS.

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Give More Bees

Non-profit organizations need our support year round in order to keep doing the incredible things they do to help make the world a better place. The holiday season always brings the need for support into particularly sharp focus, so, like last year, I’m going to mention a few of my favorite charities in order to help spread the word.

Heifer International helps families around the world break the cycle of poverty by providing animals and training to allow them to become self-reliant. Twenty dollars buys a flock of geese for eggs, thirty dollars buys a hive of bees for honey, one hundred and fifty dollars buys a llama for wool. You can check out their gift catalog here, or just make straight out donation. As a bonus, for the literary-minded among you, if you make your donation to Heifer International through Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilder’s you’ll have the opportunity to win some incredible prizes – signed books, arcs, artwork, etc. Plus, Pat is matching all donations, so your gift works twice as hard.

PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society is the city’s largest no-kill shelter. They recently opened a new facility to provide low-cost veterinary care, with a focus on spaying and neutering pets, cutting down on the number of unwanted and abandoned animals that end up in the city’s already over-flowing shelters. In addition to monetary support, they also have many beautiful and loving animals in need of temporary and permanent homes.

Child’s Play – a charity by geeks, for geeks. It was started by the good folks at Penny Arcade, and it gives donors the opportunity to purchase toys, games, and books for children’s hospitals across the country (and a few international ones as well) through various wishlists set up on amazon.

DonorsChoose.org, similar to Child’s Play, Donors Choose lets you browse wishlists assembled by teachers at schools across the country. You can fund a science experiment, an art project, or provide books to help kids learn how to read. You can also set up a recurring, monthly donation, to keep your gift going all year long.

These are just a few of the worthy charities out there. Go find a cause you care about, and support the hell out of it, this year, next year, and every year.

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Kittens in Need

Boosting the signal for anyone in the Philadelphia area…

I’ve mentioned PAWS here before – they are Philly’s largest no-kill animal shelter, and they are currently in desperate need of people willing to foster litters of kittens until they are old enough for adoption. Summer and spring are “kitten season” and PAWS and animal control are both at full capacity. According to the recent plea PAWS sent out, “there are between 50-60 litters at any given time in need of rescue.”

So, if you live in the Philly area and you’ve ever considered fostering or adopting kittens, now is the time. There are also plenty of dogs in need of fostering and adoption as well, if cats just aren’t your thing. If you’re interested, or you know anyone who is interested:

• contact Sue Durphy, PAWS’ foster care coordinator, at sue@phillypaws.org
• visit PAWS’ Wellness Clinic at 2900 Grays Ferry Ave. between 11 and 6 any day of the week
• contact Natalie Smith, ACCT Manager of Lifesaving, at nsmith@pspca.org
• visit ACCT at 111 W. Hunting Park Ave. between 9 and 6 any day of the week

If you aren’t able to foster any animals, you can still help by donating items from PAWS’ wishlist on Amazon, or making a donation directly to PAWS’ via their website.

Several of my co-workers regularly foster kittens, and I’ve been lucky enough to help them out on occasion. Two pictures below the cut to shamelessly tug at your heartstrings. Seriously, unless you hate cuteness, it’s almost impossible to look at these cats and not immediately fall in love…

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This Year, Give the Gift of Bees

Patrick Rothfuss is not only a wonderful author, he’s a wonderful human being. For (at least) the second year in a row, he has set up a challenge page at Heifer International, a charity that helps families raise themselves out of poverty through sustainable agriculture. Check out Patrick’s blog for more information on how to support this wonderful organization. If you donate through his page, you’ll have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes. Plus, how can you resist an organization that allows you to give the gift of cows, goats, water buffalo and honeybees during this holiday season?

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