Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Julie, a pure-bred pitbull, came to us on the day of the Christmas Parade in 2010.  She was very skinny, very scared and very pregnant.  We were able to take her to a foster family where she could be fostered and cared for while waiting for her puppies.  She ended up having 10 puppies (9 girls and 1 boy).  One of the puppies died not long after birth.  Julie then developed a severe case of mastitis.  Her teat burst and she had to be removed from the puppies.  They then hand-raised the remaining 9 puppies from the time they were 1 1/2 weeks old.  We treated Julie for the mastitis, giving her antibiotics, pain meds and flushing the open wound 2-3 times each day until it healed.  She wasn't the most cooperative with the pills, but she tolerated the wound flushing like a champ!  She was a picky eater and we needed to get some weight back on her, so we experimented until we found that she liked Moist & Meaty dog food.  She soon was eating well and put on some weight.

We later found out that her owner had adopted her from Evansville Animal Control and Shelter with the requirement that she be spayed soon after adoption. However, they missed the spay appointment scheduled by EAC.  Instead she was to be used for breeding and the puppies were to be sold.   We try to reunite owners with their pets if possible and if it is in the best interest of the animal.  Even though Julie's stray hold had expired and she legally belonged to us, we agreed to make one last effort when we were contacted by the owners.  We offered to allow them to have Julie and the puppies if all of the medical expenses were paid (which looked to be around $3,000), all puppies and Julie were spayed, and they could submit to home visits from our animal control officers to prove that they could properly care for her.  That was the last we heard from them.  They didn't even call to ask how Julie or the puppies were doing.

Julie soon recovered from her ordeal and was finally ready for adoption.  After 3 weeks waiting for adoption, and over 2 1/2 months in our care, Julie was finally adopted at our weekly adoption event at PetsMart in Evansville this past Saturday, which that is coordinated by our wonderful volunteers.  She was adopted to a young lady in Henderson who had been visiting Julie regularly at the shelter and really wanted her.  We were very excited and happy for this wonderful soul that had been through so much.   We will be doing a home visit in the next few days to check on our sweetheart. 

As for all those puppies, our Rescue Coordinator Diane was able to place them in rescues out of state.  Background checks and home visits are a regular part of the adoption process for pit puppies.  They were all spayed/neutered before making their trip.

Congratulations Julie and thank you for being so patient and kind to us while in our care.  We love you and although we will miss your beautiful eyes, we are so happy that you have a loving home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Defining the Henderson Pet Overpopulation Problem

Henderson County Population Statistics

This data breaks down the issue of pet overpopulation in Henderson County. Surrounding counties are having the same problem. The Humane Society of Henderson County is committed to eliminating creutly, abuse, neglect and homelessness in Henderson County with a specific emphasis on saving lives and reducing the overpopulation problem. Please join us in this fight to protect the the animals in our community that cannot fight for themselves.

*2000 census data for Henderson County along with national statistics

Henderson Population: 37,415
Households: 15,721
Avg. # of animals entering HSHC shelter: 1 in 6.5 households

# Households with Dogs: 31.6%
Dogs per household: 1.69
Total dogs with homes: 8,396
New Dog Homes Available / YR: 840

# Households with Cats: 27.3%
Cats per household: 2.19
Total cats with homes: 9,399
New Cat Homes Available / YR: 940

Total animals with homes: 17,795
Average Lifespan (yrs): 10
New Homes Available / YR: 1,779

# of litters from female cat / YR: up to 3
# of kittens per litter: 4-6
Age at which a female cat can produce first litter: 4-10 months
Gestation Period: 58-70 Days

# of litters from female dog / YR: up to 2
# of puppies per litter: 6-12
Age at which a female dog can produce first litter: 7-9 months
Gestation Period: 58-71 Days

Total Animals Adopted and Placed in Rescue 2010*:   1224
*Includes only HSHC adoptions, not other rescues organizations or private breeders, etc.

2010 HSHC Intake*
Total Intake: 2357
Total Available Homes: 1779

Cat Intake: 1117
Available Cat Homes: 940

Dog Intake: 1240
Available Dog Homes: 840

*Includes only HSHC intakes, not other rescues organizations or private breeders, etc.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why should my pet be spayed or neutered?

Why should my pet be spayed or neutered?

  • Spaying /neutering your pet is good for your pet, you, and the community.
  • Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
  • Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
  • Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.
  • Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
  • Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.
  • Spaying and neutering helps to reduce the number of homeless and unwanted pets in our community.  We already have an overpopulation problem.  This means there are not enough homes for the number of animals born each year in Henderson County.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to perform a basic pet check

Pet Parent Tip: Watch the ASPCA's Dr. Lander as she demonstrates how to give your pet a Basic Pet Check featuring Maverick, an ASPCA shelter cat who is available for adoption. Check back every other week for a new pet care tip! For more pet care and behavior tips, visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Need to Vent

Maybe this isn’t the time or place. Maybe no one actually reads these blogs. Maybe I’m only “preaching to the choir”. But maybe someone will read this that needs to. Or maybe someone will pass this on to someone who needs to see it.

I don’t even know where to start. Maybe with Drew and Drake, the pit puppies that came in last week, taken from deplorable living conditions. They were malnourished, full of intestinal worms and as cute as can be. Oh yes, they also had not had any vet care during their short life. Which means they also came in with parvo. Which means we had 2 very sick puppies Thursday that had to be euthanized.

Then there’s Chloe. She is an 8 year old shepherd mix who is lovely in face and in spirit. Someone obviously loved her at one time because she is so lovable. Unfortunately they didn’t love her enough to have her spayed. They also didn’t love her enough to call looking for her. Oh – and they didn’t love her enough to provide heartworm prevention. So I have a senior female that is too old to be spayed without expensive blood work; that is, if she survived the heartworm treatment, which is also extremely expensive. We know the reality of finding a home for her. She will be euthanized within the week.

That brings to mind the people who criticize us for not being a “no kill” shelter. The reality of “no kill” shelters is that they are also known as Limited Intake shelters. They generally only take the most adoptable animals – the rest come to us. I have even been told that there are actually people in the Henderson community that have said they would be happy to donate large amounts of money to us, but won’t because we’re not a “no kill” shelter. I would like to take this opportunity to make those people aware that they are personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of animals each year. Because with the money they claim they want to use to help animals, we could possibly treat dogs with parvo. We could afford blood work to make sure the senior animals we get are healthy enough for surgery. We could provide heartworm treatment, not just for the most adoptable animals, but for all the animals that deserve a good home.

I will be going in tonight to check on Hope. She was taken from a home yesterday due to neglect. I have never seen so emaciated an animal. She has obviously been loved by someone at one time. When our Animal Control Officers came in, she got down off the couch and brought them her rope toy. This dog that possibly hasn’t eaten in days, maybe even weeks, just wanted someone to play with her. Her owner has apparently contacted us, claiming he was out of town and had a friend taking care of her. He needs new friends. We took her in last night, gave her food and fluids and a soft place to lay down. Her tail is wagging and she loves to cuddle. How could someone do this to her?

Then there’s the people that get mad at us for our fees. The ones that say “I don’t care about the leash law” then claim that the problem isn’t that the dogs are running loose. It’s because their neighbors don’t like them (no comment). The fact that we received multiple calls about the dogs being in the streets, dodging cars, tearing up trash is completely irrelevant. They make the statement that they’ll “just get rid of the $%^&* dogs” if they’re going to have to pay for breaking the law. Our Return to Owner fees are meant to be a deterrent. Just take care of your animals. That’s all we ask. Oh, and yes – that means keeping them in your yard.

One more story – the woman diagnosed with cancer whose husband is divorcing her and left her homeless. She is living in a garage and can’t keep her dog and 4 cats. She found a home for the dog, but had no choice but to bring the cats to us. These cats have been well taken care of. They’re beautiful and healthy. We will hopefully find goods home for all of them. This is the reason we’re here – to help people (and animals) in need.

Sorry this is so long. There are so many other stories; Julie, T'amo, Oreo, Meow. So many others. It’s been a rough week.