Welcome to the 20th edition of G2Z e-News!
International experts set to revisit Australia!
We are very happy to announce that the visit to Australia by #G2Z2015 presenters, Trish McMillan Loehr and Dr Cindy Karsten, is going ahead! We have back to back shelter and pound visits booked in to keep these lovely ladies very busy during their visit in April and May. It’s fantastic to see so many organisations keen to avail themselves of this amazing opportunity. We now have a waiting list as unfortunately we can’t keep Cindy and Trish here forever. If you are interested in a future visit by the dynamic duo please let us know and we will see if we can’t get them back again in the future.
Great news from ACSAH!
Cairns based community group, Animal Care for Seniors at Home, is continuing their outstanding work for far north Queensland residents and their pets. ACSAH works collaboratively with a number of human and animal services in the region enabling them to provide their much needed program. We have been given permission to share some of the amazing stories that were included in their January Volunteer Report.
- Ambulance call to Smithfield.Owner wouldn’t leave his 12 year old Dachie, Chica.He was happy to go to hospital once the ACSAH volunteers assured him we would watch out for her until he was better.YAPS once again were supportive and assisted with her vaccination.Chica is still boarding at YAPS.With luck, Chica will go back to owner this week.
- Hospital call out on 5 January for patient who wanted to discharge himself as his 20 year old, blind and deaf foxie cross was at home alone.Arrangements were made for volunteers to go to the house and feed Nugget, then on 7th they were called back to the hospital and asked to remove Nugget from the house and foster.Vaccinations were out of date.Volunteers fostered for two nights until a more permanent foster arrangement was found, the dear little fella is still there.Vet check was arranged and he was found to be in pretty good shape for a little old man apart from an ear infection which is being treated.
- Volunteers went to Gordonvale to see a couple who had asked for help with their beautiful 7 month old black Labrador puppy, Buster.This is very sad as it seems just 7 months ago when they adopted Buster, they enjoyed good health but now find they are unable to walk him.I think our commitment to do as much as we can for Buster lifted their spirits as they reiterated how much love he had brought into their lives.Volunteers will share the walking for the time being – thanks girls.
This safety net program is clearly doing a great job at keeping people and their pets together wherever possible and is reducing intake to the local shelters, pounds and rescues. These stories reiterate how important pets are to all of us, particularly as we get older, become socially isolated or unwell. If you are interested in finding out more or helping out ACSAH by volunteering your time or donating you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Things are happening in the behaviour assessment space
The Research and Development team at the ASPCA have been busy testing the food guarding assessment in a recent pilot program. The results on what happens if we stop assessing for food guarding make for interesting reading, perhaps we are on our way to dropping this assessment altogether? You can find out more here
Business of Saving Lives Conference - Sydney
G2Z were pleased to support and attend the recently held Business of Saving Lives conference in Sydney. The Maggies Rescue peeps teamed up with the crew from the Helen Woodward Animal Centre from San Diego and did a great job pulling a robust together with some outstanding local and international speakers. Diane Blankenburg (Humane Network) and Becky Robinson (Alley Cat Allies) delivered some passionate and inspiring presentations and it was fabulous to meet these two leaders in their field.
Formation of new Australian TNR Coalition
Thanks to Lee O’Mahoney of the recently formed Australian TNR Coalition for the following article:
The recent Business of Saving Lives conference was much more than a conference. It has led to the formation of a coalition of people who are working to advance Trap-Neuter-Return in Australia.
Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane and effective way of reducing the stray cat population and cat intake at shelters and pounds. Community cats are trapped, desexed, vaccinated, microchipped and ear tipped, and then returned to their outdoor home, where they are cared for by committed caregivers.
Community cats make up a large proportion of the cat intake at Australian pounds and shelters. Having not had a lot of contact with people, they can be difficult to rehome. Most are killed.
This takes a heavy personal toll on the shelter workers involved with euthanasia. In the US, studies have found that shelter and animal care workers face a higher risk of suicide than any other profession. Those who survive often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.
There is also the cost to society, with the loss of caring community members and high workers compensation costs for the survivors, who battle with depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.
In Australia, TNR is a legal ‘grey area’. Some perceive that returning healthy community cats to their homes, even when they are fed daily and given vet care when needed, may constitute ‘abandonment’. However, this has not been tested in a court of law.
The Australian TNR Coalition will advocate for the non-lethal and humane care of community cats. This will benefit cats, wildlife, councils, shelters, shelter workers and the general community.
The Coalition will work to effect cultural and legislative change so that community cats are cared for with compassion and can live out their lives in peace.
If you have an interest in TNR and would like to be part of the coalition, please email your name, town, state, phone number, email address and any animal welfare organisation you are affiliated with to AustralianTNRCoalition@gmail.com.
Community Pet Adoption Survey Results - Foster Caregiver Involvement in Adoption
Generally speaking, the model for foster programs has been a period of temporary pet fostering, followed by return of the animal to the shelter for adoption. Although foster caregivers are in a unique position to give insights into pet health and pet behaviour in a home environment, foster caregiver involvement in the adoption process has been a fairly new and fairly controversial subject.
During the summer of 2014, Maddie’s Institute® conducted a survey to identify practices that were successful in shortening length of stay, or prevented the pets from entering the shelter entirely. It covered three scenarios, the second of which is discussed in this report.
One strategy involves encouraging foster caregivers to participate in the adoption process or even keep a pet in their home until an adopter is found, thus eliminating the need for a foster pet to be returned to the shelter before adoption. The principle aim in conducting this study was to assess:
- The extent to which organizations encourage foster caregiver involvement in the adoption process
- The frequency of foster caregivers who choose to be involved in the adoption process
- The regularity of policies that require foster pets to be returned to organizations for adoption
to read the comprehensive report.
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Past Issues of G2Z e-News
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