Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meet Maranda Hawkes, Volunteer Coordinator!

Hi there! I am Maranda Hawkes, the Volunteer Coordinator for No More Homeless Pets In Utah. I have been with the organization since January 2006.

I love helping animals and although our line of work is demanding and emotional at times, making a difference is worth it to me. I am constantly amazed at the dedication and compassion our volunteers have as they go out daily and weekly to lovingly care for our dogs and cats. Their strength keeps me personally motivated and hopeful that some day the pet overpopulation problem won't be so tragic.

Ever since I was a child I have had a special place in my heart for stray animals of all kinds. In Kindergarten I found a mouse outside in the school yard. I brought her home in a tin can out of the trash. It turned out to be a rat and my mother was not pleased. But "Matilda" was soft and beautiful to me and I felt that even a rat still deserved a loving home. (To my mother's relief, we found out that she was a pet that had escaped from a classroom at school, not a sewer rat.) Growing up my brother and I took in and cared for several strays that needed our help. If we couldn't adopt them ourselves, then we would foster them until we found them each a home of their own.

As an adult I have had the companionship of several beloved pets over the years. They have been, and are, some of my best friends. Luckily I have never had to place any of them in other homes.

But unfortunately with the harsh economy many families have had to give up their pets to cut back on expenses, or have lost their homes and can not take them with them when the move. If you find yourself in this position please consider other options for your pet before you take them to a shelter. Ask friends and family if they can adopt your pet, or at least foster them while you are finding other options for them.

You can also place ads in local papers or online, but never put "Free to a good home" in your ads and screen potential adopters very carefully. There are people who make a living by selling these free pets to third party companies. These businesses will then turn around and sell your pet to be a test animals in a research lab. This is common even in Utah.

One option is to contact local rescue groups or if your pet is purebred look for a group that specializes in rescuing that specific breed.
Even if they are out of state they still might work with you. As most groups are already booked to capacity, you may need to find a temporary foster home for your pet while you work with that group. (For a list of rescue groups, click here .) These options might take some time and patience to be effective, but it is worth it considering the alternative.

Public shelters and even the Humane Society unfortunately have to euthanize animals each day because of the pet overpopulation problem.
The sad reality is it doesn't matter if your sweet dog or cat has many great qualities or is an expensive purebred. A big misconception is that puppies and kittens are exempt from being put down which is false. Their fate simply depends on how much kennel space is available that day.
Please do everything you can to give them the chance they deserve at finding another loving family. For information and help on how to place you pet in a new home, click here and read "Placing A Pet."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meet Andrea Torre, Free Fix Director!

Hi! Andrea Torre is the name, low cost spay/neuter is my game.

I joined the NMHPU staff in September 2008 and have learned so much about the great programs we have for the 4-legged friends that need our help. Along with learning I have been able to contribute in the spaying and neutering of hundreds of cats and dogs across the state of Utah through the Free Fix voucher program.

I grew up in a household with cats, dogs and birds as family members. My parents showed me how an animal can bring a unique happiness and unconditional love to a human life. I witnessed them treat all animals with patience, respect and love and have had the pleasure to see the smiles they have brought to me and my family.
The euthanizing of cats and dogs can one day be eliminated if everyone does their part. Education is the key, so keep learning, spread the word and together we can save them all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meet Amber Randall, Adoption Coordinator!

I’m Amber Randall , Adoption Coordinator. I’ve been working for NMHPU since October 2008 and have been a foster home long before that. I was born into animal rescue, as my mom was doing it since she was young. Even at 3 years old I was picketing against animal lab testing and hanging out with my mom at animal adoption events. Growing up, we always had furry friends to keep us company and entertained.

I really enjoy working at NMHPU. It is so rewarding when these homeless animals get a second chance to a loving home. I look forward to the day when the animal population is under control and there aren’t so many homeless animals being euthanized. Please spay and neuter your pets! Together, we can help save the animals.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meet Daye Abbott, Feral Fix Director!

Hi all, I am Daye Abbott, the Feral Fix Director. I have only been with No More Homeless Pets in Utah since September 2008, but I have worked with NMHPU and CAWS (Community Animal Welfare Society) as a volunteer for many years. I truly appreciate all the wonderful things both organizations do to help the animals in our community.

I have had dogs and cats in my life ever since I can remember. We lived in Garland, a small rural Utah community, and for the most part our dogs and cats lived outside when I was young. The cats moused, and the dogs kept strangers away. That was what was considered their job. They were well fed, and had the enclosed back porch for their home. I look back at that now and think how terrible. I would not allow that type of life for my dogs or cats now. Then I have to stop and realize that my thought process has changed because I have been educated in the proper care and treatment of animals. It was not a quick process, it took years and a lot of mistakes. But that is how humans learn and grow. We all need to remember we are educators, and it is not about how many dogs or cats we care for and adopt out to wonderful homes. It is also about how many people we talk to and enlighten, so that they start that learning process to change their perspective of how they think and feel about animals. Remember, everyday is a chance to help someone new learn and grow. Good Luck.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meet Lydia Beuning!

Hi! I'm Lydia the Office Manager at No More Homeless Pets in Utah. I have been working here for 2 1/2 years and love it.

When I was a kid my family never had animals so when I got married and moved into a house with a yard, I immediately adopted a pet. I went to a Super Adoption event and adopted my first dog Zoey. She is a mostly black, a heeler/border collie mix. Shortly after I started working at NMHPU, I adopted my first cat, Monk, who is a black cat. I learned from our Adoption Department that black cat and dog adoption rates are generally really low. I was really surprised. The theories to this vary: from superstitious lore that black animals are bad luck or that black animals are less noticeable or don't stand out to potential adopters. Most of the time you will find that rescues and shelters will put eye catching collars on black animals. I remember Zoey had on a festive collar that caught my eye.

When you go to your local shelter or rescue don't forget to check out the black dogs and cats. When it comes down to it, an animals color should be one of the last things to consider when adopting your new pet. Their personality and if they match your lifestyle are much more important factors.

Check out some black animals in our program:




Lydia Beuning

Friday, April 3, 2009

Message from Holly Sizemore, Executive Director of NMHPU

When I began in animal rescue, we relied on Polaroid pictures of homeless animals glued in a book, and owning a shelter pet gave you zero bragging rights; today you are just one click away from being able to see thousands of adoptable Utah animals online and owning a rescue pet is something many take great pride in, as well they should. No More Homeless Pets in Utah has helped pave the way to bring the plight of homeless animals to the forefront, and we work tirelessly to fulfill our mission "To end the euthanasia of cats and dogs in Utah and to promote humane alternatives for feral cats." We began this battle in 2000, and indeed it is a battle on so many levels - at that time more than 45,000 cats and dogs were being killed in Utah shelters every year.

Historically killing animals as a means to curtail their populations was the norm in America and most municipalities ran shelters which mandated they take in any stray animal from their area and euthanize the ones which didn't get adopted. These shelters still exist and yet we are seeing a change in the way which many municipalities handle stray animals. For instance, you used to only hear the phrases, Animal Control, now many shelters are called Animal Care and Control or Animal Services. Society sees that killing animals as a means to control their populations is no longer a "necessary evil" but simply unnecessary in light of progressive life-saving alternatives. No More Homeless Pets in Utah has worked tirelessly to develop and implement such life-saving measures and we emphasize partnering with local governments, shelters, and other non-profit organizations in coalition projects so that some day we will save them all. Over 5 million cats and dogs are killed every year in the US, over 35,000 in Utah last year. I know this killing will end before I retire, and since I'm talking in terms of Polaroid pictures, retirement isn't too far away. O.K., to be more specific in the next 20 years.

And as I write "20 years" it seems all too tragic, daunting. For those amazing people who work in the trenches saving these animals, one critter at a time, celebrating those saved, and mourning those lost....these are the true pioneers of this movement, the people willing to face the day-to-day reality so that today some, and some day all, will be saved. I cannot say enough about these unsung heroes, the kennel worker who works late so that every animal can be posted online; the shelter director who implements a new way of doing things; the city official willing to change archaic ordinances; the volunteer who gives up their weekend to scoop poop; the staffer who cries at night but shows up the next day anyway because they KNOW they are making a difference; these are the heroes of this movement.

There are days that I am bitter - it seems so simple, the answer to this problem........If you want to know the answer to pet overpopulation just A.S.K.

A= Adopt from a shelter or a rescue group (petfinder.com) do not buy from a breeder or pet store,

S=Spay your pet (every animal unspayed animals contributes to this tragedy, even if you find homes for the babies...it is the concept called supply and demand), and

K= Keep your pet for its lifetime (pets are living creatures and will likely pose some challenges along the way...and like children, with a little effort and love most challenges can be overcome).

Even on the bitter days, I am truly grateful to be a part of this amazing movement. I am humbled by the people who surround me everyday - my co-workers, volunteers, shelter workers, donors, business partners, government officials, and pet-owners who contribute on so many levels to this vision of a day when no animal will have to die simply because it is labeled "surplus".

I have been criticized for "caring more about the plight of animals more than the plight of people" and after 20 years I can wholeheartedly say that my work, No More Homeless Pets work, helps people just as much as it helps animals. Every animal saved gives a human the chance to experience the wonder of the human-animal bond. Every super adoption not only saves hundreds of lives it proves to those in the trenches that we CAN save lives on a level never before dreamed of. Our Trap/Neuter/Return or Free Fix services provides people greatly needed services so that they can responsibly care for and save animals. And for those who don't like animals, well we help those people too...we reduce the numbers of animals roaming the streets, we provide low-cost vaccinations which help promote public health and safety, and we work with shelters and members of the public to provide effective, humane animal deterrents to keep animals away from where they aren't wanted. Our TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return program for feral cats) program's motto is "Whether you Love or Loathe cats, we can help".

Together let's save them all!

Holly Sizemore

Executive Director