..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What We Do...

Elaine made up this video of our weekly visits to the Cherokee County, SC Animal Shelter. As the Humane Society of Cherokee County, SC (HSCC), we have an agreement with the county animal shelter to take as many of the animals as possible and get them to rescue or adopt them out. The Animal Shelter is only there to take in strays (picked up by Animal Control Officers or brought in and dumped by the public), hold them for 5 days and then put them down. In that 5 day hold (required by state law) the HSCC works to find a rescue who will take them or find them a home (an adopter). My sisters and I take the videos and photos and put them on the Internet and keep those updated. The other volunteers coordinate with transports to get these dogs where they are going, work with the local vets to get all animals spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and any vet services needed (in case they are sick or need heartworm treatments, etc). When the 5 day hold is up they have to be moved out of the Animal Shelter. If we have places for them to go but the transports aren't ready yet, then we have to find temporary holding areas for them until the transports or adopters are ready. We don't take aggressive dogs, we don't take dogs that are too sick or injured that it would cost too much money to treat or it's terminal. We can't since we are donation and volunteer basis. It's not a wise use of our money and time. But if they are treatable and it's less than $700 to have the dog back in healthy condition, then we will try to do it (depending on our financial situation).

In this video you see us working with the dogs during yesterday's weekly visit. It's a week before Christmas and the weather was rain/sleet/snow so we were cold and trying to tape inside where the heat was on. But some dogs had to go outside to walk off some energy. The shelter was FULL! We had a Pit Bull that had obviously been in a fight. It's face, neck and chest were hamburger and it was so bad the girls wouldn't let me look because they knew I might faint. (I do that sometimes.) It was mortal wounds but the dog wasn't dead yet and, for some reason, the animal shelter staff had not put the dog down yet. It was in such pain and misery. Elaine got video of it in this video but she edited it so that it is viewable. We also had a lot of starved dogs, the most at one time I've ever seen. A lot come in with worms, dehydrated, malnourished, heartworm positive, infested with fleas, cherry eye, fatty tumors, toenails so long that it makes it hard or impossible to walk, fur so matted that they can't poop any more, etc. These are treatable conditions and the dogs can be back to 100% so we try to get them treated/groomed.

Half or more of the dogs are so scared they are almost hysterical. Some dogs will bite or growl when humans approach them because they are so scared. We try to give them second chances because we can't take the liability of adopting out a dog that is naturally aggressive. But if they are just so frightened then we might can train them and they won't be aggressive. But most of these scaredy cats are just trembling, cowering, crying, pooping/peeing uncontrollably, and shying away from us. We will try to go slowly with these and win their trust. Lots of praise, petting, cuddling, nose-to-nose communication of love, will usually begin to bring them around. Some will respond to treats or toys but most don't. They are too scared. Yesterday there were 2 female German Shepherds. They had not come in together but, due to crowding, had been put in the same kennel and both were so scared. It looked like they had gotten into a tussle together too. Elaine sat in their kennel for 10-15 mins to get them calmed down enough to let her get close enough to get a leash on them. One didn't respond to Lee so I tried and she responded well to me and relaxed. If they don't respond to one of us, another one tries. This one may have been owned by a woman or badly treated by a man. The other German Shepherd didn't respond to any of us. She was too terrified no matter what we did although we did get photos and videos. They didn't show aggression but she never relaxed. We had a female Rottweiler mix and a full blodded Bassett Hound come in together and they were both so terrified that I had to get in the pen this time and win their trust until Aaron could get a leash on them. He and I were able to get them walking and moving instead of cowering.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Have you ever noticed, when you look at "magazine kitchens", that there is no clutter around the kitchen sink? In fact, the sink will be clutter free and glowingly clean.

I learned to remove all clutter from the kitchen counters, including around the kitchen sink, when trying to sell a home. In fact, there should be nothing on your counters but a coffee pot brewing fresh coffee (for the fragrance and home-iness) and a few decorative items. That means no dirty dishes in the sink, no mail and key catchers, no appliances like toasters, no cleaning stuff around the sink, etc.

When you really live in a house, it's hard to keep the counters completely free of clutter. I haven't mastered it. I've always got my Vitamix mixer out, a misc catching tray, vitamins, sugar bowl, fruit bowl, utensil holder, spoon rest, etc. And around the sink I have the dish detergent, liquid soap, sponge, scrubber, stopper, and dish towel. Since all these are useful tools used everyday, I figure, as long as they are clean and I can function around them, they can stay where they are most convenient to me. Here is my kitchen sink this morning.

But if you have too much clutter and limited space, then decluttering those counters are a must.

The FlyLady ( http://www.flylady.net/ ) always stresses cleaning out the kitchen sink, washing and polishing it so that it's spic 'n span. In fact, she calls it your first "baby step" to uncluttering.

"This is your first household chore. Many of you can't understand why I want you to empty your sink of your dirty dishes and clean and shine it, when there is so much more to do. It is so simple. I want you to have a sense of accomplishment. You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. I can't be there to give you a big hug, but I know how good it feels to see yourself in your kitchen sink."

No one wants a sink like the one below! Whenever you wash your dishes (or rinse and put in the dishwasher) don't stop until you wash the sink too. I use my dish detergent to wash the sink and get all the grease out and rinse it with hot water. Every once in awhile I will put some bleach in the sink and fill it up with cold water to bleach out any stains. With a stainless steel sink you can use a Brillo pad to buff it to a shine.

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