Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Day in the life of Kenai..

Mr. Personality! Kenai is a very playful young donkey. He can be seen playing with toys, balls and his buddies in the pasture.

On this day however, he was exceptionally playful and decided he was finished with this here farrier. Sat right down and protested! We couldn't help but laugh!

Patience plays a huge role in working with any animal. Those coming into our Sanctuary have normally had very bad experiences with people, especially farriers, that they do not want to be handled and have a very hard time trusting people. Many of them have been beaten into submission with rasps or other objects by farriers that do not have patience, making them even more skittish and untrusting.

Our farrier, pictured here, has done an excellent job over the last 2.5 years helping the Sanctuary and our many animals to recover and live a pain and stress free life. Come visit Darrin Hill at his next workshop for the Sanctuary on September 30, 2006 from 11 am to 1 pm to learn more about farrier work and see live examples of what poor work can cause along with neglect and different diseases of the hoof. Contact us at info@denkaisanctuary.org for more information or visit www.denkaisanctuary.org.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Teaching Our Children

Just as it is important to teach our children how to interact with other persons, it is just as imperative to instruct children how to treat animals. Model for children how to pet animals, feed them and supply them with water. Teaching a child how to care for an animal is an invaluable tool. By interacting with animals on a positive level, children can learn empathy. Learning how to be a friend to an animal is a great lesson that can transfer to how a child treats other human beings, as well. Children do not automatically know how to relate to an animal. As well, children raised in large cities are not familar with animals and will embrace the opportunity to know an animal. Consider volunteering at a local youth organization that embraces the notion that children should be given the opportunity to get to know and respect their fellow creatures. At Denkai, we welcome the opportunity to have you volunteer with your child. Call or e-mail us at volunteer@denkaisanctuary.org if you would like to schedule a volunteer day with your child or children.

Preparing for an Emergency

How prepared are you for an emergency? Just as we prepare our homes against flood, tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster, we need to take the time to devise an emergency plan in case we need to evacuate with our familes, including companion animals. There are several critical factors to keep in mind when preparing for an emergency in which you would need to evacuate. Make sure that all of your vet records are available to take with you and that you have current photographs of companion animals. This is extremely critical in case you become separated. Have an emergency supply of any medication or herbal remedy that is needed for the animals. In turn, stockpiling a months supply of dry and soft food and water is critical. Have carriers, leashes and extra blankets in a safe location so that you will be ready to go if the time comes. The first step is to make a list of everything that is needed to care for your companion animals on a daily basis and set aside a supply that will last a month. It might seem extreme, but it is vital to prepare in case of emergency. If you use litter that comes in jugs or large plastic gallon totes, clean out and use for maintaining an emergency water supply.

Consider Adopting a Senior Animal

Many of the animals that arrive at shelters are often older and have a difficult time being adopted. It seems common for people to want to adopt kittens or puppies and disregard the older animals awaiting a second chance. While puppies and kittens needs homes, as well, consider adopting an animal that is older and who may or may not have special needs. Many older animals, as well, are better suited to living with young children. Often times, they are calmer and used to living with them. Just something to consider when adopting an animal! We have senior animals for adoption, as well! Check out our adoption link on the site. All of these animals are very loving, indeed, and will make great companions!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Helpful Hints

We can sometimes feel helpless when we pass a stray dog or cat {or other animal} and are unsure as to how to help. Try to keep extra collars, leashes, and perhaps a carrier or two in your vehicle so that you can assist an animal in distress. That is why keeping an emergency kit filled with a few water containers, extra food, blankets, rubber gloves, and towels can assist when transporting an animal in distress. Make sure, as well, that you have a list of phone numbers to local sanctuaries, shelters, and fellow advocates who would be willing to assist.

Advocating for Feral, Stray, and Semi-Feral Cats

There is truly an overabundance of cats and kittens that live in our cities and towns. Survivors of the street, many individuals pass them by and assume that he or she can care for themselves if left to roam. The average life of a cat living outdoors is diminished by the fact that it faces predators of both human and animal form, weather conditions, traffic, and much more. While it seems overwhelming to deal with, it is critical that we take the time to contact local officials and address policies concerning stray and feral cats. While some TNR policies have been enacted in certain areas, it is often to financially consuming for local governments to continue. Whatever county you may live in, it is critical to at least take the time to make a phone call to your local representative and find out if any laws exist that protect cats. Many advocate for TNR, while others take a different route. Whatever your beliefs, it is important that we let officials know that we need to establish laws in order to protect these felines. Spaying and neutering is vital, along with providing animals with proper vaccinations. Did you know that not all cats living outdoors are truly feral? Many can be classified as semi-feral or stray, having had to adjust to living on the streets due to abandonment or being lost at some point. It is important to know that many of these cats can be socialized, if given the time and the opportunity to bond with humans. While it is not always the case, it would be wonderful to establish a program in which these cats were given the proper amount of time in which to be socialized. Many are judged quickly and too often are euthanized. Whatever your thoughts on this matter, please speak out to officials by calling or writing to their office. Sending letters to the editors of local newspapers is also imperative. Let's get more people involved in advocating for these cats so that programs can be established and maintained county and nationwide!

The Importance of Our Volunteers

Truthfully, we could not exist without the support of volunteers. We would like to thank all those who have contributed at the sanctuary by feeding, socializing, and cleaning. The animals on-site have benefited greatly from interacting with all of you who have taken the time to meet and spend time with them. If you know anyone who is interested in volunteering at the site, please let them know that we currently conduct volunteer orientation sessions two times per month at the sanctuary. It is a great opportunity to contribute to the welfare of our animals. Again, thank you to all who have supported the sanctuary, on every level.