Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Paw Power

Before outlining my personal woes, I have to comment on WAG's State of the Animals Report and meeting on June 17. Wow! A packed house of nearly 100 people came to hear some of the details about dogs and cats in Walton County. The enthusiastic, engaged group also had the opportunity to hear from commission chairman Kevin Little about future plans for the shelter and issues of concern like feral cats, dogfighting, etc. We are grateful to him for spending the evening with us during a busy election season.

The turnout was a great surprise, but not really. Over 63% of households in Walton County own pets, and that's over 17,000 homes. So those 100 or so folks that came are a drop in the bucket of people interested in animal issues. The fact that these people took the time to drive their cars to the library shows how deep their concern goes. And for every person that came there are probably 10 more who would have liked to been there but had other commitments. So there you go - Power of the Paw-Lovers will take us far!

Here's a few interesting tidbits we learned. We have about 16,932 cats and 15,919 dogs living with their families in Walton County. There are probably more than 9,800 feral cats roaming around our area. In most communities, an estimated 12% of the population feeds an average of 4 stray cats. So if you're feeding a few unowned kitties, you're not alone.

Animal Control handled nearly 3,700 animals last year. Unfortunately 81% of them never found homes and were euthanized, so clearly we have some work ahead. But we're already moving down the river of change, so the view will get better soon.

So - I hate to complain, particuarly after detailing the plight of homeless animals. But I have to explain my lack of attention to this blog.

I made the huge mistake of going for a group ride in the family van, but guess where we ended up? The kennel!

Normally, going for a ride is a lot of fun. Sometimes we stop for hamburgers, chips or cookies. So when we all piled in the van early one morning, it seemed like good times were ahead.

OK, I should have suspected something, because the weiner dogs were in a crate. That's usually a bad sign, but frankly I was too wrapped up thinking about our upcoming treats.

We were seriously misled.

It was a long two weeks in the kennel, but we're finally back home. It's gonna take time to feel normal again, particularly because the kennel people gave me a bath and blowdry before I left. Geez!! I smell like a perfumed Poodle. I've been rolling in the dirt like crazy since getting home, trying to get rid of that awful "pleasant" aroma. Humans and their poorly evolved sniffers. Blech!!

'Til later


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