Bring some some into your world this holiday season! All cats 9 months and older only have a $25 adoption donation!
On 11/13/14 at approximately 9am, the NJSPCA raided the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter after months of reports from volunteers and employees. Suspected abuse to many of the animals inside this new, large facility that served 21 towns.
On 11/13/14 at approximately 10pm, one veterinarian and a few vet techs were allowed into the shelter to clean and feed the animals. From their reports, it appeared that food and even water had not been given to the animals for some time. Cats were FRANTIC for food. On top of that, there was no food to be found in the shelter. An emergency plea was sent out to local rescue groups and animal advocates to please bring food to the shelter. At 3am, the vet and techs were ushered out of the facility – but not before every animal was fed and their cage cleaned.
The NJSPCA along with the Dept. of Health took over on the morning of 11/15/14 and they have made sure the animals were cared for during this political and emotional battle for the shelter.
On 11/23/14 we were approved to pull animals from the shelter and our appointment was set for the morning of 11/14/14. We had no idea what we really would see but we assembled our carriers and we were there ready to save.
We were supposed to take 7 cats but our director “accidentally” picked 9 … no turning back now! Good thing we know better and had extra carriers in the cars.
Meet the 9 Lives From Helmetta!
Dot, Bette, Owen, Katniss, Primrose, Peeta, Gale, Finnick and Cinna!
Owen is an amazingly lovable cat, chirping and purring for his foster mom. Fortunately for Owen, he was rescued by Karma Cat Zen Dog from the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter in Helmetta, NJ where he had been since July. He spent those five months with no medical care or even an examination until the NJSPCA took control of the shelter.
As you can see from the video, we knew something was wrong with Owen. Our veterinarian determined he has Grade IV luxating patellas (his kneecaps are on backwards!) which makes life very difficult for poor Owen.
The good news??? It’s easily fixable! With your help, that is….every dollar counts and Owen will be an even happier guy when his mobility is improved and he can find his forever home!
Please donate – every $1 helps! https://www.youcaring.com/knees4owen
Calio Quinn likes to preside over the activities at CatQuarters:
We call it the CatQuarters as the space will serve as an office … and will be cats helping with all our tasks! We have lots of space for storage, cats, a computer … and 12 ft ceilings … our new space is pretty darn awesome.
If you’ve thought about volunteering, NOW is the perfect time to join us. Apply here: http://karmacatzendog.org/volunteer/
You can also help with a sponsorship and/or a contribution to “stock our shelves”. Best place to donate: http://karmacatzendog.org/support/donate/
When found, she was homeless and pregnant. VERY pregnant. Within 5 days of being placed in a foster home, she gave birth to four kittens. Courtney is estimated to only be 10 months old: A BABY HAVING BABIES!
But then she got ill and was rushed to the veterinarian with her kittens. The diagnosis: mastitis in one of her mammary glands. The treatment: antibiotic injection and monitoring.
The next day, she stopped feeding her kittens and an open wound was noticed on her stomach. Back to the veterinarian. The diagnosis: “infection of unknown bacteria”. The treatment: no more feeding her babies, two more antibiotics and twice daily cleaning & bandage removal.
(slightly graphic/gross images below) …
One week later: Courtney is healing remarkably well. A trip to the veterinarian was made to make sure we weren’t missing anything. While wound debridement and suturing could be done, the veterinarian was very pleased with her progress and suggested we just stay the course.
Doing well in her foster home while she waits to be spayed.
But here’s the sad part about this story: ALL of this could have been avoided if she was spayed BEFORE she was 5 months old.
- No kittens to worry about
- No infection to treat
- No delay in finding a forever home for this sweet cat
- No extraordinary veterinary bills to pay
A few facts about spaying/neutering your pets:
- A female cat or dog will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and mammary cancer.
- Neutering provides health benefits for a male cat or dog, too!
Prevent “oops” litters and neutering a male cat or dog can prevent testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
- No more heat cycles.
Female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently – sometimes all over the house! Female dogs can go into heat two to four times a year – advertising for mates and producing a bloody discharge.
- A male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
An unneutered dog will go to great lengths to to find a mate – including digging under or climbing a fence. And forget about an unneutered cat: he’s outta here and will fight other suitors to get to a female cat.
- A neutered male will be much better behaved.
In others words: NO MORE SPRAYING URINE and a male cat’s urine won’t have that awful, awful, awful smell.
- Spaying or neutering will not make your pet fat.
This is a fallacy. What makes your pet fat? Lack of exercise and too much food.
- It IS cost-effective.
Compare the spay/neuter surgery cost with: caring for litters and litters of offspring, treating injuries from fighting animals, and the potential cost of treating uterine and testicular problems. There are lots of low-cost spay/neuter clinics … for those of you near us, here’s a list: http://karmacatzendog.org/resources/
- Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
Trust us, your neighbors don’t want your unfixed animals in their yards nor do they want to hear the mating cries coming from your house/yard. Go the extra step and spay/neuter the community (homeless/feral) cats!
- Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
Hello!! You can find all kinds of educational material on the internet to teach your children about the miracle of birth.
- Spaying and neutering helps reduce the killing.
3 to 4 million animals are killed in US shelters every single year. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
PS. Courtney’s kittens are doing very well in their foster home. Their bottle feeder reports that at least one is using a litter box already AND they are starting to show interest in wet food. Lily, Haley, Cameron & Manny will be ready for adoption in several weeks.
UPDATE 7/31/14: Courtney has been adopted!!
Wait, what? Yup, you read that title correctly: LIVING WITH HERPES. Feline Herpes, that is.
Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, + congestion … kitty got a cold? Maybe, but if the symptoms are persistent and/or reoccurring – it could be feline herpes, also known as feline viral rhinopneumonitis (FVR), rhinotracheitis virus and/or feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1). Feline herpes is one of the most common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats. And MANY (most???) cats are exposed to this virus at some point in their lives.
The laundry list of symptoms:
- Sneezing “attacks”
- Discharge from the nose and eyes
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye (inflammation of the eyelid)
- Lesions in and around the eyes
- Eye ulcers
- Appetite loss
The worse part? Kitties weakened by the virus may also develop secondary infections.
The herpes virus grows in nose, eyes, sinus, throat, mouth, and tonsils of a cat. This can cause inflammation and fever. Infections in the nasal discharge affect the sense of smell, causing the appetite to fade. Loss of appetite is scary in all cats, it is especially concerning in kittens where anorexia and dehydration can be life-threatening.
How do cats contract herpes?
The most common way for the virus to spread is through contact with discharge from an infected cat’s eyes, mouth or nose. Common activities like sharing litter boxes, food and water dishes with an infected cat can lead to the spread of the virus. An infected pregnant cat might pass the virus on to kittens in utero. Because the virus is highly contagious, it is common in catteries, shelters and multi-cat households.
Some cats who become infected with feline herpes are latent carriers. Even though they will never display symptoms, they can still pass the virus on to other cats. Stress can cause these carriers to “shed” the virus, exhibiting mild symptoms, which clear up on their own after a few days.
So, what does this mean for you?
Aside from giving your herpes kitty some extra attention, good food and the occasional course of anti-biotics … you will:
- use lots of tissues to wipe up her boogers,
- clean your windows way more than a “normal” person will,
- not get freaked out when your cat sneezes a big one on your book, hand, shirt or face,
- you will buy L-lysine in bulk, and
- probably give her a cute nick-name like “sniffer cat”
And now for some of the more technical/medical questions …
Which cats are more susceptible to the herpes virus?
Cats of all sizes, ages, and breeds are susceptible to feline herpes. However, cats in crowded or stressful conditions or with weak immune systems often develop more severe symptoms, as can kittens, Persians, and other flat-face breeds.
Can humans, dogs, or other animals contract herpes from a cat?
No. Humans, dogs, and other animals are not at risk for catching feline herpes. Likewise, cats cannot catch the strains of herpes that humans carry.
How is feline herpes diagnosed?
Diagnosis can be challenging, and is often based on a combination of symptoms, health history and lab tests. If symptoms of feline herpes are noticed/suspected, a veterinarian should be consulted. The same symptoms may point to calcivirus, which causes upper respiratory disease as well.
The veterinarian cant take a blood sample for testing with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. However, the test can be negative even if the cat is infected, so further testing may be needed.
My cat has the feline herpes – what can I do?
Once infected, the majority of cats do not get rid of the virus. However, symptoms can be treated. Veterinarians may prescribe oral antibiotics or antiviral medications to help ease symptoms, and drops or creams may be used for conjunctivitis or other eye irritations. With medication, good nutrition, supplements, and tender loving care, most cats can make a successful recovery.
Conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers are treated with topical antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection. L-lysine has been recommended anecdotally to suppress viral replication.A more recent study supports the use of L-lysine for treatment of ocular signs of FHV-1 infection.
Any cat developing an upper respiratory infection should be under veterinary supervision. A brief exam by a veterinarian will help to determine if your cat requires medication, has a fever,or is dehydrated. If a cat is just sneezing, but is otherwise acting normally, no treatment will likely be needed. However, if a cat begins to show nasal discharge, loss or appetite or other symptoms, there is evidence of a secondary bacterial infection and cause for starting antibiotics.
Please do not administer any medication to your cat unless you’ve discussed it with your veterinarian.
How can I reduce flare-ups?
Reduce stress! The virus reactivates with stress so a low-stress environment is helpful in reducing flare-ups. Your cat can be put under stress by any sudden change in his (or your) daily routine, by a sudden change in environment (new house, new roommate, new kids!) or even loud noises.
How Can I Help My Infected Cat Feel Better?
- Frequently clean his eyes (discharge may dry, creating a hard, uncomfortable crust).
- A humidifier in the cat’s environment or time in a steamy bathroom can help the congestion.
- Create a calm, restful home for your cat.
- Make sure your cat is regularly eating and drinking water. Some cats may require supportive feeding.
Getting rid of the Virus:
Most household disinfectants will inactivate FHV-1. The virus can survive up to 18 hours in a damp environment, but less in a dry environment and only shortly as an aerosol.
This fall we were overwhelmed with the abandonment of 10 kittens at two separate adoption days. As a rescue group, with limited foster space, these events can be very hard to manage. Add malnourished, flea-ridden and then ringworm and it’s more like a disaster. In September, the seven-pack of Gallagher, Mischa, Brody, Natalie, Pedro, Nicole and Alvaro were abandoned in a cloth laundry bin. In November, Aja, Kasey, and Trixie were abandoned in the vestibule of our adoption center’s retail store.
Gallagher, Mischa, Brody, Aja, Kasey, and Trixie were vetted and quickly nursed back to health. They are all doing well in their wonderful forever homes.
Natalie, Pedro, Nicole, and Alvaro spent months in an amazing foster home – recovering from anemia, upper respiratory, eye infections and ringworm. Just before Christmas, Natalie & Pedro were adopted together!
That leaves us with our special pair: Nicole & Alvaro. Early on, a veterinarian told us that Nicole would very likely lose an eye … and none of us disagreed (it was REALLY awful looking). Alvaro crashed on us three separate times but syringe feeding, a heating pad and committed fosters saved him. It really was touch-and-go several times with these kittens.
But, finally after 4.5 months of crazy medical and foster care, they are ready for adoption!
And in raising Nicole & Alvaro, we have raised hope for many homeless cats and kittens. So much is possible with a little extra care, comfort and of course your generous donations. What we do is literally not possible without your help!
Thank you for supporting us so that we can save these precious animals!
I live in a land of lists. Adopted animals, adoptable animals, TNR locations & requests, animals that need to be spayed/neutered, things to do, people to call/email, donations, expenses, pros, cons, ups and downs …
When looking back on any time period, I tend to categorize events so that I can try to make sense of the history. 2013 was a roller coaster and the big events are highlighted here (click the image to enlarge):
This year started out with extreme sadness for our group, when Gilda suddenly passed away. I think her absence is still felt during adoption hours at PetSmart. But, we had to push on – little Nicholas was rescued during a TNR project and we were able to save his life with a $3,000 urinary tract surgery. Then we had our first “triple adoption” of the year: Ginger, Herald and Sally!
One of the big highlights of the year was when Kandy (FeLV/FIV positive) was adopted (March)! Grace was tested for allergies – with rice determined as the biggest culprit. Paws for Celebration was held in April and garnered rave reviews – the 2014 event will be held on Friday, May 16 featuring music by 45 Riots. Another $3,000 surgery was needed in May – this time for Tommy Lee. And in June, we struggled to get the “hoarder cats” healthy and friendly so they could be up for adoption – Oz & Xander (bonded brothers) and Faith are still waiting for their forever homes.
But, back to the “ups”: the Sidewalk Angels Foundation surprised us with a $10,000 grant in July and the North Brunswick Humane Association gave us a $1,000 spay/neuter grant in August. Dean + Farrington had the majority of their teeth removed in August. Quickly following that news was the awesome adoptions of long-time resident, Jill, and our very first Zen Dog, Zen! Later in September, we got slammed with seven very ill kittens that were abandoned in front of our PetSmart in a laundry basket (with three more abandoned several weeks later). Six of the ten have found forever homes. Winnie had an eye removed due to a massive infection when she was a baby-kitten.
In October, super senior Farrington was adopted – he was one of Gilda’s fosters! Casino Night was a big success and the Rabbits Den Tattoo Parlor honored us during their annual Halloween tattoo event! We gave up our Edgebrook adoption space due to too many schedule conflicts – but we hope to add a new adoption space in 2014! And, recently, Jessica Rabbit was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Robin was diagnosed with mega-colon.
Up, down, up, down, UP:
However, we end 2013 on a very high note: Bubba-C was adopted! Our sweet boy had seen three other homes before this one but we are very confident that THIS is the perfect place for him!
121 cats/kittens and 1 dog were adopted out in 2013!
We have 32 cats/kittens available for adoption:
So many struggles (“downs”) are thrown at us each year, but we always keep our eyes on the victories (“ups”) so we don’t get discouraged and lose sight of the ultimate goal: making as much of a difference as possible in the lives of homeless and abandoned animals.
We are looking forward to many more “ups” in 2014 – please join us! Our work is made possible by all our volunteers, donors and adopters!!
- Adopt or Foster
- Like, comment, and share our adoption posts on Facebook.
- Retweet and favorite our Tweets on Twitter.
- Subscribe to our email updates.
- Read and share our blog posts.
Happy New Year,
Christie and Everyone at Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society!
As anyone that has to live with an engineer knows, we are compelled to figure out how things work. All the time.
Our cats are not excluded from this character
flaw trait. But lucky for everyone, Paul & TJ have expanded their “Engineer’s Guide to Cats” Series with version 2.0!
Learn about Aspect Ratio Drift, Post Modern Deconstruction Art, Gravity-based Activities, CISCIS, Cat Yodeling and Cat Energy Production Techniques.
And if this wasn’t enough of Paul & TJ, here’s the video of TJ adopting his first cat!!
Happy Holidays to all our volunteers, friends and supporters!
Thank you for creating love, peace and happiness for so many rescued animals!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah from everyone at Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society!
May you all have a wonderful day filled with laughter, love and some adopted furry friends!