1 Spring 2013 Belonging Inside this issue: My Teen Track Experience 2 Stellar Service 2 Pick of the Litter 3 Exotic Ambassador Highlight 3 Artist s Corner 4, 5 Ask a Curator 6-8 For Your Consideration 9-13 Things to Remember 14 Capturing the feeling of belonging is like trying to describe what happiness feels like. It s like trying to touch the most vibrant feeling that pulses through your heart; to know that you belong. You could belong anywhere and with anyone. You can feel happiness while sitting at the dinner table with your family, knowing that you belong. You can feel happiness walking through your home, knowing that this is where you belong. Photo by Shannon Henschel Sadly some don t know the feeling. It s scary and distressing. Many dogs and cats have been returned back to shelters, again, and again, and again; always back to the small narrow kennel on a cold, concrete floor. Whether it s because he chewed the chair leg, or she peed on carpet, the list of excuses can go on forever. Education Department 30 North 40th Place Phoenix, AZ Phone: x122 Fax: Knowing what the dog or cat associates that kennel with is hard to tell, but if you ask me, I d say it s the closest thing to home that they know. By then, eating food from a different set of hands, alone, is the closest thing to a family dinner that they understand. So before you make the commitment to a new family member and before you sign the papers, please make sure that this dog or cat is truly a member of the family. From then on, you will be their loved one, their reason for happiness, and most of all, the person that anchors them to the feeling of belonging. - Shannon Henschel
2 P a ge 2 P a ge 13 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 My Teen Track Experience My biggest aspiration is to work at the Arizona Animal Welfare League, in the place where I have grown to love and respect all of my experiences here in Teen Tracks and in shelter. I wish my time in this program never ended; it has been a learning curve for me on how to make and maintain my friends and how to deal with public situations. However, when I do graduate high school and Teen Tracks, I hope to work at the shelter full-time. The first reason I aspire to join my fellow colleagues and friends working at the shelter is because, to me, the dogs and cats are treated with the dignity and respect that will one day create the dog or cat of somebody s dreams, and that family/person will cherish their rescued companion till the end of time. Another reason why I aspire to work at the shelter is that I am valued as an animal lover who currently volunteers her time cleaning and doing the necessary jobs that other people would not wish to do. I aspire to work at AAWL because, when my shift is finished, I feel like I have done meaningful work at the shelter. I feel this sense of accomplishment because I am doing my best and succeeding in assisting these awesome cats and dogs find their forever home. I lastly aspire to work at the shelter because I know that my co-workers, boss, and others are the best of the best when it comes to saving and assisting animals in need of a home, and that inspires me to do the best I can. Stellar Service I personally believe that I can achieve my aspiration if I put my heart and soul into becoming a fulltime employee. If you could work for the Arizona Animal Welfare League, would you want to? Or would you want to work for another animal shelter that specialized in finding other animals a loving home? Either way, you cannot let your talent with animals go underappreciated; it is a special gift, one that will stay with you forever! - Anne Marie Rivera Teen Trackers Help Horses Help You don t expect a horse ranch to be in the middle of a city block in northeast Phoenix. It is a delightful surprise. When you pull up to the long dirt driveway you get the sense that you are at a special place. Cheery paintings, old West décor and a large horse stable greet you immediately. Owner and CEO, Gregg Goodman, is a warm and congenial man and made the Teen Trackers and staff feel welcome and comfortable. Gregg explained the amazing work they do at Horses Help; aiding students with cognitive and physical disabilities through therapeutic interaction with horses. After a short tour the Teen Trackers got to work cleaning horse stalls, picking weeds and digging a hole for a future basketball hoop. The day was overcast and dreary but teens worked happily alongside beautiful horses rescued from a number of critical situations like cast off race horses and neglect. Although the work was difficult teens were eager to help and loved the experience. We will certainly visit them again and hope to work with Horses Help in future endeavors.
3 P a ge 3 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Pick of the Litter Wonderful Willy Willy came to AAWL from the east side Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. He was on the euthanasia list because he had a severe untreated case of glaucoma. He was almost completely blind, his sclera (outer eye) was swollen and opaquely blue. AAWL stepped in to offer immediate medical care. His condition was so far progressed that he unfortunately had to have both eyes removed. He went into a foster home to recover and began to flourish. He uses his strongest sense, smell, to explore the world around him. He is very curious and energetic and absolutely loves people. - Rachael Gardner Breed: Pit Bull Mix Adoption Price: $ Gender: Male Born in a backyard to a feral mother, Espi was one of a litter of 6 kittens. Taken from mom with hopes of socializing the litter, Espi and her brothers and sisters entered the foster program at AAWL. These babies were dirty scared and in need of proper nourishment. Espi is a nick name for Esperanza, meaning hope in Spanish. These six little kittens needed just that and second chance to have a better life. Fostered by a staff member they were well socialized and introduced to many people, children, other cats and dogs. Many of the kittens in Espi s litter were very tenacious and outgoing. but not Espi.Espi likes to take things slow, prefers quiet places and one on one attention with her human, a tender kitty looking for the right place to call home. With her stunning beauty she was adopted within days of hitting the adoption floor. Sadly after 3 years in a home her people returned her to AAWL. Her family adopted dogs and Espi was not comfortable living with her new K-9 companions. She has now waited quietly and patiently for over a year in AAWL s cattery to find a new home. She would love a warm, cozy home to call her own. Is Espi the right cat for you? - Michelle Ramos Special Espi Breed: Domestic Shorthair Adoption Price: $50.00 Gender: Female Exotic Ambassador Highlight We have many exotic animals in our extensive mammal and reptile rooms, and one very special animal is one of our hedgehogs, Nilla. She came to us a month or two ago from a staff member at AAWL. She was given to us after her owner found out that hedgehogs were illegal in Arizona without a permit. Before that, she was owned by a friend of the staff member for about three years. She was living in a plastic Tupperware approximately 3 feet long and ½ foot wide, while a hedgehog should have an enclosure that is at least 24 inches long and 24 inches wide. They also need a large food bowl, a water bottle, a hiding place, bedding, and toys. Hedgehog s main diet consists of small creatures such as insects, worms, snails, and centipedes, but they can also eat fruits and vegetables. However, she was being fed cat food by both of her previous owners. She had no wheel or anything that she could play with so she was mostly stuck in her enclosure and not getting exercise. Due to her past diet of cat food, she did not consume enough calcium and as a result, suffers from metabolic bone disease. Hedgehog s eyesight is generally not very strong, but with her time in a bad environment, she has become completely blind. She also has tattered ears, and a dental disease that has caused most of her teeth to be removed. Since coming to us and becoming a part of the mammal room, she has gotten the nutrients she needs, a much better living enclosure, the exercise she needs, and tons of love. She is eating much better than she did, loves to play and run on her wheel, and is a very playful little hedgehog. We are very happy to have her in the mammal room with us. - Harrison Rooney UPDATE: We are sad to announce that Nilla passed away 4/4/2013 due to an advanced stage of cancer. Her last days were filled with her favorite snack (meal worms) and lots of good care.
4 Page 4 Volume 5, Issue 2 Artist s Corner Many people think hedgehogs are pretty cool. Just the other day, I saw a toy stuffed animal for sale that was made to look like a hedgehog. In recent years, I have heard people ask, Where can I get a hedgehog? or Can I just have one? They are so cute! The truth is hedgehogs are illegal in Arizona. Some people think the domesticated hedgehog would make a great pet! Some people like to have them to get rid of insects in their home or gardens. Plus, they are cute, but what most people don t understand is they are an invasive species. An invasive species is a species that can overpopulate the area. Since they are insectivores, they eat a lot of Ashley Darr insects and can eat more than most people initially intended. This can cause problems in the food chain because other animals need to eat insects as well. Due to the lack of food for other insectivores, the other animals die off and hedgehogs can overpopulate. Overpopulation in any species can lead to other problems as well, such as lack of food and space. This can then lead to hedgehogs dying. Arizona Animal Welfare League has a hedgehog named Zoe. AAWL adopted Zoe from Phoenix Herpetological Society after she had been confiscated. AAWL had to get a permit from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Arizona Fish and Game in order to be able to keep Zoe. Zoe has some medical issues because she was fed cat food and was kept in a closet for most of her time at Phoenix Herpetological Society. Zoe should not have been fed cat food since hedgehogs are not carnivores. It is a good thing AAWL was able to rescue Zoe. However, Nilla was not as lucky. Nilla was another hedgehog that AAWL had. Nilla was put to sleep recently because she had cancer. So, this piece of artwork I drew is in memory of Nilla. Hedgehogs are illegal in Arizona for a reason, not only to protect the native species, but also for the health of hedgehogs. As you can tell, most people don t know very much about hedgehogs and their needs. Therefore hedgehogs should not be kept as pets because most people would not make very good owners due to their lack of understanding and knowledge of hedgehogs. - article and sketch by Ashley Darr
5 P a ge 5 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Artist s Corner I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed. These things, to me, are expressions of love. James Herriot Painting by Nicole Judge If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. - Mark Twain Painting by Alexis Hatton
6 P a ge 6 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Ask a Curator Q: Do you more enjoy the privileges of being a curator than loath the responsibilities? Jonathan: My take would be that the privileges and responsibilities don t really come from being a curator; they come more from simply being here a long time and becoming a trusted member of the community. To me, becoming a curator isn t so much about completing a checklist as it is building that level of trust with the staff where they can ask you to do things and know that they will get done, and I think that to have that level of trust, you have to be able to show a large degree of commitment which means, of course, that you don t mind being asked to scoop poop in the yard or clean up when Camp Vet has finished dissecting a possum. Because of that trust, I have almost come to view the privileges and responsibilities as one. Anne Marie: I love the responsibilities and I don't think I am all that privileged because, even though I am a Curator, I think that everybody is there for a reason, so I don't feel superior if that is what you were asking. Kendra: I feel like the privileges come with the responsibilities. Like Jonathan said just because you become a curator doesn t mean you are instantly allowed to do whatever you want and you will be asked to do a million different things. As you gain trust with the staff and your fellow Teen Trackers you will gain more responsibilities and therefore more privileges. Sometimes the jobs aren t fun, like scooping poop or cleaning up while the campers are in the cattery, but they have to be done and that is one of the things that comes with responsibility. But never fear there are great reward or privileges that come with the not so fun, like picking dogs for dog washing or presenting education animals. Phoebe: I enjoy both the privileges and the responsibilities that come with being a curator. When you become a curator you get to learn so many new things from new animals to how to be a better mentor for handlers and caregivers. I also like the responsibilities you take when becoming a curator. When you put the red name tag on you automatically have higher expectations. Now everyone looks up to you as a leader and you often have the answers to their questions. You are taken more seriously and you have more experience. So enjoy all things you get from becoming a curator. Kati: Being a curator I do enjoy the privileges such as being able to handle a wider variety of animals and the extra responsibilities are part of what add to the experience. They make it more fun. Rachel: I love being able to handle all of the higher level animals even though I have to clean out all their cages. Q: Is being a curator one of the biggest commitments that you have currently? Jonathan: Absolutely not (sorry Rachael!). I spend four or five hours here every Saturday that I am able to; by contrast, whenever it approaches show time at our school, I am spending upwards of 1520 hours a week in the theatre to prepare. And, of course, my biggest commitment is my schoolwork; just before spring break, I turned in a 106 page research paper on the Titanic, and I regularly spend 2 or 3 hours a night on school. However, during the summer, I regularly work 40 hour weeks here helping with camp. Anne Marie: Being a Curator is one of the biggest responsibilities that I have currently because, not only do you have to complete the Handler checklist, but you also have to commit your Saturdays to Teen Tracks and be trained on each individual animal species to advance your presentation skills. Teen Tracks is not to be taken lightly; you only receive what you give to the world! Kendra: Yes and no. During the school year I spend about 4 hours a week at Teen Tracks. Most of my time is spent focusing on school work and other extra curriculars such as sports or music. But come summer and all my friends know I am booked. I spend most of my summer (40 hours a week) being a JCC (Jr. Camp Counselor) for the different camps that AAWL offers. SO during the summer, yes Teen Tracks is my biggest commitment. Phoebe: Being a curator is one of the biggest commitments I have currently because the position I'm at now didn't happen overnight, it has taken a lot of time and effort. You have to be committed to teen tracks, your peers, and the animals. I've come to the shelter almost every single Saturday sense I've started teen tracks and still everyday I go there's always new things I learn. Becoming a curator is a big commitment but it's one of the best commitments you can have. Q: How long did it take you to become a curator? Jonathan: Four semesters, if I remember correctly. It used to be that you couldn t become a handler until you had done two semesters as a caregiver (again, if I am remembering correctly), but, either way, I missed some important requirements my first year. Anne Marie: It took me four years to become a Curator because I did not advance until this year. Kendra: It took me three semesters to become a curator. The key to advancing quickly is to be motivated, passionate and know what you need to complete, which means attending key classes like dog and cat 101 and exotic animal trainings. Phoebe: It took me 3 semesters to become a curator and this is my 4th semester. Kati: It took me three semesters to move up to curator.
7 P a ge 7 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Ask a Curator Q: What is your favorite/least favorite thing about being a curator? Jonathan: Being allowed to handle all of the animals is a fabulous privilege and one that I take advantage of on a regular basis; the single most frustrating thing for me as a caregiver/handler was that I was not allowed to handle every animal that we have. The ability to handle all of the animals hints at something deeper, though: the trust that is placed in you. I absolutely love the level of trust that comes with being a curator, and all of the privileges and responsibilities that come out of it. There is one thing that I don t like, however: having to retake dog and cat 101 every year. It s a great course, but I ve lost track of the number of times I have taken it. Oh well such is life. Anne Marie: My favorite part about being a Curator is that I am a role model for all the other Teen Trackers. I do not have a least favorite thing! Kendra: Of course I love being able to handle all of the different animals but being a curator means more than just that. A curator is someone who is like a mentor to the younger/newer teens, and also a part of the staff community. I especially enjoy being a curator because you learn to work with a wide variety of people with different ideas, skills, and personalities. Honestly the only downside is that sometimes you have to work a little harder than everyone else because you are higher up but even that can't touch the positive things about being a curator. Phoebe: My favorite part about being a curator is basically the more opportunities you get as a teen tracker. More opportunities like being a Jr. camp counselor, anyone can do it, but its easier if you a curator. Being able to do some things on your own and having people trust you to handle them. And also being able to handle more types of situations. But my favorite part about being a curator is being able to teach the other teen trackers how to do things. Q: What kinds of skills/responsibilities come with being a curator? Jonathan: The skills and responsibilities are to a large degree rolled into one, because responsibilities are added as you gain the skills to fulfill them. For instance, one of my responsibilities is removing animals from cages for Teen Trackers who aren t yet qualified to do so, a duty that comes with the skill to handle those animals. In a similar vein, I often get dogs out for activities. One of my favorite responsibilities is helping out during keeper care by offering advice and aid to newbies, something that I am trusted to do (again) because I have gained the skill to do so. Phoebe: I have gained many skills from being a curator. I have learned how to be a leader, how to talk in front of large crowds, how to really listen to people. I have also learned many skills that deal with animals. I have learned how to read an animal's body language, how to responded to an animal in a stressful situation, and just helpful things people should know when dealing with animals. But one of the best skills if learned in teen tracks is how to better prepare my future. Q: Favorite education animal and why? Jonathan: Changes often, but I can list some of my past ones: Azriel and Oliver at various times, because they are truly amazing animals, however psychotic they may be; Zoe the hedgehog, because she s a hedgehog (does one need a better reason?); Scraps the rabbit, because he gives me kisses and snuggles with me (well, he used to ); Guapo, because he is just so cool; Sammi and Olive the rats, because they would sit on my shoulders and lick me; and, of course, Romeo is a reason necessary for him? Anne Marie: My favorite Education animal is Oliver, the Umbrella Cockatoo. The reason that I love Oliver is that he has been at the shelter for as long as I have been a Teen Tracker. I love Oliver too because he is very good at letting people around him know when he has had enough by trying to bite my fingers, looking without blinking at me, and/or squawking and saying, "Bye!" I always admired Oliver because, even though he is insecure, he has overcome his challenges, which, in a way, inspires me to overcome my own challenges and struggles. Kendra: Personally I think it is very difficult to choose a favorite education animals because they are all so different and special. But there are some animals that I have a closer connection with than others. Phoebe: I really don't have a favorite education animal. All of them are unique and fun. It's always a different experience whenever I handle them. But I do like the animals that are eye-catching and gets the audience's attention. Rachel: I really enjoy presenting the rats because they are very cute and easy to handle. The kids really like to learn about and pet the gross rats and I get a kick out of teaching them that they aren t that gross after all. Q: Favorite dog breed and why? Jonathan: I m a cat person, but I absolutely love the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They re just so adorable, and most of them have such great temperaments. Rachel: My favorite dog breed is probably the pit bull. I love their adorable personalities and playful attitudes. Anne Marie: I love the rescue breeds, and the reason that I do is that I believe every animal deserves a forever home! And rescues are so appreciative of the people who stop and say hi to them each and every time they see them sad or lonely.
8 P a ge 8 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Kendra: I absolutely love all of the bully breeds. They are all like permanent puppies, playful and full of loyalty and love. They are just giant lap dogs and love their human companions. Also I think they have the most personality out of any other dog breed they are each so individual and special. Q: Is it worth coming repeatedly to the same classes each semester and spending the money? Jonathan: Good question. After four years in the program, I would have to say yes, it is, with two exceptions: dog and cat 101. I feel that after taking those classes several times, you have learned all you need to know; the rest is obtained simply through being around dogs and cats. However, with the other classes (presentation training comes especially to mind), each session is different; there is always something new to be learned a new skill, a new tactic, etc. The handling classes, too, are fairly useful refreshers. On the one hand, I ask myself each time, do I really need to learn to handle a ferret again? However, as with all things, practice makes perfect, and there are some animals where each class offers a different trick to help make handling easier. Anne Marie: I always learn something new each time I attend a class, so I think it is worth it! However, if you think that this is just something to be taken lightly, then this is not the right fit for you! Kati: It is definitely worth coming each semester even though a lot of the classes are the same. I have learned so many new skills that I know will help me in the future and I have met some really awesome people along the way. Rachel: Absolutely. The experiences are great and I love being around other people who love animals as much as me. Kendra: Although the information is the same for dog and cat 101, you always learn something new, and Rachael and Shannon always have new stories about their cats. Also every semester there are new teen, therefore a new experience. Also as far as the money I think it is totally worth it because not only do you earn community service, you also getting animals experience and leadership skills. Q: Best/worst TT experience? Jonathan: This past summer, I went to PetSmart to pick up a chameleon, which, though it only survived a week, was undoubtedly in my mind the coolest animal we have ever owned. Being trusted with that errand was easily the high point of my experience here; it seemed the culmination of all the years of training and work that I had put in, and I was never happier than when I walked into the office with it in a box under my arm. Anne Marie: I have never had a bad experience at Teen Tracks; however, I think my best experience was when I met all of my mentors and cattery staff for the first time, which was when I first joined! I have enjoyed learning more about my passion for animals, as well as being in the program; it has truly been an honor and a joy to be part of this wonderful program! Q: Is it hard being a curator? Is it a lot of work? Why is the sky blue? Do you feel sorry for Pluto? How about South Korea? Are you still reading? hello? Ask a Curator A: No, being a curator isn t all that hard; it is, however, a lot of work on occasion. But the work usually isn t too hard, which is good. The sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering; essentially, when a ray of white light from the sun hits the air, the blue and violet light is scattered the most (because of its short wavelength) and therefore is what reaches our eyes. No, I do not feel sorry for Pluto, because there are other objects in the Solar System larger than Pluto that are not considered planets; why should Pluto be different? No, I do not feel sorry for South Korea either; they are a fairly successful country, and however many threats Kim JongUn hurls at them, it seems that his words bear no weight. I feel far more sorry for the people of North Korea, who have no access to the outside world to speak of and firmly believe thanks to government propaganda that their leaders are gods and everybody in the U.S. wants to destroy them. Yes, I am still reading. Hello. How are you? Kati Kendra Phoebe Rachel Anne Marie Jonathan
9 P a ge 9 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 For Your Consideration Adopt an Adult Dog Many people often would rather adopt puppies than older dogs because they feel that puppies are adorable and more cuddly. While this is true, many do not realize just how much work puppies tend to be. Having a puppy is very similar to having a baby and almost just as difficult. Like a baby, they often cry or whine at night, wishing to be let out to play or be fed or just get attention in general. They are terribly tiring, and will deprive you of sleep for months before they finally stop. Do you enjoy your nice furniture? What about your shoes? With a puppy in the house your property is in a state of constant peril, as these are just the types of things puppies love to chew up. Also, like a baby, puppies require potty-training. Until they are housebroken, they will pee and poop over your carpeting and create a large hassle for you, the owner. An older dog, on the other hand, is often much more well-behaved and calm. They tend to be house-trained and less work in general. They also aren't likely to chew up your possessions. In shelters, many more older dogs get euthanized than puppies because not nearly as many people want them. They don't deserve to die alone in a shelter, so be sure to consider adopting an older dog rather than jumping immediately to the younger. -Antha Perkins Are Dogs Man s Best Friend? Are dogs a man's best friend? You can ask yourself that question, but from what I know and what I see, dogs are loyal, faithful, and is always there for you no matter what. Dogs are most often abused, left alone to wonder what they did wrong or what they did to deserve such hate and such hostility. For most animals, help comes too late. For all the others; they are left alone, abandon in the streets, and injured. They wait for help to come, even though help may come, they still don't have a home. They are put in a shelter or is it just a cage to the animals? Adopting an animal is a great option for expanding a family. They love you. No matter what your past is and what their past is. As long as they know you will be there for them and to love them. They will stand beside you through anything and love you all the way through. I adopted my dog, Kodah, from AAWL. Granted we may have had a few rough months, Kodah, has change my life in so many ways. He has taught me to be more responsible, but most Importantly he has brought my mom and I even closer than we were. We learn to love better. Kodah has made my life better in so many possible ways. -Tiffany Reimann Dr. Feline & Mr. Cat Female, short hair, and NO shedding were my mom s specifications for a new house cat. A new house with us boys there only half the time was not to be faced alone. A pet, perhaps, and only a female after only male pets previously. A detached calico caught the attention of each of us: my two brothers, my mom, and I. She meowed quietly and rubbed against those that offered attention, but spent most of her energy staring at the birds flapping outside the window, just out of reach. We have already made our decision, but left saying that we would think about it, then come back after ensuring our decision was not infatuation. Me and My Shadow- in October and November, adopt a cat and get a black or black and white cat FREE! we read upon our return. Why not? One cat is not enough to fill a house. We could capitalize on our companionship opportunities without having to technically call it a crazy cat lady starter kit. That can come later.
10 P a ge 10 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 For Your Consideration Cont d We entered the cat room and each glanced at the calico as we filed in, but slid in along the perimeter of the room. We cannot give her attention yet. We have to test out our opinions toward the rest of the inhabitants before we can finalize the relationship. This in not personal yet; it is still business. The cats glanced at us with the same enthusiasm as we gave them, which was not as much as it should have been, but we kept our grins pasted on and occasionally crouched to tousle the fur of the most willing cat probably to prove that we can distract ourselves with the necessary. Each of us stole casual glances as we circled the room waiting to happen by the calico and assert the end of our search. I passed by next and affectionately scratched her neck. She did not turn from the window. I slowly twisted her pink collar to expose the sharpie writing. Ariel. Funny, I wondered if they named her knowing how she stares admiringly at another world, a world where a room is her sea and wings of the free flap teasingly at her misfortune. My mom verified our decision with an adoption counselor and reminded us match up Ariel s shadow. Oh, I did not even think about that. Kismet! my younger brother piped up immediately. I arched my eyebrows at the two of them. Kismet gave a beatific raise of her posterior as my younger brother scratched, but departed as she eyed the other cats circling the food dishes in the center of the room. I felt hesitant to concur because I really know nothing of this cat and to decide on a lifelong companion is not to be done in the dark, but no one else seemed to have the patience to weigh options, and if this cat has really caught my brother s attention this quickly, then this cat must have something over the others. I acquiesced. We pulled up to the house and released the black and calico cats newly named Bella and Lily into their new kingdom. As first on their agenda, they scurried up the stairs and disappeared under the desks in the loft. Perfect. They stayed like this for a couple days with us leaving food just outside the desk and kneeling outside to coax them out with an outstretched hand. They withdrew and returned looks of horror as if they saw we donned new personas upon our arrival home. We patiently waited for our new companions to feel the spur of adventure, but our overjoyed calls, Lily!, sent them scurrying back for solace. Lily was the first to make the permanent move into the house, and it did not take long afterwards for her to warm up to us. She started greeting us, weaving affectionately between our legs, and finally so far as to start the habit of plopping down in our laps any time she caught us sitting. Bella had moved out too, but she missed the opportunity of becoming the family favorite. She was just as loved, but had not quite yet shed the habit of her shelter behavior. This all sounds nice, but what is my purpose for reciting this? Next time you go to adopt, as you watch how your possible companion, do not just watch and analyze. Question. Shelter life is completely different from home life and every animal has a different reaction to shelter life and whatever home they are adopted into. The behavior that now seems suitable may disappear in the transition. An animal that portrays itself as mellow possibly because it fights with methods to tolerate areas of its life may liven up with a new structure of daily life whether that means pleasantly playful or intolerably energetic. The same can be said with an opposite effect that involves an animal that more easily asserts itself into shelter life than in the home. Any kind of animal can experience any ranges of behavior if that means no change, slight changes toward the opposite or same extreme, up to drastic changes in the direction of the same or opposite extreme all depending on their previous abilities to cope with shelter life, the environment of the new home, and each animal s reaction to that new home. None of this means that one should expect any kind of change or no change nor does this intend to explain what behaviors to watch for and how they will change. Simply take from this that the behavior is subject to change. The best that anyone can do is to take extra time to find information about the condition of the animal of interest and take multiple visits to observe it is various environments and around various animals and people. Exercises including exposing an animal to low amounts or mellow stimuli to relax it can be taken to steer a behavior toward a desired form, but none of this is a guarantee. This effort may even have near nonexistent effect. Good luck! With Bella s chance at favoritism finally here, she seizes it. She has now inherited Lily s job of the greeter, weaver, and plopper. I spot her peering in from outside my bedroom door and invite her in. I am reading, her favorite time to warm my lap. I look at her and pat the bed. With much delay, she finally accepts my request and joins me. I grin. A soft chirrup. She brushes past me. I give Bella a kindly scratch as her behind lingers, and with it, a beatific raise. - Cody Munson
11 P a ge 13 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 For Your Consideration Choices, Chances & Changes It was hailing. We were an hour and a half out from Idaho Fall's kill shelter. I was nervous, scared, and excited; which incase you've never experience that feeling, it's like nothing I've ever felt before. I was about to do something I've never done before, but opportunity came knocking and so I opened the door and took my chance! I had been with the Animal Adoption Center for five years already. My first three years were all volunteer work and then I was adopted into their family, along with my best friend, as interns. It was just us six girls, and not to brag, but we were kind of unstoppable. My bosses, who we like to refer to as older sisters or best friends, are amazing. They took the time not only to let the two of us into their family, but to introduce us to so many animal opportunities at such a young age. By the age of 13, I had done my first vaccination and with plenty of practice, was now just an everyday task. They are not only our friends in work, but they are our friends outside as well. But the one thing that brought us together is our passion for animals. I am especially close with the executive director, Lindsay, who actually just retired her position. All four are inspirations in my life, but we've always been connected before we really knew each other, and one day, she decided it was time for me to go on my first, real rescue mission. I had been on one before, but to a no kill shelter in Star Valley, Wyoming that we often help out because they are so over populated. This shelter was in fact a kill and was going to be very difficult but a reality I had to face. Lindsay and I had an hour and a half to kill on the car ride and she was very open about it with me and warned me of some of the things I might see. We talked for a little, and sang some classic country songs and soon turned into the shelter's lane. Lindsay wanted to make sure that I was educated in the shelter's process of intake and how they operate compared to us. I had never seen a drop box before until that day. For those of you who still are lucky enough to never heard of such things, I'm going to break your innocence and tell you. These are boxes on the outside of the shelter, usually no bigger than maybe four feet tall if even that. If the shelter is closed, these boxes can be used to often stuff animals inside. The boxes have no drainage system or light and the animals often have to spend multiple hours in the cold, dark boxes. Once the morning comes and the boxes are checked, they think they are free, only to find themselves back in a box. This time it has bars, but is usually no better. Now that there is light, they can see the horrors for themselves as their confused and sad puppy-dog eyes lay bunched up in the corner or their cage. As we walked through the front doors, the white floor and uncolored walls were unwelcoming. I mean, if I felt uncomfortable or unwelcome walking into a store, let alone a shelter, why would I want to come back or even come in in the first place to adopt? They had barely any volunteers and a regular visitor who came in for the day to play with the cats. I got to see every animal and some were happy to see someone, anybody really, and others were still scared. Lindsay knew as well as I did that we could not save every single one. And for me, that's the hardest fact to face. Knowing that if you just had more time, or space, or money, you could help. But every animal in this shelter had a dead line and we just couldn't save all of them from it. Finally, walking down a middle row I ran into a Great Dane named Callie. I couldn't help but cry because this girl was so beautiful, yet she was starving. Her ribs could easily be traced and she was skittish and scared. She came up to me and just looked at me, wondering. I knew we had to get her out of there. I kept walking to see a small french bulldog, boxer mix. He was so ill. He must have had an allergic reaction to something because his whole face was swollen and red as well as his paws yet there were no bite marks. He looked like he was in so much pain. We ended up walking out of there with three dogs, for that's all our small, no kill shelter could hold at the moment and we had a call into another rescue to come get Callie. Walking out of there, for me was the best and worst part because you know you just saved three lives but you also have that reality that you left behind so many. The moral from this story is that education is so important in our world, whether to the youth of our nation or to an elderly couple who are just curious. Through this whole process, Lindsay helped me to understand what I can do to help these animals and now that I've seen it first hand, I never want to go back. For ahead, there might lie nightmares in these shelters, but nightmares are dreams which you can wake up from. And when you've woken, you can go out into the world and start waking others up and telling them how they can help too. No animal should be left behind and no animal should ever feel unloved, for Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. I may only be 15 but no one in there right mind could try to stop me now. I will change the world. We all will. It's just up to you what you want to do with your life and the chance you've been given. -Sam Redmond
12 P a ge 12 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Raving Rabbits Did you know? That rabbits are the third most returned animal in the nation? They are most commonly given as gifts to children during Easter or to teach a child responsibility before they re allowed to get a higher maintenance animal like a dog or cat. However most people don t realize that rabbits can live as long as a dog and require about the same amount of attention and maintenance as any dog or cat if not even more in certain cases. And within the proper home environment they can act as a cross between a cat and a dog. Like cats a rabbit can be litter box trained and if adopted from a shelter normally are. And like both animals rabbits can be free roam in a house and are even trainable. Now trainable doesn t mean that you ll be able to get them to fetch, though there is a first for everything, but you can get them to come to them when you call or even stand on their hind legs. This does take a lot of time and patience to do but with the right snacks and lots of attention they have the capability. Another thing to keep in mind is that they are nocturnal, so they are usually more active at night, this may not always be the case. This leads to the next point that every rabbit has a different personality, just like humans. Some love to be held, others are a leave me alone type of rabbit, it s Preparing to Show Your Goat This is my goat, Kohana For Your Consideration always good to gauge this in potential rabbits you want to bring into your home depending on your needs and wishes. This does mean that yes, contrary to popular belief; rabbits are in most cases not the cuddly beings we ve grown up to believe. And are not recommended for small children because they can and do bite when or scratch when overly played with and mishandled. Domestic rabbits are also indoor pets, they can and will die in temperatures above 80 degrees, but it highly recommended they get an hour outside under close supervision because they are still prey animals and coyotes and hawks are quite fond of them and it is quite easy for them to over heat in the summer. They can be somewhat of a fragile animal but they bond with you and love you forever so long as you are educated and properly care for them. It is highly suggested that anybody interested in adopting a rabbit volunteers with them first to fully understand how they live and how to care for them. -Zabrina Larson Romaine, Ed Rabbit He was born on March 23, He is a wether, which means he was castrated so that he cannot produce more offspring. With small stock like him we do not wether because they overproduce like cats and dogs, but we want the best quality animal possible. To get an animal ready for show takes months. Maricopa County Fair takes place in April, but my FFA chapter requires us to have our animals by December 1st. Goats need to know how to walk properly on a leash and how to stack. Stacking looks like this:
13 P a ge 13 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 For Your Consideration Cont d Stacking means: to cause your animal to stand in a manner that best displays it's virtues. In most species, the animal s forelegs are stacked in alignment with their withers, and their rear pasterns are squarely aligned and presented at a 90 degree angle from the floor. Six Weeks Before Fair: Lead and pose your goat daily. (This should prove to be helpful in preparing for Showmanship Classes) Some goats will learn faster than others, so be patient. Start brushing your goat often to achieve a shiny coat and healthy skin. Two Weeks Before Fair: Fit your goat with a black Nylon collar and lead. You can find things like this at PetSmart, Pet Co., or Walmart. Continue to walk your goat and make sure he or she knows how to pose when stacking. Do not get upset with your goat this will only confuse and frighten it. One Week Before Fair: Give your goat a bath with baby or livestock shampoo. Disclaimer: You may discover that while you are bathing your goat that he or she starts to look like this: And your face may start to look like this: The Day Before Fair: Trim long, distracting hairs from the inside of the hocks, and rear legs, between the front legs, and along the belly. Also, trim the hair along the top of the hooves and between the toes, and the hair on both sides of the tail to give your goat a clean neat appearance. (Make the tail a triangle shape.) You may also do additional pampering such as painting his/her hooves a black color so he looks more clean for the Judge. Day of Fair: If your goat is not feeling well DO NOT BRING IT. You do not want to get any of the other animals sick. Check your goat carefully for any dirt or straw. Wash it s hooves, ears, eyes, nose, and under the tail with warm soapy water. Be sure you know which classes you are in and be ready to enter the ring when it is time. This is the day you have been preparing for, good luck and have fun! If you have any questions, the Pygmy Goat Basic Owner s Manual has everything that you need to start preparing for your first Pygmy Goat show or even just basic information. Pygmy goats are great for starting off, but you can also start with Nigerians, Nubians, Alpines, or even LaManchas. Goats are fun! Have fun with them! - Emile Stubbert
14 P a ge 14 V olume 5, I s s u e 2 Lauren Rusk Things to Remember Upcoming Dates: New Teen Application Deadline: September 7, 2013 First Day and Orientation for New Teens: September 14, 2013 Summer Break Jr. Camp Counselor positions open: May 27 - August 2, 2013 See you in the fall! Have a good idea for the newsletter? Do you have a brilliant idea for future Teen Track Times or want to get more involved in creating art, success stories or other interesting pieces? all submissions to Rachael Gardner at or call ext. 122 if you have questions.