Archive for the ‘Shelter Cats’ Category

On December 15th, PetPoint software was utilized to aid in the seizure of over 26,000 animals from U.S Global exotics, an exotic animal trader based out of Arlington, Texas.    Three PetPoint users organized the raid; The SPCA of Texas, The Humane Society of North Texas and Arlington Animal Services.   Among the 50 animal welfare employees involved in the raid was Jorge Ortega, Pethealth’s Regional Shelter Outreach Director.


“Pethealth deployed staff to the scene whose assistance was very helpful,” added Ann Barnes, Senior Vice President of Operations for the SPCA of Texas. “Pethealth assisted us by inputting all 26,411 animals into the PetPoint shelter management system so that we could keep the most accurate count of the animals. This is something that would have been impossible for our staff to accomplish in the absence of Pethealth.”

Mr. Ortega recalls the seizure, “Starting early in the morning on Tuesday, the team did not leave the facility until 12:40AM on Wednesday.  Overcrowding in the pens caused horrible conditions for the animals, driving many to starvation”.

Throughout the seizure Mr. Ortega was responsible for:

  • The inventory log for all snakes removed from the second floor of the facility
  • Recording the temperature of most of the animal housing areas
  • Assisting in the capture and removal of snakes, lizards, frogs and some mammals from the facility
  • Moving animals out of the facility and into transport cages.

The data entered into PetPoint later aided in the prosecution of U.S Global Exotics.  Judge Michael Smith of the Arlington Municipal court presided over the hearing to determine if U.S Global Exotics indeed treated the animals in a cruel manner.The court found the facility to be  “seriously understaffed” and  “many of the animals were deprived from basic needs, such as food, water, clean bedding, and heat”.  Poor air quality and overcrowded conditions were also noted as a leading cause of death for hundreds of  animals within the facility.

On January 5th, 2010 the Arlington Municipal Court ordered that U.S Global Exotics sell the animals at a public sale by auction or give the animals to a non-profit animal shelter, pound, or society for their protection.

“This is an incident that has really tested the commitment of those working in animal welfare organizations in the greater Dallas area.  I am delighted that all the organizations that have been involved have risen to the challenge and have shown remarkable strength and stamina in the face of adversity. We are happy to make a small contribution to the effort and are prepared to assist as needed to ensure all these animals are properly housed and cared for.” said Mark Warren, President and CEO of Pethealth Inc.

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Many of you are regularly called upon to assist in rescue and relief operations large and small. You know that careful planning and co-ordination is required to ensure that the transfer of animals from the rescue situation into the care of the new animal welfare facility is completed in the least stressful manner possible for the animals. This Pethealth Post relates the recent experiences of the Atlanta Humane Society in their first relief assist since they began using PetPoint.

“This June, eight members of our Emergency Relief Team were dispatched to Tennessee to receive a transfer of 129 animals. What made this rescue effort different was the data entry part. This was our first relief assist after our Fall 2007 migration to PetPoint from Chameleon.

During the loading process, our entire team was busy helping the coordinating agency in any way we could. When it was our turn, our team switched gears and began to prepare our own animals for transport. This meant identifying, verifying paperwork, tagging and cataloguing every animal (same as every transport we’d ever done). When all our vehicles were loaded, and paperwork divided, team drivers assumed their positions and passengers… started their laptops!

One of the most exciting things about PetPoint is that it is web-based and easily accessible. If you can get online, you can get to your data–no special skills required! On the way to the site, we tested our wireless connections to be sure we would have connectivity for the 4 to 5 hour trip. During the return drive, our passengers (with the help of a few staff “back at the ranch”) were able to enter all 129 records. Why was this important? By the time the team arrived, the staff members at the Shelter had printed the cage cards and have all the cages prepped and ready. The result was less confusion, more efficiency!

It definitely helped streamline the transfer process. The animals were logged and properly entered into our database. Preparations at home were underway before the team arrived. We were able to make effective use of what has previously been “downtime” as well as reduce the confusion that can accompany the arrival of 129 new animals at once.”

If you are a PetPoint user you already know that transferring animals between two organizations can be even easier if both agencies are using PetPoint. Through the PetPoint Transfer Module, no extra data entry is required. Simply select the animals you would like to transfer out to a co-operating agency and the receiving shelter will obtain the complete animal profile at the click of a button. If you have not started using PetPoint yet we encourage you to call the PetPoint team at 1-866-630-7387 today to see how PetPoint can help your organization!

Want to get started with PetPoint? Click here

Already Using PetPoint? Click here for information on our referral program.

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North America’s #1 Pet Insurance Program for Adopted Dogs and Cats to Offer Four New Enhancements

Pethealth, owner of ShelterCare® Pet Insurance Program for newly adopted pets, is pleased to announce it has added four new enhancements to its industry-leading pet insurance program designed for those pet parents who choose to adopt their new dog or cat.

The ShelterCare Pet Insurance Program was first introduced in 2002. More than 1.8-million dogs and cats have been enrolled in the program to date. The program features a 30-day pre-paid gift program provided by animal welfare organizations to those adopting dogs and cats from their facilities. Over $7-million in claims has been paid out under the first 30 days of coverage alone.

Expanded Coverage
Coverage under the program has been expanded significantly to include all accidents, eye and ear illnesses, flea allergy related dermatitis, heartworm disease and tick borne diseases. Previously, the coverage had been limited to 11 specific perils.
“Extending the coverage available under the ShelterCare gift program to include all accidents and these additional illness coverages has been made in response to our shelter partners’ desire to provide greater value added to those pet parents who choose to adopt their dogs and cats,” said Mark Warren, President and CEO, Pethealth Inc.

Extended Coverage Period
The second announced change is that adopters can now extend the pre-paid gift period from 30 to 45 days by making a simple phone call to the ShelterCare call centre between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. (EST) Tuesdays through Saturdays.
“Extending the gift period from 30-45 days is an additional change desired by our partners in the shelter community that we have been happy to make based on the generosity they have exhibited,” added Warren.

Increased Coverage Limit
The coverage limit per event under the gift program has now been increased from $500 to $750. A corresponding increase in the deductible from $50 to $75 has also been made.
“Since 2002, veterinary fees have increased in line with or ahead of inflation rates in general,” said John Warden, Vice President. “As a result, it seems sensible for us to increase the dollar limit per event under the ShelterCare program during the gift period to $750.”

ShelterCare for Renters
Pethealth also announced that pet parents living in rental accommodation can choose to add a renters’ endorsement to their 30 day gift of ShelterCare by calling the ShelterCare call centre. This endorsement will cover any damage the newly adopted pet causes to the pet parents’ rental unit.

“Our increasingly strong relationship with the animal welfare community has made us cognisant of a couple of significant trends,” said Warren. First, organizations have had difficulty attracting potential adopters who live in rental accommodation due to concerns about the ability to obtain landlord permission for the pet. Secondly, with the current crisis in the housing market, we are concerned that pet owners who currently own their own homes may soon become renters and we want to make sure that our friends in the animal welfare community are not suddenly inundated with dogs and cats who are unable to relocate with their pet parents,” added Warren. “Given our success to date in promoting pet health insurance to those that adopt dogs and cats, adding coverage for renters made good sense.”

Animal welfare organizations that wish to inform their community of this new renters’ endorsement may do so by using the prepared release – click here to access release http://www.pethealthinc.com/pr_15_may_08.htm

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Cats in the animal welfare world can cause employees and volunteers both headaches and happiness. Their unique characters can generate an affection in even the most die hard “dog” people but their unique needs create a challenging set of criteria upon which to safely and healthily house and, ultimately, adopt them out.

To those of you familiar with the PetPoint Journals you will know that it has been demonstrated that the outcome for cats entering into the animal welfare system, as a whole, is not as favorable as the outcome for dogs. The reasons for this disparity are multiple and include a complex mixture of adopter preference, behavioral issues, their prodigious reproductive capabilities and species-specific health issues.

As with many things in life, the key to providing a safe and healthy environment for cats in the animal welfare sector lies with planning, organization and communication. Much has been written by experts in the field about these issues and how best to counter them. Here we look to summarize some of the the key considerations:-

1) Cats at Intake: Cats are very susceptible to illness when they are stressed and their immune systems are compromised. Entry into the animal welfare system is a stressful time for cats and must be managed carefully to ensure that the animal is traumatized as little as possible and that there is no opportunity for cross contamination of other cats within the community. With the virulent nature of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and other cat specific illnesses that can be transmitted through the air or by contact, disease control and hygiene have to be given the highest level of priority. It is usual for cats entering into a facility to be quarantined for a period of anywhere from 2-14 days, with the length of time dictated by the condition of the cat and each organization’s individual protocol.

2) Individual versus Colony Housing: Once the animal has been declared healthy the decision must be taken about where to house the cat within the organization, pending adoption. A variety of factors including the character of the cat, the number of cats already onsite and the availability of housing determine if the new cat is ultimately housed individually or as part of a group. The decision about whether to house cats individually, in groups or in a combination of the two, varies widely from organization to organization and is dictated by the facilities available and the protocol dictating disease prevention.


3) Ongoing Disease Control: Having placed the animal in either single-cat housing or group housing, the overriding concern of animal welfare organizations is to provide their cats with an environment that will keep it happy and healthy until adopted. Ensuring that cats stay healthy in this type of environment is dependant upon all employees and volunteers adhering to a strict and regular cleaning regimen. Exact details will be organization specific but many ensure compliance by giving employees and volunteers a cleaning checklist to be completed each day.

4) Healthy body – healthy mind: Cats also require the daily stimulation provided by a combination of toys, scratching posts and perches. The provision of boxes and other places to hide is useful for the more shy cats and those that want time alone. Daily human contact with the cats is vital ensuring that they remain comfortable with humans, but it also gives staff the chance to observe the cats to check on their health, general well-being and to assess behavioral trends.

5) Here come the Adopters: Having worked so hard to keep the cats happy, the time comes when they see and meet potential adopters. This interaction carries with it the new potential for the introduction of disease. Organizations vary widely in the level of access given to potential adopters. Anti-bacterial hand cleanser is a staple in almost all animal welfare organizations.

6) Time to go Home: This is the moment of truth and the hope is always that the cat has found its “Forever Home”. Microchipped and registered with 24PetWatch in case it strays and insured under the ShelterCare Gift for all those unknown and unseen health issues, ensures that it has been given a great start on its new life. Thank you.

The Pethealth Family

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