Monday, February 28, 2011


A little tabby kitten named, Winkie, desperately needs your help!

A few days ago, a mother and her daughter found Winkie, only 9 months old, wondering the streets of Howard County, Maryland, and knew they had to do something. They took Winkie into their home and gave him all the love and attention he could dream of. He quickly warmed up to the family and made himself at home. He loves to be petted, give kisses and most of all, to curl up on your lap for a snooze.

Unfortunately, this kind family lives in an apartment that does not permit pets, so they began reaching out to everyone they know to find this little guy a permanent home. With no one able to help and with the looming fear of getting in trouble with their landlord, this family thought the local county shelter would be able to find this kitten a home--but they were wrong! 

Several individuals and cat rescue organizations heard of Winkie's story and quickly contacted the Howard County Animal Shelter to rescue him, but they all were met with hostility and rejection! 

Being separated from the security of his family and placed into a strange new place with new smells, new people and scary noises, poor Winkie has become very frightened. And in his scared and confused state, the Animal Control officer is refusing to release him for adoption, even to experienced cat rescue groups, because she is calling him "violent" and "aggressive."
Does this look like a "violent" and "aggressive" kitten to you?!

Alley Cat Rescue, Cat Tails and Charm City Animal Rescue have contacted the Howard County Animal Control several times offering to rescue this kitten, but Officer Baracco is refusing to release him. She would rather use taxpayer money to hold the kitten and kill him, then to allow caring, experienced people to give him a home!  Winkie is scheduled to be killed on March 3rd!

We are hoping by putting enough pressure on the shelter, they might change their mind and give this lovable kitten a second chance. So we desperately NEED YOUR HELP! Please take a moment to contact the Howard County Animal Shelter and plea for Winkie's release to an experienced cat rescue organization.


Howard County Animal Control Operations
8576 Davis Road

, MD 21045
Animal Control Officer Mrs. Deborah Baracco

We are also asking that you contact her supervisors:
Captain Darin Chambers at 410-313-3223
Chief William McMahon at 410-313-2203


Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidential Cats

(President Clinton and Socks)
We all know that President Barack Obama has a dog named Bo and that former President George W Bush shared the White House with a few terriers and that President Clinton had a Labrador named Buddy. But did you know that President Bush had a cat named India or that Clinton had a cat named Socks? Too often our Presidential feline friends are overshadowed by their canine counterparts; so, in honor of President’s Day, let’s take a look at which presidents shared the White House with a cat…or two…or three.

The first mention of a “cat” occupying the White House was during Martin Van Buren’s presidency; he was our 8th president. But these were no ordinary cats, they were a pair of tiger cubs, given to him by the Sultan of Oman. The cubs did not stay long at the White House, due to pressure from Congress; the cubs went to live in a zoo. Our 13th president,Millard Fillmore, did not own cats, (he did have a few ponies), but he was a founding member and president of the Buffalo chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Abraham Lincoln had several cats, and our 19th president, Rutherford B Hayes, had a menagerie of pets including, a cat named Piccolomini, and two Siamese cats named Siam and Miss Pussy. Siam was the first Siamese cat in the United States.

William McKinley, our 25th president, had two Angora kittens named Valeriano Weyler and Enrique DeLome, and Theodore Roosevelt had two housecats named Tom Quartz and Slippers. He also had a lion and a wildcat. Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, had a cat named Puffins.

(Photo: Presidential Pet Museum
Officer Benjamin Fink holds Tiger, the Coolidge's cat, at the White House on March 25, 1924.)
And it has been said that Calvin Coolidge had a zoo at the White House. Among his collection of pets was an alley cat named Tiger, another cat named Blacky and a bobcat named Smoky. He also had two lion cubs, who were gifts from dignitaries from other countries.

(Susan Ford with Shan)
Our 35th president, John F Kennedy, had a cat named Tom Kitten, and Gerald Ford’s daughter, Susan, had a Siamese cat named Shan, who stayed at the White House. Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy, also had a pet Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang.

(Amy Carter with Misty)
As mentioned, Socks occupied the White House during Bill Clinton’s presidency and has received more press than any other Presidential Cat. A cartoon version of Socks still hosts the children's version of the White House website and former First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote a children’s book featuring Socks. After Clinton left office, Socks resided with former Clinton secretary Betty Currie and her husband, due to continuing conflicts with the dog Buddy. Sadly, two years ago yesterday, Socks crossed the rainbow bridge at the ripe old age of 19.
(Socks peers over the White House Briefing Room's Presidential lectern)

To date, no other Presidential Cat caused more controversy than President George W. Bush’s cat, India “Willie” Bush. Living for almost two decades, this all- black female American Shorthair was acquired as a kitten in late 1991 or 1992 when twin daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush were nine years old.  Unfortunately, some people did not approve of the cat’s name and protested. For example, in the Indian state of Kerala, 101 dogs were reportedly renamed “Bush” in protest, and in 2004, demonstrators in the southern Keralian city of Thiruvananthapuram denounced the cat's name as an insult to the nation of India and even burned an effigy of President Bush in protest. The Bushes, however, did not change the cat's name. The cat actually got her name from baseball player RubĂ©n Sierra who was nicknamed "El Indio", during his time with the Texas Rangers when Bush owned the team. The name had reportedly been given to the family cat by daughter, Barbara Bush.
(Photo: Wikipedia, India "Willie" Bush)
Although our presidents’ dog companions usually make the spotlight, since the birth of our nation, 12 presidents (that we know of) have shared the White House with a feline friend or two. Perhaps the Obama family should consider adopting a kitty friend; there’s plenty of room in the White House for Bo and a cat. And with 3 to 4 million cats (and dogs) being euthanized in animal shelters across the United States each year, the President could do his part to save a life and speak the importance of adoption and spay/neuter programs. Sounds like a letter writing campaign to me? Dear Mr. President, I really think you should consider adopting a cat friend for Bo and your daughters, especially when there are so many great cats in need of good homes…

Address letters to:
President Barack Obama 
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Or send an Email

To read more about Presidential Cat and other Presidential Critters click here and here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pet Theft Awareness Day

In celebrating Valentine’s Day and showing love for our friends and family, today is also a time to celebrate the love for our four-legged friends and family. And thanks to a California-based animal group, Last Chance for Animals (LCA), today’s love is ensuring our pets are safe and protected. In doing so, LCA started Pet Theft Awareness Day to expose the horrible reality that our beloved pets could become victim of pet theft.

The United States Department of Agriculture licenses animal dealers; anyone selling animals to laboratories (or selling more than 24 dogs or cats per year at the wholesale level) must be licensed. Class "A" dealers maintain their own breeding colonies while Class "B" dealers obtain animals from "random sources." For a $10 fee, anyone can apply for a USDA Class "B" dealer license. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors are responsible for making certain that the dealer's records are current and complete, and for ensuring the health and safety of the animals. Unfortunately, the USDA has not made the latter a priority, for there is a shortage of inspectors and enforcement of existing regulations is weak. Consequently, many of the people involved in the sale of stolen animals are licensed by the federal government.

Many of these “random source” animals come from animal shelters who participate in pound seizure, are stray animals, family pets stolen from backyards or are animals obtained from “free to good home” ads. Besides pound seizure, which is legal in some states, the latter methods of obtaining animals are a violation of the Animal Welfare Act. Class B dealers obtain animals any way they can, so they can turn around and make a profit by selling these animals to other Class B Dealers or to research facilities and universities for laboratory experiments; which in most cases, ends in death for the animals. Again, inspections and enforcement to ensure that “random source” animals are not brokered is lacking (to say the least) and family pets continue to end up in the hands of Class B dealers and then into the hands of research facilities.

According to the USDA, there are 1,070 registered Class B dealers in the US, but only a handful hold the title of “random source” B dealers, individuals who sell cats and dogs to research. Investigations have revealed that animals in the care of Class B dealers also violate the Animal Welfare Act. Cats and dogs under the care of Class B dealers have been found suffering from wounds, injuries, diseases, inadequate veterinary care, inadequate food/water/shelter, live animals in cages with dead animals, animals who have been beaten, strangled, shot and open burial pits found on the property.

So please keep your pet safe by remembering a few simple rules:
DON’T leave pets unattended in your yard. It only takes a minute for someone to steal your pet.
allow your pet to be visible from the street.
leave your dog tied up outside restaurants or stores.
leave any animal unattended in your car, even if it is “just for a minute.”
use “free to good home” ads to place companion animals. These ads are often answered by Class “B” dealers. Contact a rescue group for assistance in conducting your own adoption.

DO spay and neuter your companion animals. This reduces your animal’s desire to stray and reduces the risk of your companion animal being stolen for breeding purposes.
DO provide your companion animals with collars, ID tags, and licenses. Speak with your veterinarian about backup forms of identifications, including tattooing and microchipping.
DO keep recent photos and written descriptions of your companion animals on hand at all times.
DO keep dogs and cats indoors, especially when you’re not home.
DO know where your animals are at all times. Treat your companion animals as you would a small child.
DO educate family, friends, and neighbors about pet theft.

Take a few minutes to learn more about Pet Theft Awareness Day.

Learn more about The Pet Safety and Protection Act (aka “Buck’s Bill”).

Learn more about Pound Seizure by clicking here and here.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Spay Day 2011 Online Pet Photo Contest

ACR staff member Kylie Riser has entered one of her cats that came from ACR in the Spay Day 2011 Pet Photo Contest.  The Professor was a great kitty.  He survived distemper as a kitten and Kylie and her husband spent many hours rehabilitating him.  He had to relearn how to sit up, walk, use the litter box, and pretty much everything else.  The first time he jumped on their sofa they both cheered.  The Professor only lived for 2 years due to complication from the distemper, but they were a wonderful two years.  Please support Kylie, ACR and all the wonderful groups doing spay/neuter in America.

click on the link to donate and vote!

Spay Day 2011 Online Pet Photo Contest