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THE WAG: Help The Humane Society Answer The Question,

THE WAG: Help The Humane Society Answer The Question, 'Who Do I Belong To?'

Published: Mar 01 2017

Niagara-On-The-Lake Town Crier
By Shannon Sidney Wood

This past Sunday while I was working we sadly had an incident that is not that common, but still happens way too much.

Now, we are closed on Sundays with very limited people working and because of this we only go out for emergency calls. Owner surrender of an animal is not always an emergency.

A car pulled in like a typical day and our dog walker Linda was out walking the dogs and she stopped and talked to them. She explained that we were closed and that they would have to come back tomorrow. She even suggested calling the number on the door, which reaches our answering service when closed, to verify.

He didn´t like that and rudely started to drive off. Jen, our RVT, came into my office to tell me about this. As we were talking we look out my window and saw Linda walking one of our dogs Beau, with a cat carrier in her other hand.

They had dumped their cat off at the end of our driveway, in a carrier, on the side of the road.

If you have ever been to the shelter you will see that we have a lot of forested areas that are homes for wildlife as well as cars flying down the road. They left this poor cat in danger instead of finding a proper solution.

When we assessed the kitty we saw that it was quite scared and acting out because of this. We were unable to check for a microchip as we didn´t want to stress the cat out anymore.

Picture this: going from a nice family home, to being placed in a carrier in a car for who knows how long of a drive, then to be just abandoned on the side of a road.

I would be scared too.

Like I said, things like this happen at the shelter. We often get cats coming in with no prior history, so we don´t know if they have any behaviour issues or underlying health concerns.

For example, there was Mirabelle. She was a stray that came in last November. The person that found her claimed that she was a stray that Mirabelle was pregnant but refused to bring her in until the kittens were born. This was odd for us since you would think that you would want to bring the stray cat in as soon as you found it. Mirabelle is up for adoption at the Adoption Centre in Niagara Square.

We wish that people would surrender their animals properly so that we can learn all we can about their temperament and their help.

Or if you catch a stray, bring it to the shelter when we´re open, and tell us all you can about the animal. The information could save their lives and ensure a successful adoption.

The Wag is a weekly column written by staff and volunteers from the Niagara Falls Humane Society. The NFHS services the communities of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more information on the humane society, visit

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Published: Feb 27 2017

There are times when we come face to face with obstacles that are so big and daunting they cast shadows upon the road ahead. The journey of overcoming hardship presents the opportunity to challenge the perspective of one´s self and to practice perseverance.

Take my dog for instance, a young pooch with a knack for trouble. I have to bear the responsibility of rewiring the behavioural problems that were not dealt with by her previous owners. I experience moments of frustration when her consistent inability to understand my commands overshadows my hope for improvement.

I will then blame myself for my unrefined teaching skills and form an anxiety around persisting further with the lesson, surrendering to another day of failing to properly train my dog. This has happened far more often than I´m willing to admit, but I am learning to limit my expectations and be more patient. Instead of blindly looking forward to the end results, I have vowed to make the most of our time together while nurturing her growth. Insert a cheesy quote about success being a journey not a destination here.

I often wonder what kind of trials an tribulations the animals at shelters endured before they were placed under adoption. A lot of them were dealt a faulty hand in the previous chapters of their lives, and they deserve another chance to live a happy and fulfilling life. Their stories are still being written and unfortunately happy endings are not guaranteed.

Humans are riddled with flaws, yet we still learn to love and accept each other´s quirks, while working towards bettering ourselves and those around us. I think the same logic should be applied to the wellbeing of our animal friends.

This week´s column written by Alexandra Hari

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THE WAG: Volunteering At NFHS Adoption Centre An Enriching Opportunity

THE WAG: Volunteering At NFHS Adoption Centre An Enriching Opportunity

Published: Feb 22 2017

Niagara-On-The-Lake Town Crier
By Alexis Bennett

Over seven years ago, I walked through the doors of the adoption centre and sat down for my volunteer interview.

So many things have changed since I first started and it has been quite the journey. I spent a majority of my high school time volunteering on weekends and it soon became a huge part of my life and lead me to volunteering at the main shelter. Being at the Adoption Centre forced me out of my shell and helped me learn valuable skills.

The adoption centre has allowed me to develop friendships with other volunteers and visitors but the connection with the cats at the AC are undeniable and important to me. Some of our cats stay with us for several months, you learn all of the quirks and build special bonds.

Having an open-concept environment is great for many of the cats to open up and show their true personalities. I have met and worked with over a thousand cats and I can remember a vast majority. In some way or another they are a part of my journey and the Adoption centres success. We had many long term residents that benefited from the attention and exposure to find the right homes. My personal “favorites,” I love them all but I tend to be drawn to the special needs, seniors and gnarly tom cats. They put a smile on my face. I enjoy that I can spend time with them and be a support until they move on. I absolutely adore our drooly seniors and tough tom cats they quickly become big lovable teddy bears!

As a volunteer you are in a position where you are able to not only care for them but you get to love them and show them how to trust Without the AC many of these cats would not thrive and would have had to wait much longer before being adopted because they needed more time to open up. I encourage everyone to volunteer. It can be stressful at times, don´t get me wrong, but we are the voice for the animals and we are all they have and they truly appreciate it.

I am looking forward to a new chapter for the Adoption Centre -I hope you are too! Stop by and visit us before April 30th and see the cats up for adoption or visit the website

The Wag is a weekly column written by staff and volunteers from the Niagara Falls Humane Society. The NFHS services the communities of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more information on the humane society, visit

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Published: Feb 19 2017

I have a theory…

My theory is that cats are slowly training humans to do their bidding. One minute you´re asleep, the next you realize it´s two in the morning and you´re half asleep, scratching the chin of the pointy-ended quadruped that´s purring up a storm beside you. The kicker is that you´re probably not all that mad about it. Odds are, your cat ignored you all day. Or at the very least, tolerated your presence, waiting for the perfect time to butter you up and suck you in.

I have definitely found myself in this exact situation. If you asked me where I would find one of my cats right now, I would be forced to admit that she is lying lengthwise across my bed, taking up the majority of the space.

Am I going to move her? No, I am not. Why? I moved my foot a while ago and I´m 90% certain that it offended her in some way. Am I letting her control my sleeping habits? It´s possible, but she´s cute.

Cat are subtle geniuses. They can play mind games with you. My personal favourite is the one where they cry at your bedroom door then take their sweet time deciding if they actually want in or not. Others might mention the belly trap, where they flip over waiting on that belly rub, purring away. You know what´s going to happen but you fall for it anyhow; your hand now belongs to them.

Maybe it´s not subtle genius, perhaps it´s more of a passive aggressive reminder that they own you.

Think about the glass of water you took to bed with you. They own that too and they probably stood on you while they were drinking out of it. In the morning you might go to take a sip from it, only to be met with a mouthful of cat hair. You probably won´t even complain about it and regret not taking a water bottle instead. That cat however, thanks you for that nice water dish you brought for them last night.

We do these things because they make them happy and a happy cat means a happy human. We adjust ourselves to their schedules and they come to expect certain things at certain times. If your cat gets cuddly at a certain time every night, they´ve probably also trained you to be in a certain spot so they can show their affection.

If you think your cat has no control over you, you should probably start looking for the signs. Then, once you´ve seen the signs, embrace them. That cat loves you and no matter how strange they are, you love them too.

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HOMEWARD BOUND: Keep Your Cats Inside Where It

HOMEWARD BOUND: Keep Your Cats Inside Where It's Safe - And Warm

Published: Feb 17 2017

Niagara This Week - Niagara Falls
By Sheryl Hutton

As I drove home from work earlier this week, I was bundled in a coat, scarf and gloves. I had my heater on in the car, running full blast. It was bitterly cold outside and you know how it is, once that cold hits you in the bones, it takes a long time to warm up.

I turned down our street and saw a cat cross the road. Now, why would a cat be let outside on a day like this?

I slowed way down and watched him - I assume it was a 'him' since he was wearing a blue collar, which also means he was actually someone´s pet. I watched him, tail between his legs, slim with fur standing up on his back, racing to get under a car or bush on the other side of the street.

It broke my heart. If I was that cold in the car with a coat on ... how cold must he be?

Our cat walks around with her tail in the air, prissy little so-and-so. She is a princess and she knows it! She also knows that she isn´t allowed outside.

All of our cats have been (and will be in the future) inside-only cats. If you live on a farm, yeah, sure, the chances of your cat being hit by a car or shot by a BB gun are slim, indeed. I used the BB gun example because I once had a cat that was shot with one. That ain´t pretty, folks. She almost died from a septic infection because she hid, as cats do, and we couldn´t find her. She was eventually found in an abandoned vehicle. I lived in the California desert then, and that life isn´t easy on cats. There´s enough mice to keep them occupied until the end of time but there´s also snakes, dirt bikes, kids with BB guns and the sun, of course, which can be wicked hot.

Yes, in my youth, pretty much everyone kept their cats outdoors. I have no idea why. Year after year we lost one or two, never to be found again (was it coyotes?) or found in the road after being hit by a car.

At some point, you just begin to realize that an outdoor life, in the time of automobiles and other cat-enemies, is not the life a cat needs. So you bring them in - to stay.

So, I´m here to ask - no, beg you - please keep your cats inside where it´s safe and warm or safe and cool. They're worth it.

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