|Honoraries and Memorials|
From Anonymous: Happy Christmas to Wicket
From Kristina Burks: In Honor of Dave Shenn
From Kathyrn Johnson: In Honor of all the volunteers of Altered Tails
From Stephanie Adams: In Honor of Gracie, Velvet, Playboy, Chewie, and Mini
From Julie Cioppa: Merry Christmas to Alfred and Janet Cioppa
From Denise Holtkamp: To all the animals that need our help
From Holly Kiskaddon: In Memory of my Father
From Mary Schander: In Memory of Miss Jackie
From Carol Lazoen: In Memory of Sanda
From Diane Stonebrink: In Memory of Brighteyes and Gundi
From Kenneth Myers: In Honor of Helen King
From Peggi OConnor: In Memory of Garfield
From Nohl Rosen: In Honor of Panther TEK Holiday Drive For The Felines
From Pamela Nelson: In Honor of The Campbell Family
|It's all for the cats |
by Lucy Linder
Almost 2 years ago I walked into the Tempe clinic as a novice. It had all started with trapping feral cats in my own neighborhood and from then on being intrigued with all of the operations of the system. My decision to help out "occasionally" at a clinic has turned into an "adventure extraordinare" with not only the benefit of helping cats and the community but also gaining friends and being part of the most dedicated cadre of hard workers I have ever known. Needless to say, I am hooked and now participate in a clinic most every week with fellow volunteers.
These are people who show up for clinics held in someone's house and yard with the mobile van in July's 115 degree heat and again during November's chill. Fortunately this is not the case every time. We are usually ensconced in an authentic clinic with a roof, four walls and all the amenities. The schedulers have strategically placed cats in available slots for surgery; the trap depot keepers have dispensed traps; and the caregivers have done the ground work by feeding and trapping. Clinic volunteers then take over to check cats in, prep them for surgery, give post op treatment and make sure they wake up with no ill effects. Caregivers are notified to return to check out and take the cats back to their neighborhoods.
The clinic volunteers are individuals of varied ages and professions who have in common the love of cats and the mission to curtail the feral population in our community. If would be nice if the cats actually knew how much they are cared for. Maybe in some small way they do. Together we are making a difference, and we welcome anyone who wants to be a part of all we do.
Thank you to all of the vets that have contributed to our sucess this year:
Dr. Kathy Allen
Dr. Tracey Brazeal
Dr. Shannon Carey
Dr. Heather Douglas
Dr. Jeremy Grossbard
Dr. Frank Isom
Dr. Veena Khun Khun
Dr. Wayne Lipovitch
Dr. Melanie Peters
Dr. Jenna Renshaw
Dr. Tom Shackleford
Dr. Kathleen Slocum
A Stitch in Time
Just a quick follow up to the last e-newsletter article about our Volunteer, Evelyn Rouse who has sewn more than 200 trap covers. Evelyn has interested four other Volunteers; Victoria, Carmen, Debbie and Paula to help her sew covers. Evelyn has even written trap cover sewing instructions. Please let us know if you would like to receive them In addition we have received many many donated sheets, they will all go to good use !!
As we turn the corner into 2009 we're setting our goals on what we hope to accomplish in the community. Despite the economic challenges 2008 was a great year and one that will be hard to beat. Checkout the article about all of our acomplishments.
One thing we have done to ensure our sustainability is raise our prgram fees. While performing an annual review of our published program fees, it became apparent our pricing was not in line with similar services being provided by other affordable Spay and Neuter organizations.
Our new prices will be in effect January 1st.
Thank you for your continued support.
Altered Tails, Chair
|This Year's Accomplishments |
As the year comes to a close, its time to reflect back and recognize some of the wonderful things Altered Tails Donors, Staff and Volunteers have accomplished; it has been a remarkable year.
Let's start with our #1 in the country TNR program, which was cited in the September 2008 issue of Phoenix Magazine under their Best Bets for your Pets section.
We also had Denise Stravia one of our long time volunteers publish a wonderful article in Cat Connection, by Operation Catnip, Gainesville FL.
Corporate Support and Community Involvement
We collaborated with Starbucks in their "Make a Mark" Program, where employees sponsored 'Wish List Boxes' in six of their locations. Employees and customers donated blankets, towels, clinic supplies (alcohol, peroxide, Clorox), and both dry and canned cat food. This program also matched dollars for volunteer time and was made possible by Vicki Vollmecke.
CBS Outdoors donated sixteen billboards around the Valley. Marty Schwartzkopf, General Manager, made the billboards a reality. The billboards increased visits to our website and calls to Altered Tails by over 30%. We cannot adequately thank Marty and CBS Outdoors for this generous in-kind contribution.
Arden Moore, author of "Happy Cat, Happy You and Happy Dog, Happy You" and the Changing Hands Book Store in Tempe provided Altered Tails an opportunity to spotlight our mission and vision during her program and book signing.
Altered Tails is now represented on the Mesa Community College Service Learning Advisory Board by Eric Stieglitz, Director of Community Outreach and Volunteerism, providing us the opportunity to develop service learning programs to benefit college age students while educating a younger generation about our mission and vision. These students have volunteered at clinics in the recovery area and have a chance to see firsthand most of the TNR process. We are hopeful future student programs will distribute leaflets and trap feral cats for sterilization.
Eric Stieglitz was also appointed to serve on the East Valley Retired Senior Services' Advisory Committee. This program coordinates and oversees the volunteer activities of over 1,500 55+ age volunteers who reside in the East Valley.
The Daughters of the American Revolution invited Cheryl Weiner, President and CEO, to speak at one of their monthly meetings about addressing the feral cat community. All of the women were animal lovers and were quite interested in the program and ways they could support Altered Tails' efforts.
Altered Tails becomes involved in several highly charged situations within the community related to feral cats. Discussions with Phoenix College, the Gilbert Riparian Institute, the City of Mesa, property management in Avondale, just to name a few. Nearly all have resulted in a positive outcome for the cats though several are still in the planning mode for TNR.
Altered Tails partnered with Maddie's Spay/Neuter Project in Maricopa County and the mobile spent three days in Avondale specifically to sterilize pitbull/pibull mixes. Nearly a third of all dogs who enter the county system are pitbull/mixes and of those 75% are euthanized. Altered Tails' veterinarians and staff sterilized over 100 dogs in those three days. The solution to euthanasia is sterilization!
Healing Hearts Sanctuary in Willcox, Arizona was the setting for four days of affordable spay/neuter services in an area void of such services. The mobile made the four hour trip and set up for two days in May and two days in June. Healing Hearts underwrote 50% of the spay/neuter fees for the residents and scores of dogs and cats were sterilized in those four days.Volunteer Involvement
The Community Action Team (CAT Team) was out in force making presentations to numerous Home Owner Associations (HOA). The goal of the CAT Team is to educate communities about the benefit of TNR versus trap and kill and the availability of lost cost spay and neuter services. We would like to acknowledge Chris and Elizabeth Pericles, Denise Stravia and Yvonne Parkhill who spent their personal time educating the community on TNR.
2008 will be a record setting year for our TNR program. We will likely achieve the milestone of sterilizing 13,000 feral cats or come very close! In 2007, 9,032 feral cats were spayed/neutered so 2008 demonstrates nearly a 44% increase and all due to the dedication of our volunteers who man clinics every Sunday of the year, assist with several midweek clinics and who often trap and transport cats when caregivers are physically unable to do so. Pam Kalish, Suzie Jones, Joe Wisdom, Lucy Linder, Nancy Tuchelski and many others are vital to our TNR achievements.
Volunteers Roni Leduc, Suzie Jones, Pam Kalish, Marty Buck, Marg'e, Dani and Gina, respond to our neighbors' questions regarding tame and feral spay/neuter options. Altered Tails is indebted to these volunteers who spend days, evenings and weekends ensuring that people know the options available to them to spay/neuter.
Fund Raisers and Grant Development
A personal thanks goes to Princess for her generous donations towards opening up her new clinic, which will allow Altered Tails to increase its current service capacity. In addition, we would like to thank Princess's Parents Dick and Bea Barnhart whose financial and business support to date has been invaluable.
We hosted a Jail and Bail Fund Raiser, where Board Members, Staff and Volunteers became Convicts, Jailers and Bail Bondsman. Bail raising for release of the convicts brought in $15,000 for our annual campaign.
Altered Tails received a $150,000 award from the prestigious Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to be used for building expenses incurred in the rehabilitation of the new Altered Tails Barnhart Clinic.
The AZ Pet Plates Committee awarded Altered Tails $12,500 for programs to spay/neuter both tame pets and feral cats in 2009. These dollars come from the pet vanity plates that individuals purchase through the Arizona Department of Transportation. The tagline, "Pets Enrich our Lives" and bright depiction of a cat and dog by renowned artist Ron Burns can adorn your vehicle too! A percentage of the annual fee is set aside in a fund which is distributed annually to spay/neuter programs throughout the state.
PetSmart Charities presented Altered Tails with $45,000 to purchase veterinary equipment and holding cages for the new clinic.
PetSmart also came in as Presenting Sponsor at $15,000 for 2009 Have a Heart for the Animals. We are very fortunate to have PetSmart and PetSmart Charities as partners in our vision to eliminate euthanasia as a means of population control.
The Seabury Foundation awarded Altered Tails $5000 in 2008 for spay/neuter programs and we are hopeful to receive $7500 for 2009 initiatives.
Have a Heart Fund for the Animals 2008 was a huge success raising over $150,000 dollars through the generous donations of both Corporate Sponsors and personal donations.
A special thank you to the garage sale volunteers who brought in over $1,000! Our thanks to Jan Raven for allowing us to take over her garage and driveway in preparation for the sale and the days of the event.
Altered Tails had close to a 40% increase year over year for its TNR services from 9032 in 2007, to approximately 13,000 in 2008. We also set a new monthly record for procedures in October with 1580 sterilizations. These numbers show the passion and hard work of all our Volunteers, staff and those that support the mission and vision of Altered Tails with their kind donations.
Some of our success in the TNR Program was made possible with the collaboration with MCACC for their various spay days and generous support from the Animal Defense League of Arizona through its Spay/Neuter Hotline. We also receive reimbursements from Maddie's Spay/Neuter Project in Maricopa County which allows pitbull/pitbull mixes to be sterilized at no charge to the owner and a 50% decrease in fees for those on limited budgets as determined by their AHCCCS support.
Altered Tails is holding its annual fundraising gala, "Have a Heart for the Animals," on February 7, 2009 and we would be honored to include your business card ad in the event program .
The event is attended by over 250 of the most philanthropic individuals in the Valley and they always enjoy looking through the event program and seeing which businesses have supported Altered Tails. They are also inclined to frequent those establishments. Your business card ad can appear in the program for just $100. Not only is an ad good for business, it benefits the animals as well. A business card ad will cover the cost of two sterilizations.
If you have an item for the auction or a business card ad, please email or contact us at HaveAHeart@AlteredTails.org or 602-943-7729 so we may make arrangements for a volunteer to stop by and pick up your donation.