Friday, July 24, 2015

Cat with a Cause! A-Pal Humane Society

Since we moved from southern California late last year, I have been a cat without a cause. I had been an Advo-Cat for the rescue that saved my life and got me the surgery I needed. I have been trying to connect with a new rescue to represent because part of my mission is to pay it forward and help other kitties find loving, forever homes. It has taken a while but we have finally made the connection and now I am an Advo-Cat for A-Pal Humane Society! I am very excited about this. Each Friday, I will share with you one of their kitties. I hope you’ll help me with my mission by sharing these cats.

A-Pal Humane Society Won't You Help Us Foster Poster

A-Pal Humane Society has a surprisingly long history in Amador County. In 1978 a group of animal loving Amador County residents created the organization with the goal of promoting the humane treatment of animals in Amador County. You can read about their many accomplishments here. Their bottom line is amazing: A-PAL Humane Society has worked with shelter staff and volunteers to move the shelter intake from 2400 animals annually with a save rate of only 15% in 1988, to 1558 animals in 2013 with a save rate of 87%. Pretty impressive!

They have lots of special programs and there are many volunteer opportunities. One thing we think is especially cool is that volunteers actually work at the shelter socializing the animals, walking the dogs, etc. They also have volunteers who foster cats and kittens in their homes. Some of their programs include low cost spay/neuter, community cats and helping animals with special needs.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Art students give city park a colourful makeoverYear

Art students give city park a colourful makeoverYear 8 student Imogen Pawlik works on her heart-shaped design.

ST DAVIDS play park has undergone a colourful transformation thanks to a group of arty students.
City councillor Keeley Rose came up with the idea after she and members of the park committee noticed the fence around the toddler’s play area was in need of repair.
She approached Caren Owens, the art and design teacher at Ysgol Dewi Sant, who jumped at the chance to take part in the community project.
Year 7 students studying Islamic geometric patterning came up with designs for the fence posts, and they were assisted in the painting by older pupils.
Year 8 student Imogen Pawlik said: It’s nice to get out of lessons and help brighten up the park.
“I did a heart design and one that looks like a tortoise shell.”
Year 9 student Madeleine Nix said: “I’ve never really done painting that can be seen by everyone.
“It’s something we can all be proud of.”
The Mayor of St Davids, Councillor Frank John visited the park on Thursday afternoon (July 9) to see how the project was progressing.
He said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s nice to see the kids get involved, and thanks to Keeley for thinking it up.
“It’s great to see the City Council and school working together.”
Cllr Rose said: “They’ve come up with all this themselves. It’s worked out really well.”
Mrs Owens added: “The kids have had lots of fun coming down here. They’ve really enjoyed painting the fence posts and feeling part of the community.

“We’re always very keen to get involved in projects and get the kids out of the classroom. When Keeley was in school with me years ago, we did a mural for the Eisteddfod.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Animals' infections can impact most on relatives

  Research in families of wild seabirds reveals for the first time how parasite
 infection in some can have a serious effect on how well their relatives do.
It is not clear why infection in some birds can affect others, but scientists suggest it may affect adults' ability to nurture their young, or that infected chicks may need more care.
  The findings could have important implications for the conservation of wild animals, including seabirds, which are under threat.
Scientists from The University Of Edinburgh and the Centre For Ecology And Hydrology studied the impact of disease on families of cormorant-like birds, known as shags, on the Isle of May National Nature Reserve off Scotland's east coast during the breeding season.
They found that worm infection in parent birds or their nestlings impacted most on others in their family group.
 In experiments, researchers treated either parent or chick seabirds with anti-worming injections and found that this could have a positive impact for others in the nest.
 They found that when parents were treated, chicks born early in the season had a better chance of survival. If chicks born early in the season were given anti-worming treatment, their parents were found to gain weight.
  Parents of treated also went on to breed earlier in the subsequent season, giving their offspring in the following year a better chance of survival.
The effects of reducing worm infection were, however, not always beneficial to relatives. Chicks born later in the season to parents that had been wormed had a slightly worse chance of survival. Similarly, parents of treated chicks born late in the season went on to lose weight.
Scientists suggest this may be because late in the season birds are at greater risk of a secondary infection, and food is in short supply.