Tag Archives: Animal Rescue

Melvin

Melvin, 14-year-old cat.

Melvin, 14-year-old cat.

Melvin melted my heart the minute I met him at Wayside Waifs.  He certainly wasn’t beautiful in the usual sense. His ears were crinkled and bare, his fur was patchy, and he was missing his front right leg. He was probably close to being deaf. He’d had ear infections.  He could barely get up to greet me, but he tried and tried until he finally made it to the front of the kennel.  He is a very sweet and affectionate cat.

He was thought to be 14 years old when he was brought to Wayside Waifs.   Little was known about his history.  He was transferred from another shelter when it ran out of space.

I admit that my heart is easily melted, but Melvin tugged even harder at my heartstrings.  I seriously thought about bringing him home, even though my house isn’t set up for a cat that can’t get around very well. My two resident cats, who don’t get along that well with each other, were also a consideration.  Melvin worked his special cat magic on a lot of volunteers and staff members at Wayside Waifs, who called out “Hi, Melvin” whenever they passed his kennel. We were all so happy when the boyfriend of one of them recently adopted Melvin so that he can live out his final years with love and in comfort.

I’ve met a lot of wonderful cats and kittens during my six years of volunteering as a photographer at Wayside Waifs, a no-kill animal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, but Melvin will always hold a special place in my melted heart for him.

About Wayside Waifs

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Kansas City, Personal, Pets, Photography

Picasa, Farewell

Google is replacing the multi-talented desktop based Picasa (left) with the minimalist cloud-based Google Photos (right.)

Google is replacing the multi-talented desktop-based Picasa (left) with the minimalist cloud-based Google Photos (right.)

Changes in technology come with breakneck speed. Some we embrace, some we don’t. At least when WordPress streamlined its format, it allowed us the opportunity to use the more beefy original administrator. (Thank you, WordPress.)

One change I’m dreading is the loss of the Picasa photo editing website.  Google is retiring it in spring 2016.  Google has every right to do so, especially since Picasa users pay nothing for its use, but it’s still a bitter blow.  A lot of Picasa users don’t even know it’s going bye-bye yet, although apparently people knew it was coming a while ago. Google is focusing on Google Photos, which is quite different from Picasa and not as useful for my needs. Supposedly, we’ll still be able to use Picasa, if we already have it installed on our desktops, until it dies out from bugs and glitches. We’ll see.

Google Photos is a nice photo storage system, but not a good replacement as an editing and design tool.  In Google Photos, you can upload all of your photos to the cloud for free in a small version, which is probably large enough for most uses, and pay if you need to upload large files when you exceed your large-size quota. I’m transferring all of my large-sized photos to external hard drives.

My son gave me the heads up on Friday night on Picasa’s impending demise, and I was shocked. I was working on my taxes, so I was already in a foul mood, and I quickly went into mourning.  I taped a black ribbon to my monitor. I searched the web (using the damnable Google) to find an alternative.  I use Photoshop a lot, but Picasa is just so darned easy and could do so much. It has lots of design and editing tools and is great for  organizing my photos into files and albums. It will still be usable on your desktop, if you already have it, but won’t be getting any support from Google.

I used Picasa to edit this photograph that I took of Harvest, a cat available for adoption at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. Using Picasa, I could easy crop this photo to the pixel size and aspect required for uploading to the website. Also using Picasa, I could add my initials so that the shelter administrators would know who took the photo if they needed a larger size. Auto contrast, auto color, straightening and sharpening were Picasa tools I often used.

I used Picasa to edit this photograph that I took of Harvest, a cat that was available for adoption at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. Using Picasa, I could easy crop this photo to the pixel size and aspect required for uploading to the website. Also using Picasa, I could add my initials so that the shelter administrators would know who took the photo if they needed a larger size. Auto contrast, auto color, straightening and sharpening were Picasa tools I often used.

For more than five years, I’ve been using Picasa to edit the photographs I take of adoptable cats for an animal shelter’s website in Kansas City, Missouri. It makes it so easy to tag the photo with the cat’s name, attach a watermark and be able to find the photos later.  As far as I can tell, you can’t tag photos in Google Photos. Face recognition will not work with cats.  Because of the ease of use and because it was free, Picasa has been a godsend for other volunteer cat photographers who aren’t photo editors. Now, we’re scrambling to find an alternative.

Here’s a Hibiscus poster (below) that I created using Picasa. I used the posterize function to transform my hibiscus photograph, I used the add a border function to add the initial two-toned border, created a wider border with the collage tool, then added another two-tone border. I added the text of Hibiscus waimeae above the flower and added a band of an hibiscus font that I uploaded, which automatically transferred into Picasa when I downloaded it. Picasa allowed color matching so that I could match the greens and reds of the hibiscus photo to the font and background colors. Though there were many steps, it was easy. I don’t relish learning a new program to do these functions.

If you know of an easy, inexpensive alternative for downloading, editing and organizing photos, let me know in the comments.  I’m checking into FastStone.org.  Anyone have any experience with that program?

Hibiscus Waimeae Square Canvas Print

R.I.P Picasa: Google shutters aging photo service

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Filed under Internet, Photography, Technology

Please Share This Artwork

Please Share This Photo

ElephantVoices campaign: EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE
This is from a press release from ElephantVoices, which is launching a campaign against the ivory trade.  The trade of ivory is causing the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. Elephant expert and Co-Founder of ElephantVoices, Dr. Joyce Poole, observes, “It is with a sense of déjà vu and deep sorrow, though little surprise, that following the torpedoing of the 1989 ban by the ‘one-off’ sales of ivory stockpiles, we find ourselves living through, and battling against, another elephant massacre.”

Each new tusk on the market means more death, trauma and destruction.

“We are asking people to help us reach out to potential buyers of ivory who don’t realize that elephants are dying in record-high numbers for trinkets and decorations. The only way to stop this wanton slaughter of elephants is to choke demand for ivory and stop the trade,” states Joyce Poole.

ElephantVoices is basing its campaign on two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artworks, with the slogans, EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; DON’T BUY IVORY and EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE, target potential buyers and decision-makers, and are also specifically directed toward a Chinese audience. “ElephantVoices is doing something unique by making the graphic art available online in several versions, so they can be shared on social networks and be used for T-shirts, bumper-stickers, posters and banners”, says Executive Director, Petter Granli.

“We urge people to share these messages far and wide, making them go viral. The poaching is endangering elephants, jeopardizing biodiversity, and threatening tourism, people’s livelihoods and stability in elephant range states. The writing is on the wall for elephants and we must act now”, says Joyce Poole. The two pieces of art shown are avialble to download in several forms.

You Can Download the Artwork Here.

Yellow Stars Shed Light

There are too many people buying ivory in too many countries. The current demand for elephant tusks is unsustainable and is swiftly mining Africa’s elephants. The largest demand is in China and, hence, the Chinese government and her people have a special responsibility for taking a lead to end the decimation of elephants. China was permitted to buy a restricted amount of ivory from stockpiles, a decision by the international community that has caused immense harm to elephants. Ninety percent of the ivory available in China is from slaughtered elephants, illegally sourced, traded and sold. Chinese buyers deserve to know that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed to supply them with ivory. Every tusk costs a life.

China has the ability to raise public awareness and to enforce their strict laws to quickly strangle the trading, buying and poaching. China can stop her countrymen causing the destruction of Africa’s heritage and biodiversity, while concurrently protecting her enormous investments on the African continent. We urge China to take action now to end any trade in ivory – we cannot afford to lose Africa’s keystone species. 中国 Zhōngguó means China. Star power is needed to save Africa’s elephants from extermination.

Elephant Family Values

CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS TO SEE FULL-SIZE PICTURES AND IVORY SEIZURE MAP

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March 27, 2013 · 4:08 pm

Free Lucy the Elephant

Today as I was editing (clumsily) some videos my husband took of a herd of elephants we saw in South Africa, I marveled all over again how magnificent elephants are. I was spellbound watching them as they moved silently through the forest.

So tonight when I saw a topic trending on Twitter: #FreeLucyElephant I had to click on it.

Below is a link to a slideshow of photographs of an elephant that has been living almost entirely alone for all of her 35 years in cold Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with little room to roam. The fight to get Lucy moved to a sanctuary has been going on for a long while.

Slideshow of Photographs of Lucy in the Edmonton Zoo.

Click here if you want to sign a petition to send to the Edmonton Zoo to allow a panel of elephant experts to examine Lucy.

From Zoocheck:
Lucy is a 35-year old female Asian elephant living alone at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Canada.
All female elephants have basic physical, psychological and social requirements. They require very large spaces, complex natural terrain, pasture, lots of things to do, other elephants to socialize with and a moderate climate.

Lucy’s life at the Valley Zoo is deficient in many respects. She is socially isolated, lives in a tiny barren enclosure, endures a number of ongoing health issues that the zoo has not been able to resolve and is forced to live through Edmonton’s cold winters.

The Valley Zoo claims Lucy cannot be moved, that she is not a social elephant, is accustomed to Edmonton’s weather and is quite happy where she is. Many of their claims are nonsensical and some ignore established scientific fact. As well, Lucy’s continued social isolation is contrary to accepted management practices for elephants in captivity around the world.

While the Valley Zoo and the City of Edmonton try to paint a rosy, almost idyllic, picture of Lucy’s life, the reality is quite different. A highly social, extremely intelligent, wide-ranging animal that was born in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka should not live alone in a tiny, barren zoo exhibit in a northern city.

Zoocheck Website.
Save Lucy Website.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, will take Lucy at no charge to the Edmonton Zoo.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

About the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

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Filed under Animals

Thanks Be For Dogs!

Two years ago I fell in love with a puppy named Loki.  Among the many blessings I have in my life to be grateful for, I am thankful for this little dog.  Loki is probably partly a pitbull.  No one really knows.   A man was kicking Loki on a street in Huntington Beach, California, when she was rescued. She has a pitbull face, but the short splayed legs of a dachshund.  She’s the sweetest dog in the world!  She loves loves loves everyone.

Loki may be moving to New Hampshire soon with my daughter and her husband, which makes me sad.  I’ll sorely miss the three of them, but I’m happy to have been re-awakened to the wonderful world of dogs.

Do you have a dog or cat or other beloved animal companion in your life? I have two white cats, who are loving company and keep me well-covered with white hair.

You can never have too much Loki!

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Black Cats are Enchanting!

Sharpietoo is looking for his forever home. Black cats are a very popular motif during the Halloween season, but in real life, black cats have a harder time finding a home.

During the Halloween season, black cats are so, so popular — or so you’d think since they are everywhere in decorations and designs. However, being part of the scary Halloween motif perhaps isn’t such a bonus for black cats because they have a harder time being adopted year-round than any other color. The same is true for dogs.

Sharpietoo, featured here in three photographs, (Isn’t he gorgeous?) doesn’t know he has that strike against him. He’s extremely friendly, and not only that, he does tricks. He was one of the easiest cats I’ve ever photographed at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. He would stand or sit with the wave of my hand. Sharpietoo has a short, shiny coat and a patch of white at his throat. He’s a sweet, muscular cat of about 12 pounds, sleek like a jaguar. He’ll find a way to fit on your lap.

Sharpietoo poses. Isn't he adorable!

Sharpietoo has another strike against him. He tested positive for FIV, a virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. This doesn’t need to be a problem, even though an FIV positive cat won’t be able to get rid of the virus. An FIV positive cat can lead a long, healthy life if he is kept indoors, fed a healthy diet and gets regular vet check-ups. FIV can be spread to other cats through bites and scratches, so an FIV positive cat should be an only cat or live with other FIV positive cats. FIV is a weak virus that doesn’t live outside the body. Only cats can get FIV, so dogs, other animals and people won’t be infected.

Sharpietoo’s Felineality type is Personal Assistant, which means that he likes people and wants to hang out. Felineality is a feline personality assessment. People can meet their feline match by taking their own assessment. Check out the “Meet Your Match” survey here.

Sharpietoo was found as a stray, and was originally named Sharpie when he arrived because of his dark inky color.  But wouldn’t you know, another cat in the shelter was already named Sharpie. What are the odds?

To learn more about Sharpietoo and other cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies) available for adoption, click on Wayside Waifs.  Wayside Waifs, a no-kill shelter, regularly has about 300 animals available for adoption and places more than 5,000 animals a year in forever homes.

Sharpietoo shows off his sleek Jaguar-like physique.

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Filed under Cats

Hit a Home Run!

"Just like Stan Musial I'm an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I've compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates."

Michelle Cour, volunteer at Wayside Waifs, interviews Stan, one of the new stars at the shelter.  Stan is looking for a grand slam into your home! Details on choosing Stan for your team are at the bottom of this post.

Stan the Man here! Just like Stan Musial I’m an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I’ve compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates, I’d still be living there but the landlord in our new place allows only two pets and the dogs got to stay. I lived with only one family my whole life and I’m sad I had to go, but I just know I’ll find another family just as terrific. If you’re looking for a Hall of Fame Feline Friend, I’m your man!

You may have noticed I have only one eye. Kind of makes me look kind of rakish, like a pirate, I’m thinking Johnny Depp. Boy, is he hot! I hear the ladies really go for him. They go for me too! I have lots of fans here in the staff and volunteers at Wayside. I’m a people person and love to hang out with you, but do okay with small dogs. I lived with two small dogs for many years but I’m not good with big dogs as I’d been attacked by them in my past. Please don’t take me if you have a big dog. I’m very afraid. I shouldn’t go outside. I can’t defend myself well because I can’t see what’s coming on one side.

Inside I do great! I love to climb and my favorite place to perch is high up on the furniture. I respond well to my name, so please don’t change it when we go home. I’ve lost my people, my home and my dog brothers, so my name is all I have left that’s familiar and comfortable. I need something to hold on to, please. I’ve lived with a family the last 8 years so I’m having a little trouble adjusting to shelter life. I’m a bit shy and not as outgoing and friendly as I’d be with people I know and love. When we go home, I might go hide under a bed or in a closet until I feel comfortable joining the family. I’m affectionate and want to be buddies, but I’ll need a bit of time to adjust.

My family says I enjoy running water so if I can please have a kitty fountain or stick my head under the sink when you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes sometimes, I’d like that. I have great hygiene habits and never have a litter box issue if you keep it clean for me. I eat dry food but shouldn’t have only dry food as it’s hard on my tummy. I need some wet food too. Thank you so much for honoring my requests. And don’t forget in these tough economic times, I’m a bargain, just $25 for a lifetime of friendship and affection. Such a deal I have for you!

I’m looking forward to joining your team and being your MVP. I’ll be at batting practice faithfully learning to swat my toy mice way, way out there… going going gone! Holy cow! See you around the ball park.

Stan

Stan can be found at Wayside Waifs, Inc., Kansas City’s largest no-kill shelter.  Wayside Waifs,  an independent, not-for-profit humane society and animal welfare organization established in 1944, is located at 3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 64137.  The telephone number is 816-761-8151.  The website is Wayside Waifs.

Here’s a link to Sebastian The Sensitive Soul’s blog post about Bandit, another great cat in need of a home. He will steal your heart.  Bandit was fun to photograph!  Bandit.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Kansas City, Pets