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As winter ends, kitten season begins

by Susan Murnane
Now that the snow has melted, cats and kittens will come out to enjoy the good weather. Some of the cats will be friendly neighborhood cats out for a stroll. Others may be friendly cats that are lost, stray or abandoned. If you notice a friendly cat in your neighborhood that you don’t know, report it by calling the police department. Someone may be looking for it.
A stray or abandoned friendly cat may be adoptable, but shelters are usually full this time of year. The Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL) does not euthanize cats to make room for new admissions; you can make an appointment for an animal surrender when space becomes available. They will charge a fee.
An unfriendly cat may be feral. The APL will not accept healthy feral cats. Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats but they are not socialized to humans and cannot be adopted out as pets. Feral cats can live long, healthy lives outdoors, but they will be euthanized if they end up in shelters.
You can help both stray and feral cats through TNR (trap, neuter and return the cat to the where you found it). The Cleveland APL will spay/neuter and vaccinate outdoor cats in Cuyahoga County for $10 and “tip” the cat’s left ear. A cat with a tipped ear is called a community cat and should be left alone. Once the cat has been neutered and vaccinated you may safely feed it and shelter it outdoors. Inexpensive shelters can be fabricated from common household materials and straw.
The Cleveland APL and the National Animal Control Officers Association both support TNR as the most humane and effective way to reduce cat over-population. Friendly outdoor cats may be brought into the APL in a pet carrier, but feral cats need to be humanely trapped. You can borrow humane traps and get advice on trapping at clevelandAPL.org and from Friends of the Bay Village Kennel, friendsofbayvillagekennel.com.
Many cats have kittens in the early spring. If you see kittens outdoors, their mother is probably close by. A feral cat’s kittens can be socialized and adopted as pets, but “rescuing” kittens may not be a good idea unless you intend to care for them indefinitely yourself.
You may not be able to find a shelter that will care for the kittens until adopted. If the kittens are too young they may need to be bottle fed; if the kittens are too old they may be difficult to socialize. A kitten may not adapt well to being removed from its mother, or it may be frightened and bite you.
Alley Cat Allies, the expert on stray and feral cats, recommends watching to see whether the mother cat returns, offering food and shelter to keep the family safe and near, and then TNR’ing the entire colony when the kittens are old enough. For more information, consult Alley Cat Allies at www.alleycat.org.

Volunteer effort helps dog in need

Kimberly, the black Labrador puppy rescued from Lake Erie on Friday, March 20. Photo courtesy of Detroit Dover Animal Hospital

Kimberly, the black Labrador puppy rescued from Lake Erie on Friday, March 20. Photo courtesy of Detroit Dover Animal Hospital

The power and the passion of the volunteers, our animal loving community and, in my personal opinion, the power of prayer made for a very happy day on the shores of Lake Erie in Bay Village this past Friday.

Volunteers from Friends of the Bay Village Kennel, Love A Stray Dog Division out of Avon Lake, the Francati family and Baepler families, along with a few others kept social media whirling about the little black Labrador retriever stuck out on the lake. A Bay Village resident opened her home to media for warmth and food as they too monitored the situation. The Bay police and fire departments logged over 100 calls each just on Friday.

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel started reaching out to animal clinics, police departments, rescues, and animal wardens from Cleveland to Lorain County looking for an owner. Love A Stray’s facebook posting made a connection about the missing dog from the east end of Lorain off Lake Road which brought the family to the Bay Village Police Department that escorted them to the location of the dog. She was now 880 yards off shore, dragging a rear leg, moving slowly and laying down and curling up a lot.

In unison from the boat dock we yelled her name over and over again with high-powered equipment, hoping to see a response. We waved family clothing and knew that time and options were running out unless Kimberly would gain the strength and courage to come to shore over open waters, and a 5-foot-high bank of ice.

In addition to broken ice and the frigid water, Mother Nature threw in another challenge – large coyotes and their pups. On a few attempts to come in on her own, coyotes chased Kimberly out on the lake further north. Rescuers believe this why she might have curled up in a ball on the ice during the day – to rest so she could be alert and moving at night and far enough from prey.

On Thursday, the Bay Village Fire Department attempted a rescue, using the opportunity as a training session. The Coast Guard also used this as a training session but would not repeat the exercise on Friday because the conditions had changed overnight with what equipment they had. Avon Lake Fire Department volunteers came before dark, suited up in ice suits as well and each got with in 100 yards with no success as she fled east.

Friday brought hope again as she was spotted very close to the shore of Cashelmara but was spooked again by what was thought to be a coyote and humans. She went back northwest and curled up in a ball, rarely bringing up her head and we all dreaded that the worst had or was about to come.

The Francati family received a call about the air boat dispatched from Sandusky and we made the call to BV police to open the gate at Bay Boat Club to launch. We could hear the boat and the see the boat and the dog never raised her head. “Oh, come on, Kimberly,” yelled her family. “Come on, baby, it is time to come home.”

As the boat approached she rose up and, just like a Disney movie with a happy ending, it all came together – Kimberly jumped in and now rests in the arms of her loving family again.

Family and rescuers fled to the boat club for a woofing reunion and transport to Detroit Dover Animal Hosptial. She got a clean bill of health from the veterinarian.

On a concerned and sad note, a family missing a black Labrador was hopeful it was their dog and others insisted it was their dog and prepared to take the dog right then and there. Luckily, Kimberly’s family had the new flyer they just made, and APL director Greg Wiley as well as the Lorain County Sheriff were there to verify the dog and her rightful owner. The evening ended in dog kisses, tears a media frenzy for one of the luckiest dogs to ever visit Bay Village.

Please hug your pets each day, support animal rescue and thank our safety forces for doing all they can do.

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel would like to send a big thank you to many of the folks who came to the aid of the sweet black Lab puppy Kimberly missing from the eastern end of Lorain:

  • BAY VILLAGE SAFETY FORCES
  • THE U.S. COAST GUARD CLEVELAND, OHIO
  • LORAIN COUNTY SHERIFF, FRIENDSHIP APL & CLEVELAND APL
  • VOLUNTEERS FROM AVON LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • THE FRANCATI FAMILY BIG TIME FOR WATCHING 24/7 OVER KIMBERLY AND CHASING AWAY COYOTES!
  • ELITE K911 TRAINING FOR TRANSPORTING A HUMANE LARGE DOG TRAP AND SUPPORT
  • CONNIE FIELDS WITH LOVE A STRAY WHO COORDINATED A LOT OF HANDS-ON EFFORT AT THE BEACH THAT LAST 24-PLUS HOURS BEFORE THE RESCUE.
  • THE LOCAL MEDIA
  • KIMBERLY’S HERO…WKYC CHANNEL 3
  • ALL THE PEOPLE THAT KEPT UP WITH PICS, PHONE CALLS AND POSTINGS AND NEVER GAVE UP HOPE!

Read More on Local News

Kitten season is here again.

Kitten season is here again.
Please save a life.
Spay and neuter your animals now.

BVPD responded to 781 animal calls in 2014.

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel remind residents with dogs that 2015 license tags can be purchased and/or renewed on line at the county: Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter   or directly at Landmark Lawn & Garden or Drugmart both located in Westlake.
We encourage all pet owners to have current and proper ID on all pets and updated  on vaccines.  Make sure that pets left outside have food, water and proper shelter  from the weather along with safe and working containment (electronic fence, regular fencing and tethers). 
 If a resident suspects a pets is in distress or being neglected, call BVPD at 871-1234 and/or the Cleveland APL and request an APL humane officer investigate.  ALL ANIMAL RELATED CALLS SHOULD BE RESPONDED TO BY BVPD AND DOCUMENTED.  IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION DOCUMENTED THEN ASK THE OFFICER TO DO SO.
Cleveland Animal Protective League
1729 Willey Avenue
Cleveland,  OH  44113
All animal ordinances are posted on www.friendsofbayvillagekennel.com or you may contact the BVPD or city law department.
The Cleveland APL is a separate facility from the Cuyahoga County Dog Kennel which only handles dogs that are relinquished by cities and municipalities.   NOT CATS.   They do however work with the APL and Cleveland City Kennel to encourage adoptions. 
Friends of the Bay Village Kennel will continue to assist BVPD and residents with  domestic animal related issues to strive to keep pets safe and maintain a low/ no kill reputation.  Currently the BV Kennel will only house dogs for 24 hours or less but not cats or kittens.  Cats and kittens must fend for themselves in Bay Village.
To date the city has not put the matter of a new kennel  on a public agenda open for public discussion as requested by the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel, supporters and residents.

Update on Adopted Cat

Friends of the Bay Village kennel were asked by a resident to rescue the cat posted on our website on November 19. We held the cat for 5 nights and 6 days. The Bay Village police was contacted immediately and twice a day while the cat was held, but no one reported it missing. To our knowledge, it has not yet been reported missing. We also immediately contacted local shelters and rescue lists seeking an owner. We also posted a notice on Secret Bay Village on facebook with a photo of the cat seeking an owner. We took the cat to the vet to scan for a chip (negative) and a health assessment, and treated it for fleas, mites, and worms. The 4th day we had the cat he was vaccinated and neutered. We had immediate inquiries about adopting the cat but held it until the the 24th to enable an owner to come forward. When we adopted the cat out we did another posting with a photo on facebook and on our website, and only then did a woman come forward claiming that it looked like her cat.

Orange Cat

Friends of the Bay Viilage  Kennel have had this handsome approximately 1 year old sweet boy, vaccinated,neutered and placed in a forever home as an indoor cat.  No permanent damage happened to his paws from the severe cold.  His paws were frozen when we picked him up and he was so ravenous that when he at even small amounts he vomited.

This male cat was held from from November 19th until the 24th.

Thank you also to all that have shared, cared and donated.

 ..THANK YOU EVERYONE!