Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Eye on Oshkosh visits with Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Where is Susan Happ and What Would She Do as Attorney General?
Saturday, September 20, 2014
“Fill the Bowl Project “– A new effort to assist the needy in Oshkosh
If you have ever had a pet, you know how important a pet can be to the mental and emotional health of the people surrounding it. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money or very little, a pet can serve as a lifeline to well-being. Unfortunately, people can fall on hard times and their ability to feed their pets often becomes difficult, too. Sometimes they choose to give up their own food or medicine in order to take care of the pet. And in very sad cases, some people give up their pets, often surrendering them to the local humane society. Neither of those scenarios should have to be a reality. As part of the Animal Ministry at First Congregational Church, our group has decided to provide some support to both the Oshkosh Area Humane Society and the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry to help make pet food available to those in need.
The Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry which provides needed emergency food for people in Oshkosh also offers a very limited amount of pet food for those with pets who can’t afford their feeding costs (3 pounds once a month). The Oshkosh Area Humane Society is currently setting up a system to help those in need of food for their pets, as well. They hope to be able to provide a month’s worth of pet food to those people who come to them needing extra help in paying for pet food.
We are launching our “Fill the Bowl Project” on Sunday October 5 as we celebrate St. Francis’ ministry to animals that day. We will continue to gather food and supplies throughout the year and donate them to both the Food Pantry and Humane Society on a regular basis. Beginning on October 5, people may bring in pet food (dog and cat), or money ($ 0.01 - $ 1000 or more), to drop off in our special pet pen located in the narthex (outside the sanctuary). If you’re unfamiliar with First Congregational Church, 137 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, someone in the church office can assist you.
When we have reached a goal of 1000 pounds, we will celebrate and set a new goal.
As you can see from the information provided by the Oshkosh Area Humane Society, 1000 pounds of dry food is the amount they need every month. If we can provide food over that amount, they can provide pet food to people who can’t afford it on their own. Read through the information provided to determine what foods you should bring in. They may be revising their lists as they analyze the nutrient content of the food and may find less expensive alternatives. If so, we or they can let you know about any changes.
If you’d rather just drop off your food or cash donations directly to the Humane Society, they would welcome that effort, too. But we are hoping folks will get on board with the “Fill the Bowl Project,” as established originally by the Humane Society of the United States.
Following are some questions we posed to the Oshkosh Area Humane Society and their answers. This will hopefully help you as you prepare to help others. Thank you!
How many animals in shelter (including fosters) are being supplied with food each month on average?
On average we have about 178-200 cats (We comfortably hold 150) and 30 dogs, 4 rabbits, 2 Guinea pigs and 4 mice. Rabbits seem to come in either 2 or 8 at a time, one time we took in 32 at once as a police impound. In the summer months our population of cats soars to over 300.
How much food (pounds) of dog and cat food is consumed by the shelter animals?
650 pounds of dry cat food, 330 pounds or more of dry dog food, (we see four times as many cats as we do dogs), 900 cans of canned cat food for just the cats in the shelter and another 150-200 pounds for cats in foster and 300 cans of canned dog food and 80-100 pounds of Purina Kitten Chow. This doesn’t include the wet food that is used for enrichment (mixed with dry food for stuffing Kongs.)
Do you have any estimates on the number of surrenders that occur because the owners cannot afford food?
10 -15 % say they can’t keep their pet because they can’t afford but that usually is due to medical care costs. We don’t really have them specify if they say “Can’t afford.”
How much and what specific brands of food would you like to have donated on a regular basis?
Purina One SmartBlend (chicken) dry dog food, Purina One Little Bites for Dogs, Purina One Turkey, Chicken & Rice dry cat food. No indoor cat formula food. (Please note that the humane society will accept vegetarian dog food, if someone wishes to also donate that, however no vegetarian cat food, please, as cats should absolutely not be on a vegetarian diet.)
What other supplies do you need and in what quantities?
We go through 60 gallons of bleach a month – minimum, 2 cases of disinfecting wipes, and 2-3 cases of paper toweling. Soft dog treats are used for exams and training as they are a better incentive than a dry biscuit. PupPuroni stick and Canine Carry Outs. No bacon type treats – the dogs really don’t like them. We also use enrichment foods such as peanut butter, hot dogs and cream cheese for stuffing Kong toys and tuna for the cats as a treat. These are our usual most needed items
We also go through 70/40 pound boxes of Tidy cat litter (2800 pounds) and 80-100 pounds of gravel cat litter (used for kittens) Small mammal food we like to buy as needed especially fresh greens for the rabbits and Guinea pigs. We also like to use Natural Balance Turkey Food rolls(no beef) for dogs not eating well as a flavor enhancer on their food (grated) or cut up into small dog treats. Found at most pet stores – looks like a summer sausage.
We also go through a lot of large rolled raw hide chews – made in USA preferred and large only.
P.S. Thanks to Pat Nichols for such a great job in assembling and putting together all this information.