Anamalia: August 2011

By catalyst

Ideas, profiles, products & news for all things animal.

Animal Angel

In 1994, Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS) began the first fix and release (also called Trap, Neuter and Return) program for feral cats in Utah. In the last 17 years, the group’s ongoing rescue, foster, education and adoption programs have helped animals who are abandoned or whose time is up at shelters. CAWS also provides low-cost neutering for pets with a sliding scale payment system. Though their Trap Neuter and Return program has been largely passed on to their partner organization, No More Homeless Pets, CAWS’ influence in helping the feral cat community is inspiring. Run solely by volunteers, CAWS does everything from giving advice and training for using traps and long-term care of feral cats, to providing vaccines to the majority of feral cats in Utah.

Why not just remove feral cats and euthanize them? Cats are territorial. On a practical level, when feral cats are removed, more just fill the space so removal does not solve the problem. Neutering, vaccinating and returning the animals to their colonies, where they live out their lives catching those rats and mice that plague many neighborhoods (especially those situated near water) is a better solution.

Feral cats can be helpful members of our community if we help them out just a little. Thanks to CAWS, we now have the knowledge and support to humanely help our feral cats.

Recommended multimedia

READ: The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human by Pat Shipman. For anthropology junkies, this is a fascinating, in-depth theory of how our close connections with animals influenced human evolution and shaped who we are today. From our first interactions with animals to now, Shipman shows that our relationship goes well beyond our current view of animals as companions and suggests that in many ways and throughout history, animals are our teachers.

WATCH: Elephant and Dog. A touching friendship between two very different species.

WEBSITE: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Learn everything from how to live with bears to applying for hunting permits. Photos, podcasts, video, latest Utah wildlife news—this website is packed with helpful and educational information.

Did you know?

At least 92% of egg-laying hens in the U.S. are confined in battery cages so small the animals can’t even spread their wings. About 210 million of these birds are provided 67 square inches of space and 50 million are provided with even less (typically 48 square inches). In addition to being extremely restrictive, these cages are also barren, meaning they don’t provide hens with tools necessary to engage in important natural behaviors, like laying their eggs in nests, perching or scratching—behaviors that are necessary for hens to have adequate welfare, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Give a greyhound a second chance

Greyhounds make great pets! They are intelligent, affectionate, calm, and very clean. Though they are large dogs, they are relatively unobtrusive, polite, and easy to live with. Most do well with cats and other small animals. Greyhounds have virtually no “doggy” odor, even when wet. Their short hair doesn’t shed much, so they don’t require grooming other than an occasional bath and nail clipping. They do not eat a lot and are generally healthy dogs (genetic defects are very rare), living for 12 to 15 years. Despite the impression that greyhounds may need a lot of exercise, they actually are kind of couch potatoes—though they do need walkies like all other dogs. They also make ideal jogging companions—in fact, racing greyhounds are trained not to bump into co-runners (canines, that is, but that easily translates into humans).

Second Chance Greyhounds (SCG) facilitates adoptions by finding the perfect dog from one of their greyhound rescue affiliates; the organization provides transportation, vaccinations, and spay or neuter procedures. SCG asks for a donation of at least $150 to cover costs. Meet the dogs at these places monthly: Sugarhouse Petco,1st Sat­urdays, 1-3 p.m. Fort Union Petco, 2nd Saturdays, 12-4 p.m. Jordan Landing Petsmart. 4th Fridays, 6:30-9 p.m.


Eat with your dog at Log Haven! After a great hike in Millcreek Canyon with your favorite canine, go eat at the outdoor amphitheater with your dog (amazing cuisine, I go there a lot). Order dog-themed drinks such as the Sober Dober and the Salty Chihuahua.

This article was originally published on July 29, 2011.