Monthly Archives: April 2011

A few weeks ago, Kristin, one of our super volunteers (she fosters, fundraises, attends adoption events, and cleans at PetSmart–yes, she does just about everything) emailed me and asked if I could send her some very specific photos. She wanted pictures of me, Christina, Bobbie, and Carol, as well as of some of our rescued kitties. It was a bit hard finding photos of me, since I am usually the one behind the camera, but I finally found one where I was donning a Santa hat at our Santa photo event. Because it was so difficult to find pictures of me and the other Team Bando members, Kristin decided it would be her mission in the coming year to take lots of photos at our events.

I was wondering just what Kristin was up to requesting those photos.

This past Thursday, I found out.

Carol and I were doing our usual cleaning session at PetSmart and Kristin had left a box for us in our cupboard in the cat room. Opening the box, we found three wrapped packages for me, Bobbie, and Carol. Inside was a gorgeous book called, “Black and Orange Cat Foundation–Rescued!” that Kristin had personally made for each of us. The book was dedicated to us and Christina “with love and dedication” from Kristin and it features many, many of the cats we have helped over the years.

Kristin not only immortalized the B and O kitties, but also many of our friends in rescue, including Brian, Dr. Kim West, and Santa Chuck. The photos at the very bottom of this posting show Dr. West looking at her and Fruit Bat’s pages in the book for the first time.

Kristin also dedicated a page to Carol and Chuck and the kitties they lost in the house fire last August. Of course, that made Carol cry. But this was a very sweet housewarming present for the Gauls who are finally back home. They moved into their newly built home, which stands where the old house was, on Friday, April 15–nearly 8 and 1/2 months after the fire.

I have to thank Kristin, not only for what she does for Black and Orange on a daily basis, but also for this really thoughtful and lovely gift. A lot of time, effort, and love went into this and we are so glad to have her working for Team Bando.


Dr. Neal Barnard, who advocates for a vegan diet and lifestyle, is the president and founder of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This group pushes for alternatives to animal research and testing, as well as promotes healthy diets for all people, including those battling diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Dr. Barnard will be in Columbus on April 20 at 7 pm at the Holiday Inn, 7007 North High Street, to promote his new book, The 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. Chef Del Sroufe, from The Wellness Forum in Columbus, will be preparing recipes from the book for attendees to sample. No reservations or tickets are required to this free event.

Dr. Barnard has written books on diets for reversing diabetes, turning off fat genes, and surviving cancer. To see a complete list of his books, go HERE.

Besides writing his own books, Dr. Barnard was a consultant for Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, which explains how to convert to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and why this way of living is better for the animals, the environment, and YOU. Additionally, as a companion to her book, Ms. Silverstone’s web site, The Kind Life, introduces lots of products and ideas that promote healthier ways of living.

Dr. Barnard’s talk is a must for anyone interested in their health, while also making kind choices for animals and the planet.

And if you can’t attend the lecture by Dr. Barnard, visit The Wellness Forum for more information on classes concerning diet and health that could change your life!

I recently learned about The Pet Postcard Project while I was researching Nitro’s Law. Nikki Moustaki, who started the site, is also carrying out a campaign in which she plans to eat dog food for one meal a day until Nitro’s Law is passed (she started eating dog food on February 1, 2011).

With The Pet Postcard Project, postcards equal food for animals in shelters and rescues. You make postcards and for each postcard turned in, a pet food company agrees to pledge a certain amount of food to shelters and rescues. “Spokesdogs” or “Spokescats” (groups of people, represented by a cute furry face, such as Girl Scout Troops, clubs, or other organizations) choose a shelter that they want to receive the food and they ask others to help them send in as many postcards as possible.

Your postcards could also help you win cool prizes! Read the contest guidelines HERE.

The postcards are homemade by YOU and must feature a dog or cat in your life. They also must include a “funny, heartwarming, or profound” sentiment. The cards are in one of four categories: confessions/secrets, advice, wishes, or “you know you love your dog/cat when…” Once you have made your postcard, you mail it in an envelope to The Pet Postcard Project, 676A Ninth Ave. #321, New York, NY 10036.

To read the complete guidelines on how to make postcards, go HERE.

Some of the winning postcards also get featured on the web site, so if you are creative, get cracking to help feed hungry animals.


I had an emailed newsletter this past week from the organization, No Voice Unheard. The newsletter documented the story of Gilly, a laying hen who was rescued from an egg factory. The rescuers went to the factory planning to find homes for 500 of the chickens. When they arrived, they were told that 160,000 needed rescued or they would be sent to a slaughterhouse. Gilly was one of the lucky 1,000 hens who went on to lead a better life.

Read Gilly’s story HERE. Please be warned, it will bring tears to your eyes and you may never, ever be able to eat an egg or a chicken again (but, hey, that would be a good thing).

No Voice Unheard is an independent publisher of “beautiful and creative books that are cutting edge in their content and presentation, giving voice to those who are ignored or disregarded by society, and illuminating important social issues often ignored by profit-driven publishers.” They sent the newsletter about Gilly to promote their new book, Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs. Gilly is featured in Ninety-Five.

Where you might ask did the title for the book come from? Ninety-five, as the web site explains, is “the average number of animals spared each year by one person’s vegan diet.

Several years ago, I read No Voice Unheard’s first book, One at at Time: A Week in an American Shelter. This book documented animals in shelters nationwide using photos and often poignant stories.

What is so heartbreaking about One at a Time is that many of the animals featured did not get adopted. They were euthanized. Their photos and stories on the pages are the only remnants of their heroic and, often short, lives. I ordered several copies of this book and gave one to our local library. But I must confess, it is hard to look into the eyes in the pictures and know that those eyes no longer flicker with life or love. It is a story that had to be told–the story of happy, healthy animals who were destroyed unnecessarily because of our “humane” system.  The authors, Diane Leigh and Marilee Geyer, were much braver than I think I could have been. 

No Voice Unheard also explores the horror of zoos in their book, Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos. 

To find out more about these books and to order your own copy, please visit the No Voice Unheard web site HERE

No Voice Unheard believes as I do: there is power in books.

If you are a movie buff, you won’t want to miss the latest fundraiser to support the Humane Society of Madison County (HSMC). In cooperation with the London State Theatre, the humane society is presenting, Paws for the Classics, to raise money for the shelter’s animals by showing classic movies.

The first movie on the agenda is one of my absolute favorites: Gone With the Wind. The 1939 film, which stars Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, was watched countless times by me and my sister, Bobbie, when we were kids. After the airing of the movie on television (as the movie event of the week), we would spend hours upon hours acting out the scenes. I can still recite whole portions of the film using an appropriate Southern accent.

On April 17, I will have another opportunity to relive this masterpiece by attending the movie at the London State Theatre. But with this viewing, I will also be helping the shelter.

Tickets are $10.00 in advance or $12.00 at the door. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them at the humane society during their open hours (Monday to Saturday, Noon to 5 pm) or online using the shelter’s PayPal button. You can also drop them a note in the mail with a check telling them the funds are for tickets to GWTW. Mail your ticket money to: Humane Society of Madison County, P. O. Box 777, 1357 State Route 38 SE, London, Ohio 43140. Additionally, you can buy tickets at the London State Theatre during normal showtimes.

Besides just purchasing tickets to the movie, you can also be a “Patron of the Heart” for a $25 donation. With this sponsorship, you will receive a movie ticket, small popcorn, small drink, a prime viewing spot, and a listing in the advertisement for this event. To be a Patron of the Heart, contact the shelter before April 12.

Gone With the Wind begins at 1:30 pm on April 17 with doors to the London State Theatre opening at 1 pm. The London State Theatre is located at 69 South Main Street in London, Ohio. For more information, you can also contact Betty Peyton or Cathy Leistikow at 740-852-7387 or visit the shelter web site HERE.

Nitro’s Law (now called HB 108) is a very important animal cruelty law waiting for passage in Ohio. The proposed law acts to create felony provisions for certain types of animal cruelty or provide felony-level penalties even if the crime is not specifically deemed a felony. Sadly, most of Ohio’s animal abuse laws are very outdated and only charge misdemeanor penalties for even the most disgusting animal cruelty.

Nitro’s Law was introduced after 15 dogs were found dead or dying at the High Caliber K-9 boarding kennel near Youngstown in October 2008. One of the dogs that was starved to death was a gentle Rottweiler named Nitro who had been left at the kennel by his beloved family while they helped an ill family member. The owner of the kennel, Steve Croley, received a plea agreement and pled guilty to four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, serving only four months in jail.

Because of this shockingly minor penalty for such a horrendous crime, Nitro’s Law was introduced and is still trying to make its ways through the halls of justice.

The Ohio Criminal Justice Committee held their second hearing about Nitro’s Law on Wednesday, April 6. It is now hoped, after this meeting, that Nitro’s Law will be out of the House and on to the Senate before Easter.

Speaking to the Committee, Nitro’s dad, Tom, said, “Nitro was not a democrat, republican, liberal, or conservative….he was my boy.”

Please continue to write your Ohio representatives and tell them to support this very important animal cruelty legislation. To find your representative, go HERE.

To read more about Nitro’s Law, please visit the Nitro Foundation web site, HERE.

You can also read Dr. Patrick Mahaney’s blog HERE and watch his YouTube video where he eats dog food to show his support of Nitro’s Law. He got this idea from Nikki Moustaki, a dog trainer, who posted a video diary of herself eating dog food and plans to continue eating dog food (she started on February 1, 2011) until Nitro’s Law is passed. Read about her campaign HERE.

Additionally, visit the Nitro Foundation on Facebook and the Nitro Fan page by clicking HERE.

No more dogs should die in Ohio from such disturbing abuse. The only way to stop the cruelty is to make our laws harsh enough that the abusers truly are punished for their actions, so others will think twice knowing there are consequences for their despicable deeds.

B and O mainly deals with cats, but a few years ago someone dumped a tame rabbit in my parents’ yard. Although Dad tried to catch it, the little guy was scared and refused to be nabbed. So we had to pull out the humane trap and catch him the way we do feral cats. 

Jackson Jefferson (J.J, for short) was very sick when we caught him. He had an inner ear infection that caused him to hop in circles and he was not neutered. After months of medical care and a neuter surgery, J. J. was ready for his own family. Don’t ever let someone tell you that rabbits are easy to care for. I spent more time with J. J. than most of the cats I had nursed to health. I also spent a great deal on his vet bills (not to mention all the “green” that went for organic dandelion greens at Whole Foods–yes, I spoiled this rabbit). 

J. J. did find a wonderful home where he rules the roost and leads two big dogs around to do his bidding. But he is one of the lucky ones. 

At this time of year, unfortunately, many people think it would be cute to buy children a live “Easter bunny” or a baby chick or duckling (sadly, a family member bought me a baby duckling when I was a child and our dog killed it on Easter–talk about being scarred for life). While these animals are cute in their baby stage, they do grow up and they do require care.

After the Easter holiday, many rabbits end up in shelters, “set free” outside (a definitive death sentence for a tame rabbit), or even dead following accidents with small children who may not know how to hold them or other pets that may act on instinct and attack the defenseless creatures. 

The Columbus House Rabbit Society started a campaign a few years ago that has gained national attention. Called “Make Mine Chocolate,” the program asks people to forego live rabbits in favor of chocolate ones. You can read some of their “Easter Bunny Stories” HERE to discover why they are pushing so hard for the chocolate alternative. 

Make Mine Chocolate has recently partnered with Rescue Chocolate, a candy company that produces 100% Vegan products, insuring that no animals are harmed in making their delicious treats. In addition, 100% of net profits are donated to rescue groups nationwide.

Check out their vegan bunnies for the Make Mine Chocolate campaign HERE.

Rabbits, baby chicks, and ducks deserve responsible, caring homes. They are not novelties for a child’s Easter basket. Stuffed or candy animals are the best alternatives, so please think before buying a living, breathing, feeling being this Easter holiday.

Please download the flyer below by clicking on the link. Print it out and hang it up to let those who see it know that you choose chocolate rabbits (and marshmallow peeps) over the living, breathing animals. 


The Animal Rescue Site and are holding Round 2 of the 2011 $300,000 Shelter Challenge. Most of you know how to do this, because you have been clicking daily to vote for Black and Orange in past contests. But here we go again!

Visit The Animal Rescue Site each day and click on the purple button that says, “Click Here to Give–it’s FREE!” to give free food to shelter animals. After you click on the purple button, you will be directed to a second page where a “Vote Now” box will appear. Click on that box to vote each day for Black and Orange Cat Foundation. You can find us by putting in our name and Plain City, Ohio.

The grand prize is a $5,000 grant! State winners each receive $1,000. Weekly winners, over the eleven weeks of the challenge, will each win $1,000.

So please vote for us daily by going HERE to click to give.

Besides the daily voting, The Animal Rescue Site is also offering a Spring Romp Photo Contest. The grand prize photo winner will choose a rescue or shelter to receive a $2,000 grant. The Photo Contest begins on April 4 and ends on April 17. To find out more about the contest and enter your photo, go HERE.

Thank you to everyone who continues to vote for us each day! Even though we haven’t won yet, we know we will with your support!

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