Vaccinate your cat and walk your dog |

Vaccinate your cat and walk your dog

Ki patiently waits to give a smooch at Saturday's Kissin Booth at Walmart.

Most everybody knows that their dogs should be vaccinated against distemper, parvo and other deadly diseases, even if owners don’t follow through. I believe that most cat owners think, because cats aren’t as social as dogs and therefore less likely to come in contact with other cats, that they can safely skip this important health factor.

Cats are, however, territorial by nature, especially those who haven’t been spayed or neutered. They will fight and deadly infectious diseases can be transmitted: feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunosuppressive virus (FIV) and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

FeLV, transmitted through body fluids (even a sneeze), destroys a cat’s immune system. According to most reliable sources, the vaccine is effective only 75–85 percent of the time, but please put your cat in the group with the highest protection mode. Like FeLV, FIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, attacks the immune system and can cut a cat’s lifespan in half. FIP is not treatable, curable and 100 percent fatal.

And don’t forget about rabies. Did you know that in our locale the largest group of rabies carriers are bats? Cats love going after bats, which will bite when trying to protect themselves. If you keep your cat indoors at all times (a requirement if you adopt from CAPS), you should still have your kitty vaccinated. All it takes is one time for an escape artist and momentarily opened door for disaster to hit.

So, protect your kitty and walk your dog. I’m of course speaking of walking your dog at our upcoming Bark in the Park to be held next Saturday (May 4) at the Churchill County Fairgrounds! The day will start with a 5K walk/run for our two- and four-legged friends. We request that you pre-register for the race ($15 per person, $40 for a group of four and free for dogs, who must be leashed). Pre-registering guarantees that you’ll get a free event T-shirt and a bag of goodies.

If you register on race day, be sure to come early; registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and stop promptly at 8:45. Also, we cannot guarantee that you’ll get an event T-shirt (and perhaps not a goodie bag) if you register on the day of the event. Registration forms are available at the shelter and our website (; on the homepage, click “2013 Bark in the Park” and “Registration form”; then just download, print, fill out and mail or bring to the shelter.

We encourage you to find sponsors to “up” the competition and help raise more funds for the animals in our care. As a bonus, you walk/run for free if you are sponsored! Forms are available as noted above, but click “Sponsorship form.” If you cannot participate in the race but would like to get in on the fundraising competition, give us a call (423-7500). We will designate a racer for you.

Would you like to be a vendor at the event? The fee is $25 or free if you are a nonprofit organization. Whether you are an artist, a local veterinarian, a dog groomer, a dog trainer or a food vendor of any kind, give us a call. A vendor application is at our website as well.

On another note, be sure to stop by Flower Tree Nursery to buy raffle tickets ($1 each or six for $5) for “Prairiefire,” a vibrant-pink crabapple tree valued at $79.99! All proceeds from this raffle benefit CAPS. Tickets can also be purchased at the shelter (when open) and Bark in the Park. The drawing will be held on June 1 at Flower Tree, and you don’t have to be present to win.

This week’s article was contributed by Betty Duncan, a member of the CAPS board of directors.