October 16: Feral Cat Day

National Feral Cat Day 2013


October 16 is National Feral Cat Day, as broadcast by Alley Cat Allies.  This is an awareness day that seeks to spread the word about Feral Cats – to teach people the difference between pet, stray, and Feral cats, and to teach the community that Feral cats can have full and happy lives living outdoors.

The difference between stray and Feral cats is that Feral cats have been born and raised outdoors, enjoying the freedom that comes with “returning to the wild”.  They are not socialized and they do not have the ability or desire to become domesticated.  Once trapped and re-homed, it is unlikely that Feral cats will warm up to humans, and they will not prefer their new indoor captivity to the life they were used to outdoors.  In contrast, as stray cat is one that has been lost or abandoned and is able to be rehabilitated and re-homed.

Because most Feral cats cannot be re-homed, TBAR does not support the trapping and surrendering of them, and so we are unable to place them in Foster Homes that can rehabilitate them.  That being said, TBAR is a huge supporter of the Trap-Neuter-Return initiative, which not only takes care of spay/neuter, but also takes care of vaccinations.  In these situations we ONLY help people if they are willing to feed and monitor the returned cats. We have special funds that supporters can donate to that allow us to pay for fixing and vaccinating Feral cats and helping to control the population.  We are also able to take in kittens that were born outdoors and socialize them before they become Feral, thus allowing them to become adoptable.  If you have Feral cats in your area, please take a look at these tips for helping to manage them:

–  Consider a Trap-Neuter-Return program.  If you need to borrow a trap, or if you need assistance in funding, please contact us.  Click here for more info from Alley Cat Allies on Trap-Neuter-Return.

–  Feed and monitor your feral cat community, but only in safe locations (do not feed close to roads, or neighbors with aggressive dogs).  Animal control should be alerted if you have a cat that looks sickly in your cat community.

–  Feral kittens have a short window in which they can be collected and socialized.  Keep an eye on your Feral community and identify any pregnant Feral cats so you can know when the kittens are born.

–  If you know anyone that is considering trapping and surrendering, please offer them advice on deterrents.  The use of deterrents is an effective way to convince Feral cats to find a new location to live in.  Some deterrents are very easy and affordable: lemon peels, coffee grounds, chopsticks, rock beds, and car covers.

–  Inform others of the vacuum effect:  once one cat is removed it only creates space for another Feral cat to move in the territory.  Trap-Neuter-Return prevents the continual rotation of the population.

–  Click here for a brochure with even more information on living with cats in your area

Fun fact:  one of the greatest examples of a Community Cat program is in the “Happiest Place on Earth”:  at Disneyland!  The Disneyland program cares for around 200 cats and has done so for at least the past 25 years.  They practice Trap-Neuter-Release (which includes spays/neuters and vaccinations), they adopt out kittens, and they also have a community management system that watches over the health and well-being of the cats and feeds them in secure locations away from the public.  In return, the Feral community controls the rodent population of the 85-acre theme park in Anaheim, California.  Don’t expect to see these cats though, they are great at hiding during the day and prefer to be active at night, when the park is empty of crowds.

Post by Jessica Ripley

TBAR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is a no-kill facility.  If you would like to contribute to the spay/neuter fund which is used to help control Feral cat populations, you can click click here to donate and just make a note that it is for the Feral cats! Every little bit helps us to help the cause.


Please note:  as a no-kill animal shelter TBAR is not a part of the statistics this video notes about the deaths of feral cats in pounds and shelters.  TBAR does not take in any feral cats out of their home environment because they are not adoptable and it is considered inhumane to try to hold them against their will.  This statistic does refer to those that trap feral cats and dump them at their local pound or shelter.  Please consider the above-mentioned alternatives to trapping and removal.

Resources from alleycat.org

Please see this brochure for information on how-to Trap-Neuter-Return:  Click Here

“How to Live with Cats in my Neighborhood” Brochure:  Click Here


TBAR Receives Scholarship from ASPCA

TBAR Receives Scholarship from ASPCA

$350 Grant Toward Staff Development

ASPCA Grant Badge sm

Brenham, Texas — True Blue Animal Rescue (TBAR) announced that they received an award in the amount of #350 from the ASPCA to fund two staff members’ trip to the Equine Professionals Workshop in Dallas, Texas.

 “True Blue Animal Rescue is going into its ninth year,” said Melanie DeAeth, TBAR President. “There have been many changes in the world of Animal Rescue since we first started.  Staff development is an important part of running a successful rescue.  Much of what we do and what we know has been from hands-on learning, but there are many resources out there that will give us the information we need to take TBAR up to the next level.  This year is going to be an important year as far as TBAR’s immersion into new strategic planning, marketing, and social media, which will allow us to further help the animals in Brenham, Texas and surrounding areas.”

 The scholarship included registration for the Equine Professionals Workshop, fuel, hotel, and meals. Staff members got to attend presentations on various topics that will contribute to the future success of TBAR.  Without this generous grant TBAR staff would not have been able to travel to Dallas to participate in the event.

About True Blue Animal Rescue: TBAR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is a no-kill animal rescue located in Brenham, Texas.  If you would like to help their cause please consider donatingfostering or adopting.  Every little bit helps us to help another animal in need of safety and rehabilitation.  Save a life: adopt instead of shop and spay or neuter your pets!

Chili Cook Off 2013

Chili Cook Off 2013 (1)

Cinammon gets to visit with her foster Mom, Shelli. Thanks to her new family for bringing her out to say hello!

Chili Cook Off 2013 (2)

Tbar’s silent auction table.


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Melanie and Teresa.

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Alissa checks on Tbar horse Bubblegum.

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We always love hearing Leannasaurus Rex and we can’t thank them enough for playing today and donating all their tips to True Blue Animal Rescue!


Chili Cook Off 2013 (6)

Line up of chili tents and vendors


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Silent Auction table

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The awesome BBQ pit that was donated by IHD for the silent auction!

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Chili Cook Off 2013 (18)

TBAR dog Lucky

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Agility demo

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Kid zone

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Face painting in the kid zone


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Chili judging

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Melanie and Ralph announcing silent auction winners

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A Tbar puppy gets adopted!

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Chili Cook Off 2013 (45)

Paul Patrinella and Bill Allen of Hairy Bikers, a reality TV show!

Chili Cook Off 2013 (46)Here are the Coloring Contest Winners from the Kid Zone at the Annual 2013 Chili Cookoff!

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TBAR Receives Hay Grant from ASPCA

TBAR Receives Hay Grant from ASPCA

 $5000 toward feeding horses for 3 months

 ASPCA Grant Badge sm

Washington, Texas — True Blue Animal Rescue (TBAR) announced today the award of a $5000 grant from the ASPCA to assist with hay costs.

“This year TBAR lost its primary hay donor.  In addition, we had an influx of horses whose owners could not support them as a result of the droughts.” said Melanie DeAeth, TBAR President. “This grant will allow us to feed our 40 on-site foster horses through the rest of the winter.”

For the previous eight years, TBAR had been the recipient of a large hay donation that fed the TBAR horses and allowed them to operate all winter long.  TBAR reports that they usually need 200 round bays of hay a year.  In the winter they use around 30 bales a month (they need less in the summer months due to the grassy land the horses have access to), and one bale alone feeds just four horses a week. This donation from ASPCA bought 66 bales of hay, roughly one-third of what is needed in the winter.  TBAR reports that this donation will get them through the rest of the season.  The other two-thirds of hay needed was purchased with money donated from TBAR supporters.

About True Blue Animal Rescue: TBAR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is a no-kill animal rescue located in Brenham, Texas.  If you would like to help their cause please consider donatingfostering or adopting.  Every little bit helps us to help another animal in need of safety and rehabilitation.  Save a life: adopt instead of shop and spay or neuter your pets!

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2005-2007 Memorials & Honorifics

In loving memory of Roy “Quigley” Twiss-Maldonado


Billie Baronowski for the memorial donation in memory of her dogs Jack, Jill and Tommy

Nancy Kotalik for the memorial donation in memory of Joyce West

Katherine O’Connor for the memorial donation in memory of her 16 1/2 old border collie mix, Murphy

Diana and Robert Bender of Washington, TX for the memorial donation in loving memory of Bobby’s mother, Josephine Bender

Diana and Robert Bender of Washington, TX for the memorial donation in loving memory of
Prissy the cat

Diana and Robert Bender of Washington, TX for the memorial donation in loving memory of my father, Dr. H. L. Bartlett

Diana and Robert Bender of Washington, TX for the memorial donation in loving memory of my mother, Valine L. Bartlett

Neal and Nancy Hopkins Soltwedel, Eric and David Berg for the memorial donation in loving memory of Valine Bartlett, the mother of Diana Bender and Ann Montagne

Alan and Betty Bartlett, for the memorial donation in loving memory of
Valine Bartlett who always supported organizations like True Blue Animal Rescue

Carol Chretien for the memorial donation in memory of our cat, Dinah.

Anthony and Deborah Koppel, Brookshire, TX made a donation In memory of our friend, veterinarian and Tejas Vaquero Dr. Richard “Fuzzy” Fussell, DVM

Anthony and Deborah Koppel, Brookshire, TX made a donation In memory of our friend, veterinarian and teacher Dr. Alfred N. Poindexter, Jr. “Doc”

Memorial donations in memory of Louise Frost’s beloved dog Roxanne

Carissa Weber for the memorial donation in memory of her dad’s dog, Petey

Bluebonnet Motor Co, Inc. for the memorial donation in memory of James Andrews

David and Pennie, Brenham for the memorial donation in memory of “Dallas”, beloved pet of
Rick and Marie Curtiss of Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ann & Tom Brady In Loving memory of Snowy Bengtson – Beloved Dog of Jim, Bonnie & Emily Bengtson

Nancy Berg of Ruidoso, NM for the memorial donations in the name of Thomas W. Hopkins, Jr. and Allene Hopkins Smith

Gene Hopkins of Conroe, TX for the memorial donation in the name of Allene Hopkins Smith

Valine Bartlett of Washington, TX for the memorial donation in the name of Allene Hopkins Smith

Diana and Robert Bender of Washington, TX for the memorial donations in the name of
Thomas W. Hopkins, Jr. and Allene Hopkins Smith

Mary Weiman of Brenham, TX for the memorial donation in the name of their beloved dog
“Ci Ci Weiman”

Susan and Tom Abouhalkah for the memorial donation in the name of the beloved dog of Ann and Tom Brady “Charlie”

Below are some of the much-needed things which TBAR was able to purchase in 2005 with memorial money:


Kennels for the Dogs


Fencing for the Horses


A Shelter for the Horses


A Trailer

Thomas and Allene will forever be remembered through True Blue Animal Rescue

Disaster Preparedness For Your Animals

No animal left behind.” That phrase should ring in your ears whenever you contemplate the need to evacuate your home due to or during an impending disaster – whether natural or manmade. The “unexpected” can happen to anyone – at anytime. Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, train derailments resulting in toxic spills, and factory or pipeline explosions, can all precipitate mandatory evacuation.

By thinking about what you would need to do, and planning ahead, you will be able to mitigate problems and provide protection and care for your entire family – including your pets. Organizing and gathering your supplies ahead of time means you won’t be caught without what you need in an emergency.

Never leave your animals behind thinking “they will be fine” until you return. You have no way of knowing when you will be able to get back to them. It could be days or weeks. Even a few hours of leaving them in harm’s way could put their lives at risk. Local authorities will not allow you back once they have ordered evacuation from an area.

Remember that many emergency shelters will not allow animals inside. However, some will let you bring them in if contained in carriers. Some animal shelters and veterinary clinics will allow temporary housing during times of emergency. Also, many motels and hotels will temporarily suspend normal policies and allow animals during disasters. But if worse comes to worse, your animals are better off with you even if they must stay in the car, than left behind with no one to look after them.

Some tips for being prepared in the event of a disaster:

  • Have a backup plan in case you are not at home when evacuation is necessary. Have an agreement with a neighbor or friend who would have ready access to your animals, and discuss necessary plans of action ahead of time. Make sure they know where your evacuation kit and other needed items are stored, and if at all possible, try to get them acquainted with your animals ahead of time. Write out a detailed list of your animals’ names, behavior, needs, etc. and make several copies. Establish a meeting place outside of the likely evacuated area. Exchange phone, cell, pager numbers, etc.
  • Keep on hand a list of emergency phone numbers such as veterinarian, animal shelters, and other useful numbers such as weather reports, sheriff’s dept., highway patrol, etc.
  • Assemble a basic supply kit for your animals. It should include sufficient supplies for at least 72 hours for each animal. The kit should include: current ID and photos of you with your animals; a way to keep the animals confined or controlled; food and water, and the dishes to hold them; leashes, halters, etc.; sanitation items; shot records; pet first aid kit and medications; toys & familiar bedding.
  • Put collars with names & contact numbers on your animals if at all possible. If they get separated from you, it may make all the difference in reuniting them with you. Multiple copies of photos for handing out would also be very helpful if you are separated from your pets.
  • Blankets, warm clothing, and rain-gear for yourself are important if you must stay in your car or have no building to shelter in. Also useful is a portable radio and plenty of fresh batteries.
  • Keep your pre-packed kit in a handy place and be sure everyone in the family knows where it is. (Be sure to rotate foods and meds so they don’t get old).
  • Be alert to possible disasters and emergencies by keeping up with news and weather reports. Consider buying a scanner – especially if you live in rural areas prone to regular problems such as wildfires, etc.
  • Decide ahead of time where you will go with your animals when you need to evacuate your home, and make sure it is out of the way of the disaster area.
  • Do not wait until the last possible minute to leave. As soon as danger seems like it is coming your way, as soon as the authorities recommend leaving the area – then take your animals and emergency kits and get going. Staying put too long will, at the very least, subject you to traffic jams on the highways, and it will give you fewer options about where you can stay once you get where you are going. Sometimes, your route will be cut off sooner than expected – leaving you without escape.

These simple preparations could save your animals’ lives. Even if your home is destroyed, at least you won’t have the added heartbreak of losing your beloved pets. Every year hundreds of pets die or are lost needlessly because they have been left to fend for themselves. Don’t let this happen to your own four-legged friends.

For more information and help on this subject, as well as current status of disaster areas, see the Noah’s Wish web site at http://www.noahs-wish.org/ . This website also has an extensive list of instructions for specific animals ranging from amphibians to horses to turtles, etc.

The Noah’s Wish organization also provides emergency assistance in major disasters.

Contact them at:
P.O. Box 997 Placerville, CA 95667
Business Number: (530) 622-9313
Emergency Pagers: 877-575-0128 or 800-746-9390

Pet-Proofing Your Home

If ever there is an opportunity to confirm the validity of Murphy’s Law, it is when a new pet is brought into a home. When an animal – be it a gerbil, a cat, a dog, or whatever – is introduced to a new environment, it will want to become familiar with its surroundings as soon as possible. It is normal and necessary for the animal to investigate everything. There are however, potential hazards in all households that the curious creatures must be protected against. Puppies, kittens, and other small animals are most at risk, but precautions should be taken to insure the safety of even adult cats and dogs.

Pet-proofing a home is much like child-proofing one. Begin by trying to put yourself in your pet’s place. Look around the premises while keeping in mind the animal’s desire to discover and check out all the nooks, crannies, and every object in the house. Keep Murphy’s Law in mind; whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. If the animal can climb, be sure you look up as well as around and down.

The list of possible problems includes, but is not limited to:

  • Plastic bags of all kinds – especially those which have contained food; these often attract and then suffocate animals, as can containers where little heads might get stuck.
  • Any utensil, string, or container which has food, or even the smell of food on it, is an attraction.
  • Cords of every variety; electrical ones can deliver a lethal shock, and all (telephone, drapery, Venetian blinds, appliance, etc.) can strangle an animal.
  • Open commodes, mop buckets, bathtubs, swimming and wading pools; many pets drown or are poisoned by chemicals used in the water.
  • Any object smaller than the animal’s mouth; paperclips, thumbtacks, rubber bands, needles and thread, buttons, staples, erasers, jewelry, marbles, fish-hooks, etc. to name just a few of these items.
  • Heavy objects on the edges of counters, shelves, or tables which can fall or be pulled down by a cord.
  • Fireplaces, lighted candles, humidifiers, space hearers, barbecue grills, open ovens, and stovetops; all are trouble spots.
  • Open doors on washers, dryers, cabinets, and even refrigerators; all are particularly inviting to cats.
  • Unscreened windows and balconies; many pets fall from these and die each year.
    Electrical outlets, running appliances, fans motorized tools, and automatic garage doors.
  • Poorly made toys which can be torn into pieces, have small parts that come off, or elastic string which breaks off.
  • Potential poisons from a variety of sources that abound in a typical house and yard.

With a little common sense and imagination, the problem areas can be identified and corrected. Taking this small amount of trouble ahead of time can prevent a ton of trouble and grief for you and your pet in the future.

Breed Specific Adoptions: Why Buy When You Can Adopt?

Did you know that approximately 25% of all animals entering shelters each year are purebreds? If you are looking for a dog or cat, and you have your heart set on a specific breed of animal, there are rescue groups all over the country set up just to find homes for adoptable cats and dogs of specific breeds. Many of them come complete with pedigree papers. The same is true for horses and other large animals.

Please consider adopting one of these animals instead of contributing to the pet over-population by buying an animal from a breeder or a pet shop. Just contact one of the groups or ask at your local animal shelter. Not only will you be saving a life, but you will save money as well. Below are website links which take you to lists for specific breeds.

*Cat breed rescue groups list – http://www.netcat.org/rescue.html

*Dog breed rescue groups list – http://www.thepoop.com/search_rescue.asp

*Horse breed rescue groups list – http://www.netpets.com/horses/horsresc/horsgrp.html

Heartworms in Texas: Not “If” But WHEN

Did you know that if you live in Texas and your dog stays outside or goes outside that he has a 100% chance of getting heartworms? In our climate, where it never gets cold enough to kill off all the mosquitoes, your dogs are at high-risk. In Texas, heartworms are not something your dog *may* get; heartworms are something your dog *will* get – it’s only a matter of time. And heartworms, if left untreated, will kill your beloved dog. Treatment is expensive: $400-600, so preventing heartworms is much less costly in the long run, not to mention healthy for your pet!

That is why it is essential to give your dog Heartworm preventative each and every month. It is not optional! Before starting your dog on a preventative program, you must have her tested for heartworms. Your vet will write out a prescription for Heartworm preventative which you can then have filled at your vet’s office or at low-cost on-line pet supply catalogs like www.kvvet.com . Use the stickers that come with the heartworm preventative and put them on your calendar, so your dog receives the medicine the same day every month. Now you can relax, knowing your dog is protected.