Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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July 31st, 2009

Katskill Mountain Critters Provides Shelter for Strays

Pets are notorious for bringing joy into one’s life. They are loving, great companions, and therapeutic. Often owners treat them like royalty. It is said that a pet owns the home, and they just let us live there. Just ask my two cats Kiki and Dudley.

Unfortunately, for many animals life is not so easy. They are desperately seeking a loving home, and shelter.

Henni Anker along with several of her friends and acquaintances, unhappy with seeing many innocent, abandoned or neglected pets dropped into the wilderness to fend for themselves, breed, or die, decided to form Katskill Mountain Critters located in and servicing Sullivan County.
Although the SPCA located in Rock Hill is known for being Sullivan County’s animal sanctuary, the grassroots work of Katskill Mountain Critters is significant and must be acknowledged.

The group comprised of dog and cat lovers is seeking volunteers and donations. They are a “no kill” rescue organization dedicated to helping stray, abandoned, disabled and special needs animals.

Involved in animal rescue for over 40 years, Anker has been trying for many years to bring a low cost spay/neuter program to Sullivan County.

In 2002, she decided to form Fixed Felines since her love has always been the feral and stray cats. Since 2002 they have spayed or neutered over 300 cats. Last year the group decided to expand, change their name to Katskill Mountain Critter, and include all types of animals in need of help.

As a first priority they spay or neuter all their animals. Medical evaluations and treatments are provided. This includes de-worming, flea protection, and vaccinations. Socialization of their animals is also a prerequisite, prior to adoption.

They are seeking individuals who will provide foster homes for pets who are temporarily displaced.

Their website, even offers a page for lost and found animals.

When I spoke with Anker this week she was telling me about a dog they just rescued named Old Bones. She was picked up as a stray by Animal Control in Bethel. Anker said if taken to the pound she was sure to be euthanized, as she was blind in one eye, deaf, and missing most of her teeth.

Katskill Mountain Critters found a home for Old Bones at Pigs Rescue in West Virginia. They are in the process of trying to obtain funds to transport her.

“These are the kinds of animals Katskill Mountain Critters tries to help and find homes for. I am hoping someone has a soft spot in their heart to help the strays we rescue to live out their remaining years,” Anker said.

What impressed me the most of Katskill Mountain Critters is that the organization is comprised of true animal lovers. “All the monies raised go directly to the animals, with about 90 percent going to neuter and spay,” Anker noted.

While Katskill Mountain Critters focus remains on rescue, they advocate strict anti-cruelty laws and strong enforcement. They urge people who know of abuse or neglect of animals to immediately file a police report.

Anker is concerned an increasingly number of animals will be deserted due to the economy crisis. “Things are only going to get worse I am afraid.”

The organization has been pressing the legislature to address the stray cat problem in Sullivan County. “It is time the county steps up to the plate and does something besides passing the buck to towns and animal rescuers who do not have funds or sheltering available,” Anker remarked.

Katskill Mountain Critters is seeking donations to assist in financing their work of trapping, neutering, and releasing animals to homes as pets, for more information they can be reached at 866-1975.

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