Archive for July, 2010

A Fond Farewell (Kinda, Sorta, Mostly) to Kansas City Freecycle

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Dear Kansas City Freecyclers,

When I first launched Kansas City Freecycle back in September 2003, I had no idea what to expect. At the time, we were only the 5th or 6th freecycle group in existence, and the term “freecycle” hadn’t yet become a staple of the green lexicon. Nearly seven years later, the group has grown in leaps and bounds, serving as a resource with which to rehome unwanted junk for tens of thousands of Kansas Citians (at its peak, the group boasted over 14,000 members). Dozens of smaller local groups have sprung up as well, catering to those living outside the KC metro area.

Though I moderated the group solo for the first year or so, I was lucky to have a number of wonderful, dedicated moderators pitch in and help out as the list matured: Ann and Bill. Shelly and Craig. Danielle. Carla. Brooke. Debra. Sheree. Susan. (And many more whose names escape me at this late hour!) Without them, Kansas City Freecycle would not have lasted as long as it did.

Over time, however, most of the first and second waves of volunteer moderators had to resign due to other commitments or simple burnout. It’s proven tough to replace them; each new call for moderators has generated fewer and fewer responses, even as the list’s membership continues to climb. (The number of chronic complainers and backseat drivers who stepped up to moderate when the opportunity arose? Exactly zero. Interesting, that.) So we’ve limped along, into and halfway through 2010, our resources stretched thinner and thinner. Somewhere along the way, I reached my own breaking point.

And so, with a mixture of regret and relief, I’ve decided that it’s finally time to say goodbye to Kansas City Freecycle. With no other viable options in front of me, I have chosen to delete the list. As of 11 PM, Saturday, July 24, 2010, the Kansas City Freecycle Yahoo Group will cease to exist.

Of course, I do have several alternatives available to me; but, after months of deliberation, I’ve decided that summarily deleting the group is the only course of action I can live with.

I might have tried to recruit and train additional moderators – but, as I’ve already implied, this would require more time, energy and motivation than I have left.

I might have handed ownership of the group over to another member – but this scenario involves a gamble that I’m not willing to make, namely: that the new owner will uphold those ethics and principles that I worked so hard to instill in Kansas City Freecycle (particularly in relation to the group’s no-animal policy, the enforcement of which is the sole reason why I’ve stuck around this long).

I might have given Kansas City Freecyle to freecycle.org and let them choose a new owner and team of moderators. Again, in this scenario I risk freecycle.org misusing my hard work to permit or even promote the freecycling of animals, a practice which opens the doors to all sorts of abuses. Additionally, I’ve grown increasingly disillusioned with freecycle.org and its founder, Deron Beal, over the course of my involvement with KC Freecycle; so much so that I’d rather spend another seven years moderating the group than allow Beal to appropriate my work and take credit for it. *

No doubt, some of you may see this as a selfish move on my part; maybe it is. When weighed against the seven years of blood, sweat and (at times) tears I’ve poured into Kansas City Freecycle, I think it a rather fair bargain.

Luckily, for those of you still interested in participating in a local buy/sell/trade/recycle/freecycle group online, there are plenty of options available. As I said earlier, many smaller freecycle groups exist in Kansas and Missouri; you can find a complete list at freecycle.org. Yahoo also hosts a number of local buy/sell/trade/free groups; we have a partial list on www.kcfreecycle.org (see the sidebar); and no doubt you’ll discover more by searching Yahoo, Craigslist, Google and the like. I’m also confident that another freecycle group – or two or three! – will quickly spring up to serve the cities of KCMO and KCKS, whether it’s hosted on freecycle.org, Yahoo Groups, or elsewhere. Maybe you’re the next Kansas City Freecycle moderator? (If so, no animals, mkay?)

Until next we meet, I want to thank the moderators of Kansas City Freecycle for helping to make the group such a success. And, to our many members, current and past – we couldn’t have done it without you.

Keep on (f)re(e)cyclin’,

Kelly G.
founder, list owner and moderator
Kansas City Freecycle | http://www.kcfreecycle.org
September 3, 2003 – July 24, 2010
 
P.S.:
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Featured Adoptable: Poppy and Smudge, the Dutch and Hotot Rabbits

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

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Smudge *hearts* Poppy. Smudge (left), a Hotot rabbit, is completely white, save for the small smudges of black dotting his ears. Poppy (right) is a more even mix of black and white, with an adorable black “mask” covering her eyes and ears. Photo courtesy of Missouri House Rabbit Society – Kansas City.
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For this week’s edition of Featured Adoptables, I shall pull a rabbit out of my hat. Two rabbits, to be precise. And by “hat” I mean Petfinder, as rabbits clearly have no place in hats, or at least hats that are part of magic acts. Animals are not our entertainment, yo. But I digress.

Poppy and Smudge are a pair of rabbits – she, Dutch; he, from the Hotot family – who met and fell in love in their foster home (oh, talk about star-crossed lovers!). These two cuties need to find a family that will welcome them both. Maybe that’s you?

Poppy | Dutch | Small | Adult | Female | Rabbit

Poppy is an adult Dutch bunny. She was rescued by a good Samaritan who found her in a cage in Loose Park. Poppy was pregnant at the time; her babies were both adopted. She is very sweet, and is working on her litter habits. Poppy has been bonded with Smudge. If you would like to meet them, contact us at hrsmissouri [at] aol.com.

Poppy is spayed/neutered.

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Smudge lounges in his cage. His eyes, impossibly large, look as though they’ve been outlined with eyeliner. Photo courtesy of Missouri House Rabbit Society – Kansas City.
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Smudge | Hotot | Small | Adult | Male | Rabbit

Smudge Smudge is a sweet and soft little hopper. As you can see he is very cute as well. He is ready to go home to a loving family who will take care of him. Smudge was just bonded with a beautiful chocolate Dutch bunny named Poppy. They are a very happy couple. If you would like to meet Smudge, contact us at hrsmissouri [at] aol.com.

Smudge is spayed/neutered.

Get in touch with the MO House Rabbit Society to learn more about Poppy and Smudge, or to meet some of the other wonderful bunnies they have available for adoption. (Carlos and Maria, for example, are still in need of a forever home. Hint, hint, wink, wink. Yeah, yeah, so they’re staying with another rescue group, but my point stands.)

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Featured Adoptable: Jonathon the Ex-Feral, FIV+, Sometimes-Diabetic Cutiepie Cat

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

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Jonathon, a fluffy, maybe-a-little-chubby-but-who-can-tell-what-with-all-that-fur, black and white cat rests his sleepyhead on the wheels of an office chair as he dozes off into dreamland. Photos courtesy Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter.
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Jonathon, what a cutie! Do I love this little guy because he looks delightfully ornery, to wit:

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Hell to the yes! Just look at that crankyface! Adorable.

But judging from his backstory, Jonathon has plenty of reasons to be grumpy. An ex-feral cat who is FIV+ and has diabetes (um, maybe?), Jonathon needs a compassionate family who can understand and accommodate his special medical and behavioral needs.

His foster peeps at Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter explain:

Meet Jonathon: This big boys story began one cold winters day when we did some trapping. We were trapping some kittens and also trapped him. We thought we would just TNR but when he went for surgery he was very beat up and needed medical attention. He was very WILD and also tested positive for FIV!!!!! We had to put his medicine in his food. With time Jonathon tamed down and he is now a good boy that you just have to understand not to push him over his limit but otherwise he loves to play and you can now pick him up and we would never think of releasing him now. He is enjoying the good indoor life with plenty of food and toys and people who love him. Jonathon just needs a real cat person to adopt him and let him rule the roost!

02-2009 We found out Jonathon is diabetic. He is in a foster home now and doing great. He will either stay at his foster home forever or until someone who knows about diabetic cats is wanting to adopt him.

04-2009 Jonathon’s diabetes went away but came back a month later. Jonathon is a calm, laid back guy who is just as cute and funny as can be! He gets along well with the other kitties in his foster home and enjoys looking outside. He is playful and quite a character! He likes to “headbutt” his humans and his kitty friends. Contact FOPAS to meet this sweet boy today!

If you’re that totally rad adoptive family that Jonathon has been waiting for, hop on over to the Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter’s Petfinder page for contact info and details.

And don’t let Jonathon’s FIV+ diagnosis scare you off, mkay?

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Jonathon chillaxes with a feline tortoise shell playmate. Photos courtesy Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter.
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Featured Adoptables: Gordon the Bearded Dragon

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

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Perched atop some leaves, Gordon the Bearded Dragon stares past the camera. Photo courtesy MamaDori’s Jungle.
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Ugh, late again! I should just change the Featured Adoptable from Wednesday to Friday. Or from Wednesday to whenever I bloody well feel like it. Ah, anyway. Enough with the griping. Let’s meet Gordon, shall we?

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Gordon takes a sip from his miniature Gothic water fountain. Photo courtesy MamaDori’s Jungle.
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Gordon LOVES to sleep on your shoulder!

Gordon is probably almost an adult male Bearded Dragon. He was brought here with no information. The person who had him had been feeding him 4 Dubia roaches every two weeks. It is amazing he lived through that. He needs to eat that much a day PLUS veggies and fruits. He also enjoys mealworms, crickets but they are not good for a regular diet. They are like lizard junk food.

Gordon loves people and he is not afraid of other animals. He loves to sleep on your shoulder. He is extremely tame. Now that he is eating properly, he is up on all fours and climbing and scampering around regularly. He has been taught to eat his food in a dish.

Gordon’s adoption fee is $200. Serious inquiries only. Please do your homework and know how to care for him before trying to adopt. He comes with an enclosure that is 6’X32’x20′. The enclosure is as big as a family couch! If it were gallons, it would probably be well over 100 gallon enclosure. He will come with heat lamp, light lamp, REpti-Cal, Dragon Dust, a very large piece of driftwood, fountain, and his favorite rock.

Gordon is currently staying at MamaDori’s Jungle in Hannibal, MO; while this might seem a long drive, Gordon is also the closest lizard to Kansas City who is currently listed as available for adoption on Petfinder. Iif I had to hazard a guess, methinks the reason for the paucity of homeless lizards is two-fold: these animals are less likely to be kept as pets and, when they are no longer wanted by their owners, they’re more likely to be released into the wild than surrendered to a shelter or rescue group (either of which can be hard to find – make that threefold!).

This is a terribly stupid thing to do, for a number of reasons: the animals are likely to die, with time spent in captivity inversely related to odds of survival; releasing non-native species into an area is both illegal and potentially ecologically catastrophic; and releasing native species is illegal without a permit. So don’t do it! If you find yourself with an animal you need to rehome – whether bird, rat, cat or snake – please get in touch with local rescue groups, or see our Animals & Freecycle page for a list of contacts. Please and thank you.

Oh, and as for Gordon: if you’d like to adopt this little cutie (hey, scaled creatures need love, too!), give MamaDori a call today!

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Featured Adoptables: Thelma & Louise, two beagle/JRT mixes – and Andrew the poodle

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

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Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier mixes Thelma and Louise investigate scents trapped in the gravel, nose-to-nose, as best friends do. Photo courtesy Beagles and More Rescue.
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Originally, I’d hoped to do a holiday-themed adoptable this week – as in, highlighting a canine with a festively patriotic name like Independence, Liberty, Freedom, or even America – but apparently none of these are particularly popular dog names, as I’ve been browsing Petfinder for a half hour now with no luck! Instead, I’m going with two sweet girls who are named after the titular characters in one of my favorite movies – Thelma & Louise.

Thelma and Louise are the two most adorable sisters you could ever hope to meet. As you can see by the picture, they are joined at the shoulder. They always keep track of the other and don’t like to be separated so we’re hoping they can go to a home together. They are under 2 yrs old with plenty of energy though Louise helps keep Thelma calm. They are such great fun to play with and get in the back seat of the car when traveling and sit there like perfect ladies. If you see them together we a certain you won’t want to separate them. Currently we have these girls in boarding because we are short on fosters so if you would like to consider fostering them, that would be great too. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

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One half of Thelma and Louise (though I’m not sure which girl is which). Photo courtesy Beagles and More Rescue.
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The other half of our heroic duo. Photo courtesy Beagles and More Rescue.
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Thelma and Louise are being cared for by Beagles and More Rescue in Overland Park, Kansas. If you’re reading this from, say, New Jersey or Minnesota, you’re in luck! Beagles and More does consider out-of-state adoptions.

And, because I’m a few days late with this week’s listing – and also because this dear boy deserves all the hugs and kisses and help he can get – we have a bonus adoptable this week: Andrew the poodle, from LL Dog Rescue.

6-2-10: Well there are just some dogs that come through that even if you have done rescue for years take your breath away. Andrew is one of those dogs. As you can see by the photos – it has been quite some time since this little man has felt anything besides pain and discomfort. He has a long journey ahead of him. We are hoping to at least give him a fighting chance. Needless to say – Andrew is a special case and will require quite a lot of medical treatment. If you would like to help with this – please send a donation. Even if it is only a dollar or two – it DOES make a difference!! Please make a note that it is for Andrew. He thanks you as do I.

6-28-10: Andrew is in foster care with 4 other senior toy poodles. He came in and acted like he had been there forever 🙂 Of course with limited site and hearing – it takes him a bit to figure out his surroundings. He loves to amble about in the yard – even wanders down the paths in the garden. He LOVES the fact that there are beds everywhere in his new home! After a stroll outside – he comes in and plops down in the middle of the bed and naps. As you can see by his current picture – his skin is sooooo much better. His eyes are better as well. He just had a dental and didn’t even loose any teeth. We opted to not fix his “cherry eye” due to the risks out weighing the benefits. We are so thrilled with how much Tomahawk Animal Clinic has done for our little man!!

Though the listing isn’t entirely clear, it appears as though Andrew was suffering from a skin condition (mange, perhaps?) when he first arrived at LL Dog Rescue, as you can see in the “before” photos:

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Senior dog Andrew upon arriving at LL Dog Rescue. The poor would-be white-haired poodle’s fur is stained yellow and red. His face and snout are missing fur in large chunks, and the skin underneath is red and inflamed. This little guy has been through a lot! Photos courtesy LL Dog Rescue.
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Thankfully, his treatment is progressing well, as evidenced in the “after” photo:

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Dear Andrew has come a long way in a month! His face, thought still a little balding and pink, has healed considerable. His fur has begun to regrow, and it looks thicker and whiter than previously. Most importantly, Andrew has a silly happy grin on his mug. Now that’s what I like to see! Photo courtesy LL Dog Rescue.
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If you’d like to adopt this lil’ guy – or contribute to his care – please get in touch with LL Dog Rescue today!

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