FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is a cat disease.  It is often confused with Felv (Feline Leukemia Virus).  However, they are quite different.  FIV cannot be spread to humans or dogs.  Cats can live normal, healthy lives by doing for them what a good pet owner would do with their other feline companions.  They need high quality food, L-lysine supplements (used by humans for fever blister control) , indoor only homes and yearly vet visits.FIV is spread by deep bite wounds when cats fight, most often unfixed, outside, free roaming cats. Cats once fixed, tend not to fight and their personalities become much calmer.

There was not a test developed for FIV until the mid-1980’s.  Up to that point, many FIV cats were placed in homes with the disease, unknown to pet owners.  FIV cats get terribly short changed because most people do not even know what FIV is or how it is spread.

St. Louis Pet Rescue fosters and adopts out FIV positive cats. In most cases they are housed with non-FIV cats and co-exist wonderfully.  There is a lot of information regarding FIV and veterinarians that feel FIV and non-FIC cats can live together. See below for resources:

Post by Nicole M.

In the excitement of adopting a new furry member of the family, many first-time pet owners (and even second-time pet owners) forget the most basic procedures for keeping their homes fur-friendly. Most of the safety hazards for pets are things you didn’t have to worry about prior to their arrival.

Every pet deserves a habitat that he or she will feel comfortable in, in addition to all of the care and love they can get. Here are a few tips for pet-proofing the house before you bring your companion home for the first time:

Pet proofing your home
Many pets have a tremendous amount of energy and natural curiosity, and they love to explore the world around them. This is part of what makes them so much fun, but it can also lead them into harmful situations. Before you bring your new pet home, make sure you survey your home for potential dangers. In many ways, making your home safe for a pet is similar to making your home safe for a toddler. The following tips are designed to help you keep your pet safe.

Indoors hazards

  • Know which plants are toxic and place them out of reach, or replace them with nontoxic plants. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron.
  • Keep all medications, including any pet supplements, in a safe area the pet cannot access. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. A determined chewer can make short work of a plastic container. Pets are surprisingly quick at pulling things off of end tables or other low surfaces.
  • Put bathroom trash cans up high where your pet cannot get into them. Sanitary supplies and used razors are only 2 of the hazards here!
  • Full sinks, bathtubs, or toilets with open lids can be a drowning hazard. Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners if you cannot keep your pet from drinking out of the toilet.
  • Keep household cleaners in high cupboards or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards. Remove the pet from the area when you are using liquid or spray cleaners. They can get into the eyes of a curious pet, and the vapors can be harmful to lungs and eyes.
  • Be careful of your pet around furniture. A rocking chair can harm a pet’s tail or leg, and a curious pet may crawl under an open recliner or sofa bed.
  • Any type of fire can be dangerous. Screen off fireplaces and wood stoves. Never leave your pet unattended in a room with an open flame or space heater.
  • Swallowed clothing may cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep socks, nylons, underwear, and other clothing put away. Keep laundry baskets off the floor.
  • Keep small objects (coins, jewelry, needles and thread, straight pins, yarn, dental floss, rubber bands, paper clips, toys, etc.) out of your pet’s reach. Jewelry and coins are easily swallowed and can contain metals that are toxic.
  • Be careful about closing doors as you walk through – your pet may be right behind you and get caught.

Living Room/Dining Room

  • Curtains, blinds and electrical cords tied up, preferably hidden out of sight.

Whether you’re bringing home an older pet or a younger pet, some accidents are bound to happen! Purchase non-chemical, enzymatic cleaners. Chemical cleaners contain ammonia, which can make the accident area more appealing for pets to eliminate.


  • Toilet seat covered Added Bonus: the women in the house have one less thing to nag the men in the house about.
  • Store all of your bathroom cleaning products out of your pet’s reach.


  • The garbage can is a very tempting indulgence for a pet. If they manage to get the trash out, they’ll end up rifling through the contents and possibly choking on something.
  • Put any sharp cooking utensils in a drawer.


  • Fences should have no holes or open spaces for a dog to escape from. With that being said, don’t let your companion be outdoors without their collar and ID tag. All it takes is one rogue squirrel to get their engine revving.

MANY plants are toxic to pets; including some very common flowers Azalea, oleander, and cyclamen can kill a pet if they are consumed. Other plants to look out for: juniper, carnation, hyacinth, tulip, and morning glory

Pet food recalls and alerts

Product safety recalls and alerts


Many of you have requested that I post the Pee Pee Potion:

16 ounces peroxide
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of dish soap

Spray this on the offender’s mark and allow to air dry.  There will be a powdery residue, which you can vacuum up or dust off with a cloth. I personally have not tried this on colored fabric, but many say they have not had issues with the solution taking out color – I’d just be cautious!

This solution worked on even a pee spot I had been working on for nearly 3 years. I tried vinegar, plain soap and water, rubbing alcohol, a certain expensive ‘miracle’, peroxide by itself – nothing worked.  It was either replace the foam in the chair or throw it out. I priced foam and it was $130 for one cushion!

I decided to give the Internet one last try because while I love the chair, I just can’t spend $130 on foam! I found this recipe and decided to give it a go.  I removed the cover, mixed up 2 batches of the recipe to soak the cushion then set it up in front of a fan in the basement. After 3 days, it was dry and pee free! I can’t smell any pee and none of the kitties sniff the cushion like they used to!


St. Louis Pet Rescue would like to kindly remind you of the benefit of supporting local non-profit organizations and charities. Not only do you help do good in your own community, but you probably know some family and friends who volunteer for that group or have been touched by that organization.

Every day all the volunteers with St. Louis Pet Rescue work to bring people and pets together.  Sadly, not all pets get to have a loving home from birth, but the ones we, and other organizations like us, are able to help, well, those are the lucky ones. Without the support of our community and volunteers, we could not do what we do every day.

Rescued is our favorite breed.  Our volunteers and adopters know it best:  rescued pets know they were rescued.  They have been lost, scared, and perhaps even cold and hungry with no one to care for them.  They are the most appreciative and caring pets.  Sure, they still do chew your shoes (or chair!), but they adore their people who rescued them from the alternative.

This holiday season, please remember to hold your pets close, spread the good word about pet adoption, and ask all of your family, friends, and co-workers (and you, too), to consider St. Louis Pet Rescue when planning your end of year contributions.

Thank you!

Jackie K.


Dangerous Foods?

Because they’re such picky eaters, we sometimes think cats know what’s best for them when it’s time to eat. But the fact they’ll walk away from a piece of bad meat doesn’t mean they’ll bypass an open can of tuna. And that can of tuna can be just as dangerous. In fact, you may be surprised to learn some of the common foods your cats should never eat.


Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it’s packed for cats or for humans. Some tuna now and then probably won’t hurt. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won’t have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning. Remember the saying, “Honest as a cat when the meat’s out of reach.” Your cat will see an open can of tuna next to the sink as a dinner invitation

Onions, Garlic, Chives

Onion in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That’s true even for the onion powder that’s found in some baby foods. An occasional small dose probably won’t hurt. But eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause onion poisoning. Along with onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Milk and Other Dairy Products

What could be wrong with offering your cat a saucer of milk or a piece of cheese? Although kittens are able to tolerate milk, most adult cats cannot. Their digestive system cannot process dairy foods, and the result can be digestive upset with diarrhea.


Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol — none of it is good for your cat. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a cat’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just two teaspoons of whisky can cause a coma in a 5-pound cat, and one more teaspoon could kill it. The higher the proof, the worse the symptoms.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for pets. But it’s not a good idea. Although it isn’t clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. And, a small amount can make a cat ill. Repeated vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs. Although some cats show no ill effects, it’s best not to give your cat any grapes and to keep grapes and raisins off countertops and other places accessible to your cat.


Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a cat. And there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits. In addition to tea and coffee — including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and painkillers.


Chocolate can be lethal for cats. Although most cats won’t eat it on their own, they can be coaxed to eat it by owners and others who think they are giving the cat a treat. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your cat’s body, which will cause the cat’s blood sugar to drop. Xylitol can also lead to liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. The cat may have seizures soon after ingesting the xylitol, and liver failure can occur within just a few days.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain fat trimmed off of meat and bones. Both fat and bones may be dangerous for cats. Fat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause intestinal upset, with vomiting and diarrhea. And a cat can choke on a bone. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your cat’s digestive system.

Raw Eggs

There are two problems with giving your cat raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. The second is that a protein in raw egg whites, called avidin, interferes with the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your cat’s coat.

Raw Meat and Fish

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. In addition, an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for your cat. A lack of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma.

Dog Food

An occasional bite of dog food won’t hurt your cat. But dog food is not a substitute for cat food. They do have many of the same ingredients. But cat food is specially formulated for a cat’s needs, which include more protein as well as certain vitamins and fatty acids. A steady diet of dog food can cause your cat to be severely malnourished.


Small amounts of liver are OK, but eating too much liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. This is a serious condition that can affect your cat’s bones. Symptoms include deformed bones, bone growths on the elbows and spine, and osteoporosis. Vitamin A toxicity can also cause death.

Yeast Dough

Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your cat’s stomach if your cat ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

If Your Cat Eats What It Shouldn’t

No matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your cat can find and swallow what it shouldn’t. It’s a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find it in an emergency. And if you think your cat has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.
Source:  WebMD Slideshow

In December 2011, St. Louis Pet Rescue joined Schnucks’ eScrip program.  This program allows customers to basically get “rebates” on their purchases and donate that rebate to a local charity.  The rebate ranges between 1-3% – spend $100, STLPR could get $3 and all just for you doing your normal grocery shopping!

In just one year, St. Louis Pet Rescue has gone from receiving $ .18 in December 2011, to receiving $21.83 in December 2012, through the Schnucks eScrip Community Card Program. We started off with only one transaction from an eScrip card-carrier for STLPR in December, 2011, and one year later, in December, 2012, there were 44 transactions, and now STLPR has 74 people registered!

From that same time period, STLPR received a total of $162.99 through the Schnucks eScrip Community Card Program. The donations from the program go directly into the STLPR bank account each month to help us pay for pet supplies and veterinary care.

So, how can you help? First, if you aren’t signed up, please get signed up. Second, if you’re already in our program and carry a card for STLPR, just keep doing what you’re doing. Third, if you know of friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, etc., who shop at Schnucks regularly or even infrequently — and ask people if you’re not sure where they shop — tell them about how it would benefit our group IF they signed up to support us, and be sure to tell them that it won’t cost them even a penny. It’s completely free for them to be able to help us help the animals. All they have to do is shop at Schnucks and show their registered card at the check-out.  Most animal-lovers will gladly do this!

The more families who join us in the ongoing fundraiser, the more donations we’ll be getting from Schnucks. There are non-profit groups enrolled in this program who are getting donations of $5,000+ per year just by signing up people they come in contact with to support them. How amazing if we could do that, too!

To get a card or to get someone you know signed up for a card, please e-mail Carol to get started.

Can’t foster, but you want to help out?  Wonderful! Go check out the new volunteer form on our Volunteer page.

There are some great flyers on there too to hang at your local coffee shop, favorite deli, gym, office, etc.! – choose either a flyer with small dog Edith or one with a foster kitty crew!

What a population explosion we are experiencing in the St. Louis area!  Due to this mild winter, kitten season started early.  We have been getting calls non-stop from the community, local animal controls and fellow rescues about kittens or pregnant mamas needing placement.

While the little fuzzy kittens are adorable, we would love to see less of them during kitten season.  Please encourage spay and neuter of pets.  Here are some resources for you or those you might know that offer low cost spay/neuter programs!

 Below are some great reasons from regarding spay/neuter:

  1. Spaying a female before the first heat greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer, which is usually fatal. It is not beneficial for an animal to go through one heat cycle, or to have one litter.
  2. Neutering reduces aggression; it does not make an animal fearful or fat or lazy.
  3. Spayed and neutered animals are less likely to run off and fight.
  4. Animals that don’t fight don’t get injured – they also don’t get fatal diseases such as FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – Feline AIDS) which is spread by bites.
  5. If your female dog or cat is spayed, the neighborhood males and strays won’t park outside your house, barking or yowling.
  6. Male cats neutered before sexual maturity very rarely spray – a form of territory marking. If your unneutered cat is spraying, neutering provides the best chance of stopping the behavior.
  7. Neutered males don’t have that stinky tom-cat smell or strong-smelling urine

In order to help the current kitten population get adopted so we can continue to help more, beginning Memorial Day Weekend 2012 through Labor Day 2012, we will run a kitten special!  Adopt a kitten, get a cloth carrier (while supplies last).

Interested in a pair, we’ll adopt a second kitten to you for only $100 – that’s $25 off the normal adoption fee.

Brooks – 6 month-old Fox Terrier mix puppy. Needs work on housebreaking and basic training.

Mack – 5 y/o Mastiff mix.  Needs to be with submissive dog as he is dominant.  He is great with kids.

Spencer – 8 month-old Lab/Terrier mix.  Need to be in a positive foster home who can help him with his fear.

Taz – 3 y/o Cattle Dog mix.  Loves everyone – cats, dogs and kids!