If adopting from PARL, do yourself a favor and check for roundworm

PARL (Providence Animal Rescue League) dropped the ball pretty badly this past week. In the past I had heard relatively good things about the animal shelter. I even donated some food and cat toys this past year. So when my mom said she was interested in adopting a cat the first place I thought of was PARL. Well after the past couple days and the treatment we have received from them I will never do business with them again.

It all started this past Tuesday, November 4th 2014. My mom, wife and myself went down to the local PARL shelter that happens to be right next to where I work. We were one of the first people in when they opened. There were two other people looking to adopt. PARL was having a special on cats as they had received a large amount just recently when an apartment was found to have 69 cats in it. We thought that this would be the perfect time to adopt a cat that needed a home. We had looked at the selection of cats and even checked out the dogs. There were the usual selection of kittens that most people will swarm to. However we caught our eye on an older cat and instantly fell in love with him. His name is Oscar and he is 13 years old.

Now I understand that by adopting an older cat that the cat is bound to come with some health issues. We had (and still do not have) no problem with that. I just want to dispel anyone saying we shouldn’t have adopted him if we didn’t want to deal with the health issues. That is not ultimately what I am complaining about here.

We had asked to see Oscar to see if he is a good fit for my mom. They took us into what they call the Green room. Basically a meet and greet room with the cats. You could tell instantly that Oscar became attached to my mom. We knew that we would want to adopt him.

This is where things start to go downhill. We asked the lady about his past and what health issues he has. She said that she would look up his sheet. A few minutes later she told us that he was with the same family for 13 years. The family had to move and couldn’t take Oscar with them so they brought him to the shelter. This was back in August of 2014. She also said that aside from not eating much he is in perfect health. I chalked up the not eating due to being cooped up in a small cage and becoming depressed.  I figured we would get him to a nice home and after a few days, maybe a week he would be back to eating. If not we would work with a Vet to get him back to health.

So we went up to pay the adoption fee so they could hold Oscar for us. We had to go out and purchase a few supplies before we could bring him to his new home. When we got back to the shelter PARL dropped the first bit of sketchy behavior on us. They told us that the lady we spoke to had looked at the wrong records. They proceeded to tell us that he had severe teeth problems and was also treated for ringworm. Also while getting his paperwork together they had found paperwork in his file for a different cat. We figured that people can make mistakes and we’ll make sure he gets good treatment at the Vet. We ended up taking Oscar home.

Now keep in mind they told us this AFTER we got back from purchasing the needed supplies and paying the adoption fee. Also according to there contract once the pet is paid for anything that comes up is our responsibility… but we can always bring him back…

Now Oscar is the sweetest cat. He is extremely loving and is perfect for my mom who had lost her husband 15 months ago.

We also asked if Oscar was declawed at which they clearly stated he was not declawed. After getting him home we noticed he was, indeed, declawed. This is not a huge deal to us other than that they should know this basic information.

As predicted Oscar wasn’t eating much. He would have treats and drink but shied away from both the wet and dry food. We planned on giving him a few days to settle in and we were willing to experiment with the food till we found what worked for him. We also received Oscars medical records from the shelter. After reading though them in detail we realized he came into the shelter at 18 pounds and only a month later was down to 10 pounds. This is something we hoped would remedy itself by being in a loving home.

Everything was rolling along smoothly until the next night, Wednesday November 5th. Oscar had his first movement. We were excited cause that means he is getting comfortable in his new home. I noticed that he had gotten some on his back paw. I proceeded to clean off his paw when my wife noticed that it looked like he had some still on his bum. I went to help clean it up when i noticed it wasn’t poo left over but a worm coming out. Now i’m sure you can imagine our surprise. The shelter had told us he was in good health. You would think that they do a thorough exam before the pets can be adopted. Apparently PARL does not do complete exams.

Needless to say we ended up bringing Oscar to the emergency vet 30 min away to find out what was up. We discovered that he has roundworm and by the looks of it he has and it for at least a month if not more. How did PARL miss this? This can’t be the first time signs of this has shown. The day after he is adopted.

We came home with medicine to deworm him and plans on moving up his initial Vet appointment so he can be seen earlier. We also had plans of letting PARL know how we felt.

When My mom finally got in touch with PARL they tried to brush it off. She spoke with a lady named Amy who is supposed to be the manager. First they said that Oscar was eating fine and that the 8 pound loss was that they put him on a diet cause 18 pounds is too heavy. I agree with that but did they starve him? Also the lady we spoke to the other day said he wasn’t eating. Also when you look at his medical records they supplied us they were treating him for anorexia… They then repeated to say that if she wanted to she could bring Oscar back. Now at this point we are like “Why would we bring him back to you?”.

So to sum up. PARL clearly lied to us and didn’t tell us the whole truth behind Oscar’s past and medical history until AFTER we paid. They then tried to take back what was said earlier by saying the volunteers don’t know what there talking about. They had their paperwork mixed up. The whole interaction was a mess.

We love Oscar and will make sure he gets the treatment he needs to become healthy again. However this leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, as well as my mom and wife, that I will never do business with them again. I will never donate to them again. I am on the search for a shelter that treats their customers and pets better. “Being busy” is no excuse for messing up this bad. We will also be taking full advantage of the pet insurance provided to us for free for the first 30 days to get Oscar his treatment.

If you are looking to work with PARL do one thing. Make sure you have all the facts. Double, triple check all the paperwork and make sure that if something is missing from the medical records that it gets checked before you put down any money to adopt the pet. I’m not saying to not adopt but make sure you know. PARL should not be able to lie to it’s customers just to get an animal adopted.

– Jeremiah Poisson, Upset customer.


Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

This year I decided to do something different with my turkey. Brining. This was something I had never heard of till this year and now that I know of it I will never cook another turkey any other way. So what I have decided to do is write up a little post describing the process I took. But before I get to that here is the basic recipe for a turkey brine. Now the items on this list can really be anything you want as long as the salt to liquid ratio is kept to 1 cup salt per 1 gallon of liquid. The amount of liquid will depend on the size of the turkey. You will want to have at least an inch of water above the turkey when you brine it. This is for an 18 pound turkey.

1 1/2 gallon water
3/4 gallon Pineapple juice
2 cups Kosher salt (very important! Cannot be iodized salt!)
2 cups sugar
Assortment of spices (I had 6 Bay Leaves, 2 tbl spoons of Cilantro, 5-6 pieces of
Peppercorn, 2 tbl spoons of onion powder)

Now here is the process I took.

Two days before the big turkey day I prepared the brine. I put 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of sugar into a large pot. I then brought it to a boil so the salt and sugar would completely dissolve into the water. Once this was complete I added half the spices and mixed them together. I then moved the mixture into a large container to cool. I then repeated the process with the remaining ingredients. The following pictures are the results of the mixture.

I then put these into the fridge to get cold over night.

Now to brine a turkey you need to purchase a fresh turkey. It cannot be a frozen or kosher turkey. This is because with frozen or kosher turkeys they pre-inject it with a salt mixture to allow for the turkey to be moist when cooked. If you tried to brine a frozen turkey it would come out way to salty to eat. With this in mind I purchased an 18 pound fresh and all natural Butterball turkey. You can find these in the fresh meat department in your local grocery store. The one that I go to (Publix) puts them out no earlier then a week before thanksgiving. You will also want to brine the turkey for at least 12 hours. A good rule of thumb is 1 hour per pound but no more then 24 hours. I think 12 hours is plenty of time for the job to be done.

So the next night around 10pm I was ready to put the turkey in the brine mixture. They sell bags specific for brining but I had a hard time finding them. You can use XL Ziploc bags as well but yet again I could not find them. I did not have the time to order them online so I purchased 3 of the oven bake turkey sized bags. I also bought a large drink cooler to store it in overnight. You can use anything as long as it is plastic and clean. A bucket will work just as good.

I lined the cooler with the three bags and poured the now cold brining mixture into the bags. I then placed the turkey in with the large hole facing down. This was so I could make sure all parts of the turkey was being covered with the brine. You want to also make sure their are no air bubbles left. I then closed the top of the bags and placed a ziplock baggie full of ice on top to keep the turkey fully submerged and cold. Here are some picks of this part of the process.

I left the turkey in the brine mixture inside my fridge for the next 12 hours. The next day I took out the turkey, cleaned off all the brine mixture, and pat dry the turkey to remove any remaining salts. I then cooked the turkey as normal. Four hours later I had a nicely done turkey! The turkey came out fantastic! It was moist, had an excellent flavor to it and even looked good among the rest of the food. Here are some pictures of the turkey after it was cooked.

Well there it is 🙂 My brining experience. I think the turkey came out better than ever and I am going to cook it this way from now on. I will be playing with the mixture of spices to get the perfect mix down! If you want to try this don’t hesitate! It is very simple and flexible. You can make any flavor you want.

– Miah

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

As this week has been hectic getting everything ready for the big turkey day I did not have time to prepare my weekly PHP Functions post. I will be back on schedule next week. I am going to instead prepare a post on brining a turkey. I had for the first time this year bought a fresh (non-frozen) turkey and took the challenge of brining the turkey before cooking it. It came out fantastic! I will have a post up describing the actual process I took tomorrow.

For now I will leave you with this!

function happyThanksgiving() {
    echo "Happy Thanksgiving!";