Friday, October 16, 2015

National Feral Cat Day

Dexter Cat, Rabbit, Sink-Cat

At No-Kill United we love cats - especially feral ones. And being the servants that we are to three former ferals of our own (Dexter Cat, Rabbit, and Sink-Cat) we want to show some love and help raise feral cat awareness!

Seen as pests, nuisances, and out of control, feral cats often struggle to find food and shelter, are subject to abuse and torment, and many times when "rescued" the only option given to them is so-called "euthanasia". But feral cats are really just beautiful beings living their lives and we need to treat them as such. That's why No-Kill United is joining the cause to help paint the better picture of feral cats, and you can help!


Got a lazy cat just hanging around the house? Are you the servant of a cute kitten who just can't figure out that red dot? Know a feral who just needs some love? Show off your cat pics and videos on Twitter using hashtag #DexterDoesntSkate.

Show some feral cat love!...because, Dexter doesn't skate.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dexter Doesn't Skate

Dexter Doesn't Skate

No-Kill United wants to see your skateboarding pics and videos! Show us your kickflips, your 50-50's, your 900's (if you happen to be Tony Hawk). First drop in on the pool didn't go so well? We wanna see that too! Post your skateboarding pics and videos to Twitter using hashtag #DexterDoesntSkate and share them with us. Then check #DexterDoesntSkate on Twitter to see what everyone else has posted!

Show us how YOU ride!...because, Dexter doesn't skate.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Relaunch of No-Kill United

As you can see by the date of the last blog post it's been awhile since I've really done much of anything with No-Kill United.

The original concept was to create images and send them out to rescues, sanctuaries, and shelters as flyers, posters, pamphlets, and what ever else, to help promote the concept of "no kill" shelters. But I was becoming so meticulous with the graphics (examining just about each pixel at times) that it just became another task I wasn't looking forward to, and the project really wasn't going anywhere, so I just simply got away from it. Add on the fact that the original images I had created for No-Kill United are all stuck on the hard drive of a dead computer that I have no desire to mess with any time soon... I even approached a couple friends in rescue to see if they wanted to take over No-Kill United. Uneasy with their responses I just let it sit for a few years.

It wasn't until one day when I was talking to a couple relatives about taking over No-Kill United that I reconnected with the whole point of me putting No-Kill United out there in the first place. I must admit, it is a selfish one.

First, some backstory:

The dog in the No-Kill United logo was my dog, Egypt. I had her for only about a year. I got her from a neighbor's coworker (she was moving in with her boyfriend and said she couldn't bring Egypt with her). She was about 10 years old at the time.

Already having two young, male great danes at the time, I wasn't quite sure how well Egypt would fit into the mix - because of her age, and I was informed she had mild arthritis. Well, let me tell you, she let those boys know right away that she was to be the respected elder of the family. They listened just fine to her and she let them know when to back off. It was a perfect mix.

I would frequently take the three of them to the dog park (it was quite a sight). The boys would run all around, and Egypt would stay by my side - including when I'd start running..boy could she keep up!

Everybody who met Egypt fell straight in love with her. She was quiet, gentle, and such a happy soul. She had this presence in her eyes which seemed to say "I've been there. I've been through the years, and I'm not done yet."

...About ten months later I was getting ready for a scuba diving trip. The dogs needed to be boarded, so of course they needed to get checked to be sure they were healthy and up-to-date on everything. The boys came back just fine. It was discovered (or rather, confirmed) that there was a large, tennis ball sized mass growing on Egypt's spleen. The vet said it was bad. Like, there wasn't even any "Oh, well, you know, sometimes..." It was bad. The vet said I had two choices with Egypt. I could have them put her to sleep that day, or take her home and risk the mass rupturing and Egypt bleeding out in horrible pain possibly within the next few days. This was a vet whose passion was great danes. I trusted him...mostly. But still part of me wondered what was the right thing to do. Sometimes doctors are wrong. Sometimes maybe they assume a person isn't willing to spend the kind of money it would take to fix a pet. She was still so bright-eyed and aware. She was still smiling and running and eating. She was fine! But she wasn't.

Having just heard the unexpected news, I asked for some time to say goodbye to my dog, Egypt. I smuggled her to my parents' house. We took video and pictures of her. I took Egypt off-leash and let her run around my parents' yard. She was fine! But she wasn't. Too soon the time came to get back in the car and drive back home. Egypt's previous human stopped by to say goodbye to her. Then it was time to go. I found a few pounds of ham in the fridge and just free-fed it to her - I mean, what could it possibly do, right? One of the hardest moments about that day was she got so excited about the ham that she snatched it out of my hand, slightly nipping my fingers. I pulled back. And she flinched - thinking she had done something wrong. All I could think was "Egypt is going to the vet and she is about to die. I hope she doesn't think it's because of this."

We get to the vet. Egypt dies quietly as I sit with her, holding her. And I spend the entire ride home listing to "A.T.W.A." by System Of A Down.

For years I wondered if I did the right thing...if she could have been saved. But years later I was told by other vets that there's just no way the mass could have been removed successfully. So, I guess there's some sort of peace in that...

One day, during my time volunteering for a no kill animal shelter in New York, I found myself wanting to do more - wanting to make more of an impact for the animals. I was looking through photos of Egypt for inspiration and there it was, my favorite photo of Egypt and myself together in her last moments at my parents' house. I knew I had to do something with that image. I cropped down the photo, turned it into black and white monochrome, and started adding captions to it. I thought it was pretty cool, and it felt so good. Soon came about the No-Kill United concept, along with the logo - also featuring that same image of Egypt. It choked me up to think that her face could possibly be seen by who knows how many people. I started working on graphics and stickers and t-shirts to send out and to sell - what ever would get her face out to the world. But then, as I said, it became more about the task of trying to do something great, instead of just doing something. And I got burnt out.

Back to the present (sort of):

After a few attempts of handing off the project of No-Kill United to a few people, it hit me all in one moment just why I started this in the first place: To keep some piece of Egypt alive (a rather fitting twist on "no-kill" now that I'm thinking about it). At that moment I thought about how I got her, the times we had together, her last moments, and even the fact that all I have left of her are these digital images from her final moments. And I thought about just how lucky I was that nobody really took me up on taking over No-Kill United. I thought about "what if this had hit me at this moment and I had already given this away?" ...I lucked out.

So now, even without access to the original photos and artwork, I'm putting Egypt back out there. I'm trying to relax on the "perfection" (it's hard at times, especially when I get really into it), and I'm trying to just make it happen. It doesn't matter if there's something a bit off in an image, or if it's a hard time getting noticed. I'm doing this for the animals, and to keep Egypt alive.

- Anthony Trott

P.S. I'll likely read back over this post and edit it several times.