Frozen Final Project

The 14 degrees of warmth outside are actually welcomed by us Eugenians today. I’m just glad to be out of the negative numbers. You would think the weather outside has nothing to do with my final project, but it has everything to do with it! It has stopped me from being able to carry out my plan of adopting a cat and making a step by step video of the process. So now, with my car frozen outside, the Humane Societies and pet stores either being closed or having strange hours, I will just have to describe my project through the wonderful written word.

Here we go.

I’m a college student who loves animals. Through surrounding myself with animal shelters all term I have finally decided to adopt a pet. Here are the steps any person should go through before adopting an animal.

1. Ask yourself, can you really care for an animal at this point in your life?

Any pet is a lifetime commitment (the pet’s life, hopefully you outlive your pet). You have to deeply think about how your daily activities and future plans will change if you adopt an animal. If you decide you can work your schedule around your pet, giving your pet top priority, and financially handle paying for the pet’s needs, you may move to the next step.

2. What kind of pet fits your lifestyle?

If you live in the third story of an apartment building like I do, a dog is probably not the right choice. Smaller animals are more fit for apartments, such as rabbits or cats. You must thing about the things the pet will need. A rabbit will need a cage, litter box, water bottle, food dish, hay, toys, salt licks, and love whereas a cat will need a litter box, food and water, and toys. Another thing to consider is what sort of smells these animals will make. You can potty train them all you want, but when they do their duty, it’s going to smell. My roommate and I decided a cat was the best choice for our lifestyle, which brings me to Step 3.

3. Make sure everyone you are living with agrees to/wants the same animal.

Surprising your roommate with a pet is a bad idea. Shelters don’t even allow you to do it because they need to make sure everyone was involved in the decision. A pet is not a toy, it is a life for which you are responsible.

4.Visit the animal shelter. Multiple times.

Picking the right animal is not a quick decision. You can find the cutest animal in the shelter and then take it home to realize it’s an asshole and wants nothing to do with you. You must visit the shelter numerous times and spend time with you potential new pet to see if your personalities get along.Image

5. Fill out the adoption questionnaire.

Greenhill Humane Society and the Shelter on 1st will give you a 5 page application to fill out which enables them to decide if you are eligible to adopt a pet. They ask for direct permission from your landlord, which leads me to my next step.

6. If you are renting from Bell Realty, lie,

Lie your ass off. No animals allowed on the premises? I don’t like that rule. And Bell is a horrible reality who rips you off any change they can get anyway. Tell the shelter a little white lie, like you live with your grandma in a house by Valley River Center, and you get your animal. It’s really what’s best for everyone.

7. Go shopping!

If you get approved for an animal, you best get prepared to house that animal. Now is the time to get food, litter, toys, etc. The helpful shelter employees and volunteers will recommend types of litter and food and even tell you what toys your new family member enjoys.

8. Once you have everything ready in your home, adopt your friend.

It’s the moment you have been waiting 8 steps for, time to finally pick up and take home your new little buddy. You’ve done a great thing for yourself, your new pet, and the shelter. Now there is room for the shelter to take in another animal and find him or her a new home just like yours!

9. Love, feed, care, repeat.

It’s pretty self explanatory; care for your pet like you would a child. Make time in your schedule to play with your pet, always make sure the liter box is clean, he or she has plenty of water, and that s/he is eating properly. Take your pet to routine vet check-ups and never neglect him/her.

10. Live happily ever after and encourage others to adopt from humane societies!

There are more animals than you think out there that need loving homes!

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Who doesn’t love animal GIFs?

Hello all!

It’s week 9 which means many things: next week is week ten, many of us are done with this term in week 10 (yay!), Thanksgiving is this week, classes are cancelled, AND Sydne is posting small animal GIFs on the blog. Yes, this is a magical week for us all.

So this whole term I have been focusing mostly on the dogs. I just couldn’t help myself, I LOVE DOGS. But the great and wise Suzi mentioned that maybe I should show some love to the others.

I made these GIFs with text trying to promote the animals’ adoption. I could have gone oh so many ways with these; I really wanted to make them funny and inappropriate, but they had to pertain to real life and Greenhill Humane Society itself. Let’s see if I can imbed them in the blog…

Above, you should see a “cat fight” about who is getting adopted first. Kitties are so prissy.

This little kitty, ok, kind of a big kitty, is begging you to take her home.

Hygiene is key.

Poor cat has been neglected by his previous owner and now this rude cat.

Bunnies need homes too!

I don’t know if I scared this guinea pig or if he was just lazy.

Power to the vegetarians!

Snowflake is SO soft and such a sweet bunny đŸ™‚

Kittens and cats are adoptable for anywhere from $35 to $95, depending on their age/breed. Kittens are generally more expensive.

The rabbits at Greenhill are $50 and the guinea pigs are $20.

When rats, hamsters, and gerbils are sheltered, their adoption price is $10.

All the animals who are adopted from Greenhill Humane Society have had veterinary  care and have been spayed or neutered. Come on guys, small animals are much easier to care for than dogs, so go get a kitty cat or a bunny!

Humane Societies in Oregon

My week 8 project was to create an interactive map of all of the humane societies in Oregon. It took a long time to find all of them, find out what kind of pets they shelter, and other information such as their mission statement and if they have a thrift shop associated with them. Google only showed some of the smaller shelters if I was zoomed in all the way, so it took some hunting to find all of them. This project took even longer because I ended up looking at all of the poor, helpless animals that need homes at each shelter.

I found that there are far more pets in need than I ever thought. I’ve had statistics thrown at me all term while working on these projects of how many animals are helped, but those are just numbers until you actually see the faces of all the animals who are in shelters.

Each of my markers has the website attached so take a look at all the animals and start helping them!

This should lead you to my map… enjoy!

Greenhill Video Went to the Dogs

My video didn’t turn out how I had envisioned. My first mistake was that I didn’t have a plan of what my story was going to be when I went there to film. I wanted to do a sort of day-in-the-life of one of the dogs there because nobody really thinks about what the animals at the shelter go through. However, Suzi wasn’t too thrilled about me doing a doggie profile so when I went there I ended up speaking with a few of the volunteers and decided to make my video about volunteering at the shelter.

I didn’t capture very interesting footage of the volunteers. I hung out in one of the yards with a volunteer named Kristen, and watched her throw a ball for Huggs for about 20 minutes. I also walked with a volunteer named Julie while she walked Bella. The shots I got were extremely repetitive and I couldn’t have a dog chasing a ball or being walked be the whole video.

I did my best to find images that fit what I was talking about in the video, which leads me to my next problem: audio. I couldn’t capture very great audio because I was outside the whole time. I decided to do a voice-over for my video using the information the volunteers gave me.

During the part where I was explaining how to become a volunteer, I wanted a video of my computer screen as I was going through the steps. I made one on my laptop, but it wouldn’t work on the macs at school. I had to use still screenshots instead.

Some of my shots were pretty blown out because it was such a bright day outside. I white-balanced the camera as best as I could, but it didn’t get rid of the brightness.

Even though I had some issues capturing footage, putting it all together, and trying to make it flow, I ended up with an OK video. I don’t think it was horrible, but I don’t think it’s the best either. Live and learn I guess!

Greenhill Volunteering: Shooting the Video

I went to Greenhill Humane Society for the hundredth time on Tuesday. They’re probably starting to get sick of me there. This time I was able to hang out with some of the volunteers there. I had briefly spoken to a few volunteers on my other visits, but this time my focus was on what a volunteer’s duties are at the shelter and how the volunteer system works.

Because I couldn’t cover all of the volunteer positions at the shelter, I focused on volunteering with the dogs–mostly on the dog walking and companion positions. I was able to play with Prince and Huggs in two different yards at the shelter while asking the volunteers that were with them a little bit about what they do. I realized getting good audio would be impossible in these areas so I decided to gather information from them and then create a script for myself to narrate my video. Finding the right whitebalance for the camera was difficult as well because everything was illuminated by the bright sun that day.Image

Wide shots were easy enough to get, but the close-ups gave me hell. The whole time I was there the volunteers and dogs were moving (obviously) so closeups were rough to capture. I was also able to walk one of the trails with a volunteer named Julie and the dog she was walking, Bella, and that proved pretty much impossible to film. Walking + filming does not equal good footage. But, I was able to get a lot of useful information from Julie and enjoy the sunshine!

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You can see the walking paths to the left and right of the shelter. I learned that the dogs get walked for 30 minutes by volunteers who sign up for which dog they are taking on a whiteboard outside the kennel. In all, I got some good footage, a lot of bad footage, but also a lot of useful information!

Making the Audio Slideshow: The Good, the Bad and the Puurrrrfect

I’ve heard a lot of Final Cut horror stories. Hard drives not being recognized, random crashes that lead to the destruction or deletion of projects, tears, frustration, etc. Fortunately for me, the only “problem” I had was my hard drive not being recognized. Every. Single. Time. So, other than having to restart the computer every time I worked on my project, things went rather smoothly.

I was lucky enough to get an interview with one of the most friendly and wonderful women I have ever interviewed, Sasha Elliott. She was very warm, welcoming, informative, and passionate about her work. It was inspiring to talk to a woman who loves her job so much and whose goal is to help animals who cannot help themselves.

I was able to interview her in her office and get some pretty good sounding audio. I went into the kennel and recorded the dogs barking as well, but the other animals I visited (cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs) and took pictures of weren’t very talkative. It was a bit difficult getting good pictures of the animals because they all moved so much, but I just took as many as I could while I was there and went back multiple times to take more (and to play with the dogs).

I thought hard about putting the cemetery slides in my slideshow, but I decided I wanted to capture people’s attention and tear at their hearts a little bit. I had to make a disclaimer that explained the cemetery is a community pet cemetery and not where all the euthanized pets (Greenhill only euthanizes in extreme circumstances) from the shelter go.

I actually really enjoyed the editing of the project. I love Final Cut, even though I barely know how to use it, but I just seem to get lost in the editing process. It was hard choosing which sounds bites to use because my interview lasted about 20-30 minutes, but I was able to pick my favorite, most informative parts. After completing it, I realized my pictures didn’t fill up the whole frame of the slideshow. I had no idea how to fix this so I left it and asked around in class when we showed our rough drafts. Josh was able to help me and I completed my project.

Overall, I think it turned out pretty well and I didn’t have any major troubles putting it together. This project was fun! Now for the video…