Wow, it is hard to believe three weeks have passed by since that last post! Summer is definitely busy season for cat rescue! After a very s-l-o-w start things are starting to pick up. We’ve adopted 6 cats in the past few weeks: 4 kittens and 2 adults! We’re getting a lot of visitors to our Adoption Fairs, and we’re really enjoying meeting and talking with other animal lovers.
We’re still looking for people willing to foster since we’re still turning cats down on a regular basis. The next two months require the biggest push. The “spring” kittens that are still out there on the streets, and the second round of kittens are just being born. Kittens born in late summer tend to have more problems. Their moms have already put out one litter and may not be as strong. Fleas are more of a problem, with young kittens being extremely vulnerable to the little bloodsuckers. Last fall we pulled two kittens from a colony - Samson and Simona – who were nearly dead. After some significant vet and nursing care, they are robust, healthy cats now, and will be the subject of a future post.
August is vacation time for everyone but those in cat rescue. Shelters, rescues, all of us need your help! Even a couple hours a week volunteering at your local municipal shelter playing with cats and keeping them happy and healthy will DIRECTLY save lives. Cats don’t do well long-term in cages, so even if your local shelter is “no kill” – the cats need attention and love to keep them happy and showing well for adoption.
Some other ways to help that don’t involve directly caring for (fostering) animals:
- Put up posters to advertise your local rescue’s adoption fairs (c’mon, you’re stopping in at Starbucks or Peets anyway – take an extra second while that latte is being prepared to tack up a poster)
- Update the rescue/shelter’s website/Petfinder/Adopt-A-Pet pages with available animals. This is a GREAT opportunity for someone who is even minimally computer proficient. These sites are set up for animal lovers to maintain, not software engineers! If you like to write, a compelling story can draw attention to a pet who would otherwise be overlooked. If you don’t fancy yourself a writer-wannabe, even loading the pictures and basic information can get a pet in front of many more eyes that would occur in person at a shelter or adoption fair. And, – bonus points – you can do it while watching TV…or sitting in Starbucks/Peets air-conditioning drinking your Mocha/Freddo/Frappachino!
- Transport. Rescues are moving animals around all the time. Picking up from shelters or trappers or spay/neuter clinics to volunteer homes. There are networks of people who take one leg as a pet is taken from a saturated area (or high-kill-rate shelter) to a less saturated area (or no-kill shelter). It just involves driving a short leg. Or doing around town transport.
- Helping at adoption events. This is a great opportunity for someone who knows and loves animals, but has a princess (or prince) at home who will not tolerate a foster pet. You get the chance to fawn over the pets up for adoption and talk with other people who also love/are interested/want to know about the pet. Most of the interactions at our pet fairs about less about “sales” (placing animals for adoption) and more about education. Share your knowledge, experience and love and help keep pets in the homes they already have and/or help get adoptable pets into the best fit for their new home.
- Entertaining/Party – if you do Pampered Chef, or Partylite, or Tupperware or (fill in the blank) do a Summertime party to support the animals and use the opportunity to educate and raise funds for your local rescue/shelter. Pick someone to support – talk to them about having pictures and writeups (or even the pets themselves?) at your party so people learn about the need for homes while they are shopping and having fun. The goal isn’t necessarily to place animals directly from the party (although that would be very cool!) but rather to get the word out. There are amazing animals who are ready give and get love in every town and neighborhood! And, people may be willing to spend a little more, knowing the proceeds are going to “a good cause.” And the benefit to you – supporting the animals, and possibly getting new repeat customers for your home-based business. Put a “tip jar” out for additional donations too!
Have a wonderful August! And, better, help a pet have a wonderful August starting a wonderful new life!