Cat Rescue Cat Retention Programs?

Cat Rescue Cat Retention Programs?

by Michael

An animal shelter or cat rescue facility is essentially a reactive organization. They pick up the pieces and when they don’t re-home cats for whatever reason the cat is euthanized, a euphemism as many cats are not ill when killed by the shelter.

The cat rescue facility most often has no control over how many cats are brought in and relinquished. The decision to relinquish a cat is entirely in the hands of the cats owner or caretaker.

Currently (Dec 2011) one of the reasons is lack of money. Due to financial woes, there has been an approximate 10% increase in the USA of relinquishments of domestic cats to cat shelters for re-homing. The figure may be inaccurate. Let’s say the numbers are up.

The people who are involved at cat shelters are knowledgeable about cats. They are volunteers who step in to care for unwanted cats and help to re-home them. These people are very skilled cat carers. They have experience.

The point I wish to make in this short article is this. Are the people who volunteer to provide foster homes to unwanted cats on behalf of cat shelters any wealthier than the people who relinquish their cats? We don’t know but I would bet my bottom dollar that in many instances the person abandoning their cat or cats is better off than the volunteer who fosters the cat.

If that is the case it is more about attitude that finances. A person determined to keep their cat through thick and thin will do so. A person who is unsure about keeping a cat will abandon at the first opportunity.

This goes back to expectations and ensuring that cat caretakers have the right attitude. It may be possible on a limited but significant number of occasions to speak with people who are considering relinquishing their cat and convince them that there is another way forward. It might be a question of education and/or ideas. Some people will lack imagination in resolving problems that lead to cat relinquishment.

Should there be one person at a cat shelter facility whose role is to go out into the community and take proactive steps to stop people abandoning their cat?

Perhaps this already happens in some places even at all cat shelters. I’d like to know how proactive rather than just being reactive cat shelters are.

Associated Page: Cat Shelter Networks.

Comments for
Cat Rescue Cat Retention Programs?

Average Rating star

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 16, 2011
by: Michael

Thanks Dee for a useful comment. We don’t hear about proactive measures. Why is not a percentage of shelter funding spent on going out into the community educating cat caretakers? That might save a cat or two and it would be proactive and it would be doing the right thing.

I know this sounds like I am conspiracy theory nut case but sometimes I think the shelters kill cats for commercial reasons. They need to kill cats to keep open! Is that a mad idea?

It might be. In which case the people in charge lack imagination and desire to really fix the problem at source.

Dec 13, 2011
It is all so sad to me…
by: Dee

County Shelters- I would love to see them become proactive. I have paid visits to our local shelter and, personally, saw the cat adoption area that only had about 20 cats that were deemed worthy of adoption. I, also, saw the 2 larger rooms filled with caged cats just “waiting out their time”. There had to be at least 75 cats there. I confess that I paid my 2 visits under the guise of searching for a lost cat because I wanted to see what the real deal was. Subsequently, I have written several letters to our newspaper editor that were published for the purpose of informing folks and to, perhaps, get some responses that would answer some of the questions I had that, neither the shelter personnel nor our county commission, would answer. They were:
1. Who is their governing body?
2. Where can I find the policy/procedure manuals?
3. What is the criteria used that make an animal “adoptable”?
4. Since the County Commission has approved a county wide TNR program, why didn’t the Shelter stepped up to man it? Instead a small cat rescue group here called , Sheltering Hands, fought for it and stepped up to the plate. They are nonprofit and rely on donations, whereas the Shelter is county funded.
Pet (particularly cat) owners- Sadly, many people consider pets disposable. They and I are just at a standoff. I can’t understand them and they can’t understand me. I have, and do, make sacrifices for cats. I will never have any regrets or ill feelings about it. The ONLY scenerio that I can imagine that would force me to relinquish a cat would be if i were completely destitute and have no means to care for them. However, my efforts would work toward finding a suitable home and not a kill shelter.

Dec 12, 2011
Give up everything else before the cat
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

How many relinquishing their animals to shelters for economic reasons first gave up cable tv or their high speed internet connection? There are other ways to economize. Most of us are shocked to think that someone would essentially kill their pet just because money is tight, but I wonder if there is another side to the story.

Are these shelters really telling the true statistics? I was not told by animal control that Monty would probably be euthanized when I brought him there the day I found him. I was told he’d be on a seven day hold and then go on to the humane society or some other shelter. That’s just not true. I looked at the statistics and nearly 700 cats died the month he came in. There’s no way they were all feral or ill. Healthy, adoptable cats and kittens are killed in great number at that facility. If we had been told that we would have planned from day one to adopt him. There would have been no question. Neither my husband nor I had any idea. My husband didn’t really want a cat and I thought if the kitten found a home with someone else that was o.k. because at least he wouldn’t be living the hard life of a stray cat.

If a neighbor hadn’t told us some disturbing things about animal control we probably would not have went back for Monty, assuming he’d be fine. He would have died. The average person, especially someone who doesn’t have a cat, does not know just how dire the situation is. Each time I was at animal control animals were brought in and never once did the person receiving the animal(s) tell the truth about the chances that animal had of leaving the shelter alive. They say they can’t make any promises not to euthanize the animal, but to the uninitiated that sounds like, “Well, you never know, he could have some disease or something and we wouldn’t have a choice but to put him down.” They don’t say, “We killed 600 cats here last month and most of them weren’t sick.” Tell the truth, and I think more people would do as my husband and I did– step up and take responsibility for the animal when they know it truly means they are saving his life!

In the end it worked out ok for Monty and animal control did some good things for him, like medical care at a very low cost to me, getting him to eat, socializing him to a certain extent (he was much less wild when I brought him home a week later) and they were good at teaching me how to care for him. The only complaint I have is that I should have been told the truth in no uncertain terms: if you leave him here past the seven day hold he is going to die.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo