Cat Rescue Cat Retention Programs?
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.