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Magazine Articles

  • Magazine Article

    Kindred spirits

    At Dakin Humane Society, Alanna Regan cuddles spirit cat, Maui.

    Shelter programs focus on finding new homes for shy or frightened 'spirit' cats

    Fall 2019

    Vinnie Van Gogh, a reticent feline, spent four months at Dakin Humane Society before his photo appeared on the shelter’s website with the headline “The Socially Awkward Cat for the Socially Awkward Adopter.”

    “Seriously all this guy requires is a couch and someone to give him his daily necessities,” the write-up by the Springfield, Massachusetts, shelter read. “Take him home, and have a perfect buddy for all those times that going out is just not worth the effort. He understands.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Nurturing the roots of TNR

    Facilitating TNR means removing the barriers that prevent laypeople from doing this important work.

    With a small investment, shelters can empower everyday people to tackle the community cat challenge

    Fall 2019

    If your shelter doesn’t have a trap-neuter-return program, you may think you have little to offer the people who call about unowned cats in their backyards and neighborhoods. But there are many ways shelters can facilitate today’s TNR and plant the seeds of tomorrow’s high-impact programs without spending a dime.

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  • Magazine Article

    Kitty in their hands

    Bringing out the best behaviors in kittens

    Theresa Foley’s introduction to fostering started 15 years ago when she trapped feral cats and kittens on her street in old town Key West, Fla. Foley fostered several six-toed kittens—perhaps relatives of the felines who still roam Ernest Hemingway’s property on the island—during the three years it took to trap one elusive mom cat. “I began fostering mostly out of necessity, because there were not that many people willing to do it or set up to do it,” she says.
     

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  • Magazine Article

    Meow ... cat chow!

    Feeding kitties in the shelter

    While shelters can’t always feed their cats the equivalent of a five-star meal, providing proper nutrition is a key element of kitty care.

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  • Magazine Article

    Spot-cleaning cat cages

    If you have a particularly shy kitty, it’s helpful to provide her with a nice hiding space where she can retreat while you tidy up.

    These days, beating germs doesn’t always mean a bleach bath

    If you’ve ever had a pleasant dinner party interrupted by a cat who wanders in, plunks himself down, and begins performing the most intimate cleaning in full view of the table—feet lifted well beyond his head in a kind of obscene yoga, licking with the kind of focused attention usually reserved for advanced calculus—you know: The ways in which kitties clean can make us humans uncomfortable.

    Turns out, the feeling is mutual.

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  • Magazine Article

    Many happy returns

    For most healthy impounded stray cats, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear-tipping and returning them to where they were found is the best tactic.

    New manual will help guide your return-to-field program

    Summer 2019

    No single approach can solve all your community cat challenges, but return-to-field is often the place to start. A new handbook serves as a guide to providing positive outcomes for healthy outdoor cats.

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  • Magazine Article

    Don't cat-nap the kittens!

    Summer 2019

    Download this Shareworthy to educate the public on how to approach newborn kittens.

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  • Magazine Article

    Up for the count

    There are 61 square miles of land to the District of Columbia—and an unknown number of outdoor cats.

    Collaborative project aims to revolutionize the way communities count and care for cats

    Spring 2019

    As the first morning visitors to the National Zoo stroll through the entrance, two field technicians with backpacks head in the opposite direction, over Rock Creek, across a parkway carrying commuters into downtown Washington, D.C., and up a steep, muddy hillside.

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  • Magazine Article

    Pointing the way with a pyramid

    Inspired by diagrams for healthy diets, the community cat pyramid encourages a holistic approach to cat management and a strategic use of resources.

    How cat advocates can allocate time and other resources for the biggest impact

    Winter 2018

    Community cat advocates tap the power of a pyramid.

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  • Magazine Article

    Celebrating a cool million

    At Animal Care Expo, attendees celebrate the eye-popping number of lives saved through the Million Cat Challenge.

    What comes next for the campaign that delivered on its lifesaving promise?

    Fall 2018

    The Million Cat Challenge looks to the future.

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  • Magazine Article

    Million-dollar question

    Ohio Alleycat Resource's Neuterville Express transports cats from greater Cincinnati's outermost communities to the clinic and back again. Including those from the NKADD initiative, the organization spayed 11,543 cats in 2017.

    Broad collaboration makes powerful use of bequest dollars

    Fall 2018

    Here’s how an unprecedented public-private partnership enabled a Northern Kentucky district to make the best use of bequest dollars— while setting a lifesaving example for communities across the country.

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  • Magazine Article

    Charlie’s surprise

    Charlie is a rare, male tortoiseshell cat.

    Tortoiseshell cat defies shelter staffers' expectations

    Fall 2018

    Charlie, a rare male tortoiseshell, surprises and delights a Tennessee shelter.

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  • Magazine Article

    Neighbor-Hood watch

    In Virginia, a complex hoarding situation led to the founding of Operation Hood, a feline rescue and trap-neuter-return nonprofit.

    In Virginia, community joins law enforcement to address out-of-control cat colony

    Summer 2018

    When Alyssa Ellison started working as an animal control officer in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 2013, the sheriff ’s office was fielding as many as 80 calls a month about a group of cats near the city of Fredericksburg.

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  • Magazine Article

    A Hardy soul

    Hardy survived cruelty that required surgery, and his resilient spirit captured the hearts of staffers at Alley Cat Rescue in Maryland.

    Summer 2018

    When an animal control officer brought the young cat to the Prince George’s County Animal Services Facility in Maryland, he had severe wounds to his ears, toes, limbs and tail that left him limping and weak. He had been found wandering around an apartment building, disoriented and confused. His ears were gashed open, and his toes were hanging on by threads. Because of the severity of his injuries and the fact that he would need extensive treatment, Alley Cat Rescue stepped up to handle the care of this traumatized cat.

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  • Magazine Article

    Smart lending practices

    At Operation Catnip’s trap-loan depot (and office space), volunteer coordinator Kate Boisseau shows a caregiver how to set a trap.

    A little technology and methodology can help protect your investment in TNR equipment

    Spring 2018

    As trap-neuter-return (TNR) becomes the default solution for managing community cat populations, shelters and rescues might find they are lending more traps than ever before. But failing to keep track of that equipment can be an expensive mistake. Leading TNR organizations now use both low- and high-tech solutions to keep traps in circulation while safeguarding their investment.

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  • Magazine Article

    Positive politics

    Soon after a New Hampshire law on contagious animals was amended,  Mr. Sassy debuted on the adoption floor at the Monadnock Humane Society.

    When a bad law was affecting good cats, New Hampshire animal advocates lobbied for change

    Winter 2017-2018

    In June, a 5-year-old gray tabby named Mr. Sassy quietly transitioned from a holding cage at the Monadnock Humane Society to a space on the adoption floor. Despite the lack of fanfare, for shelter staff and volunteers who had lobbied to give cats like him a chance, it was a momentous occasion—and a reminder that the work of saving lives doesn’t occur in a political vacuum.

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  • Magazine Article

    Easy riders

    To reduce cats’ stress during transport, Second Chance Animal Services in Massachusetts recommends filling their crates with familiar items.

    When transporting cats, battle stress with familiarity

    Winter 2017-2018

    Have you ever seen the internet meme showing how dogs and cats view road trips differently?

    The dog sits calmly in a car seat, floating through the bright lights and enticing purple hues of outer space. Meanwhile the cat, with his eyes closed and mouth wide open in terror, desperately sinks his claws into the seat to avoid being sucked into a swirling vortex.

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  • Magazine Article

    Do you want chips with those tips?

    Weighing the costs and benefits of microchips for community cats

    Winter 2017-2018

    When Feral Freedom launched the first large-scale return-to-field program in Jacksonville, Florida, nearly a decade ago, many people in the animal welfare world were skeptical of the new approach. At the time, nearly all trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs worked closely with colony caretakers to capture and sterilize the cats; under the Feral Freedom model, healthy feral cats brought into the shelter would be neutered and returned to their territory whether or not a caretaker was identified.

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  • Magazine Article

    Identifying and treating mouths full of hurt

    Cats won't open up and say "ah" when they've got a toothache.

    Cats with dental problems may be suffering in silence

    Winter 2017-2018

    It wasn’t that long ago that we failed to understand pain in our companion animals. You may recall veterinarians in the past saying things like, “Animals don’t feel pain like we do.”

    In fact, when I went to veterinary school in the late-1980s, we weren’t taught to provide pain relievers for animals after common procedures such as spay/neuter or dental work, including extraction of teeth. Typically, our patients received short-acting pain medicine in the hospital, and then were sent home to rest and recover.

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  • Magazine Article

    Reconcilable differences

    By piecing together their expertise, community cat advocates and conservationists can maximize the effectiveness of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs.

    Wildlife biologist helps chart a new path for cat advocates and conservationists

    Fall 2017

    The work of protecting animals is always challenging, but it becomes even thornier when the interests of different species seem to be in conflict. Such scenarios aren’t limited to cats and wildlife, but as trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have become more common, community cats have taken center stage in the animals vs. animals debate.

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  • Magazine Article

    Black is the new black

    Download this Mouthpiece to encourage adopters to consider black cats

    Fall 2017

    Black cats are often overlooked. Download this Mouthpiece to encourage adopters to consider black cats.

    Browse additional Mouthpieces designed to aid your community outreach. To submit a PSA your organization designed, contact us at asm@humanesociety.org.

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  • Magazine Article

    Who's afraid of a big black cat?

    Shelters shed long-held Halloween fears and celebrate their black beauties

    Fall 2017

    Black cats are unlucky. They live with witches and satanists. They embody evil. And heaven forbid one ever crosses your path.

    These silly superstitions are unfounded, of course. But have you been buying into a different set of myths about black cats?

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  • Magazine Article

    What the fomite?

    Florida shelter spreads the word about infectious disease

    Fall 2017

    Would you be worried if I said you have fomites?

    Believe it or not, your skin cells, hair and clothing are fomites, and so is your cell phone and that pen you’re carrying around. A fomite is simply a nonliving object or material that can transmit infection.

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  • Magazine Article

    A bright spark

    Fall 2017

    Torch was brought to Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) in a small box. A road worker named Bill heard an odd sound and looked in one of the wheel wells of his paver. The last thing he expected to find were two teeny blue eyes peering back at him. The fact that he heard anything at all over the huge machine’s noise was a miracle.

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