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Magazine Articles

  • Magazine Article

    The road home goes through the office

    Office cat Callie likes to make sure employees at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) get plenty of breaks—by sitting on their keyboards so they can’t type. Besides having its own office cats, ARL places adoptable cats at local businesses.

    Shelters invite businesses to foster cats and promote adoptions

    January/February 2016

    These workers don’t need a salary— they’ll work (or at least hang out) for room and board. They won’t wear a tie (probably), but they are more than happy to spend nights and weekends at the office.

    If this sounds like a good deal, direct an inquiry to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). The shelter is hiring out its felines to fill temporary jobs as “office cats” until they find permanent positions.

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  • Magazine Article

    Tapping into the power of people

    By engaging the community in Tree House Humane Society’s TNR program, Jenny Schlueter (right) says she likes to “imagine cats bridging the divide between people.”

    An open, inclusive approach to community cat management spurs positive results

    January/February 2016

    Jenny Schlueter, a self-professed “cat lady,” is also a people-person. You know the type—always ready with a sunny smile and genuinely happy to meet someone new. If that description doesn’t fit you to a T, you’re not alone. But Schlueter’s experiences can help even the most introverted cat advocate see the benefits of engaging with people.

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  • Magazine Article

    Winter warm-up

    Shelters and rescue groups give people resources to help animals beat the cold

    January/February 2016

    “There’s not going to be a cat who doesn’t have some kind of shelter for the winter.”

    It’s a bold statement from Indianapolis animal advocate Lisa Tudor, but that’s how widespread efforts have become in her area to keep community cats warm, she says.

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  • Magazine Article

    Forget the fairy tale

    Lowering your drawbridge will help more adopters and animals live happily ever after

    January/February 2016

    Almost two years ago, I set out to adopt a Chihuahua from a rescue group that prides itself on finding “carefully screened forever homes.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Worth every scent

    In Kentucky, working cats Vincent and Van Gogh adjust to their new surroundings, during their holding period, in a dog crate that contains a feral den in which to hide.

    Working cats send rats packing

    November/December 2013

    Back in the late 1990s, Carl Jones, maintenance manager at the Los Angeles Flower Mart, frequently heard screams from vendors and customers. It usually meant they’d spotted rats, searching the aisles for tasty carnation seeds. Staff had tried for decades to get rid of the rats, but in 1999, after just two months, four cats succeeded where they had failed.

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  • Magazine Article

    Yes, in our backyard

    Nikki Holladay, a staff member with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, prepares food and water for the colony of feral cats who live on the shelter's grounds.

    Turning the NIMBY attitude on its head, some shelters care for feral cat colonies onsite

    January/February 2013

    A decade ago, Lisa Tudor, executive director of IndyFeral, never imagined that she’d one day be working with Indianapolis Animal Care & Control to help save the feral cats who live around the municipal shelter.

    Her nonprofit group “had been doing TNR in the city, and we knew that there had been cats on the [shelter’s] property forever,” says Tudor. “We had tried before [to get permission to TNR the cats], but it never went anywhere.”

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  • Magazine Article

    The cat's meow

    Catios help kitties thrive in multiple-feline households

    November/December 2015

    Have room for one more? It’s a question cat rescuers and foster caregivers hear regularly. But territorial tensions in multiple-cat households can make a new rescue kitty or temporary foster a more onerous undertaking than she needs to be.

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  • Magazine Article

    The laws that oughta be

    Crafting ordinances to facilitate community cat programs

    November/December 2015

    While trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have proliferated around the country in recent decades, local laws haven’t always kept pace with the times. Many laws were written before TNR was a widely accepted tool for humane cat management. And while ambiguous ordinances may not expressly prohibit the practice, they can leave cats, caretakers and TNR practitioners vulnerable to how their animal control agency and local officials choose to interpret the law.

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  • Magazine Article

    The art of communication

    Knowing what to say and how to say it can boost your organization’s effectiveness

    September/October 2015

    A dog walks into a bar, jumps up on a barstool and says, “Hey, how about a drink?” The bartender stares for a moment and replies, “Sure, the toilet is around the corner.” Silly as this old joke is, we all know the feeling: Sometimes the results of our best efforts at communication are disappointing.

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  • Magazine Article

    Reunited ... and it feels so good

    To boost live releases, reconsider your approach to those ‘stray’ cats

    September/October 2015

    When people in the sheltering and rescue field think about the millions of cats who are euthanized every year for lack of a home, the topic of reuniting lost pet cats with their owners may seem trivial by comparison.

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  • Magazine Article

    What goes down ...

    ... sometimes comes back up

    July/August 2015

    Your adopters and novice foster caregivers may not be prepared for that horking sound longtime cat owners know so well. Here’s what one kitty devotee learned when he explored the world of cat vomit.

    I was standing in the kitchen making a sandwich when I heard that fateful sound.

    Hhuallck. Hhuallck. Hhhuuuaaalllck.

    I know this sound well.

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  • Magazine Article

    Cats and community coffers

    Community cats are thriving in Port Orange, Fla., thanks to a city-supported trap-neuter-return program.

    The right approach can make local governments allies—rather than enemies or indifferent bystanders—to TNR programs

    July/August 2015

    Eight core volunteers run Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare (CCFAW), a Daytona Beach, Fla., nonprofit formed in 2000 to promote and fund spay/neuter for pets in Volusia County. Over the years, some of the group’s volunteers have also worked outside the organization to trap and sterilize community cats. So when the city of Port Orange Police Department asked for help solving a “cat problem” at an elementary school, CCFAW had the experience to offer a humane solution.

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  • Magazine Article

    Change for the better in Chico

    Tracy Mohr, animal services manager for Chico, Calif., says the community supports the shelter’s policy of accepting only the neediest cats.

    California shelter strikes gold by limiting cat intake

    March/April 2015

    When Tracy Mohr attended a presentation a few years ago by UC Davis veterinarian Kate Hurley about the benefits of shelters limiting their intake of community cats, she remembers thinking, “This sounds great!”

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  • Magazine Article

    A new twist on an old challenge

    An online map tracks the organizations joining the Million Cat Challenge, and veterinarian Kate Hurley says checking the pins that have been added can be addictive.

    Project aims to save a million feline lives

    March/April 2015

    Veterinarian Kate Hurley had a story rattling around in her brain: She had read about a campaign to reduce mistakes resulting in death and harm, not in veterinary hospitals, but in human hospitals. At an industry conference, the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement had challenged a roomful of hospital administrators to reach a specific goal—100,000 lives saved over 18 months.

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  • Magazine Article

    Windy city whirlwind

    In the Chicago community of North Lawndale, Arthur Burrell worked hard to ensure that none of the neighborhood cats went hungry. “Even when his health wasn’t good, he would still push himself to make sure they had what they needed,” says his wife, Yolanda Bell.

    A tribute to the “cat man” of Chicago’s West Side

    March/April 2015

    A few years back, while knocking on doors in North Lawndale—a neighborhood that struggles with poverty, foreclosures and drug-related crime—Annette Bellezzo and Kris Badillo met Arthur Burrell.

    An Army veteran and lifelong animal lover, Burrell got started in feline rescue when he took in two tiny kittens he’d found on the street.

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  • Magazine Article

    Sharing spaces

    Outdoor “catios” provide cats with the stimulation of the great outdoors, while keeping birds and other wildlife out of reach.

    A collaboration between cat and bird advocates demos spaces that keep both species safe

    January/February 2015

    Media articles about the tensions between cat and bird advocates often feature dramatic headlines—“Fur and Feathers Are Flying!”—to highlight the ways in which the two groups of animal lovers butt heads.

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  • Magazine Article

    If you feed, don't let them breed (version 2)

    Download this Mouthpiece to encourge community members to spay or neuter the feral cats they feed.

    January/February 2015

    This version of the Mouthpiece encourages people who are feeding community cats to visit The Humane Society of the United States' website for more information on low-cost or free spay/neuter. Download this Mouthpiece to help curb the number of unsterilized cats in your community.

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  • Magazine Article

    What's that bug in your ear, kitty?

    Recognizing and treating ear mites in cats

    January/February 2015

    If you’re around a lot of cats, you’ve probably seen it: Suddenly, one of them stops what she’s doing and begins violently scratching one of her ears with a hind foot, then shakes her head so hard that her ears flap, and then begins to scratch again.

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  • Magazine Article

    If you feed, don't let them breed (version 1)

    Download this Mouthpiece to encourge community members to spay or neuter the feral cats they feed.

    January/February 2015

    This version of the Mouthpiece encourages people who are feeding community cats to contact your organization for help with trapping and sterilization. Download this Mouthpiece to help curb the number of unsterilized cats in your community.

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  • Magazine Article

    Young cats, new tricks

    The play station in kitty kindergarten should have many toys and visual barriers that allow the kittens to play near or away from their fellow “students.” Also, it’s important to introduce kittens to adult cats as well as other kittens.

    Kitty kindergarten creates adoptable, adorable cats

    November/December 2014

    Anyone who’s worked at a shelter or rescue knows that behavioral issues are one of the most common reasons that cats are returned after adoption or relinquished in the first place. “He’s spraying on the carpets,” “She’s aggressive to our other cat” or “She’s scratching the furniture” are common complaints.

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  • Magazine Article

    The road to happy returns

    1. A community cat spots a humane box trap.

    How to safely trap and transport feral and community cats

    September/October 2014

    When she heard that Animal Sheltering was planning a whole story on transporting feral cats, one expert (whose name we’ll withhold to avoid embarrassing her) was skeptical. Transport is pretty simple, she said.

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  • Magazine Article

    The promise of St. Thomas

    Rhea Vasconcellos, shelter manager, holds Charlie, mascot and spokesdog, at the Humane Society of St. Thomas adoption center’s reception desk.

    Work in the Caribbean has things looking up for animals

    September/October 2014

    An aerial view of St. Thomas—a mountainous green island in turquoise seas—gives no indication of how many homeless pets live there, breeding ever more puppies and kittens. While the U.S. Virgin Islands are often portrayed as paradise for people, few places in the Caribbean can claim to be paradise for stray dogs or community cats.

    But thanks to a happy teaming of two major do-good forces there, St. Thomas is clearly moving in a more heavenly direction.

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  • Magazine Article

    NiPPed in the bud

    Through the Relo-Cat program, Ale found a permanent home on the grounds of a Washington, D.C., church.

    Two shelter programs in Washington, D.C., target community cats

    September/October 2014

    In spring of 2013, Ale, a stray cat, was left in a trap in front of a private Washington, D.C., shelter, then transported to the Washington Humane Society (WHS)—a municipal shelter with a stray contract. Scared and unsocial, he provided only one clue about his former life: He was ear-tipped, signifying that he had been sterilized as part of a community cat colony.

    Historically, there had been few options for cats like Ale. The WHS staff had no clue where he came from, and his fear of humans made him an unlikely candidate for adoption.

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  • Magazine Article

    The purrpose of life

    Steve heads to the solarium from his suite via an easy-access transport tube.

    Catty Corner: In honor of one cat, Tabby's Place saves many

    May/June 2014

    Stray cat Tabby showed up at Jonathan Rosenberg’s door in 1984, and decided to stay. He lived a long life, despite being FIV-positive—but of course, his life wasn’t long enough for Rosenberg and his wife Sharon. They were heartbroken when 16-year-old Tabby was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in April 1999 and had to be euthanized.

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