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Magazine Articles

  • Magazine Article

    Love on the lease

    Las Vegas apartment complex takes a winning approach to community cats

    May/June 2016

    Tonja Bradford, property manager of The Palms Apartments in Las Vegas, takes pride in making sure that her residents’ needs are met, that they enjoy the spacious grounds the property has to offer, and that the apartment complex is a safe and happy home.

    And the dozens of community cats who call The Palms home are grateful.

    “It wasn’t like we decided to open a feral cat B&B; it just kind of happened,” explains Bradford, who has managed the 200-unit property for six years.

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  • Magazine Article

    The modern cat caretaker

    Krista Rakovan, an HSUS staffer and volunteer colony caretaker in Maryland, puts fresh straw in a cat shelter in preparation for winter.

    Tips for taking your colony care to a higher level

    March/April 2016

    Community cat advocates share tips for taking your colony care to the next level.

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  • Magazine Article

    Good colonies make good neighbors

    Trap-neuter-return, smart caretaking practices and proactive neighborhood diplomacy are key to helping community cats coexist peacefully with the people around them.

    With diplomacy and problem-solving skills, advocates can create a harmonious relationship between community cats and the people around them

    January/February 2016

    When she got the complaint that stray cats were “using the restroom” on the sidewalk in front of a church, Renee Clark was skeptical, but she drove over to study the droppings in question. “It was pretty obvious that the poop there wasn’t cat waste; it was probably raccoon,” says Clark, an environmental biologist and feline advocate in Staunton, Va.

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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

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Success on a Rio Grande scale

    More and more shelters are taking a "return-to-field" approach with community cats.

    Reducing cat overpopulation and euthanasia in Albuquerque

    March/April 2014

    Though two local groups had long practiced trap-neuter-return (TNR), and had significant success in reducing feral cat populations in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2010, the city animal welfare department’s two shelters still euthanized 53 percent of the cats they took in. That included 100 percent of admitted feral cats.

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  • Magazine Article

    The challenge of a rural TNR project

    Connecticut advocate finds an uphill slog

    November/December 2013

    Advocates who want to help rural cats often face a lack of resources, as well as resistance to new approaches. Laura Jordan had her work cut out for her in convincing a Connecticut community to participate in her effort to spay and neuter feral cats, having to overcome suspicion of her motives, educate property owners, and show that her methods made sense.

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  • Magazine Article

    The wonder down under

    Animal Welfare League of Queensland volunteer Nari takes a shelter dog out for some exercise and enrichment. Using Getting 2 Zero strategies it developed in the Gold Coast, the shelter reduced its euthanasia rate to 9 percent for dogs and 24.9 percent for cats in 2009-’10.

    Communities across Australia embrace progressive shelter's model to reduce euthanasia

    November/December 2013

    Australia's animal shelters face many of the same companion animal issues as their North American counterparts. The Animal Welfare League of Queensland found itself in a unique position to tackle the challenges of an entire city, creating a comprehensive model to build a broad coalition of stakeholders--and spread awareness of the problems throughout the community. With a successful track record in its own backyard, the shelter has set out to share its "Getting 2 Zero" model across the nation.

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  • Magazine Article

    A giant heart in the meadowlands

    Firefighter cares for felines at New Jersey sports complex

    November/December 2013

    Firefighter cares for felines at New Jersey sports complex.

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  • Magazine Article

    Beyond the dumpster

    Trap-neuter-return (TNR) advocate Toby Franks rocks it with some adoptable kitties in a colony room at One of a Kind Pet Rescue in Akron, Ohio, where he has been taking feral cats to be TNR’d since 2007.

    Chance encounter with feral cats turns Ohio man into TNR advocate

    September/October 2013

    Touched by the sight of two young feral cats playing near a dumpster, an Ohio man becomes a TNR advocate.

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  • Magazine Article

    Putting it into practice

    Intake and euthanasia rates are down at San Jose’s shelter, thanks to a program that provides spay/neuter surgeries for outdoor cats before returning them to the community.

    A new way in San Jose helps cut cat intake, euthanasia

    September/October 2013

    See how the city shelter in San Jose, CA embraced shelter-neuter-return and saw cat intake drop by 25 percent and euthanasia drop by 65%.

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  • Magazine Article

    For community cats, a change is gonna come

    A former ACO turned shelter veterinarian has a startling message: When it comes to stray cats, we’ve been doing it wrong

    September/October 2013

    Veterinarian Kate Hurley knows the staggering toll of the euthanasia of healthy cats in shelters. It's evidence, she argues, that the current sheltering model isn't working for cats, and needs to be changed. Picking up and euthanizing healthy feral and unowned cats doesn’t protect them, other pets, wildlife, or human health, nor does it help control feline overpopulation. But what should we be doing instead? Some shelters are starting to work on new approaches.

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