It was time for a cat rescue when my second Himalayan passed away. I decided to do a cat adoption from the local shelter instead of buying another purebred. My calicoes had lived to be 19 and 21 years old, so I decided to search for one of those hardier creatures.
I didn't want a feral cat from a cat colony
so I scanned the internet off and on for several weeks. Cat adoption
is sure made easier now with all the available internet searches that
are possible. The photo of L'Oreal Blaze grabbed me. She looked so
silly with huge ears standing up like pointy satellite dishes.
I phoned the number listed and was informed that the cat I had inquired about had a sister. They were trying to keep them together and were currently being cared for in a foster home. I was given the phone number of the woman who had them in her home. We arranged to meet and view the two kittens.
They were now 5 months old and had been with this lady since they were found outside a dumpster at age 6 weeks. Well, I fell in love with them. They were well cared for and healthy. I had to go to the Seattle Animal Shelter and do the paperwork, then I took them home.
I was warned that they would be stressed being in a new environment and it was suggested that I keep them in a separate room for a few days until they got adjusted. Sheesh....take a look at the photo below.
It might seem a little odd to encounter the cat of your dreams over your computer screen but the Internet plays host to a seemingly endless variety of goods and services, and animal shelters nationwide are making use of this resource in giving their feline (and canine) residents as much exposure as possible in the hopes of adoption.
You can now find sites that link shelters across the country, sometimes alerting you to facilities nearby that you never knew existed. While many progressive animal shelters and rescue leagues have been blessed with a multi-talented staff member or volunteer that maintains the website for their organization, others are lucky just to have sufficient staff to keep their litter boxes clean.
Although I got my first 2 cats from the local shelter, my other 3 have arrived (about a year apart) at the door looking pathetic and needy...oops...now 4 with the new addition of Giorgio, a neighbor's neglected cat.
There are so many cats needing homes and the internet is a great place to start viewing the photos of them.....one will capture your attention. Cat rescue...saving a life...cat adoption...making your life fuzzier...is a good thing. Although I had used the local shelter's website you can locate pets by going to: Pet Finder.org and simply entering your zip code to view cats in your area.
This organization is giving online exposure to cat rescue groups....providing online exposure along the information superhighway. Regardless of whether a group already has an online presence, linking to this type of organization offers better chances for a cat rescue and someone to find their new companion.
Launched in 1996 by Betsy Saul and her husband Jared, Pet Finder initially served homeless pets and the pet-loving public in the New Jersey area. It continued to expand and now serves shelters nationwide. Pet Finder has an online, searchable database of animals in need of homes and cat rescue.
It's also a directory of animal shelters and adoption centers nationwide, and has a page where you can locate missing pets. Pet Finder provides shelters unlimited space in which to post active lists and photographs of adoptable animals. Each organization is assigned a homepage where it can post policies, hours of operations, email addresses, and directions.
Membership with Pet Finder definitely pays off, especially when you consider the cost is free. Pet Finder only features animals being handled by non-profit organizations. Pet Finder participation is a simple non-technical procedure that can easily be delegated to a willing volunteer.
All a prospective shelter with Internet access must do is enroll digitally at the Pet Finder website and establish a contact person committed to updating lists of pets available. Pet Finder is eager to match motivated individuals with shelters in their area.
By promoting cat rescue or adopting a cat, you make a difference. Choosing a cat online has some advantages to pounding the pavement. Shelters and cat rescue groups can be hard to get to. They are spaced out geographically, they often have limited hours, and they can even be hard to reach by phone. Some prospective adopters find it too emotional to go to shelters and they get torn up by the reality of pet overpopulation.
Also, there are parents that won't take their children to a shelter...they want the act of cat rescue to be a happy occasion, and for a sensitive child, a shelter can be traumatic. While the tireless efforts of dedicated individuals at progressive organizations are finally changing the public perception of animal sheltering, it's hard to adopt an animal without being haunted by the images of the ones you left behind.
The ability to browse from your cozy computer desk may also contribute to fewer impulse adoptions. There's nothing wrong with love at first sight, but there's something to be said for thinking through a lifelong commitment. The potential adopter's ability to hone in on pets based on searchable criteria has helped many people to make more intellectual decisions about which cat rescue is right for them.
Pet Finder facilitates this kind of educated perusal. There are also fewer animals returned from Pet Finder type organization adopters than from the general public. It's likely that when people are forced to think about pets in relation to their unique lifestyles, they're more apt to end up with a comfortable fit.
For those that already own pets, Pet Finder allows posting descriptions of animals that need to find homes without shelter assistance. For animals whose temperaments make them unsuitable for the kennel environment, this is a lifesaving approach to placement.
The Pet Finder Journal, another of the site's departments, is a collaboration of articles offering a wide range of information from articles related to animal behavior, to breed-specific topics, inspirational stories, and even a section dedicated to happy endings and cat rescue adoptions.
There are numerous other organizations that have Internet sites but a number of them aren't as advanced as Pet Finder. An organization I've also been helping support with donations is Alley Cat Allies It is amazing how they've been growing because of the dedication of this group. They have just launched a National Cat Help Desk...check them out.
A very large organization site that is for all animals and not just cats is World Animal.net This site offers a very comprehensive directory of animal sheltering/rescue groups. This worldwide directory is comprised of nearly 10,000 links to other websites.
This is another West Coast group with an international pet rescue directory. Hugs for Homeless Animals.org Hugs coordinates a lost and found service for missing pets through their Outreach for the Animals Network, which is made up of shelters, animal rescue, animal control, humane societies, and other lost and found websites.
There is another site of interest... Cat Fanciers.com which is the Cat Fanciers Association's list of breed rescue groups, as well as a source of helpful information on issues related to cat rescue. It also offers a background in population control and feral cat management.