Rescuing Cats
From the
Euthanasia List – A
How To Guide
Dr Frances Flower
22 Feb 2014
frances.flower@austinpetsalive.org
APA! Cat
Rescue:
Then & Now
• Where we started
• Current state of play
• Cat stats
 Two evaluators covering 7
days a week
 ~20-30 cats/kittens each
night on the list
 Limited ability to work on
cats on ...
 No-kill shelter
 5 evaluators
 5-20 cats/kittens on the list (still given deadlines)
 Ability to work on every cat on...
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
# cats saved
YEAR
2008 20132012201120102009
40
1948
2848
13991528
779
APA! Cat
Rescue:
Getting Started
• Organization
• Liaising with shelter
• Internal
communication
Current APA! Organization
Shelter Rescue
Foster
Bottle
Baby
Barn
Placement
Cattery
FeLV+
Ward
Ringworm
Ward
New Organization
Shelter Rescue
Foster
Bottle
Baby
Barn
Placement
Cattery
FeLV+
Ward
Ringworm
Ward
Set up Communication
with Shelter
 Establish access to the shelter’s euthanasia list
 Understand how that list works
 D...
Set Up Your Program
Communication
 Determine a Rescue Lead and who they
will liaise with
 Create email rescue alias
 Em...
APA! Cat
Rescue:
Working the List
• Typical cats on list
• Evaluating cats
• Useful tools
• Reporting
• Choosing cats for
...
Types of cats on the list: behaviour
 Litter-box issues
 Aggression
 Rough players
 Quick to arouse
 Hard to handle
...
Types of cats on the list: medical
 Injuries
 Chronic medical
issue
 Ringworm
 Felv+
 FIV+
 URI
Other Factors that Influence
the List
 Kitten season
 Hoarding cases
 Disease outbreak
 Holidays
 Natural disaster
Evaluating cats - OUTLINE
 Collect euthanasia list from shelter
 Determine order of evaluations
 Review notes by
shelte...
Evaluating cats - BEHAVIOUR
bold / confident / withdrawn / shy / scared / aggressive /
relaxed / affectionate / indifferen...
Evaluating cats - MEDICAL
Ears, eyes,
nose
Any
discharge?
Sneezing? Itchy ears? Hot
ears?
Dry nose?
Body
condition
Emaciat...
Evaluator’s Toolkit
 Notebook
 Camera (no flash)
 Smartphone
 Straw toys
 Feliway
 Woolen gloves
 Wet food
Remember while you are there….
 Chance to help potential
adopters see cats at the
shelter
 Opportunity to start
socialis...
Evaluating cats – WRAP UP
 Make notes on your observations
 Take photos
 Report any concerns to staff
 Return to staff...
Reporting Evaluations
• Assess suitability for your program
Reporting Evaluations
• Call out impt info
Reporting Evaluations
• Use photos for initial marketing
• Use evals/abbreviated version for pleaing to foster
Choosing Cats for Your Program
Questions to ask yourself:
 What space do I have available?
 Is my current cat population...
Choosing Cats for Your Program
Break down the list
 Determine which cats you think could bring into your
program
 Of tho...
Working Example
VIOLET, 1yr & 6 nursing kittens
WALTER & WILLY, 5yr, shy KENZIE, 5yr, Siamese, vomiting
ANTHONY, 4yr, FIV+
Working Example
VIOLET, 1yr & 6 nursing kittens
WALTER & WILLY, 5yr, shy KENZIE, 5yr, Siamese, vomiting
ANTHONY, 4yr, FIV+...
Never an easy job but you want
to make smart choices:
- know your program ‘cat
inventory’
- know your limiting
resources
-...
APA! Cat
Rescue:
Other Ways Out
• Lost cats
• Original owners
• Other rescue partners
• Requesting re-
evaluation
• Craigs...
Think outside the box….
Stray cats
- Is there signs of having a collar?
- Is their coat in good condition?
- Are they decl...
Think outside the box….
Owner surrendered cats
- Contact owner (by phone) and tell them the cat
is at risk.
- Sometimes ow...
Post on Craigslist for Potential
Adopters
• Needs to grab attention
• Make sure cat has a NAME!
• List key, unique feature...
Other Tips
• If a cat has improved over time at the
shelter, ask for a re-evaluation by their team
• See if another rescue...
APA! Cat
Rescue:
Keeping Recruits
• Who to recruit
• What wasn’t
successful
• What works well
• Training strategy
Who to Recruit
 Cat experience preferred
 Detail orientated
 Able to think outside the
box
 Responsive to email
 Look...
How to Recruit
E.g. volunteer recruitment slide
If you’re good at details and observations, love cats and can
commitment t...
What didn’t work!
Problems we ran into:
 Overwhelmed
 Panicked by deadlines
 Emotionally stressed
Jumping in and helpin...
What didn’t work!
Remember – this can be a
stressful and lonely volunteer
position.
Evaluators get connected
with cats the...
What works!
 Step-by-step training is worth the
investment
 Info presented in small pieces
 Time to digest process
 Le...
APA!’s Training Strategy
the step-by-step approach
 Intro and tour of shelter
 How to do evaluations
 How to understand...
Questions?
frances.flower@austinpetsalive.org
Rescuing Cats from the Euthanasia List
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Rescuing Cats from the Euthanasia List

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Rescuing Cats from the Euthanasia List

  1. 1. Rescuing Cats From the Euthanasia List – A How To Guide Dr Frances Flower 22 Feb 2014 frances.flower@austinpetsalive.org
  2. 2. APA! Cat Rescue: Then & Now • Where we started • Current state of play • Cat stats
  3. 3.  Two evaluators covering 7 days a week  ~20-30 cats/kittens each night on the list  Limited ability to work on cats on the list (only a small number)  To rely entirely on foster group ~20 In late 2008 we had…
  4. 4.  No-kill shelter  5 evaluators  5-20 cats/kittens on the list (still given deadlines)  Ability to work on every cat on the list  Large foster base (~145) and cattery space at multiple locations  Additional programs for special cats (FeLv Ward, Ringworm Ward, feral enclosure) ….in 2014 we have:
  5. 5. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 # cats saved YEAR 2008 20132012201120102009 40 1948 2848 13991528 779
  6. 6. APA! Cat Rescue: Getting Started • Organization • Liaising with shelter • Internal communication
  7. 7. Current APA! Organization Shelter Rescue Foster Bottle Baby Barn Placement Cattery FeLV+ Ward Ringworm Ward
  8. 8. New Organization Shelter Rescue Foster Bottle Baby Barn Placement Cattery FeLV+ Ward Ringworm Ward
  9. 9. Set up Communication with Shelter  Establish access to the shelter’s euthanasia list  Understand how that list works  Develop your program’s process  Set up liaison person  Provide shelter with up to 3 approved people to confirm on cats
  10. 10. Set Up Your Program Communication  Determine a Rescue Lead and who they will liaise with  Create email rescue alias  Emergency phone list  Develop format for reporting evaluations  Google calendar for rescue  Set ground rules for rescue
  11. 11. APA! Cat Rescue: Working the List • Typical cats on list • Evaluating cats • Useful tools • Reporting • Choosing cats for your program
  12. 12. Types of cats on the list: behaviour  Litter-box issues  Aggression  Rough players  Quick to arouse  Hard to handle  Terrified cats  Withdrawn cats  Protective nursing mums  Unsocialised kittens
  13. 13. Types of cats on the list: medical  Injuries  Chronic medical issue  Ringworm  Felv+  FIV+  URI
  14. 14. Other Factors that Influence the List  Kitten season  Hoarding cases  Disease outbreak  Holidays  Natural disaster
  15. 15. Evaluating cats - OUTLINE  Collect euthanasia list from shelter  Determine order of evaluations  Review notes by shelter/owner/previous evaluations  Observe cat in kennel before opening  Assess behaviour & personality  Assess cat condition  Submit cat ‘holds’ to shelter
  16. 16. Evaluating cats - BEHAVIOUR bold / confident / withdrawn / shy / scared / aggressive / relaxed / affectionate / indifferent On approach does he.. Get up to greet? Stay in place? Tries to escape or hide? Adjust body position? Response to Touch Lets you touch? Touch head only? Touch all over? Any sensitive areas? Vocalise Chatty? Growling? Yowling? Crying? Handling Can you pick up easily? Struggling on pick up? Not comfortable picking up? Signs of stress/threat Lip licking? Hissing? Swatting? Lunging? Attempt to bite? Positive behaviours Purring? Elevator butt? Making biscuits? Slow blinking? Cheek/chin rubbing?
  17. 17. Evaluating cats - MEDICAL Ears, eyes, nose Any discharge? Sneezing? Itchy ears? Hot ears? Dry nose? Body condition Emaciated? Skinny? Normal? Heavy set? Obese? Coat Dull and dry or flaky? Any hairloss? Glossy? Matted? Appetite Eating food? Food preference? Social eater? Litterbox use Using litterbox? BM’s normal? Diarrhoea? Drinking Excessive drinking? Pain behaviour? Coat fluffed up? Reluctant to move? Tail tucked, shoulders hunched and all four feet tucked under? Lying prostate? Unresponsive?
  18. 18. Evaluator’s Toolkit  Notebook  Camera (no flash)  Smartphone  Straw toys  Feliway  Woolen gloves  Wet food
  19. 19. Remember while you are there….  Chance to help potential adopters see cats at the shelter  Opportunity to start socialising kittens
  20. 20. Evaluating cats – WRAP UP  Make notes on your observations  Take photos  Report any concerns to staff  Return to staff desk and put a ‘hold’ on the cats you can help  Name ‘no name’ cats if allowed  Ask for a kennel count if possible From home, write report and submit to your rescue alias
  21. 21. Reporting Evaluations • Assess suitability for your program
  22. 22. Reporting Evaluations • Call out impt info
  23. 23. Reporting Evaluations • Use photos for initial marketing • Use evals/abbreviated version for pleaing to foster
  24. 24. Choosing Cats for Your Program Questions to ask yourself:  What space do I have available?  Is my current cat population varied enough? Do I have a good mix of age, colour, coat length, breed or am I heavy loaded with a particular group of cats?  How many adoptions will we have this week? This month?  Are we expecting a large influx of cats at the shelter in the next month?
  25. 25. Choosing Cats for Your Program Break down the list  Determine which cats you think could bring into your program  Of those cats, number them in terms of order of saving. You are looking for FAST adoptions. Consider your priorities as:  Kittens over adults  Litters or pairs over individuals (= more lives saved)  Highly desirable features/traits (Siamese, Persian, Maine Coon, declawed, polydactyl, manx, three-legged, one- eyed)  Healthy over sick  Of the cats you decide not to bring into your program:  plea for adopters on CL
  26. 26. Working Example VIOLET, 1yr & 6 nursing kittens WALTER & WILLY, 5yr, shy KENZIE, 5yr, Siamese, vomiting ANTHONY, 4yr, FIV+
  27. 27. Working Example VIOLET, 1yr & 6 nursing kittens WALTER & WILLY, 5yr, shy KENZIE, 5yr, Siamese, vomiting ANTHONY, 4yr, FIV+ 1 23 4
  28. 28. Never an easy job but you want to make smart choices: - know your program ‘cat inventory’ - know your limiting resources - pick cats for FAST adoptions - FAST adoptions = more lives saved!!
  29. 29. APA! Cat Rescue: Other Ways Out • Lost cats • Original owners • Other rescue partners • Requesting re- evaluation • Craigslist
  30. 30. Think outside the box…. Stray cats - Is there signs of having a collar? - Is their coat in good condition? - Are they declawed? - Check on craigslist lost &found - Check to see which area they were found at and post a CL with that neighborhood in subject line - If you are part of that neighborhood, send an email to the listserv/neighborhood watch group
  31. 31. Think outside the box…. Owner surrendered cats - Contact owner (by phone) and tell them the cat is at risk. - Sometimes owners cannot afford treatment or are having financial difficulties – any assistance programs? - If owner is not willing to reclaim, see if you can gain more insight how that cat was in the home.
  32. 32. Post on Craigslist for Potential Adopters • Needs to grab attention • Make sure cat has a NAME! • List key, unique features • e.g. DECLAW, MANX, SNOWWHITE, SIAMESE • Give important information – the cat’s ID, any deadline and where the cat is • If this is a cat that your Program may bring in, posting on CL is also a good place to recruit a new foster. List that option in the CL.
  33. 33. Other Tips • If a cat has improved over time at the shelter, ask for a re-evaluation by their team • See if another rescue partner might be interested in helping a particular cat e.g. Siamese Rescue • Good photos are really helpful for attracting potential adopters and for foster pleas • Youtube clips are even better! You can often use them for marketing the cat later too!
  34. 34. APA! Cat Rescue: Keeping Recruits • Who to recruit • What wasn’t successful • What works well • Training strategy
  35. 35. Who to Recruit  Cat experience preferred  Detail orientated  Able to think outside the box  Responsive to email  Looking for 3 hour commitment one day a week
  36. 36. How to Recruit E.g. volunteer recruitment slide If you’re good at details and observations, love cats and can commitment to 3 hours - one day a week please consider joining our team and be the voice for the cats! We offer in-depth training for anyone interested in joining our small team Why join us?  You like a challenge  You want to have a direct impact on lives saved  You want to meet all kinds of cats This is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. Please consider joining our team.
  37. 37. What didn’t work! Problems we ran into:  Overwhelmed  Panicked by deadlines  Emotionally stressed Jumping in and helping do the list immediately – the learn-as-you-go approach - Offer to foster every cat - Frantic phone calls/emails - Hostility/anger - Breakdown - Walking away HIGH VOLUNTEER TURNOVER
  38. 38. What didn’t work! Remember – this can be a stressful and lonely volunteer position. Evaluators get connected with cats they are assessing. They may feel like no-one else understands and that they are the cats only chance to survive. Jumping in and helping do the list immediately – the learn-as-you-go approach HIGH VOLUNTEER TURNOVER
  39. 39. What works!  Step-by-step training is worth the investment  Info presented in small pieces  Time to digest process  Less pressure  Multiple opportunities to reinforce protocols the step-by-step approach LOW VOLUNTEER TURNOVER
  40. 40. APA!’s Training Strategy the step-by-step approach  Intro and tour of shelter  How to do evaluations  How to understand the reports  Shadowing  Leading Quarterly team meetings LOW VOLUNTEER TURNOVER
  41. 41. Questions? frances.flower@austinpetsalive.org

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