The Cat Who Got Himself Adopted

This isn’t really my story, since I was a fairly passive participant in it—but it’s too good not to share. In fact, if I had been there for more of it, it very well may not have happened. So perhaps it’s just as well.

Jack the cat had decided that he was very well fed up with being in a shelter (even a nice one), so he took it upon himself to get adopted.

Several times a week, a few of the animals get taken on mobile adoptions. It’s a way for them to be seen in a shelter-less setting, to reach adopters who might not trek all the way up the valley to look at animals, and is a way to (cheaply) market the organization. The animals we take have to be fairly easy-going ones. Travel can be stressful, and often the dogs are going to be around other dogs, and the cats sometimes housed in large cages with another cat or two. The selection process is based on health and behavior, as well as overall adoptability.

Skittles the cat on the MAC at a previous mobile event.
Skittles the cat on the MAC at a previous mobile event.

So this past Friday, I went around selecting cats to go on Saturday’s mobile. The event was going to be on our MAC truck (Mobile Adoption Center), which is basically a giant trailer outfitted with cages and windows, so that people can see the animals inside. It’s a really nice unit, and the animals are housed individually, so they don’t necessarily have to get along. They only wanted six cats for Saturday (though they had space for eight) and I tried to make a good selection. I considered sending Jack, but he sometimes defecates in the carrier, so I didn’t want to stress him out.

Saturday morning came, and the adoption team that was working the mobile loaded up the cats. A couple of the cats were located in one of our free roam rooms, where multiple cats live, so they put down the carriers and looked for the right cats to load. Domingo was one of those cats and he was loaded into a carrier and they left, not knowing that Jack had already stuffed his large orange frame into that same carrier.

It wasn’t until they were transferring the cats into the MAC cages that Jack’s presence was discovered. (How they didn’t notice the carrier was absurdly heavy is a mystery, although loading up animals can be a bit hectic.) Since there were a couple extra cages, they decided to let Jack stay.

Jack the cat had taken himself on a mobile adoption.

It wasn’t until the afternoon that the cat team suddenly realized Jack’s absence at the shelter and were frantically trying to figure out where a very large cat may have disappeared to. When we thought to call the mobile team, knowing full well that Jack hadn’t been on the list to go, we were informed of Jack’s journey.

And that he had already been adopted.

The ASPCA Challenge: It’s All About Adoption

The Challenge
Every summer, cats and dogs flock to the shelters. Unspayed cats are having their litters of kittens and stray animals have no need to hide from the winter chill. In the shelter world, we are now in “kitten season.” This lasts until late August or early September, which means that all summer long, every cage in every animal shelter is full.

Summer adoption programs are essential for helping animals get in and out of shelter doors. This year, the Animal Rescue League of Boston is participating in the ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge. For the 50 participating animal shelters across the United States, the goal is to adopt out more cats and dogs than were adopted out during the same time last year. The Challenge began on June 1, and ends August 31.

Not only is the Challenge important because it helps save lives and motivates shelters to increase adoptions, but important grant money will be awarded at the end of the Challenge:

In 2013, 50 shelters will save even more lives, with winners earning $600,000 in prize grants, including a $100,000 grand prize for the shelter that increases lives saved the most.

http://challenge.aspcapro.org/about-2013-challenge

As all animal shelters (and all non-profits) know, grant money can make or break essential programs that will help increase adoptions year-round.

Liz and Lobo
Photo by Amy E.

ARL On the Go
I got to spend the afternoon with Lobo, a Cocker Spaniel (who has since been adopted!). He is such a sweet boy, who was surrendered to us when his previous owners were forced to give him up by their landlord. He was so gentle during the event, and climbed up into the MAT to spend time with the cats, and even gave a young kitten a tongue bath!

We ended up adopting out two kittens, a 6-month-old Chihuahua mix, and Lobo was put on hold (meaning his adopters needed to return for final paperwork). I went into Petco and bought new toys  to spoil the Alcohol Cats (I couldn’t help it). And we were able to spread the word about our participation in the ASPCA Challenge to a new town!

This Summer, Think Adoption
If you’re considering adding a new furry friend to your home, summer is a great time to adopt! Not only are you saving one life, but you are providing another cage for an animal in need who might not otherwise get the chance for a new life.

These next few months, the ARL will be trying to save 1200 lives in 12 weeks! Be sure to follow our journey on the ARL Facebook page, and the ARL website!