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.

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!


Why I Have a Nerd-Crush on Jackson Galaxy

Smirnoff’s shelter photo.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I have a nerd-crush on a cat behaviorist.

Jackson Galaxy, sometimes known as the “Cat Daddy” has a show on Animal Planet called My Cat From Hell. The people on his show have out-of-control cats. Cats that bite, scratch, yowl, and chase the dog. Cats that urinate outside the litter box. Cats that seem miserable or vicious  and owners who just don’t know what to do anymore. By the end of each episode, however, the owners have learned how their cat thinks, and by understanding cat behavior better—which Jackson calls “cat mojo”—feline and humans (and the occasional dog) can finally live in peace together.

But Jackson Galaxy is more than just a cat behaviorist who educates people on how to interact with their cats. He’s a cat advocate. He comes from the shelters. He knows what it’s like for homeless cats and does what he can to keep cats in homes—in good homes where they are happy.

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Sitting for Benny & Finn

Benny at the shelter.
Benny at the shelter.

When cats at the shelter get adopted, it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s also often bittersweet, since most of the time we never see these animals again, except for the occasional photo posted on our Facebook page. So it’s always a nice surprise when we do.

This past weekend, I was cat-sitting for Benny & Finn, two awesome cats who were adopted in December. (They are essentially giant, fluffy versions of Smirnoff & Bacardi, which is partly why I loved them at the shelter.) Finn, unfortunately, has been having some unknown medical issues since his adoption, but has slowly been getting better. I was called in because the owner needed someone who could come over twice a day to medicate Finn and feed both cats while she was away, and I happen to live not too far from her.

These are not the first cats I’ve looked after, and Finn is certainly not the first cat I’ve had to medicate. I sometimes cat-sit for two wonderful felines, Henry & Sydney, for a couple who live downtown. Sydney is getting up in years and has renal failure, so she needs sub-cutaneous (sub-q) fluids every other day, plus a pill.

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