Cat adoption numbers have been on the rise in recent years, which is wonderful. However, most people cannot afford the time or money to properly nurse and take care of cats with diseases and behavioral issues. They may think that an animal control officer picks them up and takes them to get the treatment they desperately need. In reality, those with the most issues tend to get euthanized at the animal shelters first. Isn't there someone out there that can help these doomed animals? Fortunately, there are organizations that primarily focus on the neediest cats.
Ann Dunn was once a volunteer for Oakland Animal Services, where she witnessed the heartbreaking reality of the situation. In 2011, she decided to create an organization that could take in sick shelter cats that were going to be euthanized. She called it Cat Town Oakland. Some of her volunteer staff actually work with Oakland Animal Services, where they can find out which cats to save. They now have over 50 foster homes. They opened Cat Town Cafe in 2014 to provide a relaxing environment for cats and potential adopters to socialize. In 2017, they opened The Studios at Cat Town for those that were harder to rehome.
The largest all-volunteer feline rescue organization in the US is The Cat's Meow. They are currently operating in Los Angeles, the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They rescue cats off the streets and those in shelters that are going to be euthanized due to illness and overpopulation. Los Angeles city shelters euthanize 90% of their unweaned kittens and 60% of their adult cats. It is estimated that 90% of the 8,000 to 12,000 would be adoptable if they had veterinary care or behavioral treatment. These kinds of heartbreaking facts led Talia Goldman and Carla Browning to create The Cat's Meow. They use 100% of their funds to rescue cats and take care of them. They provide medical care, spays, neuters, and supplies. They currently have over 100 volunteers who are dedicated to their mission. Cats with only 24 hours left before euthanasia are their primary focus. Over 500 cats are saved from LA shelters every year because of their efforts. Texas' locations only have a few volunteers and really need donations to expand. For anyone looking to adopt a cat, they recommend taking two at a time to ensure they have healthy social development. There is no obligation to do so, but they have the cat's best interest at heart. On their website, they give useful advice for adopting the right cat.
Los Angeles is home to another great organization called Kitten Rescue. It was founded in 1997 as a non-profit animal welfare group. They are committed to finding loving homes for unwanted kittens. Each year they rehome more than 1,000 cats. Since it was established, they have helped 17,000 kittens find new homes. The rescue seems to have thought of everything when it comes to special care. They recently began the construction of a Feline Leukemia Sanctuary Room. Feline leukemia weakens a cat's immune system, making it more susceptible to disease. Since it's transmissible to other cats, those that are infected must be kept separate from the others. Visitors should go and see the kittens and find out about the awesome work Kitten Rescue is doing. The rescue provides an online Kitten Care Handbook, in order to teach potential adopters whether orphaned kittens should be taken into their home or to a shelter. This resource also gives advice on how to care for recently adopted kittens. It covers every aspect of kitten and cat's care. They even have a room designated for nursing mothers. They set up a Kitten Cam that allows visitors to view these adorable families. All the cats seen are eligible for adoption.
Some of the shelter cats they help have rare disorders and abnormalities. Their volunteers recently brought in a litter of kittens from East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys. They were only 3 weeks old, but the rescuers noticed something very peculiar about them. Their front legs looked crooked, and after a little while, the joints started to bend at weird angles. All the kittens were taken to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital where they were diagnosed with carpal laxity syndrome. This condition is more often found in puppies. The syndrome is thought to be caused by unbalanced growth rates between the front limb's bones and tendons. In an attempt to correct this issue, the kittens were given leg casts. The rescue said on their facebook that they wanted the kittens to grow up healthy, happy, and strong. Not many people would adopt a cat and care for it with this type of condition, but the rescue is determined to make them more adoptable.
With the help of these wonderful organizations, it is sure that the cat adoption figures will continue their positive trend. No more cats and kittens have to be needlessly put down, as long as these groups have anything to say about it.