Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Lives of Shelter Cats Need Protecting

Advice for Saving the Lives of Shelter Kitties

Seven out of ten cats that enter into the nation’s shelter system are killed. Beautiful, healthy creatures, killed because there is no room, no funding and they cannot find their way home. The fault is not the shelters, they do the best they can with the resources they have. Shelters need our help, but not in the place that may be typically assumed., a leading pet lost and found website, provides advice for those working with
shelters to help solve this problem and bring the cat’s back home.   The situation is analogous to the story of The Little Dutch Boy who plugged a dyke, made a small personal sacrifice, and prevented a flood.

I am a neutered male, buff and white Domestic Shorthair.  The shelter staff think I am about 6 months old.

Shelters spend almost all of their time at the “back door” of the shelter trying to get animals adopted, focusing on “the flood.”  If no one rescues a stray from the shelter or if they are not someone’s ideal pet, they are getting euthanized.  With just a bit of attention on the "front door", as strays are brought to shelters, abysmal return-to-owner rates can be significantly improved. offers some tips and solutions for what shelters and local communities can do to support animal rescues and get cats back home where they belong:

-            Websites. Almost all shelters have websites, but many are old, not kept up, or do not clearly display where recently found cats can be viewed online.  They are just not being used to their fullest potential.  Shelters can use their website to post missing cats, pictures and keep in contact with missing pet owners in their local community.   If a website savvy individual was able to spend time helping shelters to make their site more user friendly and provide a platform of information for visitors, those looking for their missing cats would have a place to start.

It takes only a moment to be the difference that saves a kitty’s life.

-           The Internet. All it would take is a post to a free online lost and found site to give the owners one more chance to find their beloved pet.  High school students who are required to perform community service and community volunteers can increase the chance of stray cats being found by just twice-a-week visits to a local shelter.  They need only enter newly arrived cat’s information into one of these sites that are free and require minimal effort – e.g., a posting on takes only a moment and a photo can be easily uploaded from a computer; with, a stray cat can be posted instantly with a cell phone or on a computer by taking a photo and emailing it to

-          Lost and Found. Most shelters have some sort of lost and found program on their website, fliers, or other local means. Providing help to get the cats found, instead of just focusing on adoption, can make the number of cats being euthanized decrease dramatically. was created to provide lost and found solutions for lost pets. They aim to educate the community, offer assistance to shelters and advise on how to help get animals back home where they belong.

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