Walking to my car this morning, a ragged orange tabby cat skittered across my path. This old boy is one of the lives saved in the Million Cat Challenge.
My house is on the fringe of Kansas City, and sometimes cat owners dump their unruly cats in my rural area. My longtime neighbor is their savior. She adopts the strays, works with a local low-cost spay/neuter facility to have the cats treated and then she lets them run the area.
She provides supportive food and shelter, but the feral cats get to stay wild and happy. And our subdivision stays mouse-free. Every day, this old boy puts a smile on my face.
Earlier this week, the Million Cat Challenge organizers announced (see above) they not only surpassed their goal of a million cats, but they crushed it. Their calculations show they reached their goal months ahead of time and continue to break new ground in feline care.
This shows the power of a good idea to make a seismic change in how America treats felines in shelters. It all began with a group of dedicated shelter cat professionals who set a goal in 2013 to rethink how communities and shelters managed feline populations. At the time, this old orange tabby might have been trapped and put in a small shelter cage where he would have become stressed by this unfamiliar life. Finally, when he continued to withdrawal and become sick, he would have been humanely euthanized.
The idea to rethink how to manage both feral, community cats as well as adoptable cats are the cornerstones of this program. The Million Cat website provides simple, actionable steps shelters, large and small, can take to transform their feline management.
At Shor-Line, we are proud to work with shelter professionals across the country to innovate in conjunction with this positive change in shelter housing. We know animal shelters invested in Shor-Line kennels in the 80s and 90s. Now, thanks to work with university shelter professionals, we are able to offer a Kat Portal that retrofits two small Shor-Line kennels into a comfy cat suite.
The last several years have been an exciting time to work in shelter treatment and medicine. A revolution of talented, gifted professionals are working in large and small shelters to change how America treats homeless pets. We salute everyone who helped reach the Million Cat Challenge.
Now, it is off to save the NEXT million cats!