Millions of cats find themselves at animal shelters around the country each year; in fact, nearly 20,000 felines come through Animal Humane Society’s doors each year. Unfortunately, the number of homes willing to adopt a feline is far less than the number of cats brought to us each year. It's going to take all of us working together to reduce this disparity within the community. You can help by doing any one of the following — and asking your friends and family to do the same!
Spay/neuter your cats – Spaying or neutering your cat is critical to reducing the number of cats and kittens flooding animal shelters and rescues throughout the state. All cats at Animal Humane Society are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. And now, high quality, low cost spay/neuter services are available for pets of people in need through a partnership between Animal Humane Society and Kindest Cut, a private veterinary practice. Talk with your veterinarian about the benefits of spay/neuter.
Microchip and ID – Many of the cats that make their way to shelters are strays. They don't make their way home again because they aren't identifiable. Increase your cat's chances of returning home by having him or her microchipped and identified with an ID tag and collar. AHS offers low-cost microchip clinics at each of its locations every month.
Keep them safe indoors – Despite popular belief, cats can be happy indoors. Keeping your cat inside removes them from the dangers of traffic and disease, other animals, and those who don't have their best interest at heart. If you do let them outside occasionally, make sure to supervise them and use a leash and harness to keep them safe. Learn more by watching this short Fox 9 News segment with Animal Humane Society Training Manager Paula Zukoff.
Turn to Animal Humane Society before you surrender your cat – We’re here to answer your behavior questions about your pet, and we might just be able to help you resolve an issue that will keep your pet at home, with you. Please call the Animal Humane Society Behavior Helpline at (763) 489-2202 with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s behavior. You may also find assistance by reviewing our online pet behavior library or visiting the Help with your pet page on our website.
Adopt a cat – Adopting a homeless cat will help more than just that one cat. It also provides another homeless cat the opportunity to find a new home. At Animal Humane Society, the adoption fee for adult cats (one year of age or older) is only $50! As with all of our adoptions, this fee includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and more.
In case you need further convincing, we’ve put together a list of just a few of the many wonderful reasons to adopt a feline:
Bringing home a new pet can be a very exciting time. But if you already have a pet, it can also be a nerve-wracking experience. How will your current pet react to having another animal in the house? What if they don’t get along?
According to Animal Humane Society Trainer Kate Varns, bringing home a new pet requires a period of transition and adjustment for other pets in the household. Whether you are bringing home a dog or a cat, there are certain rules that apply for both to help the relationship get off to the right start.
The key to success, Kate says, is to take a slow and steady approach to the introduction process. “You should never just throw the pets together and let them ‘work it out,’” she says. “First impressions set the tone for the entire relationship, and every fight makes it less likely to be successful.”
A good way to start this process is to keep them separate for the first three to four days. Keep the new pet behind a closed door, in a room of her own. If the newcomer is a dog, consider confining your resident cat. This three to four day period also allows time for your veterinarian to examine the newcomer for signs of illness, keeping your current pet healthy.
As you begin to introduce the pets slowly, keep the first few interactions short, using positive reinforcement to make the introduction an enjoyable experience for all. Give the pets plenty of treats whenever they are together. The goal is to teach them that good things happen when the other pet is around.
Once you have introduced them to each other, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. You need to realize that they may not instantly become best friends. During the first several interactions, Kate recommends using leashes for dogs and baby gates for all pets to prevent them from chasing each other. “If either pet appears stressed or overwhelmed, end the interaction and don’t try again until he or she calms down,” says Kate.
Remember, integrating pets is a process, not a one-time activity. You should be prepared to supervise and manage your pets for at least a month until they learn to feel comfortable around each other. It’s possible that they will never be best friends and perhaps will only learn to tolerate each other. But with the right amount of time, patience, and positive reinforcement, the furry members of your growing family can learn to live together in peace.
The tornado that ripped through north Minneapolis on May 22 devastated a large colony of great blue herons living on a small Mississippi River island. There were approximately 180 heron nests in the rookery in North Mississippi Regional Park, all of which were destroyed when the storm took down the majority of trees on this once heavily-forested island.
On May 24, the Animal Humane Society Wildlife Team was requested to assist the National Park Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in a search and rescue mission to locate any injured or orphaned birds. Our wildlife team was called upon because of their experience in handling herons. They provided instruction on safely capturing the birds and performed immediate health assessments on each one.
After an extensive search of the island, they recovered a few injured adults and surviving chicks which were brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota to be treated. While the majority of chicks on the island did not survive the storm, it is believed that many of the adult herons survived by fleeing the island before the storm hit. The surviving adults will likely move to a new location in the area and be able to breed again next year.
Mark your calendars for June 18. Animal Humane Society is hosting two open house events for the pet-loving communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and the west metro.
If you’re heading to the annual Buffalo Days festival, stop by Animal Humane Society in Buffalo for a special event. We’ll bring out the grill, have games for the kids and you’ll meet plenty of animals ready for a home. More info.
If you’re closer to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport area, then drop in to Now Boarding for a first-hand look at this state-of-the-art pet boarding and doggy daycare facility that supports the work of Animal Humane Society. More info.