Category Archives: people helping animals

Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year

We are excited to congratulate the Purina Cat Chow “Shelter Volunteer of the Year”, Liz Taranda!

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Purina Cat Chow ran a contest in 2015 to honor shelter volunteers as part of the “Building Better Lives” program. The contest recognizes and thanks the volunteers who take great care of cats while they wait for their forever homes. These volunteers are key in making the cat’s temporary shelter homes gentler, less stressful places.

The winning shelter receives a $25,000 shelter makeover to improve the cat adoption areas. Purina
Cat Chow donated nearly $100,000 among the 50 participating shelters in recognition of their
volunteers in cash donations, cat food and cat care supplies.

Each of Purina Cat Chow’s 50 shelter partners (one in every state) nominated a volunteer for the contest. Then, from Feb. 23 to March 15, Purina Cat Chow invited consumers nationwide to vote for their favorite volunteer story. Votes and a judging panel determined the winners. More than 272,000 votes were cast in support of the 50 shelter volunteers! A true testament to the wonderful work the volunteers do!

A team of Purina Cat Chow volunteers visited the the winning shelter, Friends of Clifton (N.J.) Animal Shelter on May 19 to help with the renovation.

Every participating shelter received a $1,000 donation, plus Purina Cat Chow Gentle Formula brand
food and cat care supplies. The four runners-up shelters each receive an additional $5,000 donation.

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Paw Star Game brings the cuteness!

Paw Star Game

Get ready for more kitten cuteness than you can handle! Hallmark Channel’s newest show, Paw Star Game, will be airing July 12 at 6pm ET. You’ve seen the “Kitten Bowl” but now the most adorable and adoptable kittens are going up to bat!

TV personality, author and animal advocate BETH STERN will host baseball’s newest tradition along with play-by-play announcers JOHN STERLING (iconic radio voice of the New York Yankees) and MARY CARILLO (award-winning reporter, sports analyst and commentator).

Paw Star Game Kitten

As the kittens take the field to swat balls and catch line drives, they will be cheered on by celebrities including Ed Asner, Maria Menounos, Mario Lopez, Al Roker, Heather McDonald, Deidre Hall and more! Attached are the press release & trading cards of some of the PAW STARS including Derek Cheetah, Joe DiMeowgio, Mickey Meowntle, Siamese Sosa and Willie Strays.

This entertaining event that is part of Hallmark Channel’s initiative, “Pet Project,” bringing light to the plight of shelter pets and adoption. Learn more about Paw Star Game, including seeing all the adorable players, by visiting the Paw Star Game website. Don’t forget to tune in in July!

Paw Star Game kitten dugout

Photos Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine

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Happy National Shelter Pet Adoption Day!

We want to wish you a very HAPPY national shelter pet adoption day by introducing “Happy” the Cat and “Happy” the Dog!

Happy the Cat Happy the Dog

These beloved Pet Ambassadors of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries were adopted last year by Crown Media Family Networks’ President and CEO, Bill Abbott, as part of the company’s evergreen PET PROJECT initiative, which seeks to show through entertainment the joys that animals bring to our lives every day.

In the past 5 years, Hallmark Channel has become known for programming that is entertaining and that serves as a catalyst for shelter pet adoption. Some of the network’s marquee franchises include “Hero Dog Awards Show,” “Kitten Bowl,” “Paw Star Game,” and the upcoming 2016 program, “Ultimate Kitten Summer Games.” Additionally, pet adoption or shelter pets have been at the heart of some of the network’s highest-rated Original Movies, “Nine Lives of Christmas,” “My Boyfriends’ Dogs,” and “Puppy Love,” to name a few. As part of the “Tip to Tail” press tour, “Happy” the Cat and “Happy” the Dog will celebrate many pet-related holidays, including National Shelter Pet Adoption Day on April 30th and Be Kind To Animals Week beginning on May 7th, with the mission to galvanize culture around the belief that the most beautiful pets on the planet are those in shelters waiting on a forever home.

Happy the Dog

“Crown Media Family Networks is proud to support pet adoption and encourage viewers and fans to discover the unmatched love and profound joy a shelter pet can bring into their own families, especially on this day of national awareness and beyond,” said Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “With this promotional effort by our Pet Ambassadors, we hope to expand and further our mission of bringing incredible and lovable rescue animals into the spotlight, and through exceptional entertainment, show just how wonderful it can be to give an animal a home.”

“Happy” the Cat, a three-year-old tabby rescued from an Ohio animal shelter, was the first official rescue pet adopted by the network in 2014. “Happy” the Dog is the newest pet to join Crown Media Family Networks’ furry family, becoming the company’s first-ever canine goodwill ambassador. In addition, this adorable pup has just begun training toward certification to be a therapy dog for sick children and their families.

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Alley Cat Allies Celebrates World Veterinary Day

This Saturday, April 25, Alley Cat Allies observes World Veterinary Day by recognizing veterinarians and their crucial role in protecting cats. Veterinarians not only serve their communities by providing care and treatment for cats, they are also vital sources of information about cats and cat health.

This year’s World Veterinary Day theme is “Vector-Borne Diseases with a Zoonotic Potential,” which is a subject veterinarians are often asked about regarding outdoor cats. As experts, veterinarians are uniquely positioned to answer questions from the public and dispel common myths about zoonoses—myths and undue fear that can cost cats their lives. Veterinarians can use their knowledge and experience to help people understand that outdoor cats are healthy members of the community.

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For example, the enormous success of rabies vaccination and prevention in the United States is illustrative of the impact of veterinarians and their support for effective, humane programs like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for community cats, which are often the largest providers of rabies vaccinations in communities. The fact is there has not been a single cat to human rabies transmission in the United States in 40 years, and this impressive record is due in large part to veterinary practice and education, as well as the growth of TNR programs nationally.

In a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program, community cats—also called feral cats—are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign of a neutered and vaccinated cat). Unsocialized cats are returned to their outdoor home, while socialized cats and kittens are adopted. Trap-Neuter-Return works—it is the mainstream approach to community cats and is supported by veterinarians across the country.

“The importance of cooperation between veterinarians and community cat groups cannot be understated,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Together, they create a powerful coalition that saves cats’ lives and mobilizes the community with knowledge and resources.”

Alley Cat Allies supports veterinarians by providing them with the information they need to respond to and educate community members on cat health and dispelling common misconceptions and myths about community cats. Alley Cat Allies also sponsors trainings throughout the country to provide hands-on experience for veterinarians in high-volume spay and neuter procedures, as well as teaching veterinarians how to respond to the unique needs of community cats.

Resources for veterinarians can be found on Alley Cat Allies’ website at www.alleycat.org/veterinarian. In addition, veterinarians are encouraged to sign an online pledge to show their support for TNR.

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Alley Cat Allies’ lifesaving spring kitten protection tips

Kitten care tips
Photo courtesy of Alley Cat Allies

Now that kitten season is in full swing, we want to make sure that those who care for kittens have the information and resources they need to help those kittens grow up to be healthy cats. Alley Cat Allies’ wrote the following tips to help those who help kittens.

ALLEY CAT ALLIES’ LIFESAVING SPRING KITTEN PROTECTION TIPS

BETHESDA, MD – Spring marks the beginning of kitten season, when babies are born to community cats who have not yet been trapped, neutered, and returned. Taking home a kitten found outdoors is not necessarily a good idea. Alley Cat Allies offers the following springtime kitten-protection tips:

1. Leave kittens with mom. Like all babies, kittens are best left with their mothers who instinctively know how to help their offspring grow up to be strong and healthy cats. Neonatal kittens, 4 weeks old or younger, need constant care and still depend on mom for 100 percent of their food. Kittens 5 to 8 weeks old can begin to eat wet food but are still being weaned. If you know the mother is present, it is best to leave kittens with her. To determine whether the mother is caring for the kittens, wait and observe for two-to- four hours to see if the mother returns. She could just be out looking for food. If she doesn’t return, the kittens could be abandoned. A young kitten living outdoors who does not have a mother present should be taken in and fostered. To determine the age of a kitten, use Alley Cat Allies’ Kitten Progression Chart at www.alleycat.org/KittenProgression.

2. Don’t bring neonatal kittens to an animal shelter. Most shelters are not equipped or trained to provide the necessary round-the-clock care for neonatal kittens. If a kitten can’t eat on his own, he will likely be killed at the shelter. Realistically, it’s never a good idea to take a cat to a shelter, no matter the age or level of socialization. More than 70 percent of cats who enter shelters are killed. That number rises to virtually 100 percent for feral cats. Killing is never the answer—it is inhumane and it fails to stabilize or reduce outdoor cat populations.

3. Volunteer as a kitten foster parent for a local rescue group. There are kitten foster parent programs associated with rescue groups across the country. Though it is an investment of time and requires training, volunteering to foster young kittens is lifesaving and rewarding.

4. Support and practice Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR is the only effective and humane way of decreasing feral cat populations. In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal symbol that a cat has been neutered and vaccinated) before being returned to their outdoor homes. Learn more about TNR at www.alleycat.org/TNR.

Spaying and neutering community cats prevents new litters, drastically reducing the impact of kitten season. Cats as young as 4 months can have litters, so it is important to spay and neuter kittens as soon as they are ready. A good rule of thumb is the 2 Pound Spay/Neuter Rule—kittens can be safely spayed or neutered at 2 months of age or as soon as they weigh 2 pounds. Learn more about pediatric spay and neuter at www.alleycat.org/spayneuter.

5. Advocate for policies and programs that protect cats. Contact your shelter and local officials and tell them you support lifesaving policies for cats, including spay/neuter funding and spay/neuter before adoption. Write letters and call in support of community outreach and education programs that spread awareness about community cats and TNR– you can make a big difference.

Check out http://www.alleycat.org/Kittens for a comprehensive guide to caring for kittens.

About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990 and celebrating 25 years of saving cats, today Alley Cat Allies has over half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.

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