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Trying to help two cats - where is it safe to post the ad? ad contents?

jett1
January 20th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Hello,

Iím a new member in the forums, and Iím seeking an advice from anyone who has experience with adopting or finding homes for cats.

Iím trying to help two cats (sisters) who have been somewhat neglected by its owners.

The owners had to leave the country and didnít find a proper home for the two cats. The cats are currently staying at an animal clinic/hotel, where their stay has been prepaid. Unfortunately, I just have been informed by the owners that they canít afford to keep the cats there much longer ($600 / Month). While the cats are still there, Iíve taken it upon myself to try to find a new or temporary home for the cats. So Iím pretty much in charge of finding the solution. Donít ask me about the owners, or what were they thinking. Itís beyond me how they are irresponsible. Iím an avid animal lover and my goal is to help the cats.

Iím hoping to get an advice on how to find the BEST home for these cats. Or at least more affordable temporary home / cat hotel.

BTW: Iím trying to follow these instructions:
http://www.theanimalspirit.com/sample1.html
http://www.theanimalspirit.com/homecheck.html
http://www.theanimalspirit.com/sample.html

This is my first time helping an animal find home - Iíve already done research on how to create a thorough screening for the applicants. I now know NOT to post on Craigslist or Kijiji. Besides contacting anyone I know to spread the word, Iíve been told it is safe to post the ads in Vet clinics and offices. Iím just not sure where else I can find animal / cat lovers areas Ė so it would be safe to post the ad there. Are there any safe internet sites?


1. Is there anything else Iím missing? I would love to hear any other suggestions where else I could post the ad as long as itís safe. Anyone has any experience with any internet sites?

2. Does anyone know a cheaper temporary stay for the cats so the owners can afford it? Currently they are paying $600 / month for the two cats.

3. Is there too much info in the ad? Or am I missing something?
***Below is the sample of the ad, ***minus the contact, photos and other details (forum rules)

4. I would like to incorporate some of my screening points (below) from my screening process into the ad - is that inappropriate?


The owners might be back in the country in 3 months, so if I can find more affordable accommodation for the cats, they will probably take them back. But in my opinion and judging how irresponsible they are now towards the cats, I might rather see the cats go to someone who will truly love them and care for them.



HERE is the sample of the ad I created:

Is there something Iím missing or is there too much info?
Also, if itís against the forum rules, please let me know and I will remove this sample immediately!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Location is in *********
Phone number: ********
Some info about the cats: (It will include pictures)

Their names are ***** and ***** (Great Tabby), both around 7 years old.

They are very loving cats
They are good with kids and babies (baby grew up around them)
They are active, strong, and healthy
They like to play together
They must stay together because theyíre sisters
They are had been indoor cats all their lives,
They are toilet trained
They had been vaccinated and spayed
They are not de-clawed and they are NOT to be de-clawed
They donít scratch furniture; they have their own scratch post.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Below is the screening process I came up with that I would like to use. Am I missing something? Should I incorporate it into the ad?


1. Place: House or Apartment
2. How many people in the household: Adults / Kids
3. If Kids: How old? How are they with animals?
4. Allergies to cats?
5. Where will the cats be kept / sleep?
6. Will they be alone during the day? How long?
7. Who will be ďThe OneĒ responsible for taking care of the cats?
8. Aware of financial needs to take care of the cats?
9. Vacation: How often do you go? Who will take care of them if you go?
10. Other pets? Or in the past? What happened to them?
11. If yes, name and contact of you Vet for reference
12. Why do you want the cats?
13. What (cats) type / personality are you looking for?
14. How will the cats be discipline?
15. Plans to move in the future
16. Ready for lifestyle compromise

17. Willing to sign an Adoption Agreement:
------------- Must provide references
------------- Cats wonít be sold or given away
------------- Agree not to declaw the cats
------------- Permission to be contacted to follow up on the well being of the cats
------------- Possible visits, provide photos in the future
------------- Agree to disclose contact information and personal info
------------- Agree to a home inspection


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any advice. If you have any question, just ask.

Robert

badger
January 20th, 2009, 10:37 AM
It's kind of you to take this on.

I would contact rescues in your area (you can fiind a list on petfinder.com - click on animal shelters by state - the Canadian provinces are included in the state list - and explain the situation. If you are very very lucky, they may be willing to actively help you. Failing that, mine them for information. A good rescue will gladly share their adoption contract with you. If they have a website, ask for a courtesy listing, so you can get the sisters' picture out. With so much competition for homes, a picture can make all the difference.

I am not absolving the family that abandoned them but quite frankly, many people would have dumped them on the street :sad:.
How much time do you have before the money runs out? Because it can take a long, long time. If you have any kind of a friendly relationship with these people, maybe you can persuade them to pay for one more month, buy yourself some time.

Post everywhere . This will up your chances, although some people you will be able to exclude just by talking to them over the phone (if they insist on declawing, for instance). Charging a fee will protect you from prospective abusers or people who sell animals to labs. I suggest $50 for both cats, mimumum. Money can be a deal-breaker, especially in tough times. I don't know where the middle ground is. Use your intuition. Ask lots of 'casual' questions. I've never asked for a home visit but it's a good idea if you have any lingering doubts. Maybe you could request that the whole family meet the sisters for the first time, a good way to observe them, how they behave, how loving they are. If they visit them at the clinic, go along.

I would try to work some of your questions into the general conversation rather than using them as a checklist. Some of them, as phrased, might put people off (16, 15, 12, 7) - even though they should be able to answer them. There are very few perfect homes, what you are looking for is someone with a good heart, enough space and a commitment to the sisters' psychological and physical well-being (including enough money to cover vet costs).

You're correct that the previous owners should not be able to march in and reclaim them and you should be quite clear that you are only willing to help with permanent arrangements. Explain that animals have a very hard time adjusting to change and the kindest thing they could do is let them be re-homed. If they are willing to fork out 600$ a month for boarding, they must have some sympathy for these animals.

Good luck. Really work those rescues; if they offer help that seems reasonable, especially a good foster home, take it. It can be a long haul, trust me.

Khari
January 20th, 2009, 10:59 AM
I just wanted to thank you for taking it upon yourself to help find these sisters a home (hopefully together):fingerscr

One thing I wanted to give you a heads up on is to be careful not to give them to a research lab. I have heard that these labs will search the ads in the newspaper, etc. for "Free" animals. And sometimes will pay a small fee for these animals.:shrug:

Good luck!

Mat&Murph
January 20th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Good for you in haveing a big heart!!! Welcome BTW

badger
January 20th, 2009, 02:05 PM
...on the other hand, if you can find alternate accommodation for the sisters and the 'owners' are willing to continue paying, why should it be your problem? At least they would be together and not on the street somewhere.
There would be no shame in choosing such an alternative.

jett1
January 22nd, 2009, 11:32 PM
Thanks to everyone for tips, especially badger!!

I went around few vet clinics and pet stores to put up posters. I was surprised how everyone was helpful. I got some good tips on alternative accommodation for the cats. The place they are staying right now is not the greatest for them. When I went to see them two days ago, one of them was really depressed and not eating. It's tough to see them when they are visibly sad.

On the other hand, later that day when I went to get some advice from Toronto Humane Society and saw the huge number of cats (at least 200) for adoption, it seems like some of them are there for months, if not year(s). It is hard to watch since most of them don't pay attention to people anymore. It puts things in perspective, you know....feeling sorry for two cats vs hundreds of them locked in cages for months with little hope of getting adopted.

The good news is that I have a couple of ladies who are interested. Although, one of them seems little too old or perhaps 'slower' around her environment. When I spoke to her on the phone she had a hard time explaining basic things like address and other basic info. I'm little worried she might unintentionally neglect the cats. Hopefully when I meet her for the "interview" I'll be able to make up my mind.

Thanks again for help!!!