Our mission is to provide education, information and dialogue that will create a supportive environment empowering people to help cats in their community.
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“I always tell everyone, ‘Even if you don't like animals, you can still help. If you don't have what it takes, you can still help.'” This episode is sponsored in part by Kensington Books, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy chats with Melody Kwan, aka Melocat, a cat rescuer and re-homing volunteer based in Hong Kong. Through her network of volunteers, Melody is able to get cats to their ideal homes. She also lives with her 9 rescued and adopted cats in her 555 sq ft apartment. In her discussion with Stacy, Melody explains how she's able to keep her house clean and her cats happy, calm, and comfortable. She talks about the unique systems she has in place that help her save time and create a better lifestyle for both cats and humans. She emphasizes that “vertical space beats floor space”. She's currently developing a course to help others create the same ecosystem in their own lives. Melody also provides insight into what life is like for community cats in Hong Kong and outlines some of the challenges they encounter. She touches on how she got into vlogging, discusses some of her future plans, and shares some cat tips and tricks. To learn more about Melody, visit her YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Facebook page. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Mary Peng, CEO & Founder of International Center for Veterinary Services, in episode 132.
“Fear free is all about educating people to understand their cat's emotional needs, which are deep and complex.” This episode is sponsored in part by Kensington Books, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy speaks with Mikkel Becker, a certified trainer and behavior consultant, that serves as the lead trainer for Fear Free Pets and Fear Free Happy Homes. She is also the co-author of From Fearful to Fear Free In her conversation with Stacy, Mikkel talks about her experience training cats through using positive reinforcement and encouragement. She explains why she believes they can be trained more easily than dogs and how training is based in every day interactions with our cats. Mikkel speaks in depth about Fear Free, which was founded upon the mission of preventing and alleviating fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. She talks about the benefits of utilizing Fear Free programs. One of these programs is Fear Free Shelters, which is a free program available to rescues and shelters. Mikkel also provides an update on her father, Dr. Marty Becker, who recently spent time at the Ukraine border helping people and their pets that were transitioning across the border. She spoke with him further about his experience on her podcast, Happy Paws. To learn more about Fear Free, visit Fear Free Pets or Fear Free Happy Homes. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Dr. Marty Becker, “America's Veterinarian” and Founder of the Fear Free Initiative, in episode 121.
“Keep following your dreams. Keep following your heart. Keep going to where you're led to go because it's a life worth living when you're following your heart.” This episode is sponsored in part by Dr. Pussum's Cat Nip, Doober, and Maddie's Fund. After dropping out of film school and being kicked out of his aunt's house, Caleb Curtis found himself without a home. Rather than staying at a homeless shelter, he opted to get a bicycle and learn how to tour. Along the way, he found two-month-old Marilyn Monroad, and over the next 8 years, the pair would cycle over 12,000 miles across 32 states In his conversation with Stacy, Caleb talks about how he got into touring and sheds some light on what life is like on the road for Marilyn. He discusses some of the lessons that he learned during his first year of running Calico Cats and touches on some of his long-term goals for the brand. Caleb also provides insight on how he funds these trips, along with the type of content that he produces. One of his projects includes a book about these trips, which is written from Marilyn's perspective. Caleb and Marilyn's journey serves to remind us all that our companions along the ride can be just as important as our destination. Caleb strongly believes that what matters most to Marilyn is that they're together. To learn more about Caleb and Marilyn, visit their website. Listener Note During his interview, Caleb mentions 1bike1world. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Michele Tilford, an experienced cat-assisted therapy handler, in episode 249.
“It's very important to try to be diplomatic and to try to understand their point of view. . . . You have to be understanding.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy chats with Angela Campbell, a USA Today best-selling author in the romantic suspense genre. Her book series, The Psychic Detective, heavily features rescue pets as supporting characters. In addition to writing professionally, she serves on the board of directors for Feline Lifeline. In her conversation with Stacy, Angela talks about her experiences as an author and a board member. She shares her preferred method of trapping, along with some helpful TNR tips and tricks. She also strongly encourages TNR training for those interested in trapping (as opposed to trial and error). Angela believes that a crucial component of TNR is in how we interact with the community, and she stresses the importance of learning to work with them. “When you are calm, understanding, and polite, a lot of people react to that, and you can work out a deal.” To learn more about Feline Lifeline, visit its website, and to learn more about Angela and her work, visit her website. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Steven Morelli, CEO and founder of Waggle, in episode 358.
“Let's ensure that we're starting the conversation from that place of all of the things we have in common and real compassion and understanding for why community members might be confused around these issues.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy converses with Caitlin Quinn, who has been the Director of Operations for HeARTs Speak since 2015. HeARTs Speak develops resources that help shelter animals to be seen and find homes, ultimately transforming public perceptions of pet adoption, shelters, and animals in need. Caitlin discusses her role and shares the backstory of how she got involved in marketing. She highlights some of the communication challenges present in the community cat field and explains how those involved in the community cat field are often largely unaware that these problems exist. She conveys the importance of communication with others in the community that aren't involved in caring for the community cats. “We're so close to the issue that sometimes we're forgetting to back out of it a little bit and have those more basic understanding conversations.” Caitlin talks about social media campaigns; she emphasizes the need to start with baby steps and to be repetitive with your messages. She also shares her thoughts on the best strategies, platforms, graphic design tools (Canva), and scheduling tools (PLANOLY and Later) for social media, as well as on how frequently and the type of content you should be posting. Caitlin also sheds some light on what the social media algorithm is and provides an abundance of helpful hints that are bound to help any person or organization looking to bolster their social media game and reach more of their community. To learn more about the work that Caitlin and HeARTs Speak perform, visit the HeARTs Speak website. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Karen Hollish, the director of development and marketing at Pima Animal Care Center, in episode 202.
“[Pets] are empathy machines, and they can sense how we're doing without us having to say anything. Often our pets will know how we're doing before we do, and they'll connect in that way.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy chats with Daniel Maigler, a licensed clinical social worker, who also serves as the Mental Health Advisor for Paws for Patrick, which is a nonprofit organization that connects young people with mental health issues to animals. Daniel provides insight into his role with Paws for Patrick, the array of services that the organization provides, and the inspiration behind this organization's creation. Daniel discusses the benefits of emotional support animals, and clarifies the differences between a service animal, a therapy animal, and an emotional support animal (“ESA”). He talks about the process of obtaining an ESA letter, as well as the benefits and limitations that this letter has. Daniels touches on some of the trends involving ESAs, including their presence on college campuses, and clarifies some of the misconceptions surrounding these trends. Daniel and Stacy also talk about his podcast, Not Allowed to Die, where he discusses mental health and answers any questions that listeners have related to the field. He also discusses mindfulness and provides some useful mental health tips. To learn more about Paws for Patrick, visit their website. You can also check out their Instagram and Facebook pages. Daniel's podcast can be listened to through Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts. Listener Notes During his interview, Daniel mentioned the following studies/works by these individuals: Janet Hoy-Gerlach, PhD; Alfred Adler; and The Courage to be Disliked (written by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi). If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Kristen Hassen, Maddie's® American Pets Alive! Director overseeing Human Animal Support Services (HASS) in episode 424.
“I think it's great to bring that lens of diversity and inclusion to anything you're working on.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy speaks with Emily Miethner, who is the co-founder of Travel Cat, which produces products used to travel safely with your cat, including backpacks and harnesses. The company, founded in 2017, has become a global 7-figure e-commerce brand with 60,000 customers in 75 countries. In her conversation with Stacy, Emily shares information about Travel Cat's founding, marketing, and grant program, Forever Home Heroes. As a serial entrepreneur, she has focused on community building, social media, and digital marketing. Emily discusses what it means to be a strong digital marketer and stresses the importance of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). She reminds us that the “love of cats has no bounds” and emphasizes the importance of inclusion of people from all backgrounds that love cats. To learn more about Travel Cat, visit their website or Instagram. Listener Links During her conversation with Stacy, Emily mentions the following organization: NYC Pet Nanny If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Jenny Hart, Travel Writer & Cat Mom in episode 318.
So if you're doing something where they're feeling engaged with that fun, I think it's a better experience for people to bond with a cat.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Mario Abore returns to the show (he previously appeared on CCP Episode 338). Since 2014, Mario, through his company, Square Paws, has been creating stunning and unique creations and habitats for cats and people to enjoy. His work spans a range from making single cat towers to outfitting cat cafes and animal shelters. In his conversation with Stacy, Mario provides an update on some of his new projects, including his incredible work with the Ladew Cat Sanctuary in Oyster Bay, New York. He discusses the inspiration behind this project, as well as the designing and construction process of this and some of his other projects. He and Stacy also have an in-depth conversation about TNR, including a discussion about different traps, techniques, and baits. Sterling also shares his approach to trapping colonies and emphasizes that even if you're trapping just one cat, you're still helping. His primary goal with TNR is to elevate the wellness of the cats in the community and to be able to provide resources to help those cats. Mario provides recommendations for older shelters and rescues that are looking to upgrade their facilities and emphasizes the importance of planning now. He discusses the longevity and lifespan of cat furniture and projects and notes the importance of using sustainable materials. Mario also points out some of the things you should be looking for when shopping for cat furniture. To learn more about Mario's work, visit the Square Paws website. You can also check out their Instagram and Twitter pages. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Ashley Shoults, a principal at Animal Arts, an architecture firm in Boulder, Colorado in episode 359.
On trapping in tight locations...“We put a spotter up on the slope who could watch the whole thing and give us a signal when to drop the traps.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. This week, The Community Cats Podcast is excited to bring you part two of a special audio version of Drop Trap: A Trapper's Best Friend Presented by The Neighborhood Cats. If you want to watch this presentation's recording - complete with videos, visuals, and great examples of many of the scenarios and equipment discussed - you can check it out on our YouTube channel by clicking here. What will you learn this week? Advanced skills like how to catch many cats at once in your drop trap, the "drop trap 360", plus a couple of unusual bait hacks to attract tough-to-trap queens and toms. Join Neighborhood Cats, co-designers of the first commercially available drop trap, as they discuss how to use this invaluable tool and improve your trapping efficiency. You can learn more about Bryan Kortis and Neighborhood Cats by visiting their website or consider registering for Bryan's next TNR workshop to discover basic techniques to help you trap, neuter, and return community cats and create a healthy, safe environment for them to thrive in.
“Because they (cats) are less afraid of drop traps, you don't need them to be as hungry to trap them... ” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. This week, The Community Cats Podcast is excited to bring you a special audio version of Drop Trap: A Trapper's Best Friend Presented by The Neighborhood Cats. If you would like to watch the recording of this presentation - complete with videos, visuals, and great examples of many of the scenarios and equipment discussed - you can check it out on our YouTube channel by clicking here. What will you learn this week? Are you trying to catch the last cat in your colony who isn't fixed? Got a wily feral who just won't go into a box trap, no matter how much you spend on roasted chicken? How about catching a litter of kittens all at once—with their mom? All these tough trapping situations and more can be solved if you know how to use a drop trap! Join Neighborhood Cats, co-designers of the first commercially available drop trap, as they discuss how to use this invaluable tool. Plus tips and tricks for advanced drop trappers, too. You can learn more about Bryan Kortis and Neighborhood Cats by visiting their website or consider registering for Bryan's next TNR workshop to discover basic techniques to help you trap, neuter, and return community cats and create a healthy, safe environment for them to thrive in. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Steven Lawrence, Co-Director of The Cat Rescuers, and Tara Green, TNR volunteer of Brooklyn Animal Action in episode 178.
“It's important that we learn to work together or learn not to work against one another.” This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, “Trap King” Sterling Davis returns to the show to share some of the projects he has been working on since the pandemic. Sterling, a former rapper turned trapper and TNR advocate was previously on the show on CCP Episode 243 and Episode 360. One of the new projects that he and Stacy discuss is his new podcast, Same Team Podcast, that he co-hosts with Shannon Jackson (mom to internet superstar cat, Smush), which focuses on “fixing the fixers”. During the pandemic, Sterling expanded his focus to healing the fractured relationships among some of the rescuers and rescue organizations. One of the podcast's segments, titled “Smush the Beef”, has these rescuers and/or rescue organizations coming together to settle their differences and try to find positive solutions. Sterling discusses some of his past projects, including Tabby Dates and Pawject Runaway, as well as some of his upcoming plans for the year, including a potential TV show and continuing to tour the country advocating TNR. He and Stacy also have an in-depth conversation about TNR, including a discussion about different traps, techniques, and baits. Sterling also shares his approach to trapping colonies and emphasizes that even if you're trapping just one cat, you're still helping. His primary goal with TNR is to elevate the wellness of the cats in the community and to be able to provide resources to help those cats. To learn more about Sterling and the work he does, visit his website, Instagram, or Facebook. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Michael Bricker, Chief of Engagement of Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity in episode 440.
“I think it all comes from being compassionate and coming to them from a place of empathy [and] understanding.” [on dealing with community members] This episode is sponsored in part by CARE, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy speaks with Angéline Fahey, who is the Community Cat Program (“CCP”) Manager at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. The CCP provides trapping assistance, guidance, resources, and education for several counties in Southern Arizona. It also hosts weekly trapping events and hosts regular Zoom meet-ups, where members of a larger coalition of community cat trappers and advocates can discuss ways to improve the quality of outdoor cats' lives. Angéline discusses her role as the CCP Manager, which involves frequent interaction with the public regarding community cats. She discusses the type of calls that she receives and how she responds to them. She stresses the importance of spreading awareness about community cats, which includes breaking racial barriers. Angéline also talks about the CCP's trap rental process, its goals moving forward, and its construction of a community cat center. She encourages those in the Southern Arizona region that are community cat trappers or are interested in becoming a trapper to connect with her. To learn more about the Humane Society of Southern Arizona's CCP, visit their website. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Anna Murrin and Valerie Kajko, Project Manager and TNR Coordinator, Metro Denver CAT Project in episode 162.
“We're trying . . . [to] demonstrate that this can be done, done effectively with great results, and . . . exemplify this to every town, because my ultimate belief is that there should be TNR in every town.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy chats with Joe Federico, co-founder, and director of Stray Paws Animal Haven. After over two decades as a restaurant owner, Joe decided to leave the industry to embark on a journey driven by his passion for animal welfare. After moving to Southern California, he noticed an abundance of stray and feral cats in his neighborhood, and his search for a solution to their suffering and overpopulation of neighborhood cats brought him to the nonprofit organization FixNation, where he was a full-time volunteer for 8 years. Seeing the need for more capacity, Joe decided to establish Stray Paws Animal Haven in 2018, along with co-founder Melissa Bento. The organization, based in Los Angeles, California, focuses on reducing the stray animal population through TNR, medical rehab, transport, relocation, adoption, networking, and education. Their team of over 70 volunteer trappers is responsible for spaying/neutering an average of over 150 cats per week. In his conversation with Stacy, Joe details how he became involved in TNR and provides insight into the services that Stray Paws Animal Haven provides. He discusses his encounters with community members and how he has helped sway those who previously only saw the cats as a neighborhood problem. Joe also shares some of the challenges he encountered with covid, how the organization overcame them, and how it forced them to become more efficient. To learn more about Stray Paws Animal Haven, visit their website or Instagram. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Audra Farrell, Community Cares Program Supervisor at the San Francisco SPCA in episode 101.
“These techniques are successful because they focus on what's essential in the procedure . . . and [this] allows the surgeon to work more effortlessly and therefore more efficiently.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy chats with Dr. June Long, who has been a high-volume spay/neuter surgeon for over six years. She was formally trained at the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance in 2016. Dr. Long routinely performs 30-40 surgeries daily and has performed over 27,000 sterilization surgeries. In her conversation with Stacy, Dr. Long details how she got into the high-volume spay/neuter field and provides a glimpse into what happens behind the scenes in spay/neuter clinics. She shares her thoughts on the need for high-volume spay/neuter services and on the veterinary workforce shortage. She also gives advice to veterinarians that are interested in the spay/neuter or shelter medicine field. Additionally, Dr. Long provides an overview of the Six Minute Spay, an online course she developed, which helps spay/neuter surgeons become more efficient in performing surgeries. The course is self-led and covers everything from the basics of preparing the surgery to performing some of the more complicated procedures. To learn more about the Six Minute Spay, visit the program's website or Facebook page. You can also contact Dr. Long through email. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Marvin Mackie, DVM, the co-creator of the Quick Spay Technique episode 40.
“Really my big thing in TNR is education and awareness; I want as many people to know about TNR as possible so that they can help save the cats.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy chats with Cameron Greig, the Community Cat Coordinator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cameron shares information about the specifics of HSHV's Community Cat Program. To date, this program has served over 18,000 cats, averaging around 1,500 spay-neuter surgeries annually. Cameron talks about how he got into this field and how he has approached handling his position. He shares some of the strategies that the program employs. He also details a recent collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Information, where students performed a deep dive into HSHV's Community Cat Program to figure out ways it could improve its efficiency and systems. Cameron discusses instances where he has had to deal with difficult property managers while TNRing and provides suggestions on how to appropriately handle these situations. He also provides a few tips for trapping. Listener Notes To learn more about HSHV's Community Cat Program, visit their website. You can also connect with the HSHV's Community Cat Program through Facebook. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Alice Burton, Program Manager, Animal Control and Shelter Liaison episode 36.
“Just to make people aware: pet insurance is a very helpful tool; veterinary financing is a very helpful tool. When they're combined, it creates a unique situation where they really piggyback and help each other.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Edwin Plotts is the Director of Marketing at Pawlicy Advisor. He is also involved with fostering and TNR in Chatham County, Georgia. Prior to moving to Georgia, he was a volunteer and foster with Flatbush Cats in Brooklyn, New York. In his interview with Stacy, Edwin describes the services of Pawlicy Advisor, which he likens to Priceline for pet insurance. This free resource assists pet owners in finding the right insurance so that they can afford veterinary costs. Edwin explains how there is no one-size-fits-all pet insurance and details how Pawlicy Advisor utilizes the Coverage Score and the Lifetime Pricing Score to rank the insurances most appropriate for the pet owner. He also more broadly explains pet insurance, including what it covers and its evolvement over the past five years. You can connect with Edwin through Linkedin. To learn more about Pawlicy Advisor, visit their website. Listener Notes During his interview, Edwin mentioned Flatbush Cats If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Nathan the Cat Lady in episode 388.
“I think we probably overthink it sometimes. And sometimes it's just a matter of trying different things to see what the cat seems to prefer or what eliminates the behavior that we're trying to eliminate.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert and influencer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pets and their parents on her blog and in the media. Through her blog, she helps pet parents provide the best care for every stage of a pet's life. In her discussion with Stacy, Kristen shares some of her experiences in the pet industry and how she got into blogging. Many of the questions that she receives through her blog pertain to behavior. Kristen discusses her efforts in educating cat parents and raising overall awareness about fear, stress, and anxiety in cats, which includes founding the Pet Anxiety Awareness Event and the Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. Kristen provides insight on how to identify some of the stress symptoms in cats and what you can do to address these issues so that they can feel comfortable and safe in your home. She also provides her perspective on the Fear Free concept in veterinary medicine and provides several tips on how small organizations can handle PR. To learn more about Kristen and her work, visit Pet Living with Kristen Levine. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Nathan the Cat Lady in episode 388.
“This is for when you're really desperate to get the tomcat.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Drawing from over 20 years of experience working with feral cats, the folks at Neighborhood Cats have gathered together their favorite ways of catching the wiliest of felines. Join Neighborhood Cats' director of national programs, Bryan Kortis, as he offers a collection of helpful, problem-solving tips! Whether it's putting in a clear rear door, using Spam or KFC as bait, wrapping your trap with green garden netting, or training a cat to enter a trap, you're bound to learn something new to improve your trapping success! Links for Listeners View the full Trappers' Tips & Tricks video and slides on our Community Cat Care and Training page (just scroll to the bottom for recordings) or on YouTube. Learn more about Neighborhood Cats. If you enjoyed this episode, check out another great special episode, Colony Caretaking Tips & Tricks Part 1.
“What about the ones where you do all the basics - you do the feeding pattern, you withhold the food, you use the good traps, and all that - but they just won't go in?” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Drawing from over 20 years of experience working with feral cats, the folks at Neighborhood Cats have gathered together their favorite ways of catching the wiliest of felines. Join Neighborhood Cats' director of national programs, Bryan Kortis, as he offers a collection of helpful, problem-solving tips! Whether it's putting in a clear rear door, using Spam or KFC as bait, wrapping your trap with green garden netting, or training a cat to enter a trap, you're bound to learn something new to improve your trapping success! Links for Listeners View the full Trappers' Tips & Tricks video and slides on our Community Cat Care and Training page (just scroll to the bottom for recordings) or on YouTube. Learn more about Neighborhood Cats. If you enjoyed this episode, check out another great special episode, Colony Caretaking Tips & Tricks Part 1.
“The good thing about spay/neuter is one cat fixed: thousands saved. So you get one done, you can feel really good that night about what you've done. You don't have to have these big huge numbers to make a difference in your community, in your neighborhood.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Linda Chitwood is the volunteer director for the nonprofit charity Homeless Animals Relief Project (“HARP”), located in Senatobia, Mississippi. HARP's mission is to reduce cat suffering and overpopulation by providing free or very low-cost spay/neuter surgery to those with low income or caring for community cats. Since its inception in 1997, HARP has fixed over 20,000 cats. After moving from Memphis to rural Mississippi, Linda encountered a community without any animal welfare programs and she was compelled to take action. In her conversation with Stacy, Linda shares some of her experiences from her 25 years in animal welfare work and in operating a small nonprofit. Linda also discusses the book that she published, $5 For A Cat Head, which provides guidance on how to get started with TNR and what you can do as an individual in the community. This book also provides helpful advice in dealing with community members while trapping in different environments and other practical hands-on tips. In this discussion, Linda reminds us all to “never lose sight of the beauty and the wonder and the joy of the animals we're trying to help.” To learn more about HARP, visit their website. Linda's book can be found on BookBabyand the Kindle version can be found on Amazon. All of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the animals served by HARP and will be used to fund spay/neuter surgeries. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Chris Roy, pilot, and creator of Doobert.com in episode 131.
“So I think it's really important when you start something that you really feel part of it and you have the feeling that you really want to talk about it all of the time.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Marta Negro, a lifelong pet lover and avid traveler, faced a difficult task when the COVID pandemic forced her to return home to Spain without her dog. Fortunately, she was able to find a flight volunteer who could reunite her with her dog. Following this experience, Marta recognized the need for this service on a grander scale, which prompted her to develop the platform Help the Dog Fly. This service connects individuals trying to get their pet home with transport volunteers. In her conversation with Stacy, Marta provides details about the behind-the-scenes work. She also shares the organization's values, some of the challenges as a new organization, and her goals for Help the Dog Fly's future. To learn more about Help the Dog Fly, visit their Facebook, Instagram, or website. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Chris Roy, pilot, and creator of Doobert.com in episode 131.
“There's so much noise in the world that really holds us back from doing our best work. We should just be kind to each other and work together.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Dr. Sara Pizano returns to the show (a previous CCP guest on episodes 56, 171, 246, 247, 306, and 335) to provide updates on her work, including her involvement with municipal shelters. She recently provided her 117th consult in 22 states. These shelters were able to decrease intake and lower euthanasia rates. Over the period of one year, one particular shelter, Danville-Boyle County Humane Society, was able to decrease its intake from 908 cats to 19. She stresses the importance of all organizations utilizing the community foundation model to help bridge funding gaps and shares her perspective on addressing veterinary shortages. Dr. Pizano shares information about Maddie's Million Pet Challenge, which evolved from the Million Cat Challenge (a campaign that saved over 3.5 million cats). UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at UF, Open Door Veterinary Collective, and Team Shelter USA came together to found this initiative, which provides consultative mentoring services at no cost. Dr. Pizano also discusses Human Animal Support Services, which is a movement to transform animal services through innovative programs and services built to support people and pets within their communities. Listener Notes Dr. Pizano's book, The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters, can be found on Amazon. During her interview, Dr. Pizano mentions these organizations: Best Friends Learniverse Open Door Veterinary Collective Team Shelter USA The Joanie Bernard Foundation Woodstock Animal Foundation If you enjoyed this episode, hear more from Dr. Pizano on episode 171.
“There's a person behind every animal and we're trying to translate that person's care and concern for the animal into action.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert, and Maddie's Fund. Joe Elmore has served as the President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society since 2012. When he joined, he brought 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to an organization in turmoil. Since his time at Charleston Animal Society, the organization has become the state's top-rated nonprofit 7 years in a row. Joe also organized the statewide initiative No Kill South Carolina and led the effort to pass the first felony animal cruelty law in the U.S. In his conversation with Stacy, Joe describes the similarities and differences between the models of human service organizations and animal welfare organizations. He explains the challenges that animals face given their vulnerability and lack of fundamental rights. Joe also details how he was able to gather support from the public and policymakers in creating a TNR program and discusses the effectiveness of this campaign and the resulting program. Additionally, he highlights topics regarding the management of cat colonies. To learn more about the Charleston Animal Society, visit their website. Listener Notes: During his interview, Joe mentions these organizations/programs: No Kill South Carolina Feral Freedom program
"They have cats for companionship to give them company because they're so isolated. There are so many stigmas attached to people who are homeless.” This episode is sponsored in part by Telecom Consultants, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy chats with Dr. Jon Geller, DVM, who worked as an emergency veterinarian for nearly 25 years. He is also the national founder and director of The Street Dog Coalition, which provides free veterinary care to pets of those experiencing homelessness. The Street Dog Coalition runs mobile veterinary clinics in over 50 cities across the U.S. Dr. Geller talks about the services that The Street Dog Coalition provides to cats, as well as to their owners in their efforts to care for both ends of the leash. He also discusses the challenges that many of these individuals can face when seeking refuge in homeless and women's shelters when accompanied by their pets. To learn more about The Street Dog Coalition, visit their, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube channel, or website. If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with Amanda Arrington, Director of Pets for Life Program at The Humane Society of the United States. | Episode 69.
“If people know what you're doing, they will come out of the woodwork. If the commitment's there and you really want to do it, it's definitely possible.” This episode is sponsored in part by Telecom Consultants, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy speaks with Carla Betlem, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology where she has been performing TNR for nearly 15 years. Carla along with several RIT students came together to establish a campus club, Caring Hearts For RIT Cats, which provides care, comfort, and security to the feral cats on and surrounding RIT's campus. Caring Hearts, which became an official college club in 2019, has over 400 student members involved. The club operates as a nonprofit entity and has a board of directors, along with various committees and subcommittees. Carla describes how this club was founded, how its members communicate, and the importance of training others to become leaders. She stresses the importance of educating students about the resources available in caring for their pets, as well as the importance of having them involved in caring for RIT's cats. Carla also provides advice for individuals that would like to begin a similar program at their own university. To learn more about Caring Hearts for RIT Cats, visit their Facebook, Instagram, or website. You can also connect with them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with Dr. Emily Cobb. | Episode 50.
“By being able to document [TNR] with photo and video . . . you can get those conversations started and start educating people why TNR is great, why it's so helpful for everybody.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy chats with Erica Danger, a pet photographer, designer, and cat rescuer located in the San Francisco Bay area. She fosters kittens, practices TNR, and volunteers with a number of rescue-focused organizations. With her business, The Catnip Dispensary, she designs and creates catnip toys, facemasks, and more to fund her rescue work. Erica shares her experience with photography, volunteering, nonprofit organizations, and TNR. She discusses the importance of sharing TNR through social media and provides helpful tips and tricks for good photography. Additionally, Erica previews her upcoming collaboration with the Community Cats Podcast. To learn more about Erica and her work, visit her Facebook, Instagram, or website. Her store, The Catnip Dispensary, can be found here. Listener Links During her interview, Erica mentions these organizations: Best Friends Animal Society Feral Change Luxe Paws If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with author and photographer, Tamar Arslanian. | Episode 145.
“It's important for TNR groups who trap cats to realize the same “feral” behavior you see in [true] ferals, may be a sign of a scared cat and not necessarily a feral cat.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy talks to Kat Albrecht-Thiessen, a police detective turned pet detective and the founder/director of The Missing Animal Response Network. Since 1997, Kat has worked with search dogs trained to find lost pets and is widely known as the leading authority on lost pet behavior and pet detective training. Kat has authored two books, “Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective” and “Dog Detectives: How to Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets”. Kat talks about how she transitioned from police detective to pet detective. She had previous training in search management as part of search and rescue and found that many of the techniques for finding lost people can be applied to finding lost pets. Kat also has a blog that dispels myths about what to do if your pet is lost, for example, putting out a cat's litter box to help bring the cat home (a myth). Finding a lost cat takes a lot of work by the owner including getting neighbors' permission to search their property (and not just handing them a flier and asking them to look) and that looking for a lost pet “gets you familiar with your neighbors and community.” Kat takes a closer look at the behavior of lost pets and how even pets that are outgoing and friendly with their owners, act differently when lost outside the home. She feels that more cats could be found if owners knew what to do and she stresses the “need to educate people in the proper things to do when a cat is lost.” She describes the “difference between how an indoor-only cat behaves when they are lost versus an outdoor access cat”, how they are often hiding close to their home, and the differences between the time frame for recovery of a cat that accidentally escapes and a cat that escapes and is injured. Kat and Stacy briefly discuss the training of pet detectives, and how there is a need for pet owners to be trained, even if they are not going to work as pet detectives. Kat talks about what a cat recovery team consists of and what they will do for the owner if they are hired. She mentions how some TNR groups may accidentally trap a lost cat because it may be exhibiting “feral” behavior and how it's important to start a search for a lost cat within 24 hours and not treat indoor/outdoor cats differently based on past experiences with wandering. Kat thinks that microchips are important and explains how they work and repeats what to do within the first 24 hours to successfully recover a lost cat. Listener Links Missing Animal Response network www.missinganimalresponse.com Kat's books are available on Amazon.com
“We've advanced so much in terms of understanding cat behavior but yet, we still have so far to go. We need more days like this.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy interviews her “Dream Team” of cat behavior experts, who are presenting at the 2022 Community Cats Podcast Online Behavior Day, which takes place on April 09, 2022. The panel features Pam Johnson-Bennett, certified cat behavior consultant and author; Dr. Rachel Geller, certified cat behavior and retention specialist, and executive director of the Cat Connection; Tabitha Kucera, CCBC, KPA-CTP, Fear-Free, and Low-Stress Handling certified registered veterinary technician; and Arden Moore, dog/cat behavior consultant, master pet first aid instructor, radio host, and author. The presenters give an overview of what they will present at Behavior Day, including cat behavior issues and concerns, vet visits and enrichment, litter box, and multi-cat household issues. Listener Links: Pam Johnson-Bennett www.catbehaviorassociates.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/Pam.JohnsonBennett Twitter - @ThinkLikeaCat Pam's Books are available at numerous online retailers including Bookshop.com and Amazon.com (see Pam's website for other online retailers) Dr. Rachel Geller www.drrachelcatbehavior.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/rachel.geller Twitter - @DrRachelGeller Rachel's book “Saving the World, One Cat at a Time: What I Know About Cats – And Why You Should Know It, Too” is available on Amazon.com The Cat Connection's website – www.thecatconnection.org Arden Moore www.ardenmoore.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/ArdenMoore Instagram - @ardenknowspets Arden's books are available on Amazon.com Tabitha Kucera www.chirrupsandchatter.com You can learn more about Fear Free techniques and stress-free handling at www.fearfreepets.com If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with feline behaviorist, Tabitha Kucera. | Episode 319.
“Seeing the way that people make this [TNR] their priority, make doing something good for their community a priority, was really inspiring.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy speaks to Jonathan Howe, who is a public defender in Bronx County Family Court and has declared his candidacy for Congress in New York's 14th Congressional District. Jonathan and his wife were trained and certified in TNR during the COVID lockdown and now manage a small colony in Astoria, Queens. The couple shares their home with two of their own cats, Clara and Art Bell, and have helped two other kittens from the colony find new homes. Jonathan recounts his story of never having had a cat of his own but first seeing a lot of hungry outdoor cats at a friend's house about eight years ago. Fast forward to the COVID lockdown and Jonathan noticed the outdoor cats in his neighborhood and realized he needed to take responsibility for them. His early efforts at trapping were somewhat unsuccessful but he eventually trapped and fostered his first kitten. He got tips and advice from Neighborhood Cats and Astoria Cat Rescue on how to manage the colony, feeding, and trapping and attempted to get the colony cats spayed and neutered, even though some vet clinics were not open during COVID. Jonathan and Stacy briefly discuss the shortage of vet appointments and the decision that was made to determine that some vet clinics were considered non-essential services during the COVID shutdown. With the help of a court clerk Jonathan happened to speak to in a virtual meeting, he was able to get some colony cats fixed at an open clinic in Westchester, NY, and then pursued TNR certification. Jonathan encourages anyone interested in this work to get certified first before trying to learn the hard way. He tells Stacy, “Anyone who heard about what we were doing was eager to help”, including members of the community who dropped off supplies to feed and house the colony cats. Jonathan would like to see support for TNR at the Federal level and believes local government can also help by “giving vouchers for spay/neuter to local vets.” He thinks that anything that can be done on a legislative front to “make it clear that this [TNR] is a policy that works and is a policy that works to address a problem that we as humans have caused” will help to show that managing outdoor cats can be done in a humane way. Managing the colony and connecting with his neighbors through his work has made him feel “part of the community” and at the end of the process, he knew everyone in the neighborhood. He is currently fundraising for his campaign and is hoping, for every one hundred dollars he raises, to be able to put out one winter cat shelter he purchased from a company in Long Island, for the colony to use in the winter months ahead. Listener Links: Jonathan's campaign website www.howe2022.com Neighborhood Cats www.neighborhoodcats.org Astoria Cat Rescue www.astoriacatrescue.com To sign up to attend the Community Cats Podcast TNR certification, go to www.communitycatspodcast.com and click on Virtual Education If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with animal rights lawyer, Camille Labchuck. | Episode 346.
“When people use negative words, we need to help correct them. People might speak ill of cats because they don't understand them.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy talks to Tracie Hotchner, author, podcaster, animal wellness advocate and founder of The Radio Pet Lady Network, a network of informative radio programs, co-hosted by Tracie with top veterinarians and other pet experts. Tracie is also the founder and director of the annual NY Cat Film Festival and NY Dog Film Festival, which feature short cat-centric and dog-centric films. Premiering in New York City every year, the festivals then travel across the country, partnering with local animal welfare groups in every location that receives a portion of every ticket. Tracie lives in Vermont with her two rescue dogs and enjoys playing tennis. The discussion partially focuses on the results of a recent British research study, which surveyed pet owners to rate their cats' level of psychopathy as defined by human psychological standards. Tracie explains how using certain words and labels can contribute to viewing cats in a negative way. Tracie agrees with Stacy that standard field terminology (such as TNR) and messaging in the animal welfare community needs to be consistent and simple to make it accessible and easily understood by a wider audience. She believes in “elevating the status of cats” since society's view of community cats as the cause of problems like the decimation of birds and wildlife and even cartoon depictions of cats as “clever and slightly villainous” has led to negative stereotypes of cats. Tracie ponders whether that is partly based on the ability of community cats to thrive and survive outdoors. Notes: To learn more about Tracie Hotchner, find links and information about her podcasts, and sign up for her newsletter, visit www.radiopetlady.com To learn more about the Cat Film Festival www.catfilmfestival.com Connect with Tracie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/traciehotchner or Twitter @traciehotchner Film – “Kedi” (documentary about Istanbul's street cats and the community that cares for them) Research study on cat psychopathy published in Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 95, December 2021 (A domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) model of triarchic psychopathy factors: Development and initial validation of the CAT-Tri+ questionnaire) Tracie's books are “The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know” “The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know” If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's earlier interview with Tracy. | Episode 184.
“It's really about expanding the amount of resources that we can give to these caretakers, to these volunteers that day in and day out go out to the field to help these cats.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy speaks with Amy Davila Sanchez, Marketing Manager for strategic initiatives for Best Friends Animal Society. Raised in a family that loves cats and dogs, Amy has grown up with a special connection to animals, especially with cats. Her passion for animals started at a young age when she was in Puerto Rico. She currently has two rescue dogs and two rescue cats and loves to travel, cook and hike in her downtime. In her day to day at Best Friends Animal Society, Amy works with her team to provide resources and education for shelters and rescue organizations. Across the country, she helps provide these solutions and education materials. Amy and her team develop toolkits, courses, and resources to help individual people provide life-saving solutions for cats and dogs within their own lives. Best Friends also hosts adoption and foster locations across the country to better assist on the ground. When it comes to the greatest challenges facing community cat caretakers, Amy says, “Everybody is overwhelmed. There are a lot of cats out there, there are limited resources and there is still some misinformation or not a clear understanding from community members.” While some states within the country openly provide solutions and resources for community cats, other states are more challenging for community cats. Amy tells us more about the community cats' situation in Texas, California, and North Carolina, and how there is limited to no access to veterinary care and spay/neuter services. Best Friends is focused on these three states to identify communities that specifically need help and support them with marketing and educational materials. The goal is to inspire communities to want to take action themselves. If you're a small grassroots organization helping community cats, you'll want to tune in as Amy shares advice on how to support your local community and access resources from Best Friends Animal Society! Notes: To learn more about Best Friends Animal Society and their work across the country, visit their website here. You can also learn more about community cats and ways you can take action by visiting their Community Cats page here. If you're a rescue organization looking to partner with Best Friends Animal Society and access the network partner program, visit their website.
“It's really important for us to be aware of our energy. Because the imbalance that we're currently experiencing as a collective is now translating into our cats.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Buzz to the Rescues, and Maddie's Fund. Jessica Evans is a certified cat communicator and founder of Feline Ascension, which offers on-demand energy healing for cats and their owners. Jessica has been a cat lover all of her life and now dedicates her life to helping kitties be welcomed into homes with open arms and not be returned to a shelter due to behavior issues. It began with her first cat Dora and for Jessica, it was love at first sight. Ever since then, she's always had cats in her life. Her childhood dream was to talk to cats and now she does! She discovered energy healing while she struggled with her own health issues in 2018. She learned how to communicate with her own body through energy healing and eventually became a certified healing practitioner. Over the past few years, clients started coming to her and asking for help with their felines. Now, she's dedicated to working with clients to help them live the best life possible. Her mission as a cat communicator is to help shift unhealthy energies, reduce stressors that might be triggering negative behavior, give cats a way to communicate their boundaries, and translate messages from cats to their owners. Jessica and Stacy talk more about energy healing overall and discuss the meaning and impact of reiki, emotion code, and body code to help us uncover the best versions of ourselves. Jessica also teaches classes on cat communication to help cat owners and advocates develop a stronger connection to the cats they're working with. Notes: To learn more about Jessica Evans and Feline Ascension, visit her website here! You can also connect with Jessica on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to learn more about her work. For more info on courses, live events, and additional support for you and your amazing felines, visit her cat-alog here! If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's interview with Karen Anderson, Animal Communicator, Afterlife Expert, and Coach | Episode 291.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com and Maddie's Fund. In this episode, Stacy speaks with Jane Kennedy and Adrienne Lefebvre of Two Crazy Cat Ladies, an all-natural feline product line designed to help kitties live longer and healthier lives. In addition to their products, they also host a blog and podcast called “Back In The Closet,” to help bring cat parents together and raise awareness for the health and well-being of all kitties. They also host regular Facebook and Instagram lives, connecting with cat parents and sharing helpful tips. Jane and Adrienne always thought they were dog people. That all changed when cats started coming to them and they found themselves enthralled in the care of the kitties in their lives. In 2015, they realized how much they didn't know about nutrition when one of their cats went through a heartbreaking situation with feline leukemia. They searched for more answers and solutions but couldn't find much information. They ended up building their own community to support cat parents and address cats' specific needs. Oftentimes, it feels like we live in a dog-dominated world and there are negative stereotypes associated with being a cat parent. Jane and Adrienne are changing this and inspiring cat lovers to fully embrace their love for cats. They tell us more about how they started their business, what they learned along the way and how they use social media to build this supportive community. “Cats really are some of our best teachers. We've all had that special cat in our life that helps us be a better human and helps us better take care of the cats that come into our lives.” Notes: To learn more about Jane Kennedy & Adrienne Lefebvre of Two Crazy Cat Ladies, visit her website! You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to follow their latest tips For their Back In The Closet podcast, learn more and tune in here! If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's interview with Bridget Bowhay, Director of Content and Social Media for Cuddly | Episode 394.
“I wanted to focus on keeping not just cats happy but owners happy with their cats and reducing owner surrender and things like euthanasia due to problem behaviors.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com and Maddie's Fund. Meet Molly Kelsey, a former vet nurse who worked with in-patient care and clinic administration, and now runs The Cat Counsellor as a feline behavior consultant, offering 1-on-1 support for cats and their owners. She's based in New Zealand where it's tough being a community cat. TNR practices are more restrictive and led by only grassroots volunteer-run organizations. In addition, there is public scrutiny regarding TNR due to ongoing concerns for local wildlife. In this episode, Molly tells us more about the community cat situation in New Zealand and shares more about how she started The Cat Counsellor as a way to advocate for and empower people to become more effective cat companions. She also shares important tips on how to understand and find solutions for common problem behaviors that might be happening at home. Molly tells us more about house soiling, litter box issues, and aggression to other pets and people in the home. Here's one tip that Molly shared with us: “If you're playing with a laser toy, finish the laser beam on a tangible item. A physical toy they can touch or a treat, and this prevents frustration from not getting anything from the chase.” Notes: To learn more about Molly Kelsey and The Cat Counsellor, visit her website here. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with her feline behavior tips and 1-on-1 sessions. To book a session with Molly, visit her booking link here! If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy Stacy's interview with Suzy Langer (President Bifford) | Episode 423.
“The door is always open to work together.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com, and Maddie's Fund. In part two of the Return-to-Field & Targeting: The Community Cat Program webinar Bryan Kortis explores what fears people have prior to starting a return-to-field and targeting program and some of the studies and statistics that will put those fears to rest. Bryan also touches on how to discuss RTF programs with public officials and how to find common ground with bird enthusiasts and environmentalists so RTF can be used to effectively and humanely control the free-roaming cat population. Bryan also answers questions from attendees moderated by Stacy. Session Presenters: Susan Richmond Executive Director, Neighborhood Cats Bryan Kortis National Programs Director, Neighborhood Cats Notes: View the video Download the handouts Learn more about Neighborhoodcats.org. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and view more of their content on Vimeo. Be sure to follow the Community Cats Podcast on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
“For anything—as far as animals are related—to be completely sustainable, it has to happen in the community, it has to happen by the community.” This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com and Maddie's Fund. Mike Bricker has spent years in animal welfare improving live outcome percentages, innovating new programming, rewriting policies, and modernizing medical operations as director of operations at Camden County Animal Shelter. He then transitioned to Best Friends Animal Society as the Director of Operations of the Shelter Embed program and used his time to connect with communities and listen to the people he worked with. Stacy and Mike dive into what makes CARE, as Mike describes, “Unlike almost anything else in Animal Welfare.” He outlines the current divisions of CARE and talks about how CARE Centers, Research and Development, Narrative, and The CARE Circle work together to progress their mission. Mike discusses the importance of narrative and visibility as a core of what CARE does to highlight Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) doing the unrecognized animal welfare work in their communities. This visibility also has an impact on the future of BIPOC in the veterinary profession and animal welfare world. He relates, “Once they see themselves in the movement they find it way easier to jump into that movement.” Mike and Stacy talk about the sustainability of animal transport, creating an organization that reflects the population they serve, and how communities/changemakers can find and work with CARE. Notes: During his interview, Mike mentions these organizations: Little Earth United Tribes Braveheart Animal Rescue Jodie Blackwell Fund to develop scholarships/support for Black Veterinarians. TrapKing Humane To learn more about CARE, visit them online or follow them on Facebook,and Instagram. Stay up-to-date with their programs and projects by becoming a member of the CARE Circle. To join, text CIRCLE to 52886.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com and Maddie's Fund. Turning her perspective around on being a single pet caretaker inspired Beverly Means to think about what kinds of help she would want if she could no longer care for her pets due to terminal illness or an end-of-life event. After looking for options in her community, Beverly saw the need for supportive services around this common problem, and Transitions Pet Care was created. Offering services from estate planning to rehoming options, and even supportive pet care in Decatur, GA, Transitions Pet Care is a 501(c)3 foster-based rescue. TPC serves a population of elderly, health-compromised, or terminally ill people and their pets. Stacy and Beverly discuss estate planning with our animal companions in mind. Beverly outlines options from a formal and legally-binding Pet Trust to an informal written plan including care details, veterinary info, and the pet's own preferences. She emphasizes the importance of planning for animal companions, especially with multiple pets or even a colony of community cats on your property. “It doesn't take that long to have the conversation, to write it down, and to share it with the person who may be managing that,” she advises. As a trained social worker Beverly is uniquely prepared for navigating the emotional hardships that come with this work and she believes in preparing volunteers of the program for the loss and grief that comes with helping the population they serve. “At the end of the day, it's about helping people take care of their pets in a way that helps them keep their pets and keep that pet healthy.” Learn more about Transitions Pet Care by visiting them online, or by following them on Instagram.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com and Maddie's Fund. This week, Stacy checks in with the very accomplished Dr. Gray Richter. Dr. Richter is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and certified veterinary chiropractor. In 2007 and 2008, Dr. Richter and his Montclair Veterinary Hospital team received awards from the community, including Best Veterinarian in the East Bay from Oakland Magazine, East Bay Express, and KRON 4 TV. Dr. Richter's professional interests are in emergency, general practice, alternative care medicine, and wildlife rescue. He is also the California Veterinary Medical Association's Alameda county representative regarding animal disaster planning. Dr. Richter is now an international bestselling author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide. They discuss the shift in veterinary medicine away from treating cats as small dogs, and what might have prompted this enlightenment, including the Fear Free movement, more owner engagement, and the advantages it has for both veterinarian and patient. Dr. Richter also touches on the ongoing staffing shortages many veterinary clinics are experiencing and how important veterinary technicians are within the industry. The conversation continues with a discussion about how western and alternative medicine can be integrated for remarkable outcomes and he even offers valuable tips on feline nutrition. Dr. Richter tells Stacy about the importance of diet for outdoor community cats and gives some details about supplements he's created to help enhance the traditional diets we feed cats. As the conversation comes to a close, Dr. Richter shares his thoughts about end-of-life care for animals. If you'd like more information about Dr. Richter's supplements, you may visit ultimatepetnutrition.com and his book, The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, is available on Amazon. (It includes 50 recipes for dog and cat food you can make at home!) To learn more about integrated care, check out petvetexpert.com.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network, Doobert.com, and Maddie's Fund. Stacy connects with documentary Filmmaker Aaron Hancox to discuss how he came to find inspiration from his early documentary Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit that lead him to his latest documentary, Running Wild: The Cats of Cornwall. Aaron confides that he initially expected the plight of cats in Cornwall to be a unique occurrence. Through his filmmaking, he has since learned that it is a story playing out in rural and underfunded communities all around the world. Aaron discusses the film's main characters as they try to reduce the number of un-owned cats in Cornwall. He relates that telling their story looked like a David v. Goliath fight, but yielded insight into possible solutions and community needs in Cornwall and beyond. Much of the progress made was impacted by COVID-19 and the constant need for accessible spay and neuter Arron touches on municipal support, academic support, and private citizen support as being factors in the lives of community cats, as well as the importance of resources and financial support for education and community buy-in. “Sometimes it might feel like you are chasing your own tail when you are doing this kind of work, and I hope that is a wake-up call to people who don't understand this world.” Watch Running Wild: The Cats of Cornwall now on iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, Microsoft Xbox, VUDU, YouTube, and other VOD platforms. Follow Running Wild: The Cats of Cornwall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Notes: Visit Tiny but Mighty Cat Rescue in Cornwall, to connect with Mellissa Alepins Visit Cattrap to connect with Mary Jane Proulx Learn more about Markum Street Films
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. In Part 2 of 2021 Colony Caretaking Tips & Tricks, Presented by Neighborhood Cats, Bryan Kortis offers insight into constructing and maintaining winter shelters for community cats. From purchasing a kit to building your own, to making excellent use of a styrofoam cooler, Bryan covers several options. Caretaker and neighbor relations can be tricky, but Bryan offers several solutions to minimize complaints. Changing colony traffic patterns through barriers and deterrents can be a solution. Fleas, worms, gut health, and immunity boosters are all healthcare options that Bryan covers as manageable and available to community cats through their caregivers. Session Presenters: Susan Richmond Executive Director, Neighborhood Cats Bryan Kortis National Programs Director, Neighborhood Cats Notes: View the video Download the handouts Learn more about Neighborhoodcats.org and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and view more of their content on Vimeo. Be sure to follow the Community Cats Podcast on Facebook, Instagram , and YouTube.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. In part one of the Colony Caretaking webinar Bryan Kortis explores the bond between the cat and caretaker. He covers best practices such as feeding patterns, types of food, and nutritional content for the value of the food offered. He talks about what caretakers can do so as not to disturb neighbors or create a neighborhood nuisance at the feeding site. Bryan explains the variables like weather and wildlife (feral chickens? Yep!) that must be factored into both a trapping session and the colony's well-being. Feeding stations and locations are covered as well as the specific needs that caretakers face with winter feeding, watering, and care. Session Presenters: Susan Richmond Executive Director, Neighborhood Cats Bryan Kortis National Programs Director, Neighborhood Cats Notes: View the video Download the handouts Learn more about Neighborhoodcats.org. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and view more of their content on Vimeo. Be sure to follow the Community Cats Podcast on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. As Kristen Bell is to sloths, so Jon Dunn is to cats. Senior Specialist of Communications and Host of the Best Friends Podcast by Best Friends Animal Society, Jon just really loves cats. He joins Stacy for his first-ever podcast sitting in the guest chair and answers questions instead of asking them. Jon and Stacy talk about TNR and how the mindsets around community cats have evolved. They touch on reunification challenges faced by cats and current conversations about how and who is able to adopt. Jon offers some insight into what it takes to have a successful podcast and how BFAS, as an organization, embraced podcasting as a timely communication vehicle to launch its first episode in April of 2020. Listen and subscribe to Best Friends Podcast. You can also follow Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook, Instagramand YouTube. Quick Notes: Jon mentioned VeganGR.com, his Grand Rapids, Michigan guide to vegan life.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. What started out as one man's system to record and coordinate his own animal transport work has since transformed into an online software platform, custom-built for animal rescuers. Chris Roy and Stacy talk about the creation of Doobert.com and the recent re-build which added new modules and optimized it for mobile use. Chris and Stacy discuss his podcast, The Animal Innovations Show, which explores innovations that are helping people to help animals. The podcast incorporates video, live stream, and IGTV to make it more interactive. While re-connecting, they examine barriers created by the “nonprofit mentality,” designing scale-able animal welfare programs, and using technology “for what it is good for.” Chris makes some predictions on what the next 3-5 years will look like for cats, based on the trends he's seen as a result of COVID. Dive into the world of Doobert.com and subscribe to the Animal Innovations Show hosted by Chris Roy. You can also follow Doobert.com on Facebook, Instagram, and their Youtube channel. Quick Notes: The Animal Innovations Show has new episodes on Tuesday & Thursday night. To be a guest on The Animal Innovations Show, complete the application. Chris Roy referenced the crowd-funding platform for animal care, Waggle.org.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. Dr. Jaquie Rand is currently using research to tackle issues around community cats and the criminalization of Trap, Neuter, Release practices in Australia. After navigating significant resistance for over a year and a half, she was able to launch a research project to negate arguments about disease spread by cats, the impact of cat predation on native wildlife, and the benefits of sterilization. In the midst of COVID, data collection turned to neighborhood surveys which revealed paradigm-shifting data that challenged notions about the human element in the community cat equation. Stacy and Dr. Rand discuss barriers that are faced by cats' owners⸺especially those with limited financial resources⸺to access spay and neuter procedures. They chat about the value of research in finding possible solutions, prioritizing municipal support based on need, and educating stakeholders to make TNR a more viable option. To learn more, visit the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation's website or email them at: email@example.com. To see the impact that Dr. Jacquie Rand's work is making, follow the APWF's Facebook, Instagram, or connect with them on Linked In.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. A few notes played on a toy piano by his showstopping cat Ricky, changed Steve Dale's understanding of cat behaviour, forever. Steve Dale began to “clicker train” Ricky the Devon Rex and the two became an inseparable duo. They continued to work together and began dispelling myths about what cats can be through public appearances and media spots. Steve discusses Ricky's diagnosis of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and shares the legacy he created for Ricky by establishing the Ricky Fund for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research. Stacy and Steve chat about Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) for community cats and benefits to the emotional and physical health of Fear Free™ practices. The Ricky Fund was established through Winn Feline Foundation, now Everycat.org and has raised over $200,000 for HCM research. Research from the Ricky Fund for HCM Research has produced a simple cheek-swab test to determine genetic predisposition for HCM and has been vital in understanding this disease. Steve recommends learning more by visiting fearfreehappyhomes.com, stevedale.tv, or following him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linked In and Twitter. *A brief note from the production team: this episode features a fantastic interview, lots of interesting information...and unfortunately, some slightly dodgy audio quality. Despite the audio glitch, we decided to share it because we found the content both fun and incredibly valuable. We hope you do as well.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. Emily discovered the joy that adventuring brought to cats—and their people—when she and her husband took their own cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia outside for enrichment. From catio to stroller, to harness training, Emily and Stacy chat about the best steps to take when preparing your cat to go adventuring outside. Emily talks about pet tracking devices and which features she recommends especially for cats. For the holiday season, Emily offers tips on traveling with cats and adventure cat gift ideas. Adventure Challenge is a list of different tasks for human and cat adventure teams. Teams that complete the tasks are entered in a drawing to win a prize. To join the adventure, as well as find resources on how to bring your cat with you, visit Emily's website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. Seven years into her work in veterinary clinics and with animal welfare organizations, Sarah Swanty learned a fact that devastated her. Of any 10 cats that were admitted to the local shelter, only four would make it out. A 60% euthanasia rate for cats drove Sarah to co-found Fort Collins Cat Rescue in 2006 which merged with Animal House Rescue in 2020 to become Animal Friends Alliance. Stacy and Sarah discuss the highs and lows of starting a cat rescue, the necessity of adding a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and the organic growth that lead to merging two organizations. Sarah outlines the impact that spay and neuter have had on adoption and transport programs at Animal Friends Alliance in relation to regional animal homelessness. To learn more about Animal Friends Alliance visit their website follow them on facebook and instagram, or call (970)484-8516.
In this special episode, Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and best-selling author, joins Stacy to discuss how Covid has changed cat behavioral concerns and her participation in the ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program. This year, the program will host the ‘Unsung Heroes' Awards which will recognize the most inspiring staff and volunteers at cat welfare organizations; those who have gone above and beyond to help “purrfectly impurrfect” shelter cats. Pam discusses how winners will be chosen in a variety of categories and details how $30,000 will be awarded to the winning shelters, plus each unsung hero will receive an award and a year's supply of ARM & HAMMER™ cat litter. This program holds a special place in Pam's heart as they serve the same kinds of cats she meets in her practice and who, in a shelter environment, are often hard to adopt to forever homes. If you would like more information or would like to nominate an unsung hero, you may visit the Feline Generous website. To learn more about Pam Johnson-Bennett's books and her practice, you may stop by her site at catbehaviorassociates.com.
This episode is sponsored in part by Humane Network and Doobert.com. Home Heart Vets was founded in 2017 by two cat-loving Veterinarians passionate about improving end-of-life care for cats in New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Stacy and Dr. Birse discuss the emotional toll of practicing Veterinary medicine as well as the rewarding aspects of the profession, counseling owners in making end-of-life decisions for their pets, and advocacy around humane euthanasia. Dr. Birse outlines some common signs of end-of-life stages in cats across different conditions and illnesses. Resources about end-of-life and the decision-making surrounding it can be found on the HomeHeart website and they offer free consultation phone calls to help guide pet parents in the process. To learn more about Dr. Birse and HomeHeart Vets, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This episode is sponsored in part by Smalls Fresh Cat Food and Doobert.com. Beginning her life as a dog person, Allison talks about the value of using dog training methods to benefit cat behavior modification, and vice-versa. After losing her first companion cat in 2014, Allison focused on making cats lives better through behavior as a labor of love. Volunteering with Husker Cats changed Allison's idea of a “feral” cat and inspired her passion for working with community and companion cats. Allison and Stacy chat about how environment, body language, and building a cat's confidence are all factors that directly affect the emotional life of cats. Allison identifies cat aggression, due to miscommunication and fear, as a common issue that she works with. She tells Stacy,“I love the teaching aspect. I love seeing the people grow and love seeing the changes in the cats.” To learn more about cat behavior visit: Allison Helps Cats LLC. Follow her on Facebook and keep up with the life and times of Rainy, her therapy cat, on Instagram.