Today we have an interview with Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup.
First of all, thank you for being a cat rescuer. It seems like the kitties need all of the help they can get. How did you become involved in cat rescue? Did you always plan to become a herder of cats?
Hey Danielle! LOL nope never really planned on being a herder of cats. I'd originally wanted to herd other peoples pets as a vet but then my mom sent me a book about Best Friend's Animal Society out in Utah. They're a huge sanctuary and do animal outreach. And that completely changed my plans and I decided once I finished school I'd open a rescue but then...I had an escapee of the feline variety from my herd.
For weeks I searched all of the animal control centers for Piedmont. There were so many kittens looking for homes and I knew since it was a county shelter most wouldn't make it long enough to find homes since they euthanize for space reasons. So after 3 1/2 weeks of searching with no luck I decided I'd probably never find Piedmont and maybe it had all been set in motion to get me to start the rescue then instead of waiting until I'd finished college. I did all my paperwork, brought home a handful of kittens and then...2 days later...Piedmont came strolling into the house and jumped up on his bookcase like he hadn't been gone for nearly a month. ::snort:: He's snuggled up at the foot of the bed as I type. lol (about 10 years later)
How many cats have come through your rescue?
Oh goodness. Since I started 350ish plus a couple hundred pups and a few mice.
How many cats and kittens, on average, are in your care on any given day?
It's changed over the years depending on the rescue's set up. A few years back we moved into an adoption center (from mainly using foster homes) so it went up a bit for me personally since I manage the adoption center. Right now on a daily basis I'm in charge of around 30 cats between my personal cats, fosters that live with me and the kitties that live at our adoption center.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a cat rescuer?
Finding homes for less adopable kitties--adults, solid black cats, ones with medical issues or that are shy. It's so hard for all of them to find their forever families. They're often overlooked for kittens and younger kitties or ones that have more unique coat patterns.
So many people seem to feel that what they’re able to do or give isn’t “enough” to make a difference in rescue. As a rescuer, what are some of the really small ways people can help to make a big difference?
Everything can be helpful depending on the rescue's set up and really makes a huge difference. Some things from my end...
Donations! From small donations of food, toys or treats to monetary donations. With having an adoption center--cleaning supplies are always great things to received, bedding, towels, baskets the cats can snuggle in
Socializing with the animals-- Many animals come into rescues from hard situations. Some are shy, or have had little love in their lives or are just a little shell shocked from being in such a new situation. So coming in to the rescue and socializing--just sitting around and letting a herd babe climb in your lap for a while or rolling around a toy with a playful kitten is amazing! While it might not seem like much you can make a huge difference in helping them adjust and find their forever homes.
Donating your labor--If you have special skills or just a few hours on your hands and can help with things like cleaning their living areas or making repairs and such. If the rescue has an adoption center or you have a local shelter those are things that have to happen every single day of the year. Workdays, weekends, holidays. If you have the time and are willing to get a little dirty it's not glamorous but definitely helps the cause.
Helping out at adoption events. It all really helps. Even if you've just got an hour or two here or there.
Is there anything major (urgent need, exciting new plans, etc.) going on with your rescue right now?
Herm. Not really! We're in the process of turning more sanctuary than rescue. So more focus on longer term fosters that have "issues" that make them less adoptable so things are quieter around here at the moment.
If you had one paragraph to convince someone to rescue/adopt a cat what would you say?
You're saving more than one life every time you adopt a kitty. The kitty you adopted and the one a rescue can pull to take it's place which in turn gives those at county shelters just a little more time. It's an amazing thing.
Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us about your cat rescue.
Thanks so much for having me on! Love what you're doing this month spreading the word and greatly appreciate it :)