July 2nd, 2018
When Pets Alive Kids Team, a humane education program in Middleton, New York, finished reading the RedRover Readers program book Nobody’s Cats, they felt inspired to make a difference. The team decided to partner with Glen Arden, a local assisted living facility, for a special activity designed to explore the book’s theme: helping community cats.
Glen Arden was the perfect setting for their project, since the facility has a feral cat colony on their premises that is looked after by one of the employees, along with several other residents. After learning about what community cats need to be happy and healthy, the children learned how to make feral cat houses out of large Styrofoam coolers, with two holes for an entrance and exit, lined with Mylar blankets, duct tape and a closed lid. Students then waterproofed the feral cat homes with heavy-duty garbage bags and decorated each home with personalized decals.
Pets Alive encourages the community to talk about and care for the many feral cat communities in the Middleton area. The TNT program tries to trap mothers with kittens in hopes of adopting out the whole family. If the mother is too feral once the kittens are weaned, she will be spayed, her ear clipped and returned to the community. When they trap adult males, they too will be identified as adoptable or not and returned to their colony once neutered if they are too feral to be adopted.
Lauren Jones from Pets Alive explained that not only did children get a chance to see some of the cats on the Glen Arden property, she believes the program has “changed their attitudes about community cats.” Some may have views the cats as “pests,” but now they appreciate that the cats “did not choose to be where they live and it’s up to [people] to help them.”
Learn more about the impact of the RedRover Readers program and how you can get involved at RedRover.org/Readers.