Wednesday, September 19, 2012

working with us

Working with Hyde Park Cats: A guide for community cat-caretakers

Hyde Park Cats is a volunteer network which has been operating since 2008. We are licensed in the State of Illinois, Department of Agriculture, as a Humane Society.

We began as a strictly TNR project, but have grown to include a robust intake-and-adoption program and various volunteer programs such as working with the South Side Animal Welfare League and reaching out to the community via various community events. We consult with local residents who have lost or found an animal or who are seeking help and advice on issues such as rehoming a pet.

We have developed some policies which area cat-caretakers need to be aware of in order to work with our organization. Please note that these are guidelines.

How we can help:

We can pay for TNR and help transport feral cats to the clinic. Our abilities to pay and to provide transport rest on our continued fundraising and volunteer abilities. We need and appreciate any donations and any help from community members! We can rent out traps and help consult on trapping projects.

We can pay for TNA (trap-neuter-adopt) for cats to adopted out by Hyde Park Cats and help transport those cats to the clinic. We carefully select our adopters and have an unconditional return policy.

We can place FeLV negative cats on our waiting list for foster homes. After placing cats in our foster homes. Hyde Park Cats is responsible for finding them an adoptive home and any ongoing medical care. Hyde Park Cats reserves the right to refuse adopting the cat to any individual.

We can help find homes for cats not in our foster homes by posting their adoption information on our blog, facebook and other websites. We can screen adopters for these cats or simply refer potential adopters directly to the original finder.

Intake policies:

Because of the small size of our organization and limited resources we do have the following intake policies:

> We do not place FeLV positive cats in our foster homes. We will not pay for veterinary care for FeLV+ cats. We will not TNR a cat who is FeLV+. All adult cats who come in under our auspices who are found to be FeLV+ are humanely euthanized. Kittens who test positive and are too young for a conclusive result are retested.

> We do not routinely euthanize for FIV or other specific veterinary issues, but we do euthanize on occasion after consultation and concurrent opinion of a veterinarian.

> Any cats who come into the Hyde Park Cats foster program must do so with the agreement of our intake/foster coordinator. The intake/foster coordinator must be responsible for placing any cats into one of our foster homes.

> We don't share personal (contact) information for our fosterers.

Hyde Park Cats has two main sources of revenue: donations and adoption fees. We do not pay anyone for their time, expertise, or labor. All monies received go directly back into our programs. Most of our money is spent on veterinary care. Because of this, we have a veterinary-care protocol. For example, we neuter and spay all cats at a low cost, neuter/spay clinic and not the local veterinarian. We ask that any medical care for a cat in our program be approved by our medical coordinator.

Although we attempt to help community members who are caring for cats, not all expenses incurred by community members can be covered or reimbursed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fact Sheet for Adopters

You have adopted a cat from Hyde Park Cats.

You should receive your cat's paperwork in the US postal mail shortly, and our Alumni Coordinator will be in touch with you in the near future just to hear how it's going. Our goal is to find forever homes for our cats, and we're committed to helping that process when it needs help. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns ... and of course we always love to hear from our adopters with any happy updates!

Please remember, as you settle in with your new companion, that all cats require adjustment time to new situations. For some cats, that adjustment time might be one hour. For others, it can be much longer. Many of our cats came from scary situations, and may need a little extra TLC. They may also need extra consideration when entering situations such as a multipet household.

Here are some of our thoughts and tips for a successful transition.

  • Before you bring your kitty home you must buy your litter box, litter, a litter scoop, bowls for food and water, some cat food, a scratcher, and some toys.

  • Look at this comprehensive, nicely organized Cat Care Information Center from our friends at PAWS Chicago.

  • Lay the appropriate groundwork for getting your cat to scratch the scratchers you provide. Read up on training your cat to scratch appropriately. If you are local, we recommend the reclaimed-wood cat trees available at Parkers (55th St.).

  • Definitely prepare ahead if you will be introducing a new kitty to a resident kitty. Tips for introducing a new cat from PAWS.

    Some Common Concerns for the first days:

  • Litterbox. Make sure your cat knows where you put it. The best place is quiet, easily accessible for your cat, and gives your cat the necessary feeling of security. Do not put the litterbox and the food next to each other.

  • Food. You may want to ask the fosterparent what kitty has been eating, and feed that for a couple days to minimize stress. If you want to change the food, change slowly to avoid digestive stress. Here is a guide.

  • Microchip. Your cat has a microchip that is registered to HPCats/Treehouse Humane Society. You can either change this information to your own, or you can leave it as is. If your kitty gets lost, and somebody brings it to a vet or a shelter, the microchip information will be scanned, and either we or you will be notified. Please look for the AVID Microchip brochure with your cat's paperwork for more information. If your cat did NOT receive a microchip for some reason, our Adoption Coordinator will let you know about that. In that case we discount our adoption fee, and ask you to get your cat microchipped as soon as possible.

  • Vet care. Most of our adoptables will have been neutered or spayed and have received an FVRCP shot and booster, a one- year rabies shot and a dose of revolution (an anti-parasite medication). Your adopted cat's specific medical information will be provided at the time of adoption on the medical disclosure sheet. Please review your cat's paperwork carefully, and make a note in your calendar as to when your cat's next shot is due.

    Some cases are slightly different than our standard. For instance we have had cats who were too skinny, or too young, to receive a vaccine. These things will all be disclosed to you, and our Adoption Coordinator will work with you to make sure your cat receives the appropriate care.