There is a new cat fostering and adoption program that has caught on in Ohio and they are hoping more businesses get involved. Traditional shelters and rescues are full and having more difficulties accepting new cats. That’s when Humane Ohio, the low-cost spay/neuter clinic, decide to help the situation and start a new program. The Humane Ohio adopts out friendly cats and kittens that come in through outreach programs for cats that are free-roaming, but they can hardly keep up with how fast and how many are coming in.
According to the director of the clinic, Julie Lyle, there is a need for more help with placement of cats. She has said that they are getting calls every day. The program is called Cat Boss, and it entails area businesses fostering and sponsoring cats for adoption. When they foster or sponsor, they help to promote the feline through their business, as well as social networks.
The founder of Humane Ohio, Aimee St. Arnaud, said this, “It’s something I’ve seen done across the country in other communities very successfully. It’s just a way to reach another network of people.”
The first business to foster a cat was Thread Marketing Group, when they took an orange kitten named Uno. Judy McFarland, CEO of the company, is on the Humane Ohio’s board. She has said that this a community issue because there is simply not enough room in the shelters, nor enough money to care for all of the animals. The staff at Thread fostered Uno at their West Toledo office and just four days later, he was adopted by one of the employees. A second cat, Nikko, went home with relatives of an employee on a trial basis for potential adoption after just four days, as well.
A couple employees were the ones to care for the cats while in the business. They would find them at night and secure them in a part of the office where they wouldn’t set off the security alarm. Humane Ohio supplied all the cats’ necessities, however, the company did purchase a cat condo along with some other supplies for felines that were simply to spoil the cats.
According to Ms. McFarland, in the beginning it was a bit distracting, especially with their first cat, Uno. But once the novelty wore off, which was pretty quick, everyone got used to it and it was business as usual.
Ms. Lyle discussed the difference between placing kittens compared to adults. She says kittens are easy, so that’s where Cat Boss is helpful. It can help boost the need for permanent homes for adult cats, and those with special needs. They are the ones who get overlooked.
What’s great about the program is that it also helps businesses as well. Cats are great for helping to engage staff, customers, and may even help boost a company’s social media efforts. Ms. St. Arnaud said, “It’s a simple idea that can really do a lot of good. It’s really having a calming effect in the office and has increased morale a little bit.” She also said that the employees of Thread appeared to enjoy the Cat Boss program. The two cats they had were allowed to just roam around the office as they pleased, which allowed the staff to socialize with them often.
Another business has signed to sponsor a cat now. Maumee Antique Mall can’t foster the cat on-site, so they signed to sponsor the feline and promote it with photos on social media and at their store, Ms. St. Arnaud has said. And a third business has been in contact with Humane Ohio, as well, inquiring about Cat Boss.