If You Find a Stray
Currently we are in the height of kitten season and our foster homes are at capacity—to place any strays or kittens at this time. If you find a stray or kitten we will work diligently to place them in our program but at this time we will ask that you foster the animal until it can be integrated into our program. Once a space becomes available we will place the animal in our program and will ask that a surrender/finder form be fill out.
Every day we get phone calls saying someone has seen a stray or abandoned cat...somewhere...and please go rescue it. Although we want to see every animal in a safe and happy environment, we are a small and dedicated group of volunteers (who would love you to join us). A few of us foster animals. And each of us has a full-time job. We pay for all the medical work for the cats we rescue through donations by kind individuals like yourself, through grants and even out of our own pocket.
Please Rescue the Cat
If you see a cat that needs rescuing, please, do not hesitate to rescue it yourself. If it seems friendly, you can buy a carrier at most grocery, Target, K-Mart, or Wal-Mart stores if you're not near a pet store. Put some canned cat food, tuna or sardines in the carrier and urge the cat into it. Do not try to pick the cat up or force it into a carrier. Never do anything that would put your well-being in danger. If it seems skittish or feral, you can go to the Feral Cat Friends website or Operation Catnip. You will find more information there.
Check For the Owner
Have the animal checked for a microchip. This can be done at your veterinarian's office or at your local animal shelter. Put up flyers, put a found ad in the newspaper (it's generally free), visit the website for the local animal shelter and post the found information online and check for any lost animals that look like matches and contact them. Once you've ascertained (through Internet searches, posters, ads in the paper) that the cat you found is not being sought after as someone's lost pet, go to PetFinder.com and search on your zip code for a list of rescues and shelters in your area. Go to your local PetsMart and Petco stores on both Saturdays and Sundays to find out which adoption agencies do adoptions through that store. Ask about how you can register the cat in the program so you can find it a home. They will help you. If you can foster the animal until it is adopted, it is much more likely that a rescue group can help you. Rescue groups have big hearts and take in as many cats as they can help. Each rescue group receives dozens of requests for help each week. Space in a foster home is hard to find when the demand for help is so high and offers to foster are so few.
What Not to Do With the Rescued Cat
Don't put it in with your own cats. If the cat has been on the street, chances are it has fleas or other parasites, or it's been exposed to a virus of some kind, even if it doesn't show symptoms of illness. It could carry ringworm, mange, upper respiratory infection, or more deadly diseases. This does NOT mean that you should not help the cat, it just means that you should do what we would do to minimize risks by isolating it in a bathroom or in a cage in a room that has ventilation and that you can close the door to. A cage or large carrier with food, water, a towel to sleep on, and a litter box (a plastic shoe box will work okay for a few days in a large carrier). If your cat has access to the cage or carrier, cover it with a sheet so if the new cat has symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, it will help reduce risk of exposure.
What to Do With the Rescued Cat
There are low-cost treatment alternatives available, such as SNAP, POP, Safe Haven and many more. Your own vet may give you a discount for a rescued animal. Get the cat checked out by a vet as soon as possible, and get a "combo" test (for FIV and FeLV) so that you know what you're dealing with. Don't worry: neither disease is a death sentence, but it does mean you must take precautions. You can find much more information on these diseases at the Marley home page (www.marleyfund.com).
Finding a Home
Post the cat as "found" on PetFinder, Pets911 and other sites for lost/found pets. Call the local Humane Society and the local Animal Control offices to report it as found and post it online on their lost/found bulletin board through your county animal control.
Spay or Neuter
If the cat is not altered, please get it altered as soon as possible, seeking one of the low-cost alternatives, if necessary. Get it a rabies shot. Pitt County has a wonderful low-cost spay/neuter clinic, you can find more information on www.spaytoday.net.
I Want to ReHome My Own Cat/Dog
You have to realize first, that every rescue, adoption, or shelter in town is always 100 percent full. That's why we have such a huge number of animals executed on a daily basis--there are far more homeless, unaltered cats and dogs than there are families to adopt them. So the first thing we, or any other rescue agency will want to do is to see if there is a problem that might be resolved so that you can keep your pet. Please check out this site Link. For information and tips on behavioral problems for cats.