Rescuing and adopting cats in Hamilton

NEWS ALERT Jan - June 2014

May 29, 2014

Stats are back AGAIN

After a false start in April when numbers didn't add up, HAS stopped sending us stats while they 'worked' on the problem.

Almost two months later, we got the Year-To-Date numbers and then the first weekly stats for May 19-25. We don't have the earlier 'weeklys' so we have to assume that the adding errors were corrected.

If the numbers are accurate then INTAKE so far this year is 2/3rds that of 2013, most likely due to a change of policy that virtually stopped pickup of strays.

We'll keep watching and reporting on trends over the coming months.


April 1, 2014

Stats are back

Don't Be Fooled! This announcement is NOT an April Fool's joke.

As of yesterday, we've started receiving the stats again from HAS. A change of the software program in January was followed by a glitch and delay and more glitches and delays, and now, finally after two months, the stats that keep us current about what's happening to the cats at HAS are being made available.

Our ticker tape is up & running again; so, scroll to the bottom of our Home Page and take a look at the stats from last week as well as the up-to-date stats for the first three months of 2014 (YTD)

So far this year, 16 cats have been returned home to their owners and another 428 lucky ones have made it out alive thanks to the efforts of the HBSPCA (which rescued 161) and other local & out-of-town organizations that have managed to rescue 256.

We are told that weekly statistics will be provided to us again every Monday; so, we'll be updating our tickertape next week and every week through to the end of 2014. Keep checking to stay current on what's happening to cats at HAS & watching for trends - AND hoping that these trends suggest that things really are changing for the better.

To get a sense of how the numbers compare to last years, check out Info Section for a summary of the 2013 information.  


March 12, 2014

Our Featured Cats from last month, Pepper & Petunia, have been adopted! Adopted Cats Hamilton

Congratulation to Ladybird, the group that rescued this special pair from HAS, and to the family that adopted them. This success story, posted on Ladybird's site is well worth reading. The pictures including the lovely ones of Pepper & Petunia in their forever home tell it all oh so well:

It's happy endings like this one that we wish for every Hamilton cat including, of course, the new Featured Cat on our site. Cookie was rescued about the same time as Pepper & Petunia, by Abandoned Cats, another local rescue that, like Ladybird, is putting a huge effort into saving the lives of unfortunate cats who, through no fault of their own, end up at HAS. We have our fingers crossed now for Cookie - a black beauty who will make some lucky person the purrfect pet.


January 29, 2014

Lost Among the Strays: How Many Make It Back Home?

Losing a cat and never finding out what happened is a cat lover's nightmare. And just imagine how awful it is for the pet that gets lost and ends up at HAS (as a cadaver picked up on the road or as a "stray" desperately hoping to get rescued.)

Sadly, that seems to be what's happening for far too many owned cats in our City.

Over the years, the return-to-owner rate at HAS has remained dismally low and it's not getting better. Of the 3,908 cats taken in by HAS in 2012, only 151 (or 3.9%) were reclaimed by owners and, of the 3,384 cats that arrived in 2013, only 119 (or 3.4%) made it back home. There is no way to tell how many of those that were never reclaimed actually had homes but it is reasonable to assume that the number is large and that far too few are getting back to their homes.

When cats are wearing collars (with a registration tag or phone #) or have a microchip, HAS tries to contact the owners. But it's not a requirement in Hamilton that owned cats have ID of any kind. So, owners generally don't bother and most owned cats have neither collars nor microchips. Because these play such a key role in getting lost cats back home, HAS encourages owners to provide their cats with both a visible ID (that serves to get them returned quickly) AND a microchip (in case the collar becomes lost). HAS counts on owners to do that AND it relies on them also to make sure that the contact info is kept current.

When there is no way to contact the owner, HAS posts a photo of the cat on a Lost & Found website and, then, relies on the owner to be actively searching. Because many of us don't know how best to go about that and aren't making effective use of the free lost & found services available to us, RHC has just posted a new link on our Home Page

If we Hamiltonians can get more of our lost cats home or, even better, do more to prevent our cats from getting lost in the first place - by keeping our pets indoors & ensuring they have up-to-date ID just in case - many more Hamilton cats will be living out their entire 9 lives safe & warm & happy - at home with us. And fewer of us will be living that "lost cat nightmare."