Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 11-21-2022 09:18 AM
    I just wanted to share this event idea that has really taken off at my shelter. The last two Novembers, we hosted an Outdoor Cat Shelter Building/Decorating Event for the public. It has been VERY popular with families with young children. I've had attendees as young as 3 or 4 years old (with a parent).

    To prep for the event, I bought a 5" diameter circle drill attachment to make the shelter holes. I cut out shapes (cat head, pawprint, fish) with cheap sponges to make paint stamps, and I contacted a local vet clinic and hospital to save their Styrofoam coolers for us.  I made the event "BYOB" - Bring Your Own (plastic) Bin. For active volunteers, they get 2 hours of volunteer credit per cat shelter they donate (at this event, or if they make one at home).

    I set up 4 stations for the event and had atleast 1 volunteer running each station:
    • Styrofoam station - picking out Styrofoam cooler or boards that fit in your Rubbermaid/plastic bin
    • Cutting station - Qualified staff or volunteer with an assistant manning the drill to make holes in bins/Styrofoam. NO ONE else touches these tools! Ideally, make this station outside as it's messy.
    • Painting station - Area where the attendees can paint and decorate the cat shelters however they like.
    • Straw station -  Where the attendees can fill their cat shelter with comfy straw for the cats to stay warm. Ideally, make this station outside as it's messy.

    Last year in 2021, we made 11 cat houses at this event. This year in 2022, we made 20 cat houses!

    Event link for 2022: Outdoor Cat Shelter Building and Decorating 

    #TNR # CommunityCat #HumaneEducation #Programsforkids ​​​​​
    #CommunityCatManagement
    #EducationandTraining

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    Erin Dams
    Roanoke Valley SPCA
    5403396550
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    Attachment(s)



  • 2.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 11-21-2022 03:04 PM
    Great idea   Thanks for sharing.

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    Sabrina Hill
    Aide 2 Adoption Rescue
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  • 3.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 11-22-2022 09:57 AM
    Very cool! Thank you for sharing! Do you then keep the shelters and drop them off at certain points or do people take them home and put them out for community cats? We no longer have a community cat program so I'm wondering how we would distribute the shelters. 
    Thank you!! 
    Taylor Lunsford 
    HSC

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    Taylor Lunsford
    Youth Program Coordinator
    Humane Society of Charlotte
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  • 4.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-01-2022 12:50 PM
    We primarily have cat caretakers pick the shelters up at our facility, but if my TNR team is out trapping somewhere, we'll offer to bring the shelters to them. Most of the people who came to the build event were donating the shelters; only 4 of the shelters went home that day!

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    Erin Dams
    Roanoke Valley SPCA
    5403396550
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  • 5.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 11-30-2022 06:40 PM
    This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing your project. This could be very helpful in our area. We are running into the issue of extremely cold weather in our area. We service our city and one of the local cities through contract. Our city council allows us to take in animals from outside our jurisdiction as we have space. Right now due to weather and adoption rates being slow, we are not always in the position to help the area outside of our jurisdiction.  These boxes may be a great solution to keep some stray cats warm until space opens up when we have times we can't assist the areas outside of our jurisdiction. I have seen these before but kinda forgot about them. Can you tell me about what temperatures you all generally use them in? How often do people tend to refresh the straw? I will try to do some research on my own also but figured since you have some experience with them, I would pick your brain regarding your thoughts on them. I appreciate any advice, do/don'ts you may have to share.   

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    Jessica Hendrickson
    Chief Animal Control Officer
    Kenai Animal Shelter
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  • 6.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-01-2022 12:52 PM
    I replace the straw in spring and fall (2x a year) for my shelters and that's what I tell other caretakers too. I'm currently in Virginia (rarely gets below 20 degrees F), but I used to make these in Wisconsin (regularly is below 0 degrees F) as well!

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    Erin Dams
    Roanoke Valley SPCA
    5403396550
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  • 7.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-14-2022 11:42 AM
    Hello - I'm looking to plan an outdoor cat shelter building event of my own and trying to gauge how much straw I need to purchase. Do you have an idea of much straw was used per shelter at your event?

    Thanks!

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    David Langley
    Community Relations and Engagement Coordinator
    City of Rochester Animal Services
    Rochester, New York
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  • 8.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-15-2022 09:49 AM
    I bought 1 bale of straw from Home Depot - we filled 20 shelters AND still have leftover straw! We fill the inside of the cat shelters 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with straw for the cats to burrow into, and I use straw to fill any gaps between the Styrofoam and Rubbermaid containers (outside the Styrofoam).  



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    Erin Dams
    Roanoke Valley SPCA
    5403396550
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  • 9.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-15-2022 10:49 AM
    Awesome! Thanks!

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    David Langley
    Community Relations & Engagement Coordinator
    City of Rochester Animal Services
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  • 10.  RE: Outdoor Cat shelter building/decorating event for kids

    Posted 12-15-2022 11:29 AM
      |   view attached
    Thanks for sharing this awesome event, Erin! 

    HSUS shared a helpful "Straw for Outdoor Paws" fact sheet in the HumanePro News email today. I'm attaching it here as a resource for anyone building outdoor cat shelters. Gotta keep those kitties warm!

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    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund
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