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Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Feral Cat Day!

Any town worth its salt has a crazy cat lady. You know, the one who straps opened tuna cans all over her body and then trudges the streets in her night robe during the wee hours of the morning, feeding all the strays in the area.
And of course, she’s the only one who ever cares for the stray cats, right? No way! There’s a huge back-scenes effort all around the country to care for feral cats. In fact today, October 16, is National Feral Cat Day!
Doing its part, Best Friends always provides and delivers food (donated specifically for the ferals) to nearly 1,500 feral cats within about a 120 mile radius of the sanctuary. If a feral cat has to hunt for all her food, she could end up walking on dangerous highways and streets. A well-fed cat, however, won’t visit roads as often and will stay healthier if she doesn’t have to scrounge for every bite to eat. Especially if there are other animals competing for food.
A big part of the feral cat program includes trapping, spaying or neutering, then releasing. The cats are released with a slightly tipped ear to mark them in case of recapture so everyone knows they’ve already been spayed and neutered. Trapped little kittens usually are put up for adoption.
The cat food begins at Best Friends and then spreads all throughout the area to many, many people who want to help. Even rough and tumble cowboys! Some of the old-fashioned cowboy types gruffly explain to their friends that feral cats just happen to be good at keeping the mice away. Stick around long enough, however, and you’ll get to see the truth of the matter as these cowboys saunter over to the ferals and give them a soft smile or two when nobody’s looking. Looks like the crazy cat lady has some competition after all!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Best Friends Day!

All across America, thousands of people will commit acts of kindness toward animals during this year’s Best Friends Day and Best Friends Weekend. United in their determination to make the world a better place, they will show their cities and towns and communities how these acts of kindness to animals can make a difference. And these acts of kindness will be recorded on the “Kindness Odometer” located on the Best Friends Network site: Every individual act will move the odometer forward in real time – and everyone, everywhere will be able to see they are no longer alone in their feelings of compassion toward animals. Ninety-six percent of Americans now say that animals should never be abused. Could we be at a classic tipping point? Animals are our best friends, and 89 percent of Americans believe we have a moral obligation to protect them. Even more – 96 percent – say that animals should never be abused. Still, millions of homeless pets still die in shelters every year. Hundreds of millions more die in experimental laboratories, and literally billions in factory farms.Social scientists say a dichotomy like this represents a classic “tipping point.” The old ways still persist, but public opinion is driving for change. Together, on Best Friends Weekend, we can drive that change some more. All across the country, we’re inviting people to do a single, simple act of kindness. Take an elderly neighbor’s dog for a walk; help out at your local rescue group or humane society; donate to your favorite animal cause; eat a vegetarian meal; make an appointment, if you haven’t already, to get your pet fixed.And, most important, encourage your friends or family to do that, too. Post your act of kindness here on the website, and let’s demonstrate together that kindness to animals makes a better world for all of us.