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Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.: Cat Castles Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. (ARL) received a grant of 1,200 Cat Castles for the comfort and enrichment of the cats in our care as they wait to be available for adoption, and in adoption.

In 2013 the ARL took in over 7,000 cats and kittens in our shelter and sadly we do not anticipate our intake numbers to be reduced dramatically (but hopefully lower -- our many community outreach programs efforts are focused on reducing the number of intakes and to help keep pets in their homes). With so many cats/kittens in our care we are grateful for the grant of the Cat Castles. We have witnessed a decrease in stress, a faster healing time for cats while in isolation, an increase in enrichment and stimulation; all of which helps the cats to be adoptable. The Cat Castles have had a huge effect on the cats and the staff at our shelter; we are not sure who is happier about the boxes: the cats or the animal care techs who care for the cats. Either way it is a win-win for all!

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Tom and Huck were 3-year-old Siamese cats that came to the ARL as strays. The ARL has a bonded buddy program which “bonds” animals that come to the shelter from the same home or are found as strays together so then they will be remain together and must be adopted to the same home. This bonded pair were very shy, Tom in particular. It was determined by our cat behaviorist that Tom was too shy to go to directly to adoption, so they were office fostered in one of our administrative staff members’ office. Tom and Huck were set up in the office with everything they needed, which included a Cat Castle! When Tom and his brother Huck were brought to the office, Tom went right to the Castle and for the first few days he only came out of the Cat Castle at night. As he became more comfortable in the office and with the staff member, he slowly started to gain confidence and trust of the staff member and others. After about two months of office foster time, Tom and Huck were ready to be available for adoption; instead of being moved to the adoption area, they stayed in the office and were made available for adoption on the ARL website. Soon a potential adopter inquired, and came to the shelter to meet Tom and Huck in “their office.” Tom and Huck were adopted together and the Cat Castle went with them to their forever home to help with the transition.

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