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Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Petfinder 20th Anniversary Grant Report

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

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) was grateful to receive the Petfinder Foundation's 20th Anniversary grant. We utilized the funds fully to purchase five new Shor-Line cat condos (two kennels per unit) to be used in our cat-adoption area at the ARL's main shelter. The cat condos purchased are larger and provide plenty of space for a single cat and/or two bonded buddies, and additionally the litter box is separated by a portal, which keeps the litter area away from the food/water and resting space for the cat’s comfort. The location where the cat condos were placed gets plenty of guest traffic, but it is a less-stressful location for the cats because they are not in a room with many other cats -- so this location is ideally suited for our older cats and others who do best in an area that has fewer cats and more space!

While cats are just one of the many different species in our care, they represent the vast majority of our total animals. Cats are the most at-risk animal in any shelter. Shelter environments are stressful for cats for a number of reasons, including cage size. Stressed cats are more likely to become sick cats and require additional treatment, leading to a longer length of stay, and increased expenses. This grant allowed us to provide our cats with increased space and a set-up that is pleasing to them (litter box separated from their living area and a separate door to the litter area for staff use so as not to disrupt the cats), and also to provide an environment in which potential adopters can see the cats well, and get to see them with space to exhibit natural behaviors; both of which will lead to the cats being physically and mentally healthy and getting adopted more quickly!

How many pets did this grant help?

We just put the cat condos in to our adoption area on Saturday (May 27, 2017) with 10 cats as the first guests, and I am happy to share that three of the 10 have been already been adopted! We anticipate these condos will help hundreds of cats get adopted each year!

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

One of the first feline guests in the new cat condos was Handsome. He’s only a few years old, but he’s been very shy and fearful since he came to us in February. Since then, our cat-behavior volunteers have been working with him and have found that putting him in a larger space makes him feel more comfortable. Because of these new cat condos, he now has a larger space in a quieter area than he had before, and we are grateful to be able to provide Handsome with the space that will benefit him during his time at the ARL and his future home! Meet Handsome:

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