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Gateway Pet Guardians: Grant Report

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

The $1,000 Adoption Options in Action Grant was used to build an enrichment program for cats and kittens in foster homes. With the grant, we explored the use of interactive toys, vertical space, food puzzles, sounds, and aromatherapy to help cats transition from "street life" into foster homes. Furthermore, we invested in a special crate to showcase our cats at adoption events.

With this program, we have not only seen an increase in natural cat behavior in foster homes, but it has improved cat foster satisfaction, as our fosters are able to provide additional mental stimuli for cats to improve their quality of care. Additionally, our adopters have shown satisfaction in seeing the cats’ true colors and personalities in the foster home prior to adoption, making the transition into a forever home easier.

One foster mom commented about the addition of enrichment toys to her foster experience: “Having enrichment to give my kittens enhances their lives while living with me and in their future homes. I know I have started them off on the right path by mentally and physically stimulating them with different toys and can pass on that knowledge to adopters! My foster kittens are happier and healthier because they know how to play, scratch, stalk, and hunt with appropriate things. The cute cat videos that result don't hurt either!”

How many pets did this grant help?

Since the grant was awarded on October 30, 2017, we have rescued 15 cats and kittens. Each of these felines has been able to benefit from the additional enrichment supplies. Our organization has, on average, 35 cats and kittens in our rescue. Our goal is to continue to distribute supplies as additional cats and kittens are rescued, and ensure that supplies are distributed to cats already in our system.

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

We have one foster home with six kittens: Diego, Celia, Naiya, Roja, Isa, and Kiki. These kittens came from a community member who needed help with their momma cat, Dora. Dora was returned to her family after the kittens were weaned, and the kittens all waited in a foster home to meet their forever families. All six have since been adopted. The six kittens were our test subjects, and volunteered their services to test out the enrichment supplies as they were ordered. If the supplies proved successful, we ordered more for additional foster homes with cats and kittens. They especially loved and highly recommended the ball tracks and scratch posts.

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