Take a stroll down Feline Way at the Marin Humane Society and you just might see magic happening. How so, you ask? Our intrepid Cat Pet Pals don’t have a magic code word like Abracadabra nor do they have magic wands (though they do have wand toys). Their magic lies in the transformative power of the love and affection they bestow upon our feline residents.
Pass by any day of the week, peek into one of the cat rooms, and you’ll find a Cat Pet Pal grooming a long-haired friend, petting a grateful, purring feline or exercising a kitty with one of our many toys. Our Cat Pet Pals are key to socializing cats and making sure they feel comfortable in the shelter surroundings. Many cats come to the shelter scared and frightened. In the cat adoption rooms our shy cats slowly come out of their shells and after getting accustomed to the Cat Pet Pals’ visits, become interested in interacting with potential adopters to find their forever homes.
Cat Pet Pals form an essential part of our Behavior and Training program. Most have a long standing love of cats and experience observing cat behavior. They go through a special Cat Pet Pal training and orientation as well as mentoring sessions with experienced Cat Pet Pals to learn the subtle communication signals our cats exhibit. We have 34 regularly scheduled Cat Pet Pals and several substitutes who collectively visit the kitties 365 days a year, volunteering more than 300 hours of their time each month.
With the aid of The Joe Willie Project we are making more cats with special behavioral and medical needs available for adoption. The skills and dedication of our Cat Pet Pals are needed more than ever. Cats have as many personalities as people (well maybe more – after all they do have nine lives) so our Cat Pet Pals have to use their feline detective skills and intuition to know what techniques are going to work best for each kitty during each visit.
Cat Pet Pals are also our first line of defense for noticing physical and behavioral changes with the adoption cats. They provide Animal Care staff and the Feline Behavior Coordinator with important information about changes in the cat’s well-being.
MHS is also fortunate to have Extra Care Pet Pals. The Extra Care Pet Pals give special attention to cats that are not available for adoption and in many cases have not been evaluated. They provide very valuable input to the Cat Evaluators. Our Extra Care Pet Pals have lot of experience interacting with cats in the shelter and are experts at reading cat behavior.
We celebrate you, Cat Pet Pals! We couldn’t find as many forever homes without you!