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The Alliance Magazine Fall 2017

New Rehoming Options for

New Rehoming Options for Cats By Erin Robinson, Community Cat Program Manager Jojo came to the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) with her litter of three newborn kittens in early 2017 from an area where she could not safely be returned after her kittens finished nursing. The pretty black-and-white feline had a safe place with HRA to help her kittens grow up and get ready for adoption, but since she had never been socialized with people, she wasn’t interested in being a lap cat. That’s when her resume went up for Blue Collar Cats, and a local theater was matched with Jojo as their newest hire! Jojo now stalks the costume and props storage as well as the rehearsal spaces and offices, ridding the theater of their persistent mouse problem. She sometimes even gives notes on performances! Poser had lived his whole life outdoors with his caregiver in Northeast DC, and he had a pretty good life. Sadly, his caregiver passed away and there was no one in the neighborhood to provide Poser with food and outdoor shelter. So the 2-year-old tabby came to HRA to find a better outcome. Since he’d always lived outside, Poser very much wanted to continue living in the great outdoors; thus, he was paired with a new caregiver: a homeowner in Capitol Hill who previously cared for a community cat and was looking for another to help with the rat issues that are all too familiar to DC residents. Poser now keeps her backyard and alley pest free—and provides endless photo opportunities. Poser and Jojo are just two of the more than 20 cats whose lives have been saved since the launch of a new HRA program called Blue Collar Cats in January 2017. Felines in this program are community cats who do a great job at deterring and controlling rodents. But every so often, one of them ends up in our care. Since they’re not ideal pets, these cats would normally be candidates for CatNiPP, HRA’s Trap- Neuter-Return (TNR) program, if they had a safe place to return to. However, such safe places aren’t always available due to known abuse in the area, the death of the cats’ caregiver, or even the razing of the entire neighborhood for development. And that’s where Blue Collar Cats comes in. A rehoming initiative operated in partnership with our community cat program, Blue Collar Cats puts the 6 ALLIANCE

cats to work—in local businesses and residences—doing what they do best. It gives them a chance at a fruitful life while benefitting their new caregivers with effective and non-toxic pest control. Essentially, the program is the next step in saving every animal possible, even the cats whose behavior may not make them good house pets. All the cats taken into the program are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and feline distemper, eartipped, and microchipped so they’re healthy and not interested in roaming or adding to the population. There’s no one perfect place for a Blue Collar Cat; with appropriate space to hide from people and noise and a shelter to provide protection in cold or rainy weather, anywhere can be a great space for these special felines. Homeowners in Georgetown, Logan Circle, Shaw, Capitol Hill, and even Manassas, VA, as well as a brewery, hardware store, theater, and several restaurants have brought on Blue Collar Cats. The expectations of anyone “employing” a Blue Collar Cat are to provide daily food and clean water, shelter, and basic health care throughout the cat’s lifetime. And we’re already hearing from caregivers how hard these cats work: from an overall reduction in rodent sightings to seeing the cats in action! You can find out more about the Blue Collar Cats program and sign up to partner with us in this amazing and innovative new venture at humanerescuealliance.org/ BlueCollarCats. “ Poser and Jojo are just two of the more than 20 cats whose lives have been saved since the launch of a new HRA program called Blue Collar Cats in January 2017. ” ALLIANCE 7

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