HRA Alliance Fall 2018

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<strong>Alliance</strong><br />

<strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

Animals. People. Community.<br />

Caring for the<br />

Most Vulnerable<br />

Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong><br />

leads the way in caring for the<br />

animals in greatest need


Dear Friends,<br />

Cruelty/Neglect Reports:<br />

202-723-5730, press 1<br />

Cruelty reports accepted 24 hours a day.<br />

Animal-Related Emergencies:<br />

202-576-6664, press 1<br />

Main Number: 202-723-5730<br />

Adoptions (New York Ave.):<br />

202-727-5494<br />

Adoptions (Oglethorpe): Ext. 503<br />

Behavior and Training: Ext. 236<br />

Development: Ext. 315<br />

Finance: Ext. 326<br />

Media Inquiries: Ext. 267<br />

Special Events: Ext 323<br />


71 Oglethorpe Street, NW<br />

Washington, DC 20011<br />

Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily<br />

Closed for adoptions on Mondays.<br />

1201 New York Avenue, NE<br />

Washington, DC 20002<br />

Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily<br />

Closed for adoptions on Mondays.<br />

Stray animals are accepted<br />

24 hours a day at New York Ave.<br />


Gregory Riegle........................Chair<br />

Steven Bralove.......................First Vice President<br />

Lisa LaFontaine......................President and CEO<br />

Mary Schapiro..........................Treasurer<br />

Lois Godfrey Wye................. Secretary<br />

Nina Benton<br />

Priscilla Clapp<br />

Pamela DeLoach-Jupiter<br />

Jackie Dobranski, DVM<br />

Louie Dweck<br />

Theresa Fariello<br />

Anissa Grossman<br />

Nancy Grunfeld<br />

Leslie Harris<br />

William Herman<br />

Joseph Howe<br />

Kenton Keith<br />

Erika Kelton<br />

Cynthiana Lightfoot<br />

Erica May-Scherzer<br />

Matthew Parker, MD<br />

Laird Patterson<br />

Susan Ridge<br />

Hon. Carol Schwartz<br />

Lauren Talarico DVM, DACVIM<br />

(Neurology/Neurosurgery)<br />

Andrew Weinstein<br />

Charles Weir<br />

Jean Whiddon<br />

Gywn Whittaker<br />

Drew Willison<br />

Jeff Wilson<br />

At <strong>HRA</strong>, we are determined to make sure that the<br />

programs and services we provide to the animals and<br />

people in the nation’s capital are as all-encompassing as<br />

they are relevant. It is particularly central to our mission to<br />

care for those who are the most vulnerable.<br />

In many cases, we also are providing support to people<br />

as well. <strong>HRA</strong> has recently launched a number of unique,<br />

cutting edge programs to create a safety net for those who<br />

are most in need.<br />

Community cats – who live outside and are cared for by<br />

their human neighbors – are especially vulnerable. Debates about outdoor cat policy are<br />

a significant part of the national animal welfare conversation, particularly when focused<br />

on the interactions between cats and wildlife. Until now, these conversations have been<br />

largely confrontational and rarely productive. They almost never result in solutions.<br />

To that end, we have teamed up with wildlife scientists and other animal welfare<br />

organizations to launch the DC Cat Count, a project that will delve deeper into the cat<br />

populations – outdoor as well as indoor – so we can establish more effective, humane,<br />

and data-driven approaches. Ultimately the study will provide a first-of-its-kind cat<br />

census effort to inform cat welfare in our city and across the country. It will allow us to<br />

have more productive discussions about policies and programs; ultimately, we believe<br />

that cats and wild animals will benefit. Tremendous thanks to PetSmart Charities, the<br />

ASPCA, Maddie’s Fund, Winn Feline Foundation, HSUS, and private funding from Ken and<br />

Linda Slavin, and Beatrice von Gontard for funding this landmark project.<br />

At <strong>HRA</strong>, some of the most vulnerable animals are those who are old or facing terminal<br />

medical issues. In many places, these animals are either euthanized or destined to live<br />

out their remaining days in a shelter. With this in mind, we created “Fospice,” a marriage of<br />

fostering and hospice care. The program relies on dedicated volunteers who have been<br />

trained to provide the critical, compassionate care needed for these special animals. Their<br />

work is a tremendous inspiration.<br />

Beyond these programs, in this issue of <strong>Alliance</strong>, you will meet will meet two animals who<br />

came to us in critical condition. Through the care of our medical team, they have both<br />

defied the odds. Sushi, a Rottweiler mix puppy, was found on a roadside and brought to<br />

<strong>HRA</strong>. Struggling to breathe, she never would have survived without the intervention of our<br />

staff and the team at Friendship Hospital for Animals.<br />

We also share the story of Aphrodite, a tiny kitten who was brought to us with a<br />

devastating congenital chest deformity that is often fatal. Dr. Julia Petrovitch and<br />

veterinary students (from our partnership with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of<br />

Veterinary Medicine) performed a delicate and difficult surgery to correct the problem<br />

and save her life.<br />

We are constantly striving to give the most vulnerable animals every opportunity to live a<br />

fulfilling life. As always, thank you for your kindness and your support of our work.<br />

All the best,<br />

Lisa LaFontaine<br />



Groundbreaking Surgery Gives<br />

Aphrodite a Second Chance<br />

By Dani Rizzo, <strong>HRA</strong> Digital Director<br />

Aphrodite’s jet black fur and piercing green<br />

eyes are striking. Even more so is the rare and<br />

severe medical condition this young cat fought<br />

to overcome the first six months of her life.<br />

At just eight weeks old, Aphrodite was surrendered<br />

to the Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong> with her two siblings.<br />

The three kittens were transferred to a foster home<br />

for specialized care, where, unlike her siblings,<br />

Aphrodite struggled to thrive. On top of pneumonia<br />

and ringworm, Aphrodite’s severe congestion and<br />

lethargy continued to affect her quality of life.<br />

During a follow-up exam, <strong>HRA</strong>’s medical team diagnosed<br />

Aphrodite with pectus excavatum, a congenital<br />

defect in which the breastbone is sunken in with a<br />

sharp S-shaped bend. Her condition was severe,<br />

making it increasingly difficult for her to breathe.<br />

“This was a very unusual case,” said Dr. Suzanne<br />

Nelson, an <strong>HRA</strong> staff veterinarian. “The corrective<br />

surgery needed to help Aphrodite had never been<br />

performed at <strong>HRA</strong>’s medical center, but we were<br />

committed to getting her the care she needed.”<br />

With support from seven third-year veterinary students<br />

through <strong>HRA</strong>’s partnership with the Virginia-Maryland<br />

Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia<br />

Tech (VMCVM), the team got to work on determining a<br />

treatment plan for Aphrodite. With oversight from former<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> veterinarian, Dr. Julia Petrovitch, who now serves as<br />

the on-site VMCVM faculty member, surgical correction<br />

of Aphrodite’s severe pectus excavatum was performed.<br />

“The students were monitoring anesthesia, providing<br />

support while placing the sutures, and some were closely<br />

watching for any jump on the monitors, which would<br />



indicate to me that there may be a problem,” said<br />

Dr. Petrovitch. “They were instrumental in ensuring<br />

the surgery and post-op care were a success.”<br />

This surgery was something the students had never seen<br />

before. Most didn’t know what this disease was—it’s that<br />

rare, said Dr. Petrovitch. It was a great opportunity for<br />

them to get hands-on experience doing a case that is<br />

different, taking advantage of <strong>HRA</strong>’s large and diverse<br />

caseload, and the unique aspects of shelter medicine.<br />

In addition, the overall impact of <strong>HRA</strong>’s partnership<br />

with VMCVM includes a significant improvement in<br />

healthcare delivery to <strong>HRA</strong> animals, and in the case<br />

of Aphrodite, life-changing medical care for some<br />

of our most vulnerable populations of animals.<br />

During the corrective surgery, the team also discovered<br />

and removed a nasal polyp, which had undoubtedly<br />

been contributing to Aphrodite’s difficulty breathing.<br />


After more than 200 days in our care, 22 exams,<br />

and two surgeries—this special kitten now<br />

has the chance at the normal life our medical<br />

and foster teams hoped was possible.<br />

“She’s a fighter,” said Aphrodite’s foster parent, Lita<br />

Valdez. “Going through each individual obstacle<br />

with her was certainly difficult, but despite her<br />

serious condition and multiple procedures and<br />

surgeries, her zest for life remains contagious, with<br />

everyone she meets falling in love with her.”<br />

Thanks to Valdez, who has fostered more than 75 neonatal<br />

kittens since 2015, many of them with specialized medical<br />

needs, she is now just the middle of Aphrodite’s already<br />

incredible story. When asked why she continues to foster<br />

some of <strong>HRA</strong>’s most vulnerable animals, her answer was<br />

simple: “Most of them wouldn’t have made it without me.”<br />

And she’s right. <strong>HRA</strong>’s robust and generous network<br />

of foster homes makes it possible for us to care for<br />

more animals with a broad range of specific care<br />

needs—from orphaned kittens who need roundthe-clock<br />

feedings to cats and dogs for whom the<br />

shelter environment is too stressful and does not<br />

allow them to exhibit their true personalities.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> takes in an average of 30 animals per day. The team<br />

works tirelessly to provide for all of the animals in our<br />

care, but our shelter space and resources are limited.<br />

Thanks to the critical work of fosters like Valdez, we are<br />

able to create a virtual shelter in the community for our<br />

most vulnerable animals. Coupled with our dedicated and<br />

skilled medical team, animals like Aphrodite are given<br />

the chance to thrive and live the full life they deserve.<br />


“<br />

Despite her serious condition<br />

and multiple procedures and<br />

surgeries, her zest for life remains<br />

contagious, with everyone she<br />

meets falling in love with her.<br />

”<br />



RETURN<br />

TO OWNER<br />

Lost Pets Reunited with<br />

Families Thanks to the<br />

Work of <strong>HRA</strong> Front Desk Staff<br />

At the Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>, we’re dedicated to protecting animals and to placing and<br />

keeping them with caring families. The dispatch unit of our Field Services department receives<br />

multiple calls daily from DC residents who have lost their pets. On average, eight stray dogs<br />

and cats come to <strong>HRA</strong> every day, many of whom have mistakenly wandered away from home.<br />

Thanks to the hard work of our front desk staff, microchip technology, and the <strong>HRA</strong> Lost &<br />

Found webpage, more than 450 animals have been reunited with their families so far in <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> staff goes to great lengths to bring these families back together. The stories<br />

included on these pages reflect a few of these wonderful reunions.<br />

Duchess<br />

When this 13-year-old lady was picked up by one of our<br />

Humane Law Enforcement Officers as a stray, it was clear<br />

she was pretty scared. Once she arrived at our New York<br />

Avenue Adoption Center, the front desk staff got to work<br />

tracking down her owners. Luckily, she had a microchip<br />

and once they were called, the whole family rushed in to<br />

pick her up.<br />

When she heard their voices, she started crying and<br />

couldn’t stop wagging her tail. Her family said she had<br />

been with them in the garage while they were working on<br />

the car. They turned around and she was gone. Because<br />

of her age, they were shocked at how far she walked, and<br />

they were so grateful we picked her up and brought her to<br />

safety.<br />

Toby:<br />

toby<br />

Our Animal Control Officers found four-year-old Toby loose<br />

in an apartment building and it was clear he knew where he<br />

was. He kept leading the officer to a specific door, looking<br />

at them to let him inside. Unfortunately, his owners weren’t<br />

home at the time and he was taken to the Humane Rescue<br />

<strong>Alliance</strong>. Using his microchip information, front desk staff<br />

successfully located his owner, who came to pick him<br />

up shortly after. According to them, he had escaped his<br />

apartment by jumping out an open window. Luckily, Toby<br />

was unhurt and safely returned to his family.<br />


sheeba<br />

A five-year-old cat named Sheeba was brought in by a<br />

good Samaritan who found her wandering the streets of<br />

DC. Thankfully, she was microchipped and our staff was<br />

quickly able to let her owner know she was with us. By the<br />

end of the day, Sheeba was home. On average, only about<br />

four percent of cats are reunited with their owners each<br />

month, and microchip technology made sure Sheeba was<br />

one of them.<br />

lily<br />

Little Lily was picked up by one of our Animal Control<br />

Officers after Metro Transit Police Officers picked her up as<br />

a stray. She was wearing a collar with her owner’s up-todate<br />

information, so we were able to call him as soon as she<br />

got to <strong>HRA</strong>. He rushed over that same day to get her. They<br />

were very happy to see each other!<br />

cody<br />

14-year-old Cody was found by a concerned citizen who<br />

called animal control. Not long after he was in our care,<br />

his mom saw him on the <strong>HRA</strong> Lost & Found webpage and<br />

rushed in. As Cody turned out to be mostly blind and deaf,<br />

she was grateful that he was in our care. While his hearing<br />

might be declining, upon hearing his mom’s voice, he<br />

perked up and jumped right into her arms!<br />

forsha<br />

Insanely cute cat, Forsha, was found hiding under a bush<br />

in DC. Our Animal Control Officers picked her up and she<br />

happily went along. Because her owner filed a lost report<br />

with our dispatch office, <strong>HRA</strong> staff was able to reach out to<br />

her owner and she came by just a few hours later.<br />

She let us know that Forsha is blind, deaf, and 16 years<br />

old. She said she had no idea how Forsha got out of the<br />

house and because of the cat’s kidney disease, she was<br />

desperate to find her. We’re happy to have been a part of<br />

this joyful reunion!<br />

breen<br />

When one-year-old <strong>HRA</strong> alum Breen escaped from her<br />

newly-adopted home, <strong>HRA</strong> staff quickly got to work. As part<br />

of <strong>HRA</strong>’s Missing Animal Response Team (MART) - which<br />

works to find recently adopted animals who go missing<br />

- staff and volunteers handed out flyers, sent out social<br />

media notices, and tracked her whereabouts until she was<br />

found 12 days later. She’s safely back at home now, where<br />

she wears a GPS tracking device just in case.<br />





By Alix John, <strong>HRA</strong> Communications and Digital Media Specialist<br />


When a good Samaritan found three-month-old Sushi, she<br />

was struggling to breathe, panting through nearly-blue<br />

lips. She was lying on the side of the road, unable to move.<br />

She needed help. Luckily for Sushi, she was brought to the<br />

Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> staff recognized the severity of her condition, and<br />

she was immediately transferred to Friendship Hospital for<br />

Animals (FHA) for emergency care. After an examination, it<br />

was found that she was likely hit by a car and had several<br />

broken ribs, severely bruised lungs, in addition to suffering<br />

from pneumonia.<br />

Sushi was treated with IV fluids and antibiotics for<br />

pneumonia. To help her breathe, she was placed in a special<br />

tank with high levels of oxygen. Sushi was able to receive<br />

this life-saving care, totaling nearly $4,000, through <strong>HRA</strong>’s<br />

Sophie’s Fund, a donor-supported fund for emergency<br />

medical care.<br />

Sushi was able to receive this<br />

life-saving care through <strong>HRA</strong>’s<br />

Sophie’s Fund, a donor-supported<br />

fund for emergency medical care.<br />

Once released from FHA, Sushi was transferred to <strong>HRA</strong> to<br />

heal and grow strong. While she was with us, one of the<br />

veterinarians who worked with her at FHA couldn’t seem to<br />

get Sushi off her mind. Dr. Shani Boone adopted sweet Sushi<br />

once she became available. Now, they’re living out their<br />

Happily Ever After.<br />

“You would never know she was in such bad shape,” Dr.<br />

Boone said. “She’s tripled in size and runs around our twoacre<br />

yard every day!” Sushi and her story show the lengths<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> staff, volunteers, donors, and community will go to save<br />

the city’s most vulnerable.<br />



<strong>HRA</strong> FOSPICE PROGRAM<br />

By Mary Ann Behme, <strong>HRA</strong> Volunteer<br />

Fospice combines<br />

the concept of<br />

fostering with hospice.<br />

Many in the community are aware of the robust foster<br />

program at Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong> (<strong>HRA</strong>). Dedicated<br />

staff and volunteers work tirelessly to provide temporary<br />

homes to unweaned puppies and kittens as well as adult<br />

cats and dogs who were not doing well in a shelter setting.<br />

These special cats, dogs, and small animals all benefit<br />

from being out of the shelter, and because of the foster<br />

program, their chances of being adopted increase.<br />

But what is being done for those animals who come to<br />

the shelter with critical illnesses and have little chance<br />

of being adopted? Cats and dogs are sometimes<br />

surrendered to <strong>HRA</strong>’s shelters needing end-of-life care.<br />

Their caretakers may not be in a financial position to<br />

provide costly medical care or the animal’s needs are<br />

just too difficult to manage. Often these dear animals still<br />

have a good quality of life, but keeping them in a shelter<br />

setting is not ideal. Euthanasia can be a consideration<br />

for surrenders that are beyond the shelter’s capacity<br />

for humane care. This heartbreaking situation happens<br />

more often than one might think. The shelter wants to<br />

help, but what is the solution? In response to this need,<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> has created a special program called “fospice”<br />

care as an alternative to euthanasia. What is fospice?<br />

Fospice combines the concept of fostering with hospice.<br />

Fospice cats and dogs are still available for adoption<br />

and this program gives them another chance to live<br />

out their remaining time in a loving, caring home.<br />

Fospice is a trend that is gaining popularity and volunteers<br />

are opening their hearts and homes to these extra special<br />

animals. Fospice parents are trained by <strong>HRA</strong> to provide<br />

specialized care for their fospice patient. The typical<br />

fospice is an elderly cat or dog with an illness that requires<br />

on-going medical care. The fospice candidate could be<br />

in kidney failure requiring daily fluids and medications,<br />

or may have heart or mobility issues. Some dogs may<br />

have incontinence issues requiring them to wear diapers<br />

(speaking from experience as a fospice parent they<br />

usually do not care!) The unifying characteristic is these<br />

animals are still happy and enjoying life. Sometimes the<br />

care may be as simple as providing these animals with<br />

medications or a heating pad to keep them comfortable.<br />

The intent of fospice is to keep the animal comfortable until<br />

the end. <strong>HRA</strong> provides compassionate and comprehensive<br />

support to both the animal and the fospice parent. Fospice<br />

parents will find this experience to be deeply rewarding.<br />

Providing a safe place for a special needs animal is<br />

really rather simple - a soft bed, healthy meals, and lots<br />

of love is all that is required. <strong>HRA</strong> is proud to be able<br />

to provide fospice care for these deserving animals.<br />


pride is picking up!<br />

Educational Program Focusing on Cleaning Up after Pets<br />

Launches; Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>, Mars Petcare,<br />

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of the Clean City Partner in Project<br />

It’s easy to agree that educated pet owners who clean up<br />

after their animals are critical components of a pet-friendly<br />

city. In June, the Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>, Washington, DC,<br />

and Mars Petcare launched “Pride is Picking Up,” a program<br />

to encourage pet owners to clean up after their animals.<br />

“Pride is Picking Up” is part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s<br />

ongoing Clean City Initiative, designed to make<br />

Washington, DC a cleaner, safer place to live. The<br />

campaign is also part of the Mars BETTER CITIES FOR<br />

PETS program, which provided funding for the effort.<br />

“We are thrilled to launch ‘Pride is Picking Up’,” said<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> Chief Communications Officer David M. Smith.<br />

“DC residents will begin seeing this on social media<br />

promoting the initiative throughout the District, as<br />

we are focused on educating pet owners about<br />

responsible pet ownership. With Mayor Bowser’s<br />

initiative, this is a perfect time to launch this program.”<br />

“DC residents love our dogs, but when we don’t clean<br />

up after them we know our neighbors don’t like the<br />

mess left behind,” said Julie Lawson, Director, Mayor’s<br />

Office of the Clean City. “As we expand our efforts<br />

to engage our residents in keeping DC clean, safe,<br />

and healthy, we are thrilled to team up with partners<br />

who can really help us connect with dog owners,<br />

making DC great for people and for our pets.”<br />

in the city. This will be a pilot concept with an eye<br />

toward potential expansion across the city.<br />

“We know that 82 percent of mayors across the country<br />

agree that providing pet-friendly amenities can have an<br />

overall positive economic impact on their community,”<br />

said Brad Figel, Vice President of North America Public<br />

Affairs for Mars, Incorporated and a 30 year resident of DC.<br />

“The work the District is doing to encourage responsible<br />

pet ownership and provide amenities for Washington, DC<br />

residents to clean up after their pets, are great examples<br />

of commitments we hope to see from all cities to create<br />

more pet-friendly amenities and policies for residents.”<br />

“Pride is Picking Up” lawn signs, reminding DC residents<br />

that picking up their pet’s waste is the right thing to do, are<br />

already being placed throughout DC. To obtain a lawn sign,<br />

visit www.humanerescuealliance.org/yardsign.<br />


CLEAN<br />

CITY<br />

The program includes an educational messaging<br />

campaign focused on encouraging the public to<br />

enjoy the city with their companion dog responsibly,<br />

including picking up waste and instilling good pet<br />

behavior. Ten pet amenity stations wrapped with<br />

educational messaging will be placed in key locations<br />

“<br />

We are thrilled to team up with<br />

partners who can really help us<br />

connect with dog owners, making<br />

DC great for people and for our pets.<br />

”<br />



clear the shelters<br />

On Saturday, August 18 th , the Humane<br />

Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong> once again joined NBC4 and<br />

Telemundo to host NBCUniversal Owned<br />

Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters fourth<br />

annual, nationwide pet adoption drive.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> adopted 147 animals in a single day,<br />

including long-term resident cats, dogs, and<br />

small animals. <strong>HRA</strong> offered the public feewaived<br />

adoptions as part of the nationwide<br />

Clear the Shelters initiative that seeks to<br />

find new homes for homeless pets. Potential<br />

adopters completed the normal application<br />

process, including interviews with adoptions<br />

counselors. <strong>HRA</strong>’s two adoption centers both<br />

had lines formed hours prior to the 10 a.m.<br />

opening.<br />

Busy throughout the day, the adoption<br />

centers were a hub of activity, all<br />

documented by NBC4 both live and online.<br />

Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has<br />

resulted in more than 230,000 pets finding<br />

new homes through an unprecedented<br />

partnership between the NBCUniversal<br />

Owned Television Stations and hundreds<br />

of animal shelters located all across the<br />

country and in Puerto Rico. The nationwide<br />

day of action literally emptied dozens of<br />

animal shelters across the country and<br />

inspired local communities to take action<br />

and open their homes to animals in need.<br />


Y<br />



DC Cat Count, a collaborative<br />

project between animal welfare<br />

organizations and wildlife scientists,<br />

will develop humane cat<br />

population management tools<br />

here kitty, kitty!<br />

DC Cat Count, a collaboration between <strong>HRA</strong>, other animal<br />

welfare organizations, and wildlife scientists, was launched<br />

in July with a goal of identifying the number of cats in<br />

the Washington, DC region. This program will ultimately<br />

develop humane, data-driven cat population management<br />

programs in communities across the nation. The DC Cat<br />

Count is a three-year initiative designed to count the<br />

cats who live outdoors, indoors, and in the animal shelter<br />

system in Washington, DC and to understand how cats<br />

move between these segments.<br />

“The management of cats in communities can be a<br />

controversial topic. The reality is that those in the fields<br />

of welfare, ecology, conservation, and sheltering have<br />

a common long-term goal of fewer free-roaming cats<br />

on the landscape. This joint effort will provide scientific<br />

management programs to help achieve that goal,<br />

locally, and nationally,” said <strong>HRA</strong> President and CEO, Lisa<br />

LaFontaine.<br />

The DC Cat Count is an interdisciplinary collaboration of<br />

organizations and individuals with a shared interest in<br />

finding practical, humane solutions to conflicts between<br />

cats, wildlife, and people in our communities. The principal<br />

collaborators are the Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>, the<br />

Humane Society of the United States, PetSmart Charities,<br />

and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The<br />

tools and data developed in the project will bring people<br />

together and help serve the interests of all who care for<br />

and support cats and wildlife in their communities.<br />

The cat population is an interconnected and dynamic<br />

network comprised of unowned cats living outdoors,<br />

owned cats who may live indoors or outdoors, and shelter<br />

cats who often move into or out of the other population<br />

segments. The DC Cat Count project is composed of<br />

several distinct but complementary modules designed to<br />

characterize all of these population segments and how<br />

they interact with one another.<br />



• Using state-of-the art camera trap methods to obtain the<br />

best possible estimate of outdoor cat populations in the<br />

Washington, DC study area.<br />

• Using household surveys to estimate the size of the owned<br />

cat population, and to determine how much time owned cats<br />

spend outdoors versus indoors.<br />

• Quantifying the shelter cat population, including all intake<br />

and outflow rates.<br />

• Counting outdoor cats using simple transect surveys and<br />

colony inventories, and comparing these results with the<br />

outdoor estimates obtained using more intensive camera trap<br />

survey.<br />

• Incorporating all data into a statistical model describing the<br />

interactions between population segments, and identifying<br />

the most effective intervention points and management<br />

strategies.<br />

• Developing, testing, and validating a set of practical<br />

and informative tools, protocols, and guidelines that help<br />

other organizations “count cats” and improve their mission<br />

effectiveness.<br />

The DC Cat Count will benefit animal shelters nationwide<br />

by providing better metrics to assess whether shelters are<br />

meeting programmatic goals and allocating resources<br />

effectively. For wildlife scientists, developing standardized,<br />

cat-specific, and scientifically-valid methods to monitor cat<br />

populations and assess management impacts will help break<br />

the impasse that has impeded efforts on all sides to reduce<br />

free-roaming cat populations.<br />

“Up until now, cat advocates and wildlife scientists haven’t had<br />

a ‘common language’ as a basis for discussion. Developing<br />

informative, objective, and mutually-acceptable ways to<br />

measure progress will be a key to better collaboration among<br />

stakeholders in the future,” said Dr. John Boone, research<br />

director at Great Basin Bird Observatory and consultant to the<br />

Humane Society of the United States.<br />

Funding for the project has been secured through financial<br />

contributions from PetSmart Charities, American Society for<br />

the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Maddie’s Fund, Winn<br />

Feline Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States,<br />

and the Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong>.<br />

More information on the DC Cat Count is available at<br />

www.dccatcount.org.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong>’S PET<br />

PANTRY<br />

Providing Assistance to<br />

DC Pet Owners and<br />

Keeping Pets in Homes<br />

Created to support DC residents in caring for their<br />

pets, <strong>HRA</strong>’s Pet Pantry program was established to<br />

provide free pet food to those who indicate need.<br />

The food distributed is intended to supplement<br />

the pet’s monthly food needs and to reduce the<br />

financial burden associated with pet care.<br />

Many pet owners struggle at times to provide<br />

food for their pets, which can lead to surrendering<br />

the animal to a shelter, putting these animals at<br />

risk of becoming homeless. In <strong>HRA</strong>’s continuing<br />

effort to keep pets in homes rather than shelters,<br />

the Pet Pantry was established to address this<br />

potential problem.<br />

The Pet Pantry is supported by public donations of<br />

pet food, which is a great way to support the pets<br />

of DC. Interested supporters who want to donate<br />

pet food to the Pet Pantry can contribute dry food<br />

bags between 3 and 7 lbs.<br />

Food can be dropped off or shipped to:<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> PET PANTRY<br />

71 Oglethorpe St., NW | Washington, DC 20011<br />

Food may be dropped off between 12:00 p.m. and<br />

7:00 p.m.<br />

The Pet Pantry operates on a regular schedule,<br />

with designated times and days of the week<br />

during which pet owners can visit to pick up<br />

food for their animals. Any DC resident who is a<br />

pet owner is eligible for the program, provided<br />

they bring a proof of DC residency the first time<br />

they pick up food. Residents simply fill out an<br />

enrollment form and then receive an identification<br />

card that is provided each subsequent visit.<br />

Residents may pick up food once per month for<br />

each enrolled animal.<br />

For more information on <strong>HRA</strong>’s Pet Pantry program,<br />

visit www.humanerescuealliance.org/petpantry.<br />



partner spotlight<br />

By Kit Gartland, <strong>HRA</strong> Corporate and Foundation Giving Manager<br />

GEICO<br />


With a spokeslizard like the Gecko, you know GEICO cares<br />

about animals. GEICO, which is headquartered in Chevy<br />

Chase, Maryland, has been providing opportunities for its<br />

associates to help out in local communities for decades<br />

through its GEICO Cares program. This community<br />

outreach includes partnering with the<br />

Humane Rescue <strong>Alliance</strong> (<strong>HRA</strong>) since<br />

2013 to sponsor signature events,<br />

host pet adoptions, and raise funds to<br />

support <strong>HRA</strong>’s work.<br />

This May, <strong>HRA</strong> was selected as a<br />

beneficiary of a GEICO Cares Paws for<br />

a Cause fundraising effort which raised<br />

over $6,700 to support <strong>HRA</strong> and other local animal rescue<br />

organizations. As part of this partnership, <strong>HRA</strong> brought<br />

adoptable animals to the GEICO campus for an on-site<br />

adoption event. GEICO associates spent the day snuggling<br />

dogs and cats and learning more about how <strong>HRA</strong> cares for<br />

some of the most vulnerable animals in our community.<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> is also proud to welcome GEICO as one of the top<br />

sponsors for the DC Walk for the Animals, slated for<br />

September 22 at Yards Park. Their walk team, Gecko Paws,<br />

will be out in force to represent GEICO and help raise<br />

additional funds to support <strong>HRA</strong>.<br />

“At GEICO, we’ve created Paws for a Cause as part of<br />

our corporate GEICO Cares program.<br />

Our support focuses on pet adoption<br />

and fundraising events. As in the past,<br />

we partner with the Humane Rescue<br />

<strong>Alliance</strong> and count on their support,” says<br />

GEICO’s Vice President of Public Affairs,<br />

Rynthia Rost. “Our associates are a pet’s<br />

best friend. They really enjoy having the<br />

pets on site and the adoption events<br />

bring out big crowds. This year GEICO was named a top<br />

fundraising sponsor for the DC Walk for the Animals and it’s<br />

the enthusiasm of our associates that makes this program<br />

work.”<br />

<strong>HRA</strong> is honored to count GEICO as a fantastic corporate<br />

partner. The commitment of GEICO’s associates to create<br />

positive change helps <strong>HRA</strong> care for even more animals in<br />

and around the Washington, DC community.<br />


Bark Ball<br />

31ST<br />

ANNUAL<br />





humanerescuealliance.org<br />

facebook.com/humanerescuealliance<br />



instagram.com/humanerescue<br />

twitter.com/humanerescue<br />


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