Published on:  
Dec 30, 2015

How can we get the city shelter to implement a Return to Field program?

Dear Million Cat Challenge,

We are a private shelter and our municipal shelter takes in the strays. So Return to Field is not really an option for us. How can we best get the city shelter to be more open to participating ... have any other participants found things that have worked for them? – Wants to Help

Dear Wants,

Sometimes it is helpful for a municipal shelter to hear directly from other municipal shelter leaders. I hope you’ll encourage your city shelter to join the Million Cat Challenge – remember they don’t have to be “all-in” in order to join and become part of the conversation, they just need to be working with one or more initiatives to save more cats. Even if they’re just thinking about toying with the idea, we’d love to have them participate!

Even if your local municipal shelter isn’t fully on board with the idea, you can help “shape the path” to TNR for your community members. Think about ways to make it more obvious, convenient, morally palatable, and/or cheaper to deal with cats through your group versus taking them to the shelter. The municipal shelter is very likely to be grateful for any cat you can divert from their doorstep, and that may help form the basis for greater collaboration to respond humanely and effectively to feral cats in your community.

Dr. Julie Levy