There are approximately 50 active socializers who volunteer each week for a two-hour shift.
Cat socializers take the cats to the playrooms for a 15 – 20 minute visit. Cats are cuddled, pet, and groomed and have the chance to stretch, play and sniff. Following each visit, volunteers write a personality log about their experience with the cat. Log binders are kept in each adoption room for potential adopters to read.
Socializing the cats helps the adoption process because the cats are exposed to many different people and to our playrooms where the cats meet and interact with potential adopters. Cats become used to being picked up and transported in a carrier, and they maintain their trust in people rather than becoming reclusive and depressed in their cages. People looking to adopt a cat find the socializers observations helpful.
Beginning in November, 2015 a new element was added to the socialization initiative. We called it the Undersocialized Feline Rehabilitation group – UFR for short.
This program benefits the small percentage of cats that enter the shelter that are so traumatized that they become feral-like and defensively aggressive. These former pets have had to revert to their natural instincts to survive their stray experience and have lost their trust in humans.
Our UFR group works with these cats to domesticate them so that the cats are able to graduate to the adoption rooms. Sometimes it takes days, but most times it takes weeks or even months. The success rate has been very high! Nearly 100 of our UFR cats have been adopted as pets in the last two years.
We have been able to find barn homes for the few cats that were truly feral through our “Feline Farm Friends” program. Please press the button below or email us for more information or to attend our next orientation. We ask volunteers to be 12 years or older with a parent, or 18 years + for this program.