The Bay Area real estate market may be notoriously harsh, but housing prospects are looking up for Oakland’s homeless cats thanks to a $40,000 grant to Friends of Oakland Animal Services from PetSmart Charities. The grant will provide for the renovation of cat kennels in the shelter’s holding area, creating more modern, less stressful living spaces that will ultimately improve the felines’ chances of finding their forever homes.
Why are the shelter’s new cat condo plans getting major meows of approval? In 2016, Oakland Animal Services took in more than five cats every day—a total of 1,899 for the year—and 10 to 12 at a time are housed in the holding area now awaiting renovation. The improved design of the new condos will help reduce the spread of illness; give cats room to stretch, move around, and enjoy high perches; and reduce the anxiety associated with shelter noise. What’s more, by allowing shy or noise-sensitive cats to be made available for adoption from these more private quarters, more cats will be saved who would otherwise not be adoptable from the shelter.
“This generous grant means that Oakland Animal Services will be able to provide top notch housing for our city’s cats while they are passing through our shelter on their way to their new families,” Oakland Animal Services Director Rebecca Katz said. “We’re thrilled that PetSmart Charities shares our commitment to ‘cat-friendly housing.’”
“Oakland Animal Services has long been committed to helping homeless pets in the Bay Area, and with plans to build new ‘cat condos,’ they are making an effort to provide cats in need with the comfort they deserve as they search for their forever home,” said Jenny Aho, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “Pets in need deserve a great home, even as they are waiting for the right family.”
Shelter Operations is just one of PetSmart Charities’ 10 grant categories designed to support animal welfare organizations and nonprofits as part of their newly expanded mission to find lifelong loving homes for all pets by supporting programs that bring people and pets together. Funding from PetSmart Charities supports best practices that help pets thrive in a shelter environment until they find their forever family and offers funding for shelter-based programs that improve adoptions, reduce pets’ length of stay and strengthen shelter infrastructure.