Let’s Make 1 Million a Modest Ambition
B.J. Rogers announces an exciting new partnership and encourages us all to put our heads—and elbow grease—together to save more cats!
Earlier this year I wrote a post about the power of working together—and about collaboration as a key to increased impact. Today, I have the privilege of sharing news of a brand-new partnership whose aim is just that. Nothing like getting to walk the walk!
In an effort to maximize the impact of the amazing Million Cat Challenge, the ASPCA is thrilled to announce that we’re joining forces with Maddie’s Fund, the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. Created by shelter medicine experts Drs. Julie Levy and Kate Hurley to support and celebrate the cat-saving innovations they saw across North America, the Million Cat Challenge has already helped to save more than 750,000 cats since 2014.
Together, the ASPCA, Maddie’s Fund and our university partners believe the Million Cat Challengers are capable of far exceeding the goal of 1 million—and, further, changing the face of sheltering as we know it.
The Challenge is centered around Five Key Initiatives. Individually, each has powerful lifesaving potential. Collectively, they can change the way shelters approach obstacles to ending the unnecessary euthanasia of hundreds of thousands of cats each year:
- Alternatives to Intake: Provide positive alternatives to keep cats in the home or community when admission to a shelter is not the best choice.
- Managed Admission: Schedule intake of cats to match a shelter’s ability to assure humane care and safe movement through the shelter system to an appropriate outcome for every cat.
- Capacity for Care: Match the number of cats cared for at any one time with the capacity required to assure the Five Freedoms for all cats in the shelter.
- Removing Barriers to Adoption: Expand the pool of adopters by removing barriers to adoption such as cost, process or location.
- Return to Field: Sterilize, vaccinate and return healthy unowned shelter cats to the location of origin as an alternative to euthanasia.
The beauty of these initiatives is that they’re as straightforward as they are impactful. If not always simple to implement, they represent options that give every shelter in every community the opportunity to succeed. And they’re things we at the ASPCA have cared about for a long time. That’s why it was an easy “Yes!” when the Million Cat Challenge proposed partnership. We couldn’t be prouder to call our friends at Maddie’s Fund, Koret and the Maddie’s Shelter Med program partners in lifesaving. We hope you'll join if you haven't already.
Let’s let 1 million be a baseline and put our heads—and elbow grease—together to save more cats!
Want in? Wanna know what’s next?
In the near future, you’ll see communications and content co-branded with Maddie’s and our university partners here on the blog, in the pages of ASPCApro.org and—if you’re an e-news subscriber—right in your inbox!
If you’re not familiar with the Challenge, check it out. Bring it to your organization’s leadership, engage your peers and sign up today! If you’re already on board, stay tuned for some powerful resources headed your way.
B.J. Rogers, CAWA, ASPCA Vice President, ProLearning, is a former shelter chief executive whose experiences working in politics, higher education, LGBTQ youth advocacy and animal welfare have convinced him that people are the solution, not the problem.