Each year, roughly 3.4 million cats wind up in animal shelters. Whether the cats are left by their owners or picked up as strays, their odds aren’t good: less than 5% of “lost” felines make it back to their original homes. A lucky 37% are adopted into new homes, and the remaining 41% are euthanized.*
But thanks to a partnership between Chicago nonprofit 1 FUR 1 Foundation and local no-kill shelter Tree House Humane Society, those odds are improving.
1 FUR 1 Foundation’s mission centers around improving human lives through animal-assisted programs, while Tree House Humane Society focuses on rehabilitating stray cats into adoptable and loving pets. The partnership between the two groups unites these goals to improve the lives of humans and animals in equal measure.
By offering logistical and strategic management grant, 1 FUR 1 Foundation expects to extend the reach of Tree House Humane Society’s animal-activity programs to 50% more long-term care facilities, and to double the frequency of companion-cat visits. As a result, more and more residents of nursing homes, psychiatric centers, and other long-term care facilities will realize physical and cognitive benefits. Research shows, spending time with the cats can improve conditions such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, and just as importantly, can abate feelings of loneliness.** And the cats benefit, too—beyond being saved from euthanization or life on the streets, they’re given the gift of a cage-free home environment. And thanks to the program’s socializing effects, therapy cats are exponentially more likely to be adopted into a forever home.
Without 1 FUR 1 Foundation’s support, these types of programs are at risk. No-kill shelters put their main focus on adoption, and thus, often lack the resources to maintain secondary animal-assisted-activity programs. However, 1 FUR 1 Foundation believes that this valuable community program, which improves the lives of cats and humans in equal measure, is worth saving and expanding. The Foundation also hopes that other organizations will follow our lead in building sustainable, impactful relationships with no-kill shelters.
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1 FUR 1 Foundation’s mission is to help animal-related nonprofits build healing bonds between humans and animals. As a 100% volunteer-based nonprofit, 1 FUR 1 accomplishes this by providing financial grants, business acumen, and strategic marketing support to like-minded 501(c)(3) public charities, directly impacting their ability to expand their reach and help more people, more often. The Foundation also works to expand public awareness of animal-assisted activity, animal therapy, and service-dog training programs. To learn contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Cats Facts & Estimated Stats about U.S. Shelters in 2012-2013 provided by APPA & ASPCA.
** 2008 International Stroke Conference Research