2017 Whole Cat Workshop – presentations & resources

MAC and Top2Cats Consulting Present

“Strategies to Help More Cats” 

While we still have areas of need in Massachusetts, many shelters are no longer overcrowded and struggling to deal with the overpopulation crisis. Thanks to widespread efforts in our state – by expanding TNR, providing more low cost spay / neuter clinics and facilitating networking among trappers, rescue groups and shelters, we have started to gain the upper paw.

Many shelters and rescues are in the enviable position of having space – space to accommodate more cats than need shelter from their service areas and have begun to take in “out of area” cats, including out-of-state transports; space to think creatively about placing “difficult” cats we would never have imagined being able to adopt out before – and space to focus on working with the public to keep cats in their homes. Together we’ll explore these approaches and share information about resources that are available to us for helping even more cats.

Sunday April 2, 2017 8:30am-3:00pm
Agnes Varis Campus Center & Elmes Café, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton. Building “16” on Campus Map



“Cat Transport in MA: What’s Happening” 
Panelists: Karina King (Director of Operations, Dakin Humane Society), Sheryl Blancato (Executive Director, Second Chance Animal Shelter), Mara Walton (Shelter Attendant, Gifford Cat Shelter), Lisa Sheppard (Feline Coordinator, North East Animal Shelter) and Sharon  Hodgkins (Feline Program Assistant & Adoptions Supervisor, North East Animal Shelter)
·  Discussion of why and when they began to import cats.
·  Issues they’ve had along the way (logistics, medical concerns).
·  How their shelter population has been impacted (positives and negatives) as a result.
·  How their adoption rates/trends have been impacted.
·  Types of animals they do/don’t import.
·  What protocols they use (for transport itself, for medical care before transport).
·  What types of shelters/shelter policies do they look for in a partner org?  (e.g. s/n policies prior to adoption of the sending orgs)
·  How has their community/donors responded?
·  Are the animals branded/marketed differently?  How do people respond?

Click here to see the video on proper transport for cats provided by Sheryl Blancato, Executive Director Second Chance Animal Shelter.

If you are thinking of doing cat transports, here is some food for thought as you watch the video.  Think about yourself in the cat’s position.  If you were put into a car, no idea how long you would be in there, when you would get food, water, or a bathroom, and there were lots of other people in the car – would you be stressed?  Here is a protocol to help eliminate the stress that cats feel and better transport them with comfort.  The video, funded by Maddie’s Fund, will show you a simple and effective way to transport cats and reduce their stress.  Stress in cats can easily translate into upper respiratory so this will help to reduce that risk.

“Can’t touch this! Successfully adopting out cats & kittens who can’t be touched”
 In the past 3 years, Dakin Humane Society has successfully placed in pet homes over 300 cats and kittens who are too fearful to be touched. We’ll share some of the things we have learned about keeping everyone safe (both cats and visitors), marketing these special cats, and what our follow up tells us about how they are doing in their homes. We’ll share why we changed from having our volunteers socialize feral kittens to placing them directly into homes, “as-is”, and how that works for the kittens and their families.   Dakin Spirit cats presentation WCW 4-2-17

Speakers: Alanna Regan (Feline Success Coordinator) and Amanda Rock (Adoption Counselor), Dakin Humane Society

“I Know How You Feel…”: Empathy and Education for Clients with Cat Behavior Problems Have you had difficult clients with difficult cats? Cats who behave in ways that are not as cute as the videos we see? Rachel Geller, Ed.D. will help you identify and solve cat behavior problems, and teach you how to empathize with your clients as they struggle with their cats. She will share real examples, with proven results, setting client and cat on the road to happy relationships together. R Geller Cat Behavior counseling presentation WCW 4-2-17

Speaker: Rachel Geller, Ed. D.
Dr. Rachel S. Geller, Ed.D. is the vice president of the Gifford Cat Shelter. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors for three years, and prior to that was involved with the shelter as an ardent supporter. Rachel is also on the Board of Directors of the Marcus Maurice Foundation, which provides care and comfort for homeless and abused cats.

Rachel is a Certified Humane Education Specialist through the Humane Society of the United States, and is a member of the Academy of Prosocial Learning. In addition, she is a contributing author/editor of the publication, “B’nai Mitzvot: An Ark Project.” The Ark Project workbook implements a service-learning project focused on animal welfare for students preparing for their bar/bat mitzvahs. Rachel is also part of the Faith Outreach team of the HSUS.

She participated as a panelist in HSUS’s Cat Behavior and Retention Course and serves as a cat behavior counselor for Gifford as well as the community. Rachel also created and led a nationwide webinar for the Association of Professional Educators (of which she is a member) entitled Activities For Inclusion.

Thank you to our 2017 Whole Cat Workshop sponsors:

Top2Cats Consulting – Premier Sponsor  



Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society

Ogena Solutions

Animal Legal Defense Fund


Especially for Pets

New England Federation of Humane Societies