Friday, February 7, 2014

Cat Friends Speak Up for Greyhounds

Kate and I with Sherry Silk at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay
As we fight for greyhound decoupling and injury reporting in Florida, we are running a true grassroots campaign. That's why I was in Tampa and Sarasota last week, meeting with local animal advocates who care about greyhounds and want to see a change.

I'm always energized by these grassroots meetings. They remind me that this is a debate between our people, and the money and muscle of the greyhound industry. The grassroots events from last week were also unique in that they involved notable cat advocacy leaders.

First, I joined Humane Society of the United States State Director Kate MacFall for a meeting at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB). We discussed the upcoming legislative session and greyhound welfare issues with dozens of animal advocates, and spoke afterward with HSTB executive director Sherry Silk. HSTB is helping thousands of local cats through programs such as Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return, and sterilized 5,551 feral cats in 2011 alone. Sherry also serves as President of the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations, and is a statewide leader when it comes to animal advocacy in the Sunshine state.

Photo by Big Cat Rescue
The following day Kate and I visited Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit organization and the largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to abandoned big cats in the world. They have over 100 rescued cats, including tigers, lions, mountain lions, bobcats and other species. I was deeply impressed by the work of Big Cat Rescue, and learned a tremendous amount about these special animals from founders Carole and Howard Baskin. In addition to their cat work, Carole and Howard have courageously spoken up for Florida's greyhounds.

That evening, we went to an amazing shelter in Sarasota named Cat Depot. After meeting with a large group of animal advocates, we toured their facility where thousands of cats have been saved and given a new life. In 2013, Cat Depot rescued more than 900 homeless cats and placed 846 cats and kittens into loving homes. They also distributed over 11,600 pounds of dry food and 8,800 cats of wet food to those supporting feral cats, and to community members in need of food for their personal cat friends.

All three of these organizations are moving mountains when it comes to helping animals, and cats in particular. Who would have thought that greyhounds would find so much support from the cat world? GREY2K USA is deeply proud of these alliances, and grateful for the work our partners do.
Blink Needs a Forever Home

Finally, while at Cat Depot I was honored to meet a gorgeous cat friend named Blink. She is curious and playful, and gets along well with other cats. Her favorite toy is a feather wand toy. She is spayed and front paw declawed. She is part of Cat Depot's Chubby Cat program, and is a post-insulin diabetic cat. I have personally had a diabetic cat in my family, and know that Blink is going to make someone very happy. If you live in the Saraosta family, please consider adopting her.

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