March 2018 by Monica Frenden

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Video Length: 30 Minutes

Cats Are Not Small Dogs: Changing the Shelter System to Save More Cats

Animal sheltering in the US began in the 1800's to protect the public from stray dogs and livestock. At some point, cats got added to the mix, but the shelter industry did not change to accommodate a new species with unique needs. A system that was built for dogs is still the model applied to cats.

As a result, 70% of cats who enter our nation's shelters each year are killed. Relegated to "second class citizens," the US shelter system is failing cats. What changes do we need to make in our industry, in our programs, and in our communities to change this? We'll take a historical look at where we've been, where we're going, and most importantly, what needs to happen next to finally stop the killing.

This presentation was recorded at the 2018 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Monica Frenden

Monica Frenden noticed the stark lack of resources for community cats in rural Illinois and decided to do something about it. In 2008, Monica founded a trap-neuter-return organization that sterilized thousands of cats. To further reduce euthanasia, she pioneered one of the nation's first, and largest, barn cat programs.

In 2012, Monica moved to Texas and joined Austin Pets Alive! where she serves as Cat Program Manager. Since 2012, Monica has led her team to a 40% growth in cat adoptions, helped Austin achieve a citywide 98% live release rate for cats, and oversees the adoption and care of nearly 4,000 cats each year. Her passion for improving the country's sheltering systems for cats and love of sassy cats helps save even the most challenging of felines.