Video Length: 39:05
Is feline leukemia virus still a reason cats are not being adopted out in your community? Are you unsure what a FeLV diagnosis means? Are FeLV cats being killed in your shelter or rescue? Learn from shelter medicine expert, Dr. Levy and leading cat advocates, Monica Frenden and Natascha Hamman, about the most current research and best practices for rehoming this vulnerable cat population.
This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2020 American Pets Alive! Conference.
Dr. Julie Levy is the Fran Marino Endowed Professor of Shelter Medicine Education at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, and humane alternatives for community cat management. She is the founder of Operation Catnip, a university-based trap-neuter-return program that has spayed, neutered, and vaccinated more than 60,000 cats in Gainesville, Florida since 1998. Dr. Levy joined Dr. Cynda Crawford to found Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, an educational and discovery initiative with a global impact on the care of homeless animals, and Dr. Kate Hurley to launch the Million Cat Challenge, a shelter-based campaign to save millions of cats in shelters across North America.
Before teaching the Austin No Kill Model to students, she founded a trap-neuter-return organization in rural Illinois and pioneered one of the nation's first, and largest, working cat programs. In 2012, she joined Austin Pets Alive! where she served as the Cat Program Manager, led her team to an 88% growth in cat adoptions and helped Austin achieve a citywide 98% live release rate for cats. Monica is a frequent speaker and advisor on innovative ways to save every cat, including cats with feline leukemia, community cats, and shelter cats in need of medical care.
Natascha Hamman is the feline leukemia and Matchmaker Program manager for Austin Pets Alive!. She has overseen the intake and placement of over 1,000 FeLV cats since 2017. Growing up, she spent a lot of time volunteering in Houston area shelters, which spurred her love of feline welfare. She started working for APA! in 2015 and quickly started the Cat Matchmakers Program that very year. The Cat Matchmakers team exists to assist adopters in finding a cat that is a perfect fit for their household, to increase the number of special needs cats adopted, and to improve customer service. In 2017, she become the feline leukemia research coordinator for a large two year study funded by Maddie's Fund® on best testing practices for FeLV in shelters. The study was a partnership between the University of Flora, National Vet Lab, IDEXX, and the University of Glasgow. Natascha continues to be a No Kill advocate with a focus on special needs, FeLV, and cats with other medical or behavioral challenges.