I asked Katya Friedman for an interview so that we could learn more about AdoptAPet.com and how not only we can help kitties in need, but also to help those of you that would like to rescue a Ragdoll cat.
Thank you, Katya for the inteview.
1. How many pets do you have? Are they dogs? Cats?
I have 2 dogs of my own, and 1 rotating foster dog. As soon as the foster is adopted, we take in another. My husband is very allergic to cats, unfortunately, as am I…although I would have some anyway if I could 🙂
2. Is it possible for someone to find a Purebred cat, like a Ragdoll cat, on adoptapet.com?
Absolutely! Roughly 25-30% of all shelter animals are purebred. Sometimes due to financial crises people surrender or rehome their pets through rescue groups, and many of those animals can be purebreds as well. There are breed specific rescue groups as well as general rescues with purebreds to adopt.
3. Did you start adoptapet.com?
No, our Co-Founder and President is David Meyer and you can learn more about us at: http://www.adoptapet.com/public/about_us/index.html
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4. What’s the best way to go about adopting a cat and knowing if it is the right cat for your family?
I think the best way to go about it is by meeting the cats. Go to your local shelters and rescue adoption events and meet the animals…you’ll get a gut feeling or something will click when its the right pet for you. Also, managing expectations is important. There is no such thing as a ready perfect pet – good pets are made with time and routine in your home, so please give your new furry friend a few weeks to adjust and learn the ropes. Before going to the shelter, you can research pets to adopt in you area at www.adoptapet.com and read profiles, see pictures to see who you think might be a good fit for your family. That way you can come into the shelter, ready to meet friends.
5. I’ve heard that sometimes shelters don’t know that a Ragdoll is a Ragdoll, so sometimes they list them as Himalayan or Siamese. Do you see this as well?
Yes, unfortunately often shelters are overwhelmed with intake and number of animals and they might rush through the process of labeling them. Age and breed can be wrong, misinterpreted, unknown, or just done in a hurry which can lead to mistakes. Most shelter staff I know try to take the time to get it all right, but they may not know every breed or are often overworked.
6. How does one get involved in volunteering at a local shelter and is it needed?
It is so very much absolutely needed! Please make it your new year’s resolution to volunteer at your local animal shelter in 2011! The pets need your love and attention so much, and the staff sure does need a hand. The best way to get involved is to visit your local shelter and ask about the protocol. Often there is a brief volunteer orientation one will need to do to become a volunteer. Also, feel free to search for rescue groups by your zip code on Adopt-a-Pet.com and perhaps reach out to them as they too need volunteers to help walk animals, assist at adoption events, and be willing to foster. Fostering a dog or cat (or bunny!) is one of the best ways you can help save lives. We also have a “Lend a Helping Paw” tab on our homepage where we will take your information and blast it to all the rescues and shelters in your area to let them know you want to help! We will do all we can to match you up with the best volunteer opportunity for you.
7. Are cats harder to adopt out than dogs?
Unfortunately it does seem that way. Cats are often obtained via other channels – found on the street, litters seem to be rampant, and the increase of cat mills which are the equivalent of puppy mills but for cats. Not enough people come to the shelter or go through rescue groups when they want a kitty or cat, but by promoting pet adoption and getting involved, that is changing! Cats also don’t show their personalities well in tiny cages at the shelter without the room to move and explore, so it can be harder to get a read on them…but if you adopt a cat and bring him or her home, in no time at all, that shiny personality comes out to love you.
8. Do you think that sometimes people get rid of pets for reasons that could be corrected? What are the most common ones you see?
I supposed there are legitimate reasons to not be able to keep your animal. Foreclosed victims who have no choice but to move into a place that may not allow pets is one of the most common reasons we see. As a Los Angeles shelter volunteer, I have seen many people weeping as they leave their animal at the shelter, feeling as if they have no other choice. I think asking friends and family to help out, contacting rescues, or working harder to find a pet-friendly residence can prevent the surrender of pets to the shelter, however sometimes even those options become dead ends. I personally don’t think there is a “correct” reason to get rid of an animal – its a life long commitment we make to them – although I do see that there are sometimes circumstances beyond our control. I feel that those cases are rare, and sadly most people I’ve seen in my experiences who get rid of their pet, just don’t want to be inconvenienced in some way.
9. Should someone try to rehome their own pet by themselves? Or should they go through a shelter?
I highly recommend rehoming a pet oneself only if someone absolutely must and needs to. One can also try contacting rescue groups to promote their pet while they continue homing their animal almost like a foster. I would highly recommend not surrendering your pet to the shelter, as euthanasia in our country is a big problem for homeless animals. Saving the time and space for another pet – one who’s family has been foreclosed or some dire emergency situation – is essential and everyone can do that by not filling up the shelter. There just isn’t enough time and space, and we just all do our part by keeping our pets and doing right by them. Right now, the shelter should be a place to go and adopt out pets, not a place to surrender them…the scale is tipped to one side too much, which is how we’ve ended up in a country that euthanizes approximately 6 million animals a year. I recommend people do not get animal unless they are ready to commit for the lifetime of that animal. Pets are not products or fads – they are sentient beings who want a family and a home. I am so grateful to all the people out there who keep their pets forever, and to those who adopt!
10. Are you a believer in charging an adoption fee if someone is looking to rehome a Ragdoll cat, for example?
Yes, absolutely! Always charging an adoption fee is a good way to weedle out serious adopters from non-serious adopters, and gauge commitment level. Also, in our society we feel we get what we pay for, so value the animal’s life and ask an adopter to do the same. Although I feel that pets are not products, it’s important that adopters feel the need to value the animal they’re adopting, and I also think that the person rehoming the pet, a Ragdoll for example, should be compensated for doing the right thing and NOT taking the pet to a shelter but rather finding a good home. I also recommend basic, brief, and initial homechecks to ensure the animal is being rehomed into a good home. Nothing invasive, just a standard check in! But most of all, I recommend caring for your pet every day of his or her life, and cherishing the unique personality you have in this furry family member.
Check out www.AdoptaPet.com to adopt a homeless pet!