“If there is an opportunity to give a kitten or cat a better life because they are more suited to a home, it is our responsibility to do so,” said Lizz Whitacre, the founder of Pawlytics. On August 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Catalyst (350 Canopy St., #130, Lincoln, NE) in the Haymarket, Pawlytics and Joining Forces Saving Lives will host a Pawp Up Kitten Adoption Event.
Both Whitacre and Melissa Money-Beecher, founder of Joining Forces Saving Lives, are focusing their current animal welfare efforts on cats because their research has shown them that there is a lifesaving gap for cats and kittens. For a community to reach no-kill status, it must reach a 90% average release rate. As of 2017, Lincoln had successfully obtained this percentage for dogs, while cats hovered around 70%—and remains at that level to this day.
In 2017, this data led Beecher to focus on creating a community cat program wherein Lincoln’s free-roaming, unaltered cats are trapped, neutered, and released (TNR). She has since received two grants from Maddie’s Fund to help with her goal to lower the shelter intake of cats and make Lincoln a no-kill city.
As for Whitacre, her company has created Pawlytics, management software for rescue groups and shelters that eliminates the need for paperwork or multiple spreadsheets. The software provides organizations with a centralized database that allows organizations to record intake, view the current shelter roster, and manage adoptions. It also allows for adopter and donor profiles.
Beecher and Whitacre worked together in the past to create ways to help people and their pets. “When the time came for Pawlytics to start building a TNR expansion pack,” said Whitacre, “it was natural to form a more formal partnership with an animal welfare organization right in our hometown.”
Whitacre believes that there are three main areas that need to be addressed for Lincoln to become a no-kill city:
- Increase cat and kitten adoptions
- Reduce and prevent cat overpopulation through TNR
- Keep cats and kittens in homes by providing education and resources
The Kitten Adoption Pawp Up Kitten Event is an attempt to promote all three solutions at once. To help increase cat and kitten adoptions, Pawlytics will celebrate the launch of its software. To reduce and prevent cat overpopulation, Joining Forces Saving Lives will draw attention to TNR efforts through adoptable kittens; according to Beecher, one way to help homeless cats is to: “Socialize them when they are three weeks old so that they don’t become feral. Then, when they’re old enough to be separated from their mom, at about eight weeks, find homes for them.” Finally, to keep cats and kittens in homes, I’ll provide education and resources that will help to equip cat owners to solve common problems that may arise so that relinquishing their cats is never considered.
On a personal note, I am excited to have this opportunity to work for the first time with Lizz, reconnect with Melissa, and to meet cat owners who might be interested in learning more about cat care, socialization, behavior, and enrichment. Anyone who adopts a cat from Joining Forces Saving Lives at the Pawp Up Kitten Adoption Event will receive a 20% discount on services from Allison Helps Cats. Stay tuned for a series of posts this week that will provide you with more info about Pawlytics, Joining Forces Saving Lives, and Allison Helps Cats.