From Homeless to Happy – How Felines Come into our Care

Have you ever wondered how the animals we save come into our care? Cat transport 1

Our adoption center is the next-to-last stop on each cat and kitten’s journey to health and happiness. For each of them, the ultimate destination is the same—a loving forever home—but their journeys can begin in several ways.

Many felines we save come from nearby.

Kitten TransportOur rescue partners with other organizations (including other private rescues and municipal shelters) in the Puget Sound area. When they receive more cats and kittens than they can care for, they contact us. SAFe Rescue also belongs to the ASPCA’s MAP network, which facilitates communication between organizations and helps us all work together to save as many lives as possible.

As space allows, we also take in animals from private individuals. (For example, we recently found homes for several cats after their beloved owner passed away and her daughter reached out to us for help.) Taking cats directly from an owner bypasses the shelter and reduces the risk of stress-induced illness by decreasing the number of movements/changes the animal experiences.

Other cats and kittens travel longer distances to reach us.

When the nearby organizations do not have an immediate need for us to take in animals, we reach out to organizations further outside our community.

Buddy BoyBuddy, a young male cat with ragged ears, a crooked tail, and a gentle disposition, had been waiting to find a home for over a year when we came to us from Eastern Washington. The staff and volunteers of the shelter there loved him very much, but did not have the resources to find him a home. After less than two weeks in our adoption center, Buddy captured the hearts of an adopter and went home at last.

What about stray cats?

Private rescues like ours are not permitted to take in stray animals directly. Legally, stray and found animals must go a municipal (public) shelter, where they are put on a “stray hold.” A stray hold is a period of time designed to give owners a chance to claim their animals before they’re made available for adoption.  It centralizes the location an animal can be found so that owners don’t have to find and contact every rescue in the area.

Fortunately, local public and private organizations work together to ensure high save rates. Rescues like ours help municipal shelters and often take in cats that have finished their stray hold.

Honeybee 1 webFor example, volunteers found a little tortoise shell cat—affectionately nicknamed “Trail Kitty”—in the woods near the rescue. As required, Trail Kitty went to the local shelter. After her stray hold was finished, we took her in and found her a happy home!

Each cat and kitten comes to us with a unique story. Whatever their journeys may be, we make sure to write happy endings to their stories—with love, care, and forever homes!

Images by K.A. Moore Photography,

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