Purchase your Cat in the Hat Calendar Raffle 2018

Our popular raffle event is back!

Please help us raise funds for the more than 400 cats at Gifford by entering our annual Cat In The Hat Calendar Raffle. The more you buy, the more you help the work we do, AND the more you increase your chance of winning one or more of the amazing 31 prizes available.

You will have 31 chances to win a prize with each ticket!  Here’s how it works:

  • A winning ticket will be drawn each day in October.
  • The winning ticket then goes back in for more chances to win.
  • Winners will be notified by email and announced on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/giffordcatshelter each day.
  • Prizes will be mailed (you may pick up your prize at the shelter if you wish).

To purchase, select one of two options:

1. download the Cat in the Hat Raffle Form 2018 and mail it in. (You can download extra copies if you would like to sell tickets on our behalf.)

OR

2. purchase online below by selecting the “Buy Now” button below the desired number of tickets. 


1 Raffle Ticket $10.00


3 Raffle Tickets $25.00


6 Raffle Tickets $50.00


9 Raffle Tickets $75.00


12 Raffle Tickets $100.00

 

Thank you for supporting the Gifford Cat Shelter!

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Gifford Awarded Athletes for Animals Grant and Receives Much Needed Help for Spay/Neuter Surgery and Vaccines

The Gifford Cat Shelter is pleased to have been named a 2018 grant recipient by Athletes for Animals.  This organization, founded by Boston Bruin David Backes and Kelly Backes, is a united team of professional athletes with a shared passion for rescuing and protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide.  They raise funds to promote best practices in pet adoption and care and work to promote pet adoption and responsible pet ownership.

Our grant will help to provide spay/neuter surgery and vaccines for the many stray cats that we admit each year – and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with “kitten season” underway!

Please check out the Athletes for Animals work at https://athletesforanimals.org/

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VALENTINE’S ADOPTION EVENT

VALENTINE’S ADOPTION EVENT

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10 FROM 1-4PM

Looking to find true love?  This Valentine’s Day, give your love and your home to a cat.

We have many wonderful cats who are waiting to meet their families and move into their permanent homes.  In addition — we are discounting adoption fees for the event.

Special Adoption Fees (cats adopted day of event only)

Kittens: $195 each
Young Adults (1-9): $150
Adults (10+): $50

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…

  • Additional 20% off of a Second Cat’s adoption fee!

  • Two of our special cats, Traveler and Mandy, adoption fees are waived!

  • Those who submit their application between January 27th and Feb 3rd will be entered to win a free cat adoption (applicable to 1 cat, so if you adopt 2 kittens then you get 1 free)

If you are interested in adoption, please fill out an adoption application as soon as possible. You will be contacted by a Gifford adoption counselor to discuss your specific situation and needs.

We take pride in knowing our cats very well, so we can advise you on which cats would be good in a quiet home, which ones are active & playful, which ones would love to join a family with children….

Fill out an adoption application here:
http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/adoption/adoption-form/

Check out our adoptable cats here:
http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/adoption/meet-our-cats/

Only approved applicants will be able to take home a cat that day — so please submit an application at least 5 days prior to the event.  Due to an expected high volume of applications, you need to submit your application in time to be approved.

Our adoption counselors will be working diligently to get all applicants screened prior to event date.

It is also advised to come to the event with a sturdy cat carrier.

Please join us on Saturday, February 10 from 1-4pm at the shelter – and find your true love!

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Solving Litterbox Problems

Leading cat behaviorists agree that litter box avoidance is one of the most frequent and frustrating issues facing many guardians. There are many “whys” that can lead to improper elimination, but here are some basic tips that might help if you are dealing with this issue.

Always take the cat to the vet first. Many medical conditions, such as urinary tract infections, hyperthyroidism, and inflammatory bowel disease can cause a cat to eliminate outside the box. If a medical cause is ruled out, then the problem might be triggered by environmental factors.

The litter box. The box should be big enough for the cat to turn around; generally it should be 1 ½ times the length of the cat. While we humans might prefer covered boxes, many cats do not; they make some cats feel trapped and vulnerable to attack. Self-cleaning boxes are noisy and might scare some cats away. The box should be easy to step into—older cats and kittens might have trouble clambering into a high-sided box.

The litter. Different cats prefer different types of litter. Scented litter is a turnoff for many cats. Scoopable litter best approximates the sandy soil cats seek out in nature. If your cat is avoiding the box, try placing another box containing another type of litter nearby. If various litters are rejected, try Cat Attract, which contains herbs that entice cats to the box.

Don’t under- or over-fill the box; about 1 inch of litter is appealing to most cats.

Placement of the box. While you might think that the far corner of the basement is an ideal place for kitty’s toilet, kitty might not agree. Particularly if the cat is fearful or has mobility issues, it might pick a more convenient location to let loose. Litter boxes also should not be wedged into tight corners leaving only one-sided access.

Cleanliness or lack thereof. This is the root of many litter box issues. As a rule, cats are more fastidious than we are about the condition of the box. Litter boxes should be scooped twice a day, and emptied and cleaned once a week (every two weeks if scoopable litter is used). You should have one more box than your number of cats, and place the boxes in different locations. Lining them up = one big litter box in many cats’ eyes. Some cats even prefer to urinate and defecate in separate boxes.

Experiment and be patient. If your cat is not using the box, experiment with different boxes, litter, locations, etc. Most importantly, remember that the cat is not trying to be bad or annoy you; it just finds something upsetting about the current arrangement. As a conscientious cat guardian, you will want to find a solution that both of you will find satisfactory.

 

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Fall in Love With Your New Best Friend — Valentine’s Adoption Event

VALENTINE’S ADOPTION EVENT

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10th FROM 1-4PM

Looking to find true love?  This Valentine’s Day, give your love and your home to a cat.

We have many wonderful cats who are waiting to meet their families and move into their permanent homes.  In addition — we are discounting adoption fees for the event.

Special Adoption Fees (cats adopted day of event only)

Kittens: $195 each
Young Adults (1-9): $150
Adults (10+): $50

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…

  • Additional 20% off of a Second Cat’s adoption fee!

  • Adoption fees for three of our special cats, Traveler, Mandy, and Gracie, have been paid by generous donors!

  • Those who submit their application between January 27th and Feb 3rd will be entered to win a free cat adoption (applicable to 1 cat, so if you adopt 2 kittens then you get 1 free)

If you are interested in adoption, please fill out an adoption application as soon as possible. You will be contacted by a Gifford adoption counselor to discuss your specific situation and needs.

We take pride in knowing our cats very well, so we can advise you on which cats would be good in a quiet home, which ones are active & playful, which ones would love to join a family with children….

Fill out an adoption application here:
http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/adoption/adoption-form/

Check out our adoptable cats here:
http://www.giffordcatshelter.org/adoption/meet-our-cats/

Only approved applicants will be able to take home a cat that day — so please submit an application at least 5 days prior to the event.  Due to an expected high volume of applications, you need to submit your application in time to be approved.

Our adoption counselors will be working diligently to get all applicants screened prior to event date.

It is also advised to come to the event with a sturdy cat carrier.

Please join us on Saturday, February 10 from 1-4pm at the shelter – and find your true love!

 

 

 

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Benefit Wines

Give a gift that means more.  Gifford wines from Benefit Wines are the perfect gift this Holiday Season!  Wine makes a wonderful hostess gift, party gift, and a special gift for your cat loving friends.

Show your support of Gifford and give a gift that helps shelter cats.  Benefit Wine’s  winery-direct buying power allows them to give 100% of the online retail profits of Gifford Cat Shelter wines directly to our organization!

PLUS, theres a $15 flat rate shipping on all orders for the Gifford collection. A fabulous deal!

The wines offered – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc are imported from LaFortuna Vineyards in Lontue Valley, Chile. Taking advantage of the excellent sanitary conditions of Chile, and maintaining the old traditions in land cultivation, La Fortuna has transformed into one of the most important players in the organic wine production in all of Chile.

Each bottle features a cat adopted from Gifford, including the Winner of the Cutest Pet Contest!

To purchase this special wine that gives back — click below:

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Stuff a Shelter Cat’s Stocking this Holiday Season

Help brighten a shelter cat’s holiday season this year even if you can’t adopt!

We have a holiday tree decorated with all our cats wishes and stockings for every cat waiting to be stuffed. Stop by the shelter to stuff your favorite shelter cat’s stocking! Here are some of the things our cats are asking for:

 

The Gifford cats are hoping that someone comes and fills their stockings.

Thank you!

 

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Truly a Neighborhood Volunteer

Stephanie with cat Mandy

Gifford’s mighty cadre of volunteers come from every walk of life and dozens of geographic locations. But none could have originated closer than Stephanie H., who grew up on Undine Road!

What must it have been like, to ride her bike past the shelter every day?

The main house – that now contains the offices and upstairs cat rooms – used to be a full home for a family of five. Stephanie, friends with the daughter, recalls spending hours roller skating in the shelter’s driveway. We can only wonder, when she is hurrying from the brick to the house and back, if Stephanie ever catches a past glimpse of herself, playing on the grounds. Perhaps it was these fond memories that laid the ground work for her current service to Gifford?

Back then, the brick was still made of brick, and Stephanie remembers the area was a haven for strays, as people would drop their cats near Gifford’s property. Her first cat, when she was only 18 years old, was a stray kitten found just blocks away.

Launching herself into early adulthood, Stephanie worked at the Museum of Science and then moved to New Mexico, hoping to work at the O’Keeffe Museum. If you know her in person, you won’t be surprised to learn that by sheer determination, Stephanie not only got herself hired there, but worked her way up through accounting and payroll, setting herself up for the move back to the Boston. She continues to administer payroll and benefits at another non-profit close by. Perhaps it was this long history of work in this sector that began moving her back in our direction?

Stephanie returned to Boston about six years ago, and her new neighborhood was rife with cats. So she ended up trapping two strays, working with Charles River Alley Cats.  Her first foray into TNR (trap, neuter, release) was successful, so she continued to forage for a trap here and there, doing so much rescue work that she ended up buying her own trap!  This finally led her back to Gifford, where she is now known as Original Stephanie, not to be confused with the other Stephanie that works with her on her routine shift.

Of course, there can only be one Stephanie H., a long-time Gifford volunteer with the important job of delivering nighttime medicines to our residents. Thank you Stephanie for your dedication and hard work!

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Happy Tails – Golden and Overlord

Golden

Golden

Is it really my turn?

This is what was going through her head, when her adopters came to bring her to her forever home. She had watched some of her friends in the socialization room leave with nice people and not come back and she wondered, “Where did they go? Will I ever find a family?”

And the answer is yes, Golden. It’s your turn for a forever home. Even more exciting is your best friend Overlord is going with you! Once she realized this, I think Golden, in true cat fashion, did her inner version of a happy dance, excited to start this new adventure but not wanting to reveal how thrilled she was.

Golden arrived at the shelter in 2011 and took up residence in “the brick,” the main shelter building.  When her friend Shelley got scared, she would run to Golden and she became Shelley’s friend and protector.  It was clear that Golden was an alpha cat with a sweet side.

When it came to people though, she wasn’t particularly interested, which is a bit of a problem for a cat in a shelter that is hoping to get adopted. Golden needed to get comfortable with human interaction if she had any hope of finding a home so, in 2014, she was moved into the socialization rooms in the house (along with her friends Shelley and Mary Lou) and became a member of the Feline Charm School.

The Gifford Feline Charm School (FCS) was started to help the shelter’s under-socialized cats become more comfortable with people and, as a result, move out of the shelter and into forever homes.

The socialization steps were modeled on a program created by Best Friends Animal Society, and modified by a Gifford volunteer to meet the needs of the free-roaming shelter (the original program was used with caged cats that had been rescued from a hoarding situation). Using lessons geared towards slowly increasing a cat’s comfort level with touch, the volunteers utilize various brushing tools, transition into petting with hands and eventually get the cats comfortable with having their two front paws lifted off the ground then all four paws. The lessons can be adapted to meet each cat’s comfort level and sometimes require taking one step forward and one step back, based on the cat’s response.

The cats are never forced to interact with volunteers and to encourage them to enjoy the lessons, they are rewarded with a treat at the end of each session. In order to help the cats in the FCS slowly increase their bond with people, interactive play sessions are incorporated with the lessons, where the cats can chase toy mice, bat wand toys, flip catnip toys in the air or have volunteers guide them on a laser light chase around the room.  The focus of play, as are all the techniques used in the FCS program, is to get the cats to associate people with good experiences by letting them do what comes naturally….stalking, chasing, and catching prey.

Overlord

Golden had clearly established herself as the queen of the room and generally got along with her other cat roommates. She was receptive to the FCS lessons and got used to being brushed and even enjoyed petting.  Her bond with Shelley slowly faded as Shelley excelled at the lessons too and got adopted.  Golden didn’t seem to bond with anyone else in the room.

Then one day, the volunteers and staff started to notice that Golden and Overlord were almost always next to each other, eating out of the same bowl, bumping heads and brushing up against each other, with their tails intertwined.  It was incredibly cute how Overlord seemed to defer to Golden and what she wanted, like a King looking after his Queen. When potential adopters that were initially interested in only Overlord, came to the shelter to meet him and saw how cute the two of them were together, they didn’t have the heart to separate them and decided to adopt them both! The adopters were experienced cat owners that were willing to give two shy cats a try.

The staff and volunteers that work with these cats, and the countless hours and patience they give to help them get adopted, are an essential part of the Gifford mission as a “safe haven” for cats but particularly scared and reserved cats like the FCS cats. Many shelters would deem them unadoptable and not worth the effort but Gifford is willing to give them the time they need to feel safe.

Golden and Overlord’s adopters with a Feline Charm School volunteer

When you visit Gifford and walk up the stairway to the “shy” cat rooms, take some time to read the testimonials from the adopters of these cats. In their own words, they will tell you that these special cats are willing and able to trust and love and that one of the greatest rewards they give is letting you know you are the one they have chosen to trust.

 

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Happy Tails — Andre the Shoulder Cat

By Mara Walton, Gifford staff

When Andre was 10 years old, his owner died and he ended up in a city shelter. As a senior cat coming down with a cold, Andre didn’t stand a chance — he was scheduled to be euthanized. Luckily for Andre, Gifford stepped in and took him in.

Upon arrival, Andre had to be rushed to an emergency vet for a respiratory infection. His chances of survival were low, but Andre is a stubborn boy. He required extensive care after hospitalization; oral medications, eye medications, supplements, and subcutaneous fluids. After weeks of care, Andre recovered. He was finally ready to start looking for his new home.

Andre on my shoulders

During adoption hours he would sit right next to the door and be the first one to greet adopters. Every morning he greeted me too. As much as Andre liked breakfast, he wasn’t meeting me at the door for food. Andre was waiting for his favorite treat – a shoulder ride.

As the weeks passed, I began to worry that no one was going to pick Andre. As great of a cat as he was, not many people come in looking for a senior cat. Then I got a call from a woman looking for a senior cat. I told her about Andre and to my delight, she said she would come meet him! When she arrived, Andre was sitting front and center. The connection was instantaneous.

Now Andre spends his days sleeping in her bed, sitting at the dinner table when guests come over, watching birds from a multitude of windows.

Meeting his adopters…

He is quite the social cat. His adopters tell me as soon as anyone comes in the door, he is right there to greet them. He gets so excited about company and participating in the entertaining!

He is also very fond of the young grandchildren in the family. They love to play with him and Andre just soaks it all up, gentle and happy to be the center of attention.

Andre also has a little blanket that someone made him, and he’s so attached to it that he loves to snuggle under it and listen to classical music.

Playing with the grandchildren

 

 

Andre has come a long way – and Gifford is so happy they could save him from being euthanized, and now in a warm, cozy home with lots of love. And yes, he still demands shoulder rides before every meal.

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