Have you heard of the Cats on Patrol program at Oakland Animal Services (OAS)? This is a program that places feral cats into private homes and businesses to serve as natural rodent deterrents. OAS is also home to a colony of patrol cats. Unfortunately, the colony is now without two of its residents: Mama and Houdini.
Mama was the matriarch of the colony and knew how to keep the other cats in line. Though tiny in stature, she had a huge heart and had close relationships with the other colony members. She had a very special relationship with Dragon, a big orange tabby who was friends with everyone. When he passed, she got closer with current colony member Johnny. Near the end, she was even welcoming pets from a couple of her caretakers. Mama was humanely euthanized in November 2018 after becoming too ill from old age.
Houdini was a more recent patrol cat. He earned his name because he disappeared out of the acclimation structure after only one week. Being a quick study, he learned after the first week that he had a safe place for shelter and food. And so, he made himself visible again! Houdini was tight with his fellow acclimation buddy Daisy and current resident Johnny, and these three became affectionately known as The Three Amigos. Houdini was also the expert mouser, and recently had become more social with staff and volunteers. However, the life of a patrol cat isn't without risk and unfortunately, Houdini was found deceased in early November on the railroad tracks by the shelter.
Oakland Cats on Patrol
This fundraiser not only celebrates the life of Houdini and Mama, but also shines a spotlight on the Cats on Patrol, one of the most effective programs at the Oakland Animal Shelter. Cats on Patrol places cats that would otherwise be euthanized into homes and businesses that are looking for effective and natural rodent control. Since its inception in 2016, the program has placed over 200 cats into homes, wineries, breweries, gardens, barns, and farms.
Intrigued? You too, can have your own patrol cats! Head on over to the Cats on Patrol webpage and learn more!
Friends of Oakland Animal Services
In memory of Houdini and Mama and in celebration of Cats on Patrol, shelter volunteers are are hoping to raise at least $1000 for the Friends of Oakland Animal Services. Among the many projects FOAS funded this year was the renovation of a shelter space to house feral cats in a cage-free environment while awaiting placement. This secure room, known as Patrol Cat HQ, includes fenced-in open-air rafters, and ramps that allow the cats to climb to the rafters for fresh air.
Every dollar raised will go towards funding current programs that include: free spay/neuter for animals (including free-roaming cats) of Oakland residents with limited means, providing veterinary care for sick and injured shelter animals, facility and shelter improvements, adoption outreach and foster program support, and transportation of animals to local and out-of-state partner rescue groups.
If you wish to donate directly to FOAS (to avoid the fee thru GoFund Me), go to the FOAS DONATION WEBPAGE. Please add in the notes "In memory of Mama and Houdini."
Thank you for your support of Oakland's only open-admissions shelter (this means the shelter takes in every animal brought through its doors)!