Our mission at the Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue is to find lifetime homes for abused, abandoned, or neglected cats and kittens. Many of the volunteers who work adoption events find it emotionally rewarding because they are helping a family find a new member to love. It’s amazing to see just how happy families are to meet our cats, and how happy the cats are to find people to love them.
We do monthly adoption events at the Petco in East Lansing, but we do most of our adoptions through our partnership with Petsmart Charities. We host weekly adoption events at their store on Saginaw Highway, which has an adoption center where some of our cats and kittens live for a few weeks at a time. It is a very useful tool because our cats are on display for people to see, which lets people know about us and what we do.
There are many roles to fill at adoption events. At minimum we need a cleaner, greeter, lead salesperson, and paperwork coordinator. The greeter is primarily responsible for initiating contact with potential adopters, and the salesperson is primarily responsible for presenting the cat. The cleaner ensures that all of the cats are looking their best, that their displays are clean, and that the cats have fresh food and water, toys, and clean litter. The paperwork coordinator goes over the adoption contract and other paperwork with the adopter. We provide training for each of these positions, and there will always be a senior volunteer to assist you until you feel comfortable in your role.
There are also special, much larger adoption events that we do every year at the Detroit Zoo and the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Zoo event is probably our biggest and best event, and is held twice a year in May and September. The Detroit Zoo is where we can bring our cats that wouldn’t show well at Petsmart, including special needs cats or senior cats which we may have trouble placing at smaller events. The positions for these incredibly active and fun events are the exact same, we just need more of them! Only senior volunteers can participate at the larger events, so if you are interested, please sign up for our adoption trainings. We want you to be comfortable at these events because they are so critical to our organization.
It is important to remember that regardless of the size of the adoption event, every volunteer is seen as the public face of MMCR. You must be knowledgeable about the cats as well as our organization. We should always strive to be courteous, professional, and show off just how much we love our cats! You must also ensure the safety and the health of each cat, so if you don’t feel as though a cat matches well with a family, please speak up. It is paramount not only that the family like the cat they are adopting, but also that the cat likes the family! Lastly, always make sure that you give the kitty lots of love before it goes in the carrier to go home to its new family. We want the cat to know that this is a happy occasion and isn’t something to be scared of or stressed out about. Shower the cat with kisses, hugs, and pets. Don’t forget: before you put the cat in the carrier, always say: “Sarah loves you.”
Photos: © Sandra Debnar 2013
Article: Ashleigh Harper