Shelters large and small are often packed to the limits with countless dogs and cats who need a home. Social media sites, especially Twitter and particularly Facebook, have made networking to a wider audience possible. But even those channels get overburdened — share one too many photos of Fluffy needing a home, and you get unfollowed. Shelters, therefore, are looking for innovative ways to get homeless animals the exposure they need.
Take Homeward Bound, for example. This no-kill pet shelter in Illinois has teamed up with Yoga at Connie's to host a special class featuring adoptable adult cats. Upward dog with cat on lower back? Why not! Participants do their routines in the same room as the kitties. The cats get to turn on the charm and, hopefully, find their forever home.
According to The Dodo, "six adoptable cats from the shelter were welcomed into the studio, allowed to wander among the students and join in on the activity. For the duration of the class, they snuggled among the students and accepted belly rubs while putting on poses of their own (though a few of the cats preferred to watch from the sidelines)." In just a single class, The Dodo reported, participants raised more than $500 for the shelter and one of the six cats has since been adopted.
How pawsome is that?
Even a no-kill shelter where efforts are taken to make the animals comfortable can be depressing. The sheer numbers of cats in cages can make someone who is considering getting a pet feel helpless or even guilty. Putting just a few adoptable candidates in a neutral setting not only takes the pressure off a potential adopter but also allows the cats to relax and be more themselves.
It's also an excellent opportunity for the cats to get socialized, not just with humans (and a group of them at that) but also other cats. This is especially ideal because it lets you see if a cat is rambunctious or quiet and laidback, how it gets along with other cats and how it reacts to a bunch of sweaty humans bending into a pretzel shape.