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Whole Lotta Love

Cat’s Cradle of Greater Richmond, Inc.

A finalist in the 2008 Maddie’s Fund Marketing Competition; submitted by Tracy Bemabo, Co-director, Cat’s Cradle of Greater Richmond, Inc., Richmond, Va.


“Whole Lotta Love” is a new program designed to increase awareness about our special needs cats. An increased awareness leads to more and better adoptions! Signified by its own logo, the program consists of a brochure, a featured Web page, special adoption fees, and the support of our volunteers and affiliated veterinarians.

The primary focus of Cat’s Cradle of Greater Richmond is feline pound rescue. It is in these facilities, the kill shelters of our city and surrounding counties, that we come face-to-face with a vast number of special needs kitties. So deserving of love but doomed to be passed over by potential adopters and other rescue groups, these pets are perceived as undesirable for a myriad of reasons– blind or partially blind, lame, too old, missing teeth, missing a leg, missing an ear, all black, mostly black, deformed, etc. The reasons for rejection are superficial, unthinkingly unfair, seemingly endless, and extremely painful to acknowledge. But acknowledge them we must.

When we formed in 2005, Cat’s Cradle prioritized “Special Needs” cats as part of our pound rescue mission. And as a result, a little over one quarter of our total rescues fall into this category. This fall we decided to step up our efforts on behalf of these disadvantaged cats and designed the “Whole Lotta Love” program.

“Whole Lotta Love” is about helping the public understand the tremendous need and even more tremendous reward in adopting one of our special pound rescues. We believe that by offering potential adopters materials, both in print and online, together with volunteer and veterinary support, our chances to place these precious animals in the best possible homes will be improved. The program has just launched, and already our more targeted advocacy has brought increased interest in our FIV+ cats!

It’s all about providing focused information, encouraging compassion, and offering support so that these special kitties get a “Whole Lotta Love!”

The “Whole Lotta Love” packet presented to an adopter who has passed our screening process includes our new brochure, a thank-you note from the cat’s foster, medical history, medical literature, a list of volunteer contacts and affiliated veterinarians, and a copy of our adoption contract. I also enclose data showing a breakdown by percentage of our special needs rescues.

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