The Bermuda SPCA will be welcoming feline experts Vicky Halls and Kim Horsford from International Cat Care.
The organisation said, “The Bermuda SPCA and associated stakeholders are being given the unique opportunity to find out about the Cat Friendly way of working, with five days of intensive workshops and exercises to see how making some changes to their way of working can have a positive impact on the cats in their care and the numbers that can benefit from thoughtful and planned interventions.
Vicky Halls, a Cat Behaviour Counsellor for the past 20 years, is an international bestselling author of 7 cat behavior books for the cat-owning public and co-author of a number of veterinary textbooks. Vicky is a Registered Veterinary Nurse, a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors and also a Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council.
“Following a long and successful career in healthcare, small business start ups and not-for-profits, Kim Horsford is currently working with International Cat Care [ICatCare] and Vicky Halls to develop the Cat Friendly Homing initiative.
“With an MBA from London Business School, more than 10 years as a trustee of ICatCare [their first non-veterinary chair] and four years running a TNR programme in Bermuda [BFAB], Kim brings a mix of management skills and feline knowledge to the project. As part of the development of CFH there will be a focus on the organisational support that is needed in welfare organisations to deliver good outcomes for cats.
“ICatCare is a charity that was founded over 60 years ago in the UK. Their mission is to help all cats – owned and unowned – wherever they are in the world. They are not a traditional cat charity; their expertise is in feline information, advice and education.
“Many people and organisations working within the rescue sector asked ICatCare for advice on how to help unowned cats best, both on the street and in homing centres. How to provide good welfare, minimise stress and ensure that all interventions are in the cats’ best interests. Rescue charities and homing centres throughout the world are full of amazing, dedicated people who work incredibly hard and often against ridiculous odds. They told ICatCare they often feel exhausted and frustrated at the scale of the challenge. They asked if the charity could develop resources tailored to their specific needs.
“ICatCare has a proven track record for taking evidence-based information about cat ethology, behaviour and physiology and giving practical advice about how this science can inform the way that people live and work with cats. When tackling this particular issue they worked on the basis: how would a cat want to be treated? What would a “cat friendly” homing organisation look like?
“Since 2011, ICatCare have been consulting with experts on shelter medicine, management, behaviour, ethics, welfare and human behaviour change to create a way of working that can be used anywhere in the world, despite differences in culture, climate and legislation. The principles of “Cat Friendly Homing” and “Cat Friendly Solutions for Unowned Cats” have been adopted already in the UK [RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Wood Green Animal Charity] and in Portugal and Malta with excellent results for the number of cats helped and the respectful way in which their individual needs have been met.
“There will be a bespoke element to the workshops which will include time for participants to bring specific challenges to the speakers for ideas on how they can manage the situation in a pragmatic and Cat Friendly way.
“The workshop has the potential to change the way cats are managed in Bermuda and create a community that becomes a flagship for the latest thinking in cat welfare and an example to others who want to help as many cats as possible in the right way.
“The workshops are being offered free of charge from Wednesday February 20th through Sunday February 24th. Anyone interested in participating can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the schedule and registration information. The shelter will be closed to the general public during the workshops to allow staff the opportunity to attend and benefit from this incredible opportunity.”