Pet Owners are Happier and Healthier!

fab5girlsNumerous studies have shown that owning a pet can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and raise your levels of serotonin and dopamine leading to a calmer, happier and more relaxed mood. In addition, pet ownership can help older people find joy and meaning in life while reducing depression caused by loneliness. Children benefit from having a pet in the household too! Research shows that children who grow up with pets have less risks of developing allergies and asthma, while at the same time learning responsibility, compassion and empathy.

Consider a donation to support a rescue. Nina and Tango (pictured) were rescued and adopted by Pitter Patter Feline Rescue Inc.

The cats we currently have for adoption are shown below.  If you would like to provide a loving forever home for one of these beautiful animals please contact us.

You can also find us on Petfinder here.

Stamford may consider feral cat law

Ordinance would allow city to compel ‘cat keepers’ to have animals vaccinated and spayed or neutered
Alex Gecan Published 7:51 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2015 STAMFORD —

A new city law may compel feral cat “keepers” to bring the animals in for neutering or to allow city or non-profit workers to trap the animals for the operation. The city is still hashing out the legal aspects of asking residents who feed feral cats to help prevent rabies and the feline population getting out of control. “We’re working on how to do this without making it too onerous that people stop taking care of the cats,” said Rep. Eileen Heaphy, who chairs the Animal Control Task Force.
State law does not explicitly make feral cat “keepers” responsible for vaccinating, spaying or neutering the animals. It does, however, allow cities and towns to draft ordinances that would do so. Such a law would give the city some sway in situations where people who feed feral cats are unwilling or unable to see that they are creating a nuisance.
Large populations of unvaccinated feral cats can pose a health hazard — rabies is a particular concern — so trapping them temporarily to neuter or spay and vaccinate them is critical. People who feed feral cats often realize after a point that the felines’ numbers are growing too much, or have a family member sees this, and calls one of the local organizations that traps the cats to get them fixed and have their shots.
“We get frequent calls regarding new colonies or stray abandoned cats from new feeders,” said Janine Paton, co-founder of the nonprofit , Friends of Felines. “Most people are asking for help and are very cooperative. We have found only a small percentage of people not cooperative and we look for creative ways to work with them. “A city ordinance would help solve that problem.
Ginny Peluso, who has set up straw-and-styrofoam shelters for the feral cats she feeds at her Fourth Street home, said she was in favor of a law that would enforce spaying, neutering and vaccinating. Many people, she said, “think it’s fun to feed and see the kittens, and the problem is, it gets overrun, and it gets to the point where that person has to move or the owner of the property says `you can’t do this anymore.’” Two cats, one of which had formerly run wild, live inside Peluso’s home. Another two, a mother and a daughter, roam outdoors. All have been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
While cat feeders can sometimes raise the ire of their neighbors, especially if they’re feeding other wild animals too, Peluso’s neighbor Steve Aivalis, who works at Aivalis Architects a few doors down from Peluso, indicated that the animals were just another part of the neighborhood. “They’ve been around for a while now and we’ve gotten used to them,” said Aivalis. Once upon a time, the studio Aivalis shares with his father had been his mother’s home. “We’ve grown up with them being around, so it’s something we’re used to,” he said.
Rescue groups and other non-profit organizations have all weighed in on the proposed legislation. Both Friends of Felines and Pitter Patter back the idea. Cora Martino, who runs Pitter Patter with her partner Amy Hoyt, said an ordinance could help people understand that keeping the feral cat population in check is not that simple. For one thing, said Martino, feral cats only come out at night — when the Animal Control Center is closed. “They need to understand that we just don’t go there and go to someone’s driveway and throw some stinky fish in there and cats are going to come,” said Martino. “You have to know what you’re doing when you trap a feral cat.”
Kittens born to feral parents may be domesticated if found in time, said Martino, but a truly feral adult “has never been owned by a human. A real feral cat will rip your hand to shreds.” But, Martino said, once colonies are spayed and neutered, they become much more docile, and eventually die out.
Heaphy said there was a delicate balancing act between respecting keepers’ property rights and addressing possible public safety issues that wild animals pose.
Heaphy said the task force had also considered a “clear definition of what is a dangerous dog or what is a dangerous pet,” as well as a “section on responsible pet ownership.” The group will continue to deliberate through April before presenting a final report to Mayor David Martin.


Angela Carella:  WILD CAT TALE CAN ONLY END BADLY   Sunday, March 16, 2014

A well-kept house on a street of equally tidy homes in High Ridge, cats come and go.No one knows how many. But neighbors have told Stamford animal control officers and animal rescue volunteers about all the cats roaming their yards, and about the litters of kittens they find under their bushes and sheds.

There are so many cats around that a caring neighbor had a family member build a little shelter for them behind her house. Another neighbor gathered up the kittens he found on his property and took them to a pet store parking lot to see if he could find people to adopt them.

The woman who lets the cats in and out of her house may or may not be violating the law. Unlike dogs, cats do not have to be licensed or leashed. They do, however, have to be vaccinated for rabies.But before you can fine someone for failure to vaccinate a cat, you have to prove that the person is the owner.

Someone who provides food, water and shelter for more than two weeks by law becomes the legal keeper of the animal and they are responsible to make sure the animal is kept current on rabies vaccinations,” said Laurie Hollywood, director of the Stamford Animal Care & Control Shelter.But how do you prove that someone has been feeding and sheltering a certain cat for more than two weeks, particularly if cats are going in and out, and there are lots of them?The woman in High Ridge has cooperated with animal control officers, to an extent. “She told me she has six pregnant cats now,” Hollywood said. “She said she would give me the kittens once they are done nursing, then give me the mothers so they can be spayed. And she agreed to let me take a male cat that has not been neutered.”

Cora Martino has heard that before from the High Ridge woman. Martino is founder of Pitter Patter Feline Rescue, a tiny nonprofit that traps feral cats in Stamford, spays or neuters them and returns them to where they were living.Martino works with another Stamford woman, Amy Hoyt. Using a small amount of donations and state spay-neuter vouchers, lots of money out of their own pockets, and with help from Stamford veterinarians who provide medical care at low cost or for free, the women are trying to curb Stamford’s ever-increasing population of feral cats.Martino and Hoyt also rescue kittens they find. They nurse them to health, vaccinate them, spay or neuter them and find them homes.Martino and Hoyt learned about the woman in High Ridge two years ago from a Stamford veterinarian. The woman told the veterinarian that she let a feral cat into her house and it had kittens under her bed and she didn’t know what to do. The veterinarian called Pitter Patter Feline Rescue.

“The woman didn’t want us to take the kittens or the mother,” Hoyt said. “Eventually she let us take three of the kittens when they were old enough to be spayed. But then she called and asked for one back.”Two years ago the woman let Hoyt and Martino trap eight cats in her house and yard, which they spayed or neutered and returned to her.”But then she stopped letting us in,” Hoyt said. “We would call and she would say, `You can’t come today. I have a headache.’ “In many cases the homes of people who keep lots of cats are unkempt. Not in this case, Hoyt said.”Her house was quite immaculate,” Hoyt said. “She has a garage full of cat food and leaves the door open for them.”Hoyt said when they were trapping cats in the woman’s yard they also got a raccoon, which likely was taking its share of cat food from the garage.

That’s a problem, Hollywood said.”It’s the main reason we are concerned about people interacting with animals that have no vaccine history,” Hollywood said. “Raccoons learn quickly where cats are being fed. They share the food, the water. They may fight. That’s how rabies and other diseases are spread.”

The High Ridge woman earlier this month showed up at the Stamford Veterinary Center on Hope Street with four kittens. Dr. John Robb said the woman told him the mother had rejected the kittens, which feral cats do. One was already dead and the others died later, Robb said. “She told me there were several other pregnant cats. She was very nice — well-spoken and intelligent,” Robb said. “I told her, `You can get in trouble here. The authorities have a duty to protect the animals, and what you are doing is not in line with protecting animals.’ I told her if she could get help bringing the cats in, we could knock down the bill for spaying and neutering.“She said, `It’s a very nice offer but I am going to take a raincheck on it.’”Here’s the thing, Martino said. The house in High Ridge is not the only one.“There’s one in Springdale where someone is feeding cats and refuses to let anyone on the property to trap. There are several pregnant cats,” Martino said. Many of the feral cats living in colonies all over Stamford are sick or injured. They are endlessly reproducing. Martino and Hoyt cannot keep up. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and it’s only gotten worse,” Martino said. “Last year we spayed or neutered 214 cats. I raised 119 kittens and adopted them out. And we barely made a dent.” 

The same is true for Janine Paton, who works with another Stamford nonprofit, Friends of Felines. The group has about 30 volunteers, with two who do some trapping. But the group has another mission.”We are focusing on tame cats that have been abandoned outside,” Paton said. “There are so many on Henry Street that a nice family made a little shelter for them and put straw in it. They called me because a cat was in there and would not come out. She was freezing and starving to death.”It was a house cat, petrified and unequipped to survive on the street. Paton now is caring for the cat, which lost pieces of her ears to frost bite.”We had another situation where a man in the Cove bought a cat from a pet store, didn’t have her spayed and let her outside,” which is how the feral population got started, Paton said. “The cat had several litters and the man got sick of it. So he brought her to North Stamford and let her go. She made her way home to the Cove and had another litter.”It is, of course, a people problem.

“This type of situation always ends badly,” Robb said of the house in High Ridge. “It always gets out of control. More and more people will end up getting involved in it. It seems weird, in this day and age, when something is so obviously amiss, that no one can do anything.”; 203-964-2296.