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How To Find a Lost Cat and Where To Find a Lost Cat in the Philadelphia area

Posted by smallspark on March 3, 2009

This is primarily for lost cats, but of course, some of them have dogs as well.
Tips at the top, recommended Internet sites at the bottom.


STUFF TO DO NEAR YOUR HOUSE – this is HUGE to do. Most important.

POSTERS – All this Internet stuff is great but large obnoxious Florescent Posters work really, really well.

Your cat has not marked their scent outside, so they can’t smell their way home. They are totally lost. Especially now that it has rained and snowed. PUT THEIR LITTER OUTSIDE. Put YOUR scent, or the scent of their favorite person OUTSIDE. Most don’t roam too far. There is a good chance they will smell it and be able to find you.

Make sure your neighbors are aware of your lost pet. Put smaller version of the poster in their mailboxes – as well as the corner stores if possible.

If you walk around looking for your cat, look and call for them when it is very quiet out. That means early or late hours. Be safe and don’t be dumb – do this with a friend. Assume your animal is afraid, and move slowly. Remember winter clothes mean they can’t smell you. So maybe bring a bit of your cats litter or a bit of worn smelly clothing with you as well, to tip them off that you are around because your voice might not.

There is no guarantee your animal will make it onto the Internet. It’s a tool. Once a week (more or less) walk around your shelters – all of them – including isolation/sick areas  – and look at all the animals yourself. There really is no substitution for this.

And if you are lonely – foster one of those sick animals for a couple weeks until they get well and can be adopted to their new home. They will be grateful, and so will you.

SEARCHING tips on individual Internet sites below (if search is available)

As SIMPLE as possible – searches on all these sites are really bad, you can test it. I would recommend using “cat” as much as possible. Why? Because people could describe a cat many different ways. For example, “tuxedo cat” or “black white cat” or sometimes people just say “black cat” for a “tuxedo cat”. I’ve seen it. Insane. So – just search for “cat” even if you want to try other variations. I guarantee with “cat” some will turn up that your “better” descriptions missed.

Get your mindset straight.

Don’t expect your animal to come to you, easily. You will have to work to get them back. You are the most motivated to get your own cat home, right?  You will have to pay attention to the found animals out there, and do the work of posting your lost ad. But you can. Just expect that you will need to put hours in. Basically, this is homework, kids. But this is homework you really want to do because your friend is depending on you to save them from the pound.


Expect them to immediately turn into adoptable animals. Many do. Even if you notified and did all the right things, people don’t pay attention and most likely staff is overwhelmed. They will try but they will not remember. Do NOT make the mistake of assuming they will. They can’t. They are drowning in animals who need homes and trying to take care of them, and it’s overwhelming. They do the best they can but they are very outnumbered. But YOU, you are focused on your one buddy.  I’m giving you tools. Use them.

AD posting tips:

VERY IMPORTANT: Most of those sites do not let you post photos SO – post to and put the link in your ad.

Images are HUGELY important.This way, I swear people will be able to help you more. Photos get more attention. They get the MOST attention. Otherwise, it’s really just noise.  We’re all in a hurry. When I look, I can’t help it – I  look at photos most because these are the people, I think, who want their animal home. Text descriptions just don’t do the job well.

The text descriptions, however are important for search terms, even if you do have a photo. So your ad – Put the details first – colors, pattern, what their ears look like, hair length, nose color, male, female anything that might help identify your animal and cut down on the spam. Anything you think someone would use should they find your animal.  Then put your zip code, what town or what area of Philly you are in – street names too if you want but basically what town and zip.  Think google maps.  No way I know your area that well. I rent, I move and I don’t drive. So do many others. Please don’t assume we know, safely assume we’re idiots who are also from out of town, like me. 🙂 Dumb it down. It’s ok.

Remember that ads expire. Keep them active because your cat can hide for awhile, or a good samaritan or agency could be slow putting an ad up or searching. It happens. Many times, I’ll search on all the sites before I put my found ad up.

Good luck!

Here are the sites:

SEARCH these sites:

Main SPCA’s

Philadelphia SPCA:

PAWS Philly

Delaware County, PA SPCA

Camden County SPCA: (it’s only right across the bridge)

Northeast Animal Rescue

Womans Humane Society:

Montgomery County SPCA

Bucks County SPCA

Main Line Rescue


Adoptapet is sometimes useful, there are a lot of pets on there. And they also list other shelters in your area. This list is not everything!

Petfinder has animals from many shelters. Too many animals from shelters and no way to sift through them easily by color/pattern. It will take some serious time to hunt through here. Zip code parsing is odd but it eventually comes back to your area again. No way to skip through the ones you think don’t apply.

Small Cat ONLY Rescues: Little bitty places who rescue cats you never knew about: These are my go-tos but there are more out there.
Green Street Rescue
City Kitties adopt list
City Kitties neighborhood classified list
Flat Iron wildcats
Feline Pipeline
Stray cat blues
Cat Angel Network
FFUR: The Foundation for Feline Urban Rescue
Catnip Cats (Springfield, PA)

POST AND SEARCH on these sites or as many of the places below as you can:


Petfinder classified:

Future Best Friend lost/found:

Craigslist philly lost and found:

Craigslist philly pets:

www. is just a fyi – not what I would recommend unless you put a photo b/c they don’t let you put decent info on there – and even then, blech.

Good luck. I really hope you find your animal. There are lots of nice people out there who help, if they see your ad, and even if they don’t. Keep posting be very visible and many times, you can get your buddy home.


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Urgent: PAWS shelter closing Jan 1. They need foster help for a month.

Posted by smallspark on December 29, 2008

Update: A false rumor on craigslist prompted my post. See below for  information and to read the SPCA’s information on the PACCA/PAWS takeover.


Please please – if you can foster a dog or cat or several – if you have an extra room in your house…if you ever wanted to make a difference…if you weren’t sure about taking an animal permanently and wanted to test out pet ownership…please Foster an animal from PAWS right now. For one month.

The PAWS/PACCA shelter is closing Jan 1 due to the city’s new contract with SPCA. Animals need transitional homes from 1 week to 1 month. (They always need foster homes for animals however not for the transitional reason)

Literally save an animals life – YOU really do make a difference here. SPCA really will kill them, if they are sick or if they are not. (FALSE RUMOR info noted below)

New foster parents are teamed up with experienced foster parents…they will help you and teach you! (True)

Please look in the pets section ( at for more info or go to PAWS immediately. They are staying very late there so the animals can find safe places to stay. (Not sure if this is true however they are open from 11-6 most days)

PAWS closes Jan 1. (True – they are being taken over by PACCA Jan 1)

Please help a furry, huggable, sad little animal be safe and give them a chance to find a new home where they can be part of a family. (Always True!)

PAWS Main Shelter  (Soon to be PSPCA shelter)
111 West Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Ph: 267-385-3800


I received a comment from Kim, below, and it seems that the craigslist postings on the above are an untrue rumor.  I’m posting the SPCA page here in my post to help inform others.


Philadelphia, December 1, 2008 – The City of Philadelphia today announced that it has awarded its animal control contract to the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA). The contract goes into effect on January 1, 2009.

“We are honored to have been selected to provide comprehensive animal services for the City of Philadelphia. Our board, staff and volunteers are eager to devote our experience and compassion to ensure that Philadelphia has a first-class animal care and control program,” said PSPCA CEO Howard Nelson.

Taking leadership of the Philadelphia animal control contract involves a major operational transition in a short period—one month. “We are focused on building the best animal control function for the city. Over the course of the next four weeks, PSPCA staff will be working hard to ensure as seamless a transition as possible as we take on this new challenge to better serve the city’s residents, and most importantly, its animals in need,” said Nelson. “We will share in detail our animal control plans for the public’s review shortly.”

This site is still under development. Please check this website for updates as they are available. Philadelphians with questions regarding the PSPCA’s animal control team can email


PSPCA’s Request for Proposal to the City of Philadelphia
Animal Control Team (ACT) Powered by the PSPCA – Organizational Chart

Companion Animal Protection Act and Animal Rescue Policy

The PSPCA will support and comply with all components of No Kill Solutions’ Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA). The provisions of CAPA are in line with the PSPCA’s commitment to strengthening its 141-year-old mission to rescue animals from abuse and neglect, provide lifesaving care and treatment, guarantee a home for every adoptable animal, and reduce pet-overpopulation through low-cost spay-and-neuter clinics and public awareness initiatives. For more information about CAPA, view the abstract and FAQs or the 2007 Companion Animal Protection Act. To read PSPCA CEO Howard Nelson’s letter to Nathan Winograd, author of CAPA, click here (PDF – 32.5MB).

Currently, the citywide euthanasia rate is higher than most major cities per capita. This is unacceptable and the PSPCA the programs outlined below in its efforts to make Philadelphia a no-kill city.

ACT Powered by the PSPCA: Myth vs. Fact

Myth: Animals at PACCA will be euthanized on December 31, 2008.

Fact: The animals will not be euthanized. When ACT powered by the PSPCA takes over the shelter at Front Street and Hunting Park Avenue at midnight on January 1, 2009, it will implement new animal care standards for animals currently residing at the shelter and new animals coming in. The new care standards include medical staff, a behaviorist, and more lifesaving staff dedicated to working with foster, rescue and shelter partners.

The PSPCA and Pit Bulls: Myth vs. Fact

Myth: The PSPCA practices breed-specific Pit Bull euthanization.

Fact: The PSPCA does not practice breed-specific euthanization of Pit Bulls. We believe Pit Bulls are loving animals that can make great pets, and we do everything we can to give them a second chance at life. As with any other breed, we evaluate each Pit Bull’s temperament and health, ensuring that the dog is not “dangerous” and it will not experience prolonged pain and suffering.

For more facts about the PSPCA’s Pit Bull adoption policy, click here. We encourage the public to visit our adoption center at 350 E. Erie Avenue to see the lovely pets, including Pit Bulls, that we have available for adoption each and every day. The public can also see adoptable animals here.

ASPCA’s Mission Orange Philadelphia Program

According to the ASPCA’s Mission Orange Philadelphia program, of which the PSPCA is a partner, Philadelphia’s live release rate was 50.26% for January-June 2008. In a city with more than one million people, this number is not acceptable. The PSPCA, by being committed to CAPA, is working to increase the live release rate to 85% for Philadelphia. For more information about Mission Orange, click here.

ACT Program Enhancements

ACT powered by the PSPCA is dedicated to better serving all of Philadelphia’s animals in need. Animals will be fed twice a day (three times for emaciated animals). ACT will offer more lifesaving staff working with foster, rescue and shelter partners to find homes for more animals; a larger fleet of vehicles, removing animals from the street where they could possibly be hit and injured by cars; a behaviorist to assess animals entering the shelter; and a medical team to provide necessary lifesaving treatment.

ACT is committed to enhancing the animal care facility. Volunteers and contractors wishing to participate in a shelter makeover to clean and organize the shelter on December 31, 2008, and January 1, 2009, should call 215-426-6304, ext. 244 or email


The PSPCA is looking for dedicated, qualified individuals to join the ACT team, including Director of Animal Control. View available positions and email your resume to Please be sure to reference the position(s) that you are interested in.


The PSPCA welcomes animal control-focused volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia’s animals in need. Find out how to become a PSPCA volunteer. For dates of upcoming PSPCA orientation sessions, contact PSPCA Volunteer Coordinator Stacey Plattenberger at 215-426-6304, ext. 244 or via email at

ACT Advisory Council

A 10-member ACT advisory council is being formed. Those interested in serving on the council should email a resume and letter of interest to

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The art of playing with cats from a dog person pt 1

Posted by smallspark on September 28, 2008

I just came back from playing with the cats. This is always really funny, no matter how reluctant I sometimes am to give them the time it takes to REALLY play with them. Because playing with cats is just different from playing with dogs. Dogs I know how to wind up and wind down and make a really good play session. A good play session with a dog gives me a lot of exercise and we’re both exhausted at the the end.

Cats , on the other hand, are creatures I’m still adjusting to and their play habits have almost a totally different energy. I’m seldom exhausted. But I can tell, even if I just play for a minute or so (literally) when they request it, that they feel better and have gotten rid of some stress. It’s so palpable! Playing with animals, (and kids too) makes for smiling. Not only for the goofy things they do but for the simple pleasure of watching them be interested, and the surprising ways in which they play and how their little community interacts. Everyday something changes, somebody learns something or changes it up.

One thing that is important is the distinction between WHAT the animals are playing with. With a dog, they are playing with the toy but also interacting and playing with the person. With a cat, they are playing with the moving toy and they appreciate the person who makes that happen.

Totally different.

Another difference is having to be STILL when playing with cats. Or at least with feet mostly in the same position. The only thing moving in a cats line of sight should be the toy they’re about to attack. Same with noise. No new noise. Otherwise, at least for mine, I end up freaking someone out and the game has to start over. Them freaking out means they’ll either flip out and run away/around or just take a couple minutes to reorient themselves to what’s around them.

With a dog, running around constantly just adds to the fun. 🙂

Now another thing is there are a lot of different cat games, did you know? “Pounce” the movement (my hand or a stick under something – blanket, paper, cloth, curtain), “toss up” which could either be low – just lifting the paws or a high – a full-on leap in order to catch a toy midair. (That’s my favorite game and only Callie plays it.) “Chase” which involves me trying to keep a feather ahead of them on either the floor or about a foot about the floor. This ends up with lots of sliding around on the wood floor when changing direction and this game lasts awhile because the smart little cats have learned to to take turns. When one tires out, the next one literally leaps in.

The standard “catch” is always fun, which is making the feather toy freak out in the air above them and then they leap up to get it. Other variations of this are “lazy catch” where they roll over on their backs and try to get the feather toy with as little movement as possible. Usually they like this one when they are laying on something soft, like the couch.

They also like it when I roll tiny toys down the hall for them to chase, especially if I just took it out of the catnip box where I keep them. (I’d love to teach them to bring it back.) The usual scene is me rolling jingle balls, them catching and playing and then stopping and looking at me – would I do it again – with me then contorting into whatever spot the toy landed in to get it, and give it a spin in the other direction.

What other games are there to play with multiple cats?

Anyone make any toys that were a hit?

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PA Puppy Mill Bill Senate going off course plus Oprah show update TODAY (kz)

Posted by smallspark on September 25, 2008

The Senate today made amendments and is (more or less) nullifying MAJOR parts of the PA HB2525 bill the House passed with flying colors. PLEASE don’t let them.

PLEASE go to and let them know you DO consider this important.

The House got a lot of pressure and knows we care. The Senate hasn’t had as much exposure to people’s opinions. Let’s make them aware their constituents care, and have an opinion, please.

And OPRAH is back on the subject and she is having another puppy mill show on Sept 25th.
Watch the show and understand what the fuss is all about on this issue.

Please pass this on.

Sources: CBS 3
North Penn Puppy Mill Watch
Main Line Animal Rescue

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TODAY Puppy Mill Rally in Harrisburg – Noon to 2 pm

Posted by smallspark on September 16, 2008


WHAT: Rally to support higher standards for the state’s commercial dog kennels WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Soldiers and Sailors Grove, Commonwealth Avenue and North Drive at the Capitol Complex

SPEAKERS: ASPCA investigator Annemarie Lucas, who appears on Animal Planet’s “Animal Precinct” TV show;
Bill Smith, the founder of Mainline Animal Rescue, who recently appeared on an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” devoted to conditions in some of Pennsylvania’s dog kennels; Jana Kohl, author of “A Rare Breed of Love,” about Baby, her three-legged dog, which survived a kennel she calls a puppy mill.

To RSVP ASPCA just wants to know how many people are coming

ps. sorry for the late notice

Puppy Mill Awareness Day Sept 20th – A preview of this Lancaster county event is written up quite nicely on dogster.

You can also get info on the event (and more) straight from the site:

———Reprint from (sister site)

If you’ve seen the Oprah show on this subject, maybe you understand how important, though minor, this law will be for those constantly pregnant animals forced to live their ENTIRE life in an open, small, wire-floored cage outside with no vet care. The endless rounds of puppies go to stores while Mama suffers.

“Among other essential changes, this bill would double the cage space required for dogs, mandate regular veterinary care, prohibit the stacking of cages, ban wire cage flooring and require that dogs have continuous access to clean water.”

“Passage of HB 2525 is vital if Pennsylvania is to improve conditions for dogs kept in commercial kennels and put an end to the state’s reputation as the “Puppy Mill Capital of the East.”

For more specific info, and to know exactly who to call, please go to the ASPCA website link below.

*Info in “” re-posted from ASPCA website.

Please call!

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kitty and puppies video

Posted by smallspark on September 2, 2008

House cat discovered by puppies

House cat swarmed by puppies

This video has a good end and the cat gently pats and plays from a higher height.
But the beginning….wow, I’ve never seen a cat get literally swarmed by puppies.

Posted in Dog, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

PAWS animals need you short time NOW

Posted by smallspark on July 4, 2008

Hi everyone, Would you pass the message below on to anyone? It’s
about temporarily fostering animals for the animal shelter here in
phila..the numbers are just heartbreaking.

They really need temporary (very temporary for the kittens, anyway)
foster mommy and daddies…. For example: If you pick baby kittens to
care for, it’s simply one extra room in your house or one wire cage
somewhere safe so they can grow old enough to be adopted.

I never knew about fostering animals before I moved to Philly and
that’s why I share this.

It’s hard to contemplate fostering but knowing you are making a short
term accommodation while helping one or more animal live to get to
it’s forever home while at the same time getting so many personal
rewards: affection, exercise, community and more – I more than think
its win-win, I really do know it is.


Below is the email I received from the PAWS mailing list:


This is an urgent plea for your help. PAWS is taking in well over 100
animals every single day — too many to house, and too many to save on
our own. There are many ways you can help:

Please rescue us!Foster kittens: PAWS has more kittens than space.
Yesterday alone, we had 28 litters of kittens by 10 am and were able
to get only four out into foster care. More are coming in all the
time, so every hour is critical. We are especially full with sweet,
wonderfull momma cats that have nursing litters, as well as orphaned
newborns that need to be bottle fed and young orphan kittens who are
eating on their own. They urgently need foster care in order to
survive. Foster care provides a safe place for them to grow to an
adoptable age and find good adoptive homes, and frees up much needed
space at the shelter for other needy animals. If you have a spare room
in your house please consider helping us get these adorable babies and
their mommas out!

Foster a dog: The shelter is packed with dogs — large and small,
young and old — who are desperately waiting for a chance at life. We
cannot house them all, and more are coming in all the time —
approximately 35-40 each and every day. By taking one home
temporarily, you give them the chance at life they deserve and make
room at the shelter for another whose life depends on us having the

I need you! Please rescue me!IF YOU CAN FOSTER AN ANIMAL: Come to the
shelter (111 W. Hunting Park Avenue) immediately. A staff person or
foster care volunteer will be thrilled to help you find the right
animal(s) for you to take into safety. Foster care hours are 11 am to
6 pm every day of the week. To make special arrangements to come at
another time of day, please email Natalie at
(please email only as a last resort; Natalie is inundated. It is best
to just come directly to the shelter.)

Directions to the shelter are available here:

More information about foster care is available here:

Please, Would you help?

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