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Online rescue cat awareness

Online rescue cat awareness

Posted by Armarkat on 29th Apr 2024

As of August 2023, a whopping 6.5 billion cat photos were posted across the internet. Cat-focused social media videos continue to rack up billions of views cumulatively (data from Pure Storage). While the internet cat craze entrances us with cute digital adventures, we could also be utilizing the same platforms to promote responsible caretaking of the cats we love to watch. The most pressing issue is the prevalence of homeless cats. According to the National Kitten Coalition, an estimated 3.4 million cats enter shelters in the US each year, and spreading the word online helps them find homes.

We interviewed Bill Atwell, a long-time volunteer for Wild Blue Cats Rescue and founder of the Shelter Cats Facebook group about his experiences advocating for cat wellbeing online.

When did you first get involved with cat rescue awareness? Is there anything specific that drew you to that cause?

I've always been passionate about animals. My first cat was named Bootsie and she followed me home when I was about seven years old. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became and I started reading books. From there it just grew to a real passion and when I got the opportunity to volunteer, I felt it was a true calling.

What is the primary location of members of your Facebook group?

All over the world but mostly the USA and Colorado. I will be traveling and visiting shelters around the country. I want it to grow well beyond Colorado.

I do know there are a number of people following or are members that work for organizations. One of my goals is to make it a site for volunteers and rescues in general as well.

Where do you find the information you post to the group?

I research a lot. I do a lot of reading and resources from great places like the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

What is one fact you wish the average person would know about improving the lives of cats in need of rescue?

Spaying and neutering saves lives and prevents unneeded suffering.

What are some challenges that come with online social media activism?

People, of course. People have opinions and many share their opinions without having a lot of information. Then of course, there are always scammers and spammers.

What are some of the greatest joys that come with spreading awareness of this topic online?

The responses from people that appreciate what I'm doing and the cats that are being saved. I like to share successful adoption stories, too. I feel that helps encourage people to adopt, don't shop.

Do you have any advice for people seeking to get involved with online animal rescue awareness? What can they do to help?

Be prepared for it to take a lot of your time. As it is I feel I never have enough time, but I am retiring from the workforce soon and plan on going into this full-time.

Is there anything else related to this topic that you would like to share?

All lives are precious and worth saving. The pet overpopulation problem is a manmade problem and can only be fixed by man. So many are trying to do just that, but it does take a village!


Bill Atwell, Shelter Cats

“How Much of the World’s Data is Cat Content?”, Pure Storage

“Increasing survival rates of kittens”, National Kitten Coalition,euthanized%20(1.4%20million%20cats).