It may sound cliché but everyone can make a difference. You may think that you can only help if you give everything up and change your life completely. The reality, is you first need to find a cause, something you are passionate about. Follow it with brainstorming ideas of what part you can and will play, whether it’s volunteering, donations, or spreading the message around. Within time, everything falls into place. What seemed like an impossible task, too overwhelming to do alone, becomes a movement. Soon you will soon find you have surrounded yourself with people from all walks of life who have the same goals as you.From a young age, Hannah Shaw knew what she wanted to do with her life. She was determined to make the world a better place for kittens everywhere.
She wasn’t always sure how to do it though.
The 28-year-old provides rescue and adoption services to orphaned kittens in the Washington, DC area.
“Almost all orphaned neonatal kittens are found outdoors, born from unsterilized, free-roaming cats. Most of the time when people find orphaned kittens outside, they bring them to the shelter, where they are immediately killed,” Shaw explains. “This is because most shelters don’t have the resources to care for them, so their condition is considered hopeless.”
By providing shelter, they are providing rescue centres an alternative to killing the animals.
Shaw also advertises the kittens for adoption a few weeks before they are ready. She usually lets the kitty go to its forever home at the eight-week age mark.
“Half the time people don’t even notice. I think that people just don’t expect to see a one pound kitten sleeping in your scarf, so most often, they just don’t notice. I also do a lot to try to camouflage the fact that I’ve almost always got a kitten in tow—using carriers designed to look more like a purse, etc—and that’s for a few reasons,” Shaw explains. “First, it’s just not so great for tiny kittens to be exposed to strangers trying to touch them in the grocery store, but second, I’m a busy lady and sometimes I just want to shop for produce in peace, you know?”
Shaw says there are ways people can help. “Find the rescue path that is right for your life. It isn’t a one size fits all thing, but everyone can contribute in some way. If your life isn’t set up to allow you to foster kittens, try fostering senior cats,” she suggests. “If your home situation doesn’t allow you to foster, get involved in transporting cats, or trapping and neutering community cats. There’s always a way to help! And, to the best of your ability, don’t foster fail. Be willing to say goodbye, so that you can keep saving lives in the future.”