AlStrays ‘Partners’ Re-homing Form
Alstrays Re-homing Program:
AlStrays, working with 2 registered charities in Germany, runs a re-homing program for owned, abandoned and strays cats and kittens. These cats must be tame and suitable to be house cats at the time they are put online for adoption. We work with a number of ‘partner’ animal protectoras and private individuals across the Almeria region (and sometimes beyond!), but we are not ourselves a rescue centre. Please note this means that we have no capability to take in and rescue cats directly. Our objective is to help existing rescue centres by re-homing their cats, allowing them to take in and help more cats. In addition we can work with individuals but the cats need to be in a safe and controlled environment before the re-homing process can start.
We do not re-home cats in Spain, and all the cats that we do re-home need to be passported and fully prepared for travel to Germany. There are of course cost implications in this, and even with the work of our fantastic partner vets, some funding is always required.
All the homes in Germany are professionally vetted and a comprehensive, legal contract is signed for each adoption. Adoptants pay a ‘fee’ for each cat as compensation for vet bills and other costs, and in return they have the ongoing backup of our partner charities in Germany to deal with any problems, AND the knowledge that they are taking into their homes a clean, healthy, ‘fully prepared’ cat. The re-homing program is non profit making. Most of the cats we re-home require additional funding over and above the adoption fees, and all require upfront sponsorship which is why we always need to ask individuals for contributions.
From the many photos on this blog, it is easy to see that our cats are going to fantastic ‘families’, who not only love them but send feedback and in most cases photos of their progress. Why do they want our cats? The answer is simple; in Germany there are less strays and they are traditionally mostly feral. Here in Spain, we have beautiful strays of all colours and mixes (including Siamese and Persian), and they mostly have that distinctive , slimline, more feline look, which makes them different from the more northern European cats. People in Germany really do want our beautiful, people friendly cats, and there are a lot of lovely people out there that genuinely care about the plight of animals in Spain and want to help.
All cats of all ages and types have a chance, even those that are disabled in some way or have tested positive for FiV or FeLV. Of course the almost pure breeds and very photogenic ones are normally easier to home, but cheeky, sweet ones and battered character cats also find loving families. Great photos, showing looks and character, are essential as all the cats are initially marketed online. The main requirement however IS that they are tame and suitable to be house cats. Of course there are some exceptions, but in general this to me means that a stranger should be able to at least stroke them, ideally immediately, and definitely within a few days. Of course rescue centres and individuals do take in more feral cats, but AlStrays cannot put them onto the re-homing programme until they are socialised, and with some cats this is never going to be possible.
The re-homing process if followed, for suitable cats, works brilliantly. It is not the answer for all the cats in the Almeria region and we will never be able to help them all, but I am confident that the ones we can re-home, really do have a secure and much-loved future.
ALStrays’s role in all of this is the coordination of the whole process, including selecting the cats for adoption, information flow, and the management of the all the key relationships. We are always trying to make this more streamline and efficient which is why we started our own transport project, and where this blog comes in. We are open to working with any cat rescue or individual if they are willing to ‘reserve’ the cats for AlStrays Re-homing Project and are able to do the following:
- Be involved in the ‘Preparation’ (and sponsorship) of the cats for adoption, which requires meeting the legal requirements for an animal traveling from Spain to Germany, AND the additional requirements of the German charities and ALStrays.
- Provide a safe environment for the cats while they are waiting to travel, a good level of food and ongoing care, a parasite control policy and a 5-7 day quarantine procedure for new cats.
- Communicate with AlStrays online, including filling out the Re-homing Form, as requested, for each cat that is accepted, and ensuring we are quickly updated on any, vet visits, changes and health issues
- Provide at least 6 photos of each cat of an acceptable standard for the German homepages, and be able to update these as required
- Bring the cats to one of the pick-up points for the regular transports to Germany, in a cat box of a suitable size and type (with a metal door, and a suitable water dish), and with a fully completed passport.
- To meet the legal requirements, each cat needs a European passport, an up to date Rabies vaccination (at 3+ months), and a chip, with the date of implantation the SAME AS or BEFORE the Rabies vaccination. Cats must have the Rabies vaccination minimum 21 days prior to travel. Please check each new adult cat for a chip prior to any vet treatment. Also be aware that because of the legal requirements no cat under the age of 3 months + 3 weeks can travel
- In addition each cat, unless previously vaccinated must have 2 RCPCh Vaccinations (against Feline Herpes, Feline Calicivirus (Cat Flu), and Feline Infectious Entiritis), AND 2 FeLV vaccinations (against Leukaemia). The 1st and 2nd vaccination of each type needs to be given between 20 days and one month apart to ensure maximum immunity levels.
- Older previously vaccinated cats must have all their vaccinations up to date. If these are due to expire within 3 months of arrival in Germany, new ones will be requested
- Each cat must be tested for FiV and FeLV and the results vet stamped into their passport, and signed. This can be done from 3 months onwards. Adult cats, being higher risk, should be tested before FeLV vaccinations, and before they are allowed to have contact with other rescue cats. Once the test is done, cats reserved for Germany should not be in contact with un-tested cats
- Cats should be treated for fleas and worms immediately after rescue, and checked for ear mites, diarrhoea and any other infectious parasitic or bacterial infections as part of the incubation period. Worming is then required 3 monthly, and each cat must be Frontlined or equivalent prior to travel
- Cats need to undergo a good health check minimum 10 days before the transport to allow time to treat any minor conditions. Cats need to be healthy on arrival in Germany (unless clearly agreed beforehand) and leave Spain free from: Fleas, worms, ear mites, fungus, diarrhoea, flu or cold symptoms, gum disease, eye infections, wounds and Giardia intestinal parasites. Cats should also not be underweight. This is often a clear sign of parasitic infection or Corona virus, even when a cat has no diarrhoea, and it is dangerous to put malnourished cats through the stress of the transport
- All parasite treatments, and recent medical treatments, must be entered in the appropriate sections of the passport, and pages 4 and 5 accurately completed. 1-2 days before travel, the cat needs to be checked again and the Clinical Examination section in the back of the passport must be dated, stamped and signed by a vet.
- Cats of 6+ months old need to be sterilised, but preferably not before 5 months.
- A cat needs 21 days legally after its Rabies vaccination before it can travel. AlStrays in addition requires 2 weeks after a female sterilisation or any other major surgery, 1 week after a male sterilisation or recovery from any illness requiring medication, and 3 days minimum (ideally 7) after the last vaccination, before travel
- The passport must be fully completed and the vet must sign and stamp everything that they do.
All of this is really important, as the cats are going to very clean homes and foster homes in Germany, where there are usually already other cats. We cannot risk the health of cats already in these homes, or risk incurring huge vet bills over there or any loss to our reputation or that of our partner charities. The adoptants in Germany are promised and expect correctly prepared, friendly, healthy cats. In return our cats get fantastic loving homes, and we send them in the knowledge that if there are any initial problems or a home doesn’t work out, they have our German partners to take care of them. The cats always come first, because they are the important ones in all of this, and any problems are considered to be mostly down to the humans!! This is the perfect attitude and why I trust our partners completely. They in return have to be able to trust us, which is why the re-homing process is so important. Together we can all continue to help a lot of cats enjoy a much better life.