Pets to seek ‘fur-ever’ homes at Oakland Mall adoption event

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 10, 2019

 Noah and Tortie hang out with a child in their foster family, awaiting their planned visit to Paws at the Mall at Oakland Mall.

Noah and Tortie hang out with a child in their foster family, awaiting their planned visit to Paws at the Mall at Oakland Mall.

Photo provided by Paws for Life Rescue

TROY — Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens will “paws” at Oakland Mall in hopes of finding their forever families.

Paws for Life Rescue, based in Troy, will host a pet adoption event called Paws at the Mall April 12-14 that will feature games, prizes, raffles and vendors.

Courtney Protz-Sanders, the executive director of Paws for Life Rescue, said the group hopes to find loving homes for about 50 animals.

The Troy rescue group was selected as one of 56 organizations to participate in the spring 2019 semester of Cat Pawsitive, a lifesaving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to cats in shelters and rescues, according to a press release. The program is supported by the Petco Foundation and Halo Pet Food, and the “innovative training program for cats aims to increase feline adoption rates and maintain cat ‘mojo,’” the release states.

Greatergood.org sponsors and funds the online training. The group, according to the website, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet.”

Paws for Life Rescue “focuses on humane legislation and education initiatives to permanently improve the lives, safety and future of companion animals in Michigan and surrounding areas. PFL has no paid staff and receives no government support,” states pawsforlife rescue.org.

Protz-Sanders said that some of the cats that have gone through the Cat Pawsitive training will be available for adoption at the Oakland Mall event.

“We are hoping they will show off what they know,” she said. She said one of the graduates, a senior cat named Toothless, found a home because of the tricks she learned.

Jackson Galaxy, the star of the Animal Planet show “My Cat from Hell,” developed Cat Pawsitive with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program, according to the release, include that it can:

• Maintain cat “adoptability” and feline social skills by enriching cats’ day-to-day lives.

• Increase adoptions.

• Decrease lengths of stay in shelters.

• Engage and empower volunteers and staff.

• Show potential adopters that cats are cool and can even be trained.

“The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the ‘aha! moment’ I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” Galaxy said in the release. “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result — lives being saved — was the win-win I envisioned passing on to as many cats, shelters and rescues as I possibly could.”

Protz-Sanders suggested that people serious about adopting a pet complete the forms online at pawsforliferescue.org in advance of attending the event.

There will be “Ask a Trainer” booths at the adoption event for dog and cat owners to speak with behavior experts about their pets’ current challenges.

Paws at the Mall will be held 10 a.m.-9 p.m. April 12-13 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 14.

Oakland Mall is located at 412 W. 14 Mile Road in Troy.

Visit pawsforliferescue.org for more information about Paws for Life Rescue.