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Spotlight on: Tree House Humane’s FeLV+ Adoptions Program

November 13, 2020, The Association

It’s that time again! We’ve been rolling out a new short, pre-recorded webinar in The Association’s Innovation Bank every week since September, and today the spotlight’s on Tree House Humane Society and their Feline Leukemia Adoptions program.

Do you adopt out FeLV+ kitties at your agency? Danielle Case, Tree House Humane’s Shelter Manager, passes on what they’ve learned along the way. 

Innovation Is a State of Mind

And innovation can start out small! Tree House began adopting out FeLV+ cats as an experiment. “We were thinking of opening up an FeLV+ pop-up room and said, ‘What if we just tried it?’ We wound up adopting out all the cats and then decided to grow the program,” says Case.


Adopters may have some preconceived ideas about feline leukemia, so take care to ensure they have the correct information. Case shares several common myths in her webinar, including:

Myth: FeLV spreads fast and easily.
Fact: The chance of spread between adults is very low, and the virus is weak outside the body

It’s Less About Showing Your Adopters FeLV+ Cats…

…and more about showing your adopters cats who make a good match. “Ideally,” says Case, “we don’t want to say, ‘Hey, would you like to adopt a FeLV+ cat?’ The first answer is probably going to be no, as FeLV is new to many people.” 

Instead, Case suggests saying something like: I have the perfect cat for you, in our feline leukemia room. Let’s go meet him, and I’d be happy to tell you more about feline leukemia.

Want to learn more? For additional tips on adopting out FeLV+ kitties—and to see some of the great promotions Tree House did—check out the 30-minute recording.

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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