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4Paws Rescue Team featured on Fox 5 News!

Members of the 4Paws Rescue Team have appeared on Fox 5 News along with several of our cats (see them below).  Everyone had a good time except perhaps for one or two of the four-legged members of the group who didn't seem too impressed by it all!  These are large files (mpg format, 50M size) so allow some time to download.


Scout *


Twizzler *


Pixie *


Melon *


Lance *


Spooky *


Zoe K. *


Joey K. *


Leonardo* &  Donatello *


Molly *


Omar *


Twinkie *

* Kitty already adopted!


 


 


4Paws in the News

4Paws was featured in the Examiner.  To read the article, click here.


Mother, daughter create fashion that lends helping paw

By Matthew Perrone
05/05/2005
©Times Community Newspapers 2005

Wristbands as a fashion statement and fund-raising tool began popping up about a year ago. First, there was the yellow Lance Armstrong band, which raised millions of dollars for cancer victims. Next came the green - support our troops - band, which funded veterans and their families. Then came the pink breast cancer band that raised money for research efforts.

Now people across the D.C. metropolitan area are sporting a new color on their wrists - blue. Printed with words like cat, nurture, adopt? and spay, it is the first bracelet to address the plight of some of the region's most neglected inhabitants, stray cats.

Wristbands as a fashion statement and fund-raising tool began popping up about a year ago. First, there was the yellow Lance Armstrong band, which raised millions of dollars for cancer victims. Next came the green - support our troops - band, which funded veterans and their families. Then came the pink breast cancer band that raised money for research efforts.

Now people across the D.C. metropolitan area are sporting a new color on their wrists - blue. Printed with words like cat, nurture, adopt? and spay, it is the first bracelet to address the plight of some of the region's most neglected inhabitants, stray cats.

All profits from the wristband go to 4Paws, a nonprofit group that rescues stray cats and kittens and places them with Washington-area families.

Credit for this new pet-friendly fashion goes to 11-year-old Alexandra Ernst, a fifth-grade cat lover who attends Centre Ridge Elementary School . Alexandra said she began noticing, last year, the colorful wristbands for various causes appearing on the arms of her classmates.

Then one day it clicked: "I said to my mom, 'Hey, all these important causes are raising money with these bracelets. Why doesn't 4 Paws have a bracelet??

Today, the 4 Paws bracelets are selling for $3 apiece at pet stores and veterinary offices along the beltway.

An important message

Karen Bracken-Penley of the Great Falls Animal Hospital said she is nearly sold out of the 80 bands she was given two weeks ago.

"I'm starting to see people wearing them outside of work, and it's not just kids? it's pet lovers of all ages," she said.

According to Bracken-Penley, who is the hospital's administrator, the period between spring and summer is most challenging for those fighting the pet overpopulation problem. The feline mating season begins in February, and, with a gestation period of only 64 days, female cats can have multiple pregnancies throughout the summer.

According to Barbara Lipson, 4Paws' president, one unneutered cat and her offspring can reproduce more than 400,000 new kittens in seven years. Knowing this, Lipson said, her group places a priority on making sure every cat they come into contact with is spayed or neutered.

Even if the animal is too young to be sterilized when it is adopted, the group's representatives follow up with the owner and make sure the surgical procedure is performed.

Foster homes for felines

At a recent 4Paws adoption fair at Petco in Tyson’s Corner, Lipson played matchmaker between the cats in 4Paws' care and families looking to adopt them.

Considering how many animals she is responsible for, some might expect Lipson to toss them at anyone with any interest in adopting, but that could not be further from the case. Those looking for a 4Paw pet must fill out a five-page application before they can even consider adopting. The applicants must provide a list of all the animals they have owned in the past five years and detailed information about their occupations and the atmosphere of their homes.

Using this information, Lipson tries to place each cat in the home that best suits its personality and temperament.

These are really the lucky ones,? said Lipson, looking around at the 30 cats in their cages. We have such a limited capacity; for every foster family that volunteers, that's one more cat we can save?

4Paws is a no kill group, which means it does not euthanize animals. At county shelters, stray cats and dogs without collars are put up for adoption after six days but are not guaranteed a permanent home.

The purpose of 4Paws is to keep stray cats out of animal shelters by having foster families care for them until a permanent home can be found.

Nearly 60 cats and kittens have passed through the Ernst home in Centreville since the family joined 4 Paws two years ago. Today, along with their three pet cats - Winston, Daffney and Cleo - the Ernsts host one lucky cat in what they refer to as the bed and breakfast room.

Alexandra's mother, Carol Ernst, a Fairfax County teacher, first began fostering cats by accident when a neighbor returned from the Chesapeake Bay to find that a group of stowaways had ridden back with him in his boat.

I knew nothing about caring for orphaned kittens,? Carol Ernst said. "I called a number of organizations, but 4Paws was the only one that got back to me. So I was very quickly indoctrinated into the world of kitten care. I was feeding them the special kitten formula and tending to them around the clock. I felt like a new mother again.

Initially, Ernst said, it was difficult to give up each cat she cared for, but the satisfaction of knowing she saved the animal's life always won out in the end.

When you walk into somebody's house and they're waiting for that new arrival, with all the food and toys ready to go, you get past the idea that you are the only one who can care for this cat, Ernst said.

More information about 4Paws is available at http://www.fourpaws.org.