Frequently asked questions about the Paws Protect service
Why does Paws Protect only cover the South East? From 2004 until January 2017, Cats Protection worked in partnership with Dogs Trust on the Freedom Project, facilitating cat fostering for multi-animal households. With an increase in cat-only referrals, Paws Protect was created. The new service mirrored the areas that were covered by Dog’s Trust – London, Hertfordshire and Essex. As of January 2018, the service was expanded into Kent, Sussex and Surrey. It is important that Paws Protect provide a high quality service that meets the needs of our service users, volunteers and cats. For this reason, it has been vital to take our time and expand at a rate that allows the service to grow.
What can I do if Paws Protect is not in my area? If you are fleeing domestic abuse outside of our coverage areas, you can find a number of other organisations with similar services here. If you are unable to find a fostering scheme that could take your cat, you may need to consider rehoming your cat. We are happy to support you in this by putting you in touch with your local Cats Protection, or you can search for your nearest branch here.
Does Paws Protect only take cats on from people fleeing domestic abuse? Paws Protect is a member of The Links Group, a multi-agency interest group that promotes the welfare and safety of vulnerable children, adults and animals. To be able to maintain our membership to this group, we need to only offer the service for people fleeing domestic abuse.
What about people being evicted or needing long-term hospital visits? We regret that we’re unable to foster cats for those being evicted or needing hospital stays. To find another organisation that may be able to help, click here. Alternatively, we can also signpost you to your local Cats Protection branch who will be able to support you with rehoming, if you felt this was your best option.
Who can make a referral to Paws Protect? We receive referrals from a number of professionals such as key workers at refuges, housing workers, social workers and police as well as owners themselves, or friends or family members. We will always need written confirmation from a professional supporting the owner that they are fleeing domestic abuse and will be supported to find accommodation.
Do you offer support to men fleeing domestic violence as well as women? We offer support to both males and females fleeing domestic abuse.
How long will you look after my cat for? The initial service agreement term is five months. We require regular contact during this time and will provide regular updates on the cat during this time. If after five months you are not in a position to have the cat returned to you, we will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis, to be discussed with you and your keyworker.
Will my cat be allowed outside access? All cats on the service will remain indoor-only initially. Paws Protect provides enrichment items such as food games and toys to volunteer foster carers to provide adequate stimulation. If it was felt that a particular cat was becoming frustrated with remaining indoor-only, we may consider giving them outdoor access, although this would have to be authorised by a Paws Protect coordinator in discussion with the owner.