Cameron Moore, program manager of The Million Cat Challenge

Cameron Moore—program manager of The Million Cat Challenge, a shelter-oriented campaign launched in 2014, aiming to save the lives of one million cats in North America over five years—recalls growing up loving animals, and about equally fond of dogs and cats (foreshadowing, perhaps that now, in 2019, as decidedly feline-centric as her work and her home are, there’s still room for six dogs there). She addresses that she spent years volunteering in shelters and rescue, but had an assortment of jobs in other fields—including commercial real estate—not imagining she could make a living through her longtime passion for animals. But she recounts how she was recruited by Rick DuCharme, founder of First Coast No More Homeless Pets—and a pivotal figure in this realm—while volunteering at an adoption event, launching Moore into her professional career in animal welfare. Given her many years in the shelter world, she offers a keen assessment of the prevailing attitudes that prompt cats and dogs to be viewed differently and, correspondingly, how programs or campaigns are designed differently for each. She describes the history and evolution of The Million Cat Challenge, including—spoiler alert!—that the campaign reached its initial goal before that five-year mark, and continues with a revised objective. She provides an overview of the five key initiatives that form the core of the Million Cat Challenge, and that a shelter doesn’t necessarily need to implement all five to improve its performance, that embracing one or more can be a boon. Noting that part of her job involves traveling the country doing “shelter consults,” she articulates what that means and how she works with the shelters on them. Moore offers a sneak preview of the two talks she will deliver at KittyCon Tampa 2019, to be held Nov. 30 & Dec. 1, at Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. (https://millioncatchallenge.org/, https://www.facebook.com/MillionCatChallenge/, https://www.kittycontampabay.org/)

 

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Michelle LaFleur about the 13th Annual Tampa ThanksVegan, which takes place—fittingly enough—on Thanksgiving Day, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa. She explains a bit about the history of the event, and that it now draws about 300 attendees. It begins, LaFleur said, with a social period at 1:30pm. She outlined some of the details of bringing a dish/not bringing a dish and the ways those approaches affect the price one pays for their meal, and that there’s always plenty of food for everyone, even those whose turn comes in the final round of 300 diners. (https://www.floridavoicesforanimals.org/thanksvegan, https://www.facebook.com/ThanksVegan/)

 

COMEDY CORNER: Nate Bargatze’s “How To Get Bitten By A Snake” (http://www.natebargatze.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Ukulele cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”

AUDIO ARCHIVE:

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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