Frequently Asked Questions

How can I donate to Advocates 4 Animals?

CLICK HERE to learn all the ways you can support Advocates 4 Animals.

How can I volunteer with Advocates 4 Animals?

Please CONTACT US and let us know your areas of expertise or interested areas you wish to volunteer. Please note- we do not have a physical shelter location. If you are looking to visit and work directly with the animals, please contact your local animal shelter. *** A few ways you can support our lifesaving efforts right now include: our sponsor-a-rescue-pet program (for special needs and senior cats receiving lifetime care due to their ongoing medical needs), and direct donations (funds, Wish List items, etc.). We have provided links below for various ways you can easily Donate to our ongoing local efforts: SPONSOR-A-RESCUE-PET SUPPORT ADVOCATES 4 ANIMALS (FOR FREE!) EVERYTIME YOU SHOP AT KROGER OR DOROTHY LANE MARKET SUPPORT ADVOCATES 4 ANIMALS (FOR FREE!) EVERYTIME YOU SHOP ONLINE AT AMAZON MAKE A ONE-TIME MONETARY DONATION DONATE AN ITEM(S) FROM OUR WISH LIST DONATE A SPAY In addition, if you are interested in reading more rescue stories from Advocates 4 Animals -- our books (listed below) share LOTS more rescue stories directly from Advocates 4 Animals: Cat Connection Pawsitive Connection Letters from Cats If you are interested in learning more ways to Fundraise for Advocates 4 Animals -- we recommend picking up our book 150 Fun(d)raising Ideas And if you are interested in learning more about starting your own animal rescue/adoption center or in any aspect of 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organizations, check out our bestselling books: Covered in Pet Fur: How to Start an Animal Rescue the Right Way and Still Covered in Pet Fur: How to Succeed in Rescue. We are so appreciative for all of your kindness & support! Thank you!

How do I start a 501(c)3 Animal Rescue organization?

There are many, many steps and questions you will need to prepare prior to forming a 501(c)(3) organization. From financial stability to veterinary care, the planning involved in forming a successful tax-exempt organization is substantial. Please visit sites such as and to gather information regarding the federal tax-exempt process. In addition, the founders of Advocates 4 Animals have published a thorough guide to starting your own animal rescue. You can find it HERE.

How do I join the Advocates 4 Animals Facebook Page?

Please visit our facebook page at

Where can I find a list/photos of all adoptable animals in my area?

Please visit or and type in your local zip code to view a list of adoptable pets in your area. To view all of our adoptable animals at Advocates 4 Animals, please CLICK HERE.

I would like to sponsor a special needs cat at Advocates 4 Animals.  How can I find out more information?


Can I help with fundraisers?

Please CONTACT US and introduce yourself and we will let you know what fundraiser's we are currently planning. In addition, if you have an idea for a fundraiser that you would like to organize/host, please let us know! We are always open to new ideas.

How did Advocates 4 Animals begin?

CLICK HERE for our story.

What are ways I can help if I'm not able to adopt a pet at this time?

If you’re not able to adopt a pet right now, there are still plenty of ways you can help right now.

I know you primary focus is on cats, however do you have any favorite dog rescue stories to share?

Daisy, a black lab mix, suffered a sudden stroke leaving her fully paralyzed. She could not stand or move. She could only move her eyes. Veterinarians suggested euthanasia, but our intuition told us to do our research before making that decision. Although there wasn’t much information available online, we found a spark of hope that we were searching for. Daisy couldn’t move. She had to be hand fed and watered. We carried her on a Kuranda (a “doggie cot”) up and down sets of stairs- anywhere we were- so that she could always be with us. She had to be turned from one side to the other every 2 hours to avoid bed sores. We showered her with love, toys and bones- doing what we could to keep her spirits up. And we held on to hope. Hope that our intuition was right. Hope that Daisy would one day move again. Hope that we’d made the right decision. Intuition told us to massage Daisy’s legs and muscles multiple times every day in attempt to get adequate blood flow to her body and to help her heal. We gently moved her legs using slow range of motion exercises. All the while, she laid on her cot unable to move much more than her head. After multiple weeks, we weren’t seeing any progress and we were incredibly worried that her condition would not improve. But we continued to hold on to hope. And hope- and a lot of hard work and sleepless nights- carried us through. Miraculously, in time, Daisy made a full recovery and her story is now in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul book - My Very Good, Very Bad Dog.

Is Advocates 4 Animals featured in any books?

Check out Advocates 4 Animals' published book page HERE. In addition, check out the featured story in Chicken Soup For the Soul - From Lemons to Lemonade.

Why should I adopt a rescue animal? ***

Cats comprise the majority of animals in shelters - up to 70% in some places.

Advocates 4 Animals provides Pet Music Therapy for the pets in their care. What is Pet Music Therapy and what are the benefits? ***

What should I do if I lost my pet?

Persistance is the key to giving your cat the best chance of coming home. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Make a flyer. Make sure you have a good, color picture of your pet for posters. Pictures of the cat in black-and-white, or in a group of other animals, or from far away will not help strangers identify the pet. The picture should be up close, show the cat’s full body, and show off any unusual color patterns on the cat. If the cat has any unusual physical traits, make sure to list them! Even if they show up in your photo, call attention to them in writing. Cat has a bobtail? Crooked paw? Ear tip? Let people know what to look for so they can tell your cat from someone else’s.
  • Post your flyers liberally! Cats roam far, so the more flyers you put out in visible areas, the better your chances are of putting them in the right places.
  • Post on and
  • If your cat is an indoor cat who has gotten outside, read this helpful article.
  • Borrow a humane trap from a local humane society or purchase a humane trap from AMAZON or TRACTOR SUPPLY.
  • Post cat on social media Lost and Found Facebook groups and have your friends and local shelters do the same. Let people know the date the cat went missing, and the area the cat was last seen in.
  • Call local shelters. Let them know your cat is missing, and drop off flyers with them. If your cat has a microchip, make sure to let the shelter know the ID number.
  • Don’t just call the shelters, visit them. Shelters are often too overwhelmed to remember that you came in the week or month before and told them about your missing cat – you’ll have to do the footwork. Visit your shelter as often as you’re able to see if your pet has been turned in.
  • Check with neighbors. Cats can get stuck in neighbor’s garages or sheds, or may even have found themselves a “new home” with someone down the street. Knock on doors, meet new neighbors, and give them a flyer so they can help you look.
  • Let the microchip company know. If your cat has a chip, call the company that the chip is registered to and let them know your cat is missing. Make sure all your contact information is up-to-date, so they can reach you if somebody reports your cat.
  • Finally, when you find your cat, tell everyone! Take down your flyers and let the shelters and friends you contacted know the cat has been found, so they can stop looking.
Remember, the best chance you have to find a lost pet is to microchip them! A microchip will keep them safe at a municipal shelter, and will help the cat find their way back to you.

What should I do if I found a kitten?

If you've found kittens outside, and there is no mom in sight, here are some tips about what to do:

  • Leave them alone and evaluate the situation. With kittens, as with any other wild animal, a missing mom doesn't mean a mom that's never coming back. The mother cat may be out hunting, looking for other shelter, or in the process of moving the cats to a new location (mother cats move kittens frequently in the first few weeks for safety). If you see kittens and no mom, wait a few hours before trying to rescue them. The mom may very well come back and get her babies - and the kittens have a better chance of survival with their mom. Watch the kittens for a couple of hours from a distance to see if the mother cat returns.
  • If the kittens have no mother, know the next steps. If, after careful evaluation, the kittens appear to be abandoned, you'll want to consider how best to care for them. Unweaned kittens need round-the-clock care and monitoring. The kittens will need to be bottle fed with milk replacer every 2-3 hours (including overnight), and kept warm and dry. Austin Pets Alive offers a great VIDEO on how to feed nursing kittens. If you, a neighbor, friend or relative are able to take on this responsibility, you can give these abandoned kittens a shot at life! If your schedule does not allow for it, there may be resources in the community to help. Contact local shelters to find out if they have fosters who can bottle-feed kittens. Kittens (and any new animal) should be kept away from your other pets until they can be evaluated by a veterinarian.
  • If the mom returns and is friendly, the best approach is to bring the mom and the kittens indoors (again, kept separate from any other animals in the household). Keep them together until the kittens are weaned. Kittens can begin eating solid foods at approximately 4-6 weeks old; offer them wet food mixed with water at 4 weeks. When the kittens are fully weaned, the mom should be spayed, and either adopted out or returned outside. The kittens should be fixed and adopted out. Handle the kittens early and often while they're nursing - kittens that are socialized well will be easier to adopt out later!
  • If the mom returns and is feral, leave the family outside, and provide food, water and shelter. The mother will likely move the kittens - but don't panic! If she knows this is a safe place with a stable food source, she'll return with them. And she will need extra calories while she's nursing.
  • Ideally, the kittens should be taken in, socialized, and adopted out. If you are able to commit to this process, the kittens should be taken away from their mom when they're able to eat food - at about 5 weeks of age. When you bring them inside, handle them often to get them used to humans - pet them while they're eating, hold them in a towel when you're watching TV. A socialized cat is much easier to place in a home then a cat that is shy or aggressive with people. Contact local shelters to find out if they might be able to help you place the kittens (but keep in mind very few will be able to take in feral kittens - you will probably have to do the work to socialize them first!).
  • If you cannot foster and socialize the kittens, and either find homes or place them in a shelter, leave the kittens outside! Don't socialize a kitten that you cannot place; they will learn survival skills (including a healthy fear of humans) from their mother that will give them their best chance at outdoor survival as a feral cat. Be sure to continue to provide food and water. At age 8 weeks for the kittens, begin to inplement TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) all kittens and mother cat. For more informaiton on TNR, CLICK HERE.
  • How to judge the age of a kitten. It's important to know the age of a kitten to know how to proceed - you don't want to take a nursing kitten away from their mom, or leave a kitten with their feral mom too long if you want to socialize them. Here are some good tips for telling a kitten's age (for visuals, check out Alley Cat Allies): Under one week: Eyes shut, ears flat to head, skin looks pinkish. Part of umbilical cord may still be attached.

1 week-10 days: Eyes beginning to open, ears still flat. A kitten this age is smaller than your hand. 3 weeks: Eyes are fully open, ears are erect, teeth are visible. Kittens this age are just starting to walk and will be very wobbly. 4-5 weeks: Eyes have changed from blue to another color and/or kittens have begun to pounce and leap. Kittens this age will begin to eat gruel or canned food.
  • Adopting out the kittens is the final step in the process. Successful socialization is the most important part of the process, so make sure you teach them to trust and like humans as early as you are able! Spay and neuter them before you adopt them out (kittens can be fixed at 8-10 weeks of age), they will not only be more attractive to adopters, but it will also help prevent this cycle from happening all over again. Once they are fixed, advertise liberally! Use social networking sites, tells friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances, and get them adopted out as early as you can! The older the kittens get, the harder it will be to find them homes

Should I give a pet as a gift for a family member or friend? ***

Can you provide information on estate planning for my pets?

Provisions for pets in a will or trust You can help to ensure that everything goes smoothly by incorporating your wishes for emergency and long-term care for your animals in your will or trust. Making formal arrangements will bring you peace of mind and reassurance that your pets will be properly looked after. Remember, it’s important to set up emergency care as well as permanent care for your pets, since long-term arrangements can take some time to implement and your pets will need immediate attention in the event that something happens to you. While preparing your estate planning trust, you’ll want to include authorization for the use of funds from your estate for your pets. This money can be used for their care and any other costs that may arise, such as the cost of transportation to their new home. Consider setting up a trustee, which can add an additional layer of oversight and care for your animals. Planning provisions for your pets requires some important decision-making. If you have any questions, consult a legal expert who can assist you with deciding what to include in your will. That person can also help you figure out what kind of estate planning with your pets will be most effective. And don’t forget to leave copies of your will or trust with your executor and chosen caregivers.