FieldHaven’s Spa – Beauty Treatment for Homeless Felines
By Joy Smith
Daisy loves getting her long fur brushed. Georgie tried dreadlocks, but Dr. Berta said it wasn’t good for his skin, so off to the salon he went for the really “in” bald look. Rosebud and Lindy get all they want to eat because, unlike some haute couture fashion designers, we don’t like skinny models on the catwalk. Dogma grudgingly dons his harness and goes for a walk through the FieldHaven gardens in an effort to shed a couple of pounds. These are just a few of the spa treatments the felines at FieldHaven receive while they are getting prepared for their BIG DAY: adoption!
We take the health, beauty, and happiness of all our kitties very seriously. FieldHaven staff, volunteers, and veterinarians spend days, weeks, and sometimes even months caring for each client from the time they come in until they are adopted.
First, every client gets a thorough medical check-up that includes vaccinations, worming, blood tests – whatever Dr. Berta, our client’s personal physician, feels is necessary.
Then, an individual treatment plan is designed to get each cat and kitten ready for adoption.
Following are some of the services the FieldHaven Feline Spa offers:
Herbal Medicated Body Wrap: This is for kitties needing an all-over skin treatment for conditions, like flea infestations and ringworm, and for curious felines who have accidentally dunked themselves in icky, sticky substances like motor oil.
Custom Exercise Program: Volunteer personal trainers design individual diet and body-toning programs for those kitties that are weight-challenged. You’ll find personal trainers taking kitties for power walks and involving them in aerobic exercise (aka chasing the feather teaser).
Full Body Massage: Using a variety of brushes (depending on what our client prefers), our masseuses brush out loose hair and mats while providing a soothing, gentle skin massage that’s sure to make any kitty purr.
Manicure and Pedicures: Unlike their human counterparts, our feline clients really despise having their treasured nails touched by anyone other than themselves. We work hard to convince them that razor sharp talons really aren’t in fashion anymore: shorter, blunt nails are much more in style.
PID Implants: We humans do things like tattoos and belly rings to add to our individuality. Since tattoos are not visible on kitties, they have a personal identification device implanted. Commonly known as a microchip, this tiny piece of technology will help ensure a lost kitty will get reunited with their human family.
Smile Makeover: Each client gets dental work done (if needed) to keep those pearly whites in healthy, kibble-crunching condition.
Group and Individual Therapy: Many clients that come to FieldHaven have unknown backgrounds, and because kitties are typically very private, we often will never know what they’ve experienced. Volunteer therapists spend many hours working to understand each client’s personality and discovering what type of home and human family would be best. You’d be amazed at what our therapists learn about some kitties – all in strict confidence, of course. It truly helps us to find that perfect home.
Customized Diet Plans: Some clients have the need for a special diet: skin allergies, digestive upsets, anorexia and, of course, those portly felines who need to shed a few ounces. Our nutritionists customize vitamin and supplement programs for any client that needs a little extra “bloom” on their coat or enhanced body tone before making their adoption debut.
Corrective Surgery: While we believe our clients need no enhancement (they are beautiful just as they are), there are two surgical procedures that are a must: spaying and neutering!
All spa treatments are supervised by Dr. Berta and other veterinarians to ensure our clients are in the best physical health during their stay at FieldHaven. When a FieldHaven client is ready for adoption, our volunteer personal image specialists put together an individual portfolio. She/he poses for fashion photos and a biography is written. This information is showcased on the FieldHaven website and Petfinder.com and sent to the media.
When the big day arrives and a potential match is found, our family therapists (aka adoption counselors) work with everyone – human and feline – to ensure this is a good match, but our work doesn’t stop there. Volunteers are available for consultations anytime after adoption to help work out those little adjustment issues that may arise.
Nothing but the best for our clients and their new families, of course! It is through your generous support, donations, and time that we can take such wonderful care of these beautiful deserving creatures. Adoption fees cover only a portion of the cost to provide each cat with the specialized care that will give them the best possible chance of a forever home.
If you’d like to be a FieldHaven Feline Spa volunteer, please call us at (916) 434-6022 or email [email protected].