Spotlight On: Blogger/Foster Mom Alana Grelyak
How did you get involved with animal fostering and rescue?
I have always been an advocate for animal rights. I grew up with animals all around me and can’t imagine living without them. I’ve been a member of various organizations, and a vegetarian since age 19, so volunteering seemed like a natural extension of my desire to help animal-related causes. When I was in college, I volunteered at the Dane County Humane Society in Madison. When I moved to Chicago, I wanted to continue volunteering, so I started my association with Tree House Humane as a cat socializer. I later did various event volunteering for them. At one point, one of the employees there named Ollie, who is also a personal friend of mine, suggested I try fostering if we have space at home. Since my boyfriend, now husband, was interested in learning more about pets because he’d never had any, we decided to foster, and that lead to a whole other involvement in animal welfare.
The “writer” of your blog Cat in the Fridge is a feline named Crepes. Who is Crepes, and how did he come into your life?
Crepes was one of three cats that we gave shelter to through the foster program at Tree House. She’s missing a foot and came to us quite ill from a terrible situation at a TNR colony outside of Chicago. It’s been a pleasure watching her flourish and get better because of the care we were giving her. We officially adopted her about 6 weeks after she came to live with us. She has been a great little poster cat for special needs adoption since her saucy attitude helps her entertain people while trying to work her adoption magic.
Tell us about your Bachelor of the Week! What a neat feature!
Each week, Crepes writes a profile on a “single” special needs cat or dog. The goal is to tell the audience the Bachelor/Bachelorette’s life story in an interesting, entertaining way. If an audience can connect with an animal on a deeper level, we feel that the likelihood of adoption becomes greater.
Have there been any successful matches based on people who saw a “bachelor” on your blog?
It’s hard to track, really, because I don’t always hear back after an animal is featured. I do check in periodically to update my Singles page, so, most times, I find out if an adoption has occurred, but it’s not always definite why it occurred. I heard that Edith, one of my earlier bachelorettes, was seen on my site and adopted for that reason, and I like to think that others have been, as well. At the very least, we’re bringing awareness to the needs of these animals, and letting people know that the adoption world is much greater than they might have originally thought.
What does the future have in store for Cat in the Fridge?
Hopefully, more adoptions! My main goal is to grow our audience so that our network is greater, and we can reach more people with our adoptables. I also want to become a resource for people looking to adopt special needs pets, so I try to write at least one serious article per week that pertains to health challenges and living with special needs animals. In the near future, I plan to do a series of articles on training blind dogs. I hope to become an entertaining place to visit for people who are interested in adopting less adoptable animals and opening their hearts to a really special relationship.
Hilarious cat Crepes blogs about life and special needs at catinthefridge.com
Photo credit (right): Christopher Petruniak