A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in a fundraiser for our local no-kill Caring For Cats Foundation hosted by the Reading Room bookstore. Of course I was ready with pen in hand to take notes whenever JoAnn had a few spare minutes. She has been saving cats for 20 years and I wanted to know more about her and her mission. I love learning about people who help change their bit of the world for the better. And I love sharing their stories with you.
Along with Sally Grimshaw and Casey Chatman, JoAnn dedicates herself to rescuing, saving, and caring for stray and feral cats in lake communities near Cape Vincent, N.Y.. These villages may be small, but the number of cats needing help is anything but. The foundation receives 5-10 calls a day for Trap Neuter Release and other help and has over 110 animals in their care. Then there are the drop-offs. Most notable was the stellar individual who threw five cats out of a truck before hitting the gas and squealing off. It took a week to find one of the terrified cats.
Thanks to these ladies, over 1000 cats have been rescued and more than 500 were adopted into homes. Since 2004 they have spayed/neutered over 2000 cats. They are currently working to trap 20 cats who were being cared for by a local man who recently passed away. After they are spayed, neutered and vaccinated they will be given a home at the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is currently home to 110 stray and feral cats. This two-story barn was built in the late 1800’s and is complete with couches, love seats, and recliners for lounging and a wood stove for warmth in the winter. The residents are provided with love, food, shelter, spay/neuter, and medical care. Indoor cats live with the rescuers, as do 14 bottle-feeding babies. It takes about two hours each evening to care for the cats on a normal day. That’s after working a full-time day job.
Due to a shortage of funds, Caring for Cats only does a limited number of Trap Neuter Release. They do provide traps and assistance to people wanting to help feral and stray cats. They also network with other groups. They work closely with Spay Neuter Now, which provides affordable spay/neuter, vaccine and flea treatment package for their incoming cats.
Taking care of 100-plus cats and kittens is a labor of love. And these cats are loved. Another time-intensive labor for this non-profit is fundraising. They depend on donations and fundraising to pay for food, litter, firewood, and medical care. To meet their financial needs, CFC holds bake sales, bottle can drives, a holiday donation drive and occasional restaurant fundraisers where they collect receipts from diners and get a percentage of that evening’s profits.
Thank you JoAnn, Sally and Casey for making the world a better place for cats in need.
Make a donation to Caring for Cats– this fundraiser is for spay/neuter and vaccines for the 20+ incoming cats. Once they get their medical care they can begin their new life at the sanctuary.