Here’s what we’re up to this month, information on volunteer opportunities, and our current wish list:
As many of you know, our big project this month was the rescue and relocation of 2 colonies of barn cats left behind when a local resident passed away unexpectedly. In these situations where the habitat is good and the family is cooperative, we typically spay/neuter the cats and maintain the colony (food/water) until a new family moves into the home and then they assume responsibility for the cats if they’d like. Most of these properties are rural and we all know cats keep mice at bay, so it’s win-win. In this instance, we were not able to leave the cats so 24 were humanely trapped and removed. All but 5 were feral and are in the process of being re-homed to farms right now. The 5 friendly cats, 2 seniors and 3 kittens, are very ill and are undergoing medical care before being put up for adoption. Our expenses for this colony are approaching $1,500; the only financial help we’ve received for them has come from our faithful donors who support this life-saving work and we thank you all so much for that.
We’d like to remind everyone that this is a perfect example of why you should make arrangements for your animals in the event of emergency or death. Please talk to your friends and family about who will care for them if the need arises, how they will be provided for, and please write this down and even consider putting it in your will. We know many people who even have small life insurance policies set up in trust to care for their pets after they have passed. Please do something to ensure your pets will be provided for if you are no longer able to. Their lives depend on it.
*Our aluminum can bin is full again! We need a volunteer with an SUV or pick-up to take the cans to Buckman’s in Mendota. Buckman’s accepts cans from 12-4pm Monday-Friday and 8-12pm on Saturday. Please come to The Groom Stop anytime during those hours and take the cans in for us. If you can do that just once, that’s fabulous! If you can do it once a month, we’d love you even more!
*Barn Cat Program Manager: In 2011 we’d like to increase the number of feral cats we’re able to rescue and place onto new farm homes. We need a passionate volunteer to help us find new farm homes, deliver the cats, pick up the relocation condos once the cats have been released, and grow the program so that we can save the lives of even more cats. If you’re active in saddle clubs or farm communities – you have a perfect audience to pitch barn cats to! Help us advertise this great program and get more cats out of euthanasia rooms and onto farms!
*Fundraising Crew: We desperately need a creative team to develop fundraisers throughout the year. Are you a bake sale expert? A craft making diva? A grant writer extraordinaire? The sky is the limit here – if you can dream it up and carry it out, we need you! We have big goals for 2011 and need your help to accomplish them!
*Spay/Neuter Transport: In the Spring, we will be looking for more drivers to take cats to the Chicago spay clinic. If you have an SUV or mini-van and even one day per month, this is the most important job we do and we need more people to help us do it! Our drivers leave Mendota at 7:00am and take our cats to the PAWS Chicago clinic on 26th St. in Chicago, enjoy a day in the city doing whatever they like, then pick the cats up from the clinic at 5:00pm and return home with them. Each trip you make is literally saving thousands of lives!
*Trappers: In early Spring, we’ll need volunteer trappers to humanely trap cats in (at least) two of our target areas – the Mendota Fairgrounds trailer park, and downtown Earlville. Trappers are given spay dates so you know when to trap, all the equipment you need, and you go out on a mission to trap cats for spay/neuter. We pay for all costs of surgery and vaccinations – the you return the cats to their original home and be proud that you helped end the breeding cycle!
January Wish List
Laundry detergent (any)
Live traps (TruCatch 30LTD model)
Empty Cool-Whip type plastic bowls (no lids)
Plastic dishpans (available at the dollar store)