What a year 2021 has been! Furry Friends has many exciting things that have happened and even more exciting things still to come. Some of our accomplishments include medical saves, amazing adoptions, spay/neuters, new services and the ability to hire paid staff.
Paid Staff: We have accomplished many long-time goals this year with the major ones being the hiring of two paid staff members. We have had a Medical Director for most of 2021 and have recently added a part-time house manager. The two of them working together have helped to streamline many processes which means we can focus even more of our attention on helping community cats and kittens.
New Services: We have started a Pet Pantry to help community members keep their pets in their homes. Many times, we get requests to relinquish a cat because the owner can’t afford their food or litter for a few months. We dig deep to see what we can do to help keep their cat in their home and provide enough food and litter to help them get over their temporary hardship. We have supplied close to 500lbs of food to families in need for 2021 and look forward to building out this service even more in 2022.
Spay/Neuter: There are still many barriers due to the pandemic and staffing shortages across the country. Access to vet services continues to decline causing many people to not be able to spay and neuter their pets in a timely manner. Thankfully, we have strong partnerships within the community that allow us to continue to do our part in breaking the cycle of cats having litter after litter outside and in homes. Thanks to your generous donations we were able to get close to 300 cats and kittens spayed or neutered at a cost of over $20,000.00.
Adoptions: We have adopted out close to 400 cats and kittens for 2021 and expect to get close to 450 by the end of 2021. This is amazing for Furry Friends and the cats and kittens in our care. This is not just a pandemic boom; we have removed barriers to adoptions and having our amazing volunteers and staff members to really take the time to ensure each adoption is the best fit all contributes toward our success. We have not experienced any more returns than normal, mainly cats are returned for reasons outside of the adopter’s control such as discovering they had allergies that they never knew they had before or their current pet just would not acclimate to the new arrival no matter how hard they tried. Because we have the reputation for always taking our cats back, occasionally we will get cats that come to us that we adopted out 10 years ago. We have not experienced the increased return rates that is being heard within the community.
Medical Saves: We don’t just take the “easy” cats; we take many cats that wouldn’t have an opportunity for a good life without us. Sometimes there are cats that end up at the vet in a life-or-death situation and they need someone to assume their care not only in terms of costs but after care as well. Many vets in the area know to call Furry Friends when they have that situation and we will do everything we can to help! In 2021, we took on 2 leg amputations, 2 urinary blockages, a cat that was hit by a car, 4 eye removals, an internal crush injury, many senior cats that were facing euthanasia that had many healthy years left of life, and 3 diabetic cats. This is all thanks to the generous donations from our community, the big hearts of local veterinarians, and the willingness of Furry Friends to step up and do the hard work to save a life.
We rely on our amazing foster network to help with medical cats that need more care than what can be provided in the shelter environment. We are very fortunate to have these trusted volunteers to which many of our cats lives literally depend on the kind hearts of our awesome fosters.
Looking ahead, we are proud to be such a vital help within our community and not only save cats, but also give them the opportunity to live in a warm and loving home. We continue to embody our mission while remaining true to our roots and keeping our cats care our number one priority. We have many more exciting opportunities coming up in 2022 that will help meet the serious needs of the community and provide more vital services to those in need. I will end by saying a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, staff, donors, sponsors, partners and the community for all the support you have shown us throughout the years.