By Jaimie Garver, FF President
The date is September 2022 and Furry Friends is getting ready for several fundraising events such as the annual auction, Give More 24, Giving Trees and several other small events. Fundraising is something that we have to do to keep our organization going. Our President Jaimie Garver has outlined some of our accomplishments for this year.
“What a year it has been! We have had many successes and many challenges along the way, but despite those challenges we have saved hundreds of cats and kittens and continue to make an impact on the community we serve.
One of the challenges that we are facing is that we are now feeling the full effect of the veterinarians partial closures from the past couple years of COVID19. With the community having limited to no access to spay and neuter services for 2020 and part of 2021, we are now seeing the result of that. It Kitten season ALL-YEAR-LONG.
This has caused all of the local rescues and animal welfare agencies to be at and over capacity constantly. Many people who had good intentions to get their kittens altered have now found themselves in a situation where they have multiple litters in their homes. This has caused our wait list for cats & kitten to come into our shelter to be extremely long, sometimes a wait of 8-10 weeks for owner relinquishments.
Here is a little insight into our cat intake decisions. When we are doing intakes and creating the waitlist we have to prioritize certain cats & kittens over others, asking ourselves questions like “Is this cat or kitten in a safe environment?” and “Will this cat survive without Furry Friends?” When we answer no to those questions, that cat is the top priority and receives the intake spot. We always have to prioritize the ones that need us the most. That is what we are here for.
Because there are so many kitten intakes requests, with kittens in dangerous situations, we have expanded our foster program and can have up to 140 kittens in our care at one time. Thankfully, we have such amazing fosters who make that possible. Many of the kittens we receive are ones without moms that need to be bottle fed, are kittens who have been trying to survive and not be eaten by coyotes, and kittens from hoarding situations and unsafe living conditions. We accommodate as many kittens as can with our limited resources.
So we owe a big thank you to all of our amazing fosters who dedicate their lives to loving and saving these babies. Some of these kittens need a lot of TLC and often times a lot of medical care.
We have improved some of our programs and even created new programs this year. We have also taken in a large number of medical cases; some of the medical cases include cats that would have been euthanized if we didn’t step in. Vets know to call Furry Friends when they get a cat that is up for euthanasia due to the owner’s financial situation. We have taken in many cases where we stepped in and saved the cats life. These requests are what spurred the idea for our new program the “Keep me in my home program” this program enables us to help cats and owners in that situation get their cat the medical care it needs and keep the cat with its owners. They have to be recommended from our vet partners to be a recipient of this program.
Our other program the Pet Pantry now services over a 100 cats a month with access to free food and cat litter. This program was designed to help feed feral cat colonies, as well as, help community members keep their cats in their homes when they are having a temporary hardship.
We recognize that in many cases the best place for the cat is to remain in their home with the people they love, which is why we have focused on more programs and services to do just that. But for the cases where that isn’t an option we provide for all the cats needs and put them up for adoption.
We have had a record number of adoptions this year and we expect to do over 450 adoptions by the end of 2022. We take pride in matching the right cat to the right people by taking the time to ask the right questions. We want to make sure it is the right fit the first time. We have an amazing adoptions team that makes this possible.
So, all in all it has been an amazing year, full of opportunities for us to come together as a community and fulfill our mission to help homeless, abused and relinquished cats. I look forward to the years ahead and the impact we can have by living our mission every day.
Lastly, a huge thank you to all of our leadership, volunteers, sponsors, donors and supporters, we could not continue on with this life saving work without you. “
Furry Friends is supported by donations and sponsorships. We would love to save more cats and expand our programs. Please visit our website for more information www.furryfriendswa.org or contact us at phone, (36) 993-1097 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO WE ARE
Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit no-kill cat rescue serving Clark County, Washington and adjacent counties. Founded in 1999, we are a volunteer run organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats. We shelter and care for them as long as it takes to find them forever homes. We provide medical exams, medications, spay/neuter, food, and litter for up to 460 cats each year.
We have adopted out 460 cats and kittens for 2021 which is a record for us. Without our help, and the help of our supporters, many of these cats would have been euthanized, left on the streets to fend for themselves, or continued to over populate the community with kittens. Furry Friends has more than 150 community volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds to contribute their time, skills, and talents for the cats. There are also a team of active volunteer board members. In 2021, our volunteers donated a record 29,743 hours of service.
The Mission of Furry Friends is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by:
- Spaying or neutering.
- Providing medical care and foster homes until permanent placement of these cats into safe, nurturing homes.
- Educating the public regarding the care and responsibility of cat ownership.
- Collaborating with other pet rescue and companion groups to accomplish a no-kill status in the State of Washington.