Alabama Cats - TNR & Sanctuary
(1) Reducing the sheer numbers of feral cats through Trap Neuter and Release programs; andBlack Bart - once a feral now an indoor love bug
(2) Developing a cage-free home/sanctuary for elderly, disabled cats or cats whose owners have died or have terminal illnesses.
I ask you to join me in making it happen by making a gift to a "seed" fund for the project.
Almost daily I get an email or phone call from an animal rescuer or a friend begging for help. Sometimes it is on behalf of an elderly or critically ill person who can no longer care for their cat(s) and has no one to care for the cat (s). Other times, it is begging for a place for an unadoptable adult, injured or permanently disabled cat.
Sadly, there is usually no place for that elderly, disabled or unadoptable cat to be taken or often the shelter which does take it cannot get it adopted and it is condemned to either a caged existence or euthanized.
This dream began taking shape in my head and heart as I became more and more involved with animal rescue and saw this need. My vision is to one day have a retirement home/sanctuary located on a large tract of land within Jefferson County, especially designed and built for cage free living for unadoptable, elderly, or disabled cats.
Until that dream can become a reality, I want to build a team of cat trappers who can help me reduce the huge population of feral cats in our community by TNR methods and raise funds to get them fixed and assist in feeding colonies of feral cats.
Why have I decided to take this on?
Because I am a cat lover and rescuer and have been all my life.
I recently retired from a fulfilling full time 30+ year professional career as founder/Executive Director of two conservation organizations in Alabama. I was fortunate to be able to protect some great wild places that are home to incredible Alabama wildlife. I now work part-time as a pet sitter so I can devote the rest of my time to cat rescue and development of this sanctuary.
While my professional career focused on saving nature and native wildlife, I have rescued countless cats and dogs since I was a child. As a 9 year old, I decided I wanted to "raise cats" when I grew up.
I am a trained Trap/Neuter/Release volunteer and work with numerous animal rescuers in Alabama. I spend a good bit of my time trapping cats at abandoned properties or for those who cannot trap them and transport them back and forth to the local spay clinic. Part of the dream is that this sanctuary will encourage spaying/neutering of cats and help people get that done.
It will educate cat owners on how they can keep their cats indoors to protect them and wildlife (especially birds) and yet give the cats access to sun and fresh air. It will secure good homes for cats that are adoptable. It will work with Alabama animal rescue groups to build a stronger network that is mutually supportive for the good of all those doing important rescue work. Hopefully, this one can serve as a proto-type for similar sanctuaries in other parts of Alabama.
These "seed" funds will be used to develop the plan for this project and its leadership under the guidance of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, a renown leader in the no-kill animal shelter movement.
It will pay for legal services to incorporate, create by-laws and apply for the important 50l (c)(3) nonprofit status from IRS. It will pay for development of a business plan to make sure it is financially and operational stable, it will pay for tuition, travel and lodging for a sanctuary training session for at least two attendees at Best Friends sanctuary in Utah. It will cover the costs of basic office/computer equipment and supplies.
The success of this seed fund campaign will show community support for the project to potential individual, corporate and foundation donors who will be asked for funds to acquire land, build the facility and staff it. I hope you will lend your support to help me make this dream a reality for those Alabama cats in need of a safe haven.
For you dog lovers (and I am one): I am focusing on a cat sanctuary now because a greater number of cats are euthanized each year for lack of homes than dogs in Alabama. However, my hope is that this project, once successful, can be replicated in other communities in Alabama and can be expanded to accommodate dogs.
The AL Spay Clinic in Irondale and the national group Alley Cat Allies made this possible.
Thanks to your support I am able to provide the trapping expertise, bait, some traps and my car to transport the cats back and forth and provide educational information about TNR.
39 cats from a home in Chilton County Al were trapped by me and 3 great volunteers recently. 39 cats that will live a better life and not reproduce. Their caretaker was overwhelmed and so happy to have our help.
In a couple of weeks we will trap a 20+ colony in Homewood, AL for another overwhelmed caretaker.
Over the last year I have been able to trap 225 cats either as a solo TNR project or on behalf of kind-hearted folks who cared for the cats. Your gifts have supported that work and continue to help me feed a feral cat colony in South East Lake and a feral dog group also in South East Lake.
The kitten season is upon us so I expect to receive many calls for help this year too. I also hope to focus on some large feral colonies that have formed around apartment complexes and businesses. I have identified some other trapper volunteers and am developing a core group of dependable folks willing to assist with these projects.
In July, the Best Friends Animal Society will hold its annual no kill shelter conference in Atlanta - close enough for me and others from Alabama to attend. I would like to attend and take along at least 2 other folks from the Birmingham area so we can accumulate and share the knowledge to benefit Alabama cats and dogs.
My South East Lake Neighborhood Association (one of 99 in Birmingham) has formed the first Animal Welfare Committee of any neighborhood group and I am chairing that committee. The majority of animals picked up or taken to the former animal control office were from our 35206 zip code.
We will worked closely with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic and other animal rescue groups in metro Birmingham as well as Birmingham's own Animal Control Officers to find solutions to the extreme number of stray, abandoned, chained and abused animals in our community.
If you wish to support this work or sponsor a cat trap adventure or help sponsor our Alabama group to attend the Best Friends Conference it would be greatly appreciated.
The photos are of two recent trapped cats - part of the group that are NOT contributing kittens this spring!
I live in Seattle WA. Got a call from a lady in Jasper Alabama. There over 20 cats and kittens and needs help. She sadly finding dead kittens every. She is going to by a TRU CATCH trap and if worse comes to worse she will take to shelter to be humanely euthanized. SO if is someone sees this and wants to help this lady out contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.feraltrapping.com
Hi, you have a dream much like I do. I am also in Alabama working to get these precious animals a place to live (all strays/ferals) without being euthanized. They have a right to live just as we do but I want to buy a large tract of land to allow them to live free if they wish. Not every cat wants to live with a human, they also like their freedom and should be able to do so on a tract of land that is fenced with plenty of room to run. I support feral shelters/housing and providing food and shelter in safe places. I support TNR. If you are interested in talking and/or meeting to discuss, you can find me on Facebook.
Hi Kathy, So glad to see you are still helping our sweet friends. Where do you plan to build the sanctuary? Thanks, Helen