Who Is Catsbury Park?
Catsbury Park is a New Jersey 501(c) non-profit corporation formed to help cats. Our mission is to assist local shelters and rescue organizations by helping find loving homes for as many kittens and cats as possible, and to provide the public interaction with and education about cats. Within our first two months of operation last summer, we fostered and placed 37 kittens in forever homes. For over a year, we have been working to open the Catsbury Park Tea House & Cat Lounge (“cat cafe”) in Asbury Park. Catsbury Park’s cat cafe will have resident cats available to visit or adopt. We will also provide resources, information and host events for our community to learn more about how cool cats are. The majority of cats you will meet at Catsbury Park’s cat cafe will be adult cats (though we will sometimes have kittens available for adoption through other channels). Adult cats, despite being sweet, social and healthy, are often over-looked for adoption when in shelters. In the more intimate and social environment of Catsbury Park, we hope that the customers who engage with our cats will see the benefits of taking one home forever. Distinct from most other cat cafes, it was important to us that Catsbury Park adopt our cats from local shelters. All our cats are official Catsbury Park cats! As such, our cats will live, be cared for, and play at Catsbury Park until a forever home is found. Catsbury Park does not profit from its efforts in caring for, loving, housing, and helping cats. We receive no federal, state or local funding. As such, we must rely on donations to finish building Catsbury Park and open it to the public--allowing us to help shelters and place more cats into loving homes.
You can find out more by checking out these links
Why Helping Cats and Kittens Find Homes is so important
Owner and founder Dean Bornschein (“DJ”) created Catsbury Park because of his love of cats and concern for cats and kittens at risk without access to medical care, food, or a loving home. As DJ often explains when discussing the challenges facing Catsbury Park--"no matter how hard we try there will never be enough homes for all of the cats that need them, but we at least need to try our best.”
For example, the NJ Department of Health estimates that there are between 1.3 and 2 million stray and feral cats in the state. In 2015, Monmouth County alone euthanized 902 cats; the state of New Jersey euthanized 13,598. The rate of euthanization increases where, as in much of New Jersey, shelters are overrun and underfunded, and local rescue organizations cannot keep up with the rise in population.
We want to improve and save the lives of as many cats as possible. But part of our goal from the outset was to help the amazing humans who work and volunteer on behalf of the animals of New Jersey. We will work alongside the various organizations united by love for cats, with the hope we can provide some relief in terms of overcrowding, and help to reduce the number of cats euthanized—an emotional and undesirable consequence of overpopulation.
How Catsbury Park Helps the Lives of Cats and Their Owners
The physical location of Catsbury Park on Cookman Avenue (once we open our doors!) will provide an alternative atmosphere to allow the public to interact with our feline friends. With a location in booming downtown Asbury Park, we hope to attract people who love cats, but might not visit shelters or adopt from rescues. The environment in which the public will meet and interact with our cats will be comfortable, resemble a living space, feel like it might it you were at home with one of our cats. Cats can often feel shy and stressed in shelters, adult cats overshadowed sometimes by the many kittens vying for attention. A smaller number of cats will be in residence at Catsbury Park, with personal information on each cat provided on our website and at our location. As a result, our cats will be free to show their true personalities to all that visit, and those seeking to adopt can conduct an intimate assessment as to whether one of our cats might be their new best friend.
When a cat is adopted from Catsbury Park, it creates room for us to adopt new cats from local shelters. This provides shelters space, and the ability to rescue additional cats. I n addition, we provide educational information to new cat owners, including access to high quality veterinary care through the help of awesome team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital. All our cats will have been spayed and neutered before adoption, come with a clean bill of health including up-to-date shots. Because we love our cats, we will require adopters to sign an adoption contract agreeing that any cat adopted from Catsbury Park will be kept indoors. Our goal is to save as many cats as possible, while also striving to improve all aspects of the lives of these amazing creatures—and those of the lucky humans who adopt one of our friends!
Why Catsbury Park Needs Your Financial Help Now
This is a labor of love. Revenue from our merchandise, from cat room visitation fees, from a cup of tea—everything goes back into running Catsbury Park and caring for our cats. As the first cat cafe to open in New Jersey, and during a time of exciting development in Asbury Park, the process of opening our doors has been much more expensive, and time-consuming, then anticipated.
If you have followed our journey since the beginning, you might have noticed our posts regarding the numerous unexpected delays and hurdles encountered in trying to get Catsbury Park approved, built, and open. The outpouring of enthusiasm and emotional support from Catsbury Park fans has bolstered us. To date, however, financial support has come from one person. And while this individual loves Catsbury Park and continues to support all our efforts, it is too expensive for one person to handle alone. Catsbury Park now needs serious financial help to open its doors and move forward with its mission of helping cats.
Donations of any size are appreciated. All donations are for the resolution of the following expenses:
1. HVAC - By requirement of the Health Department, Catsbury Park requires two separate ventilation, heating and cooling systems (the cafe portion system must be separate from the room in which the cats reside/are visited). This unanticipated expense will be $18,000
2. Plumbing - We have been informed that Catsbury Park will need two additional sinks beyond the sink in the kitchen, and that we are required to build a second bathroom. This large amount of work is resulting in additional plumbing costs of at least $23,300.
3. Electrical - The building that houses Catsbury Park is older, but we were not aware until construction started that a full service upgrade of the electrical wiring (from the street) would be required, as well as a complete re-wiring and installation of all fixtures and fittings. This new expense will be at least $28,500
4. As a result of the unanticipated additional work, our construction team must also provide further labor to accommodate these changes and to bring the building up to code for all inspections. As a result, our construction cost has doubled since we started and now an additional $40,000 is required to implement the new requirements set forth above.
Catsbury Park cannot obtain permits, complete construction or open its doors until these new expenses are resolved. We are seeking any financial help whatsoever that will help us open our doors and continue with our mission to rescue and improve the lives of cats.
What Can We Promise in Return for Generous Donations
Donations of any amount are appreciated. We will be posting a list of names of all non-anonymous donors on our website when we announce our opening date.
For donors of $500 or more, we offer advertisement for their business on our social media, website and/or in educational packets that will be provided to all who adopt from Catsbury Park.
For those individuals or businesses generous enough to donate $2000 or more we offer the same as listed above as well as an invitation to our private pre-opening thank-you event at Catsbury Park. Sponsorship donations are welcome, if interested in discussing, please contact us. Contact details can be found on our webiste
Catsbury Park has set an ambitious goal to raise $99,000. If achieved, these donations would pay enough of the unanticipated expenses above, and allow us to open Catsbury Park on Cookman Avenue. We knew it would be expensive to open and run a non-profit. Setbacks like this, however, make the challenge of opening Catsbury Park both frustrating and stressful.
But we have faith in our followers, in the cat lovers out there, and hope that we can obtain this necessary funding and open our doors before the end of summer. Please remember, all donations are tax deductible. And please also share, post, tweet, like, text, email and pass this plea along to all your pet loving friends.
As founder of this idea for my hometown, I am proud to have the chance to bring a non-profit that loves and supports cats to Asbury Park. Speaking for myself and my business partner in feline Jamie, and on behalf of my partner in life Jen and our own rescue cats Cleo, Moo, Klay, Rigatoni and Lil’Brian --
Catsbury Park thanks you for your generous support.
- Steve oloughlin
- Mary Ferguson
- Lucy Williams
- Mary Wuethrich
- Carol Morrison
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