A Season for Reflection, Gratitude, and Generosity

Vox Felina Logo—Holiday Version

The holiday season offers us the opportunity (all too rare, it seems) for some much-needed reflection—to take stock of our lives and all that gives our lives meaning. It’s also a time to express our gratitude through generosity.

Among the organizations I’m supporting are FixNation and Save the Animals Foundation, each of which is making significant contributions at both the local and national scales.

FixNation
This is an organization of extraordinary people doing extraordinary work. Since opening its doors in July 2007, FixNation has sterilized and vaccinated more than 60,000 cats (not including the 16,000 or so brought in through their bimonthly Catnippers clinics). More than 85 percent of these cats are feral, stray, or abandoned, and receive services at no charge to their caretakers. (Owners of pet cats are charged a modest fee.)

And the quality of care these cats receive is truly remarkable (better than many pet cats receive, I’m sure).

But, as I mentioned in my post earlier this month, FixNation is facing a 20 percent budget shortfall as a result of a 2010 court injunction eliminating City of Los Angeles support for TNR programs. The stakes are incredibly high in L.A.—in terms of lives saved or lost, but also in terms of the city’s symbolic value as a community committed to trap-neuter-return, despite both the injunction and the faltering economy.

For the rest of the month, PetSmart Charities will match every “new donor” dollar up to $51,000. In addition, FixNation will receive 5 percent of December sales from Moderncat Studio, makers of beautifully designed toys, scratchers, and more.

Save the Animals Foundation
Regular readers will recall the South Jersey Feral Cat Relocation Project I wrote about in May. This is a collaborative effort headed by Save the Animals Foundation, Inc. and the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, both of which are working closely with a number of cat rescue and wildlife protection groups to relocating a colony of feral (or not—see below) cats from their current South Jersey location to nearby farms, horse stables, wineries, and the like. (Both STAF and APLNJ support TNR as the most effective means to reduce the feral cat population, and use relocation only in very rare circumstances.)

Thanks to your generous support (and a sizable gift from the good people at Alley Cat Rescue), we were able to raise more than $4,300 for the relocation and ongoing care of these cats.

South Jersey Feral Cats

Joan Bullock, a STAF board member, sent me an update recently. “To date we have cared for and relocated over 70 cats and kittens from the area,” reports Bullock. “We worked with other rescues, shelters, vets, clinics, other foundations, and many, many caring individuals.”

“Only about 35 cats were actually feral. The remainder were nursed back to health—socialized where necessary—and most have been adopted into loving homes.”

I’m told by somebody else closely involved with the project that, while the situation has been, at times, frustrating for nearly everybody involved, it’s also demonstrated the potential for various stakeholders to work together—a significant step forward, and one not to be taken for granted.

Still, there’s more work to do: sterilization, vaccination, and relocation of the few remaining cats, and ongoing care of several cats (some of which make up a relocated colony; others are being placed in a sanctuary). Tax-deductable donations can be made via FirstGiving.

•     •     •

If you’re able to make a tax-deductible donation to either FixNation or STAF, I encourage you to do so. If not, please pass the word along to other TNR/feral cat supporters.

Thank you, and happy holidays.

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