Summer 2019 will be remembered as one of the toughest cat rescue summers in recent memory. Every rescue and adoption group that mom has talked to has commented about the explosive population growth of cats and kittens on the streets in our communities this year.
Now is a great time to get involved with cat rescue because the need is huge and there are many ways you can help!
For those of you who are cat lovers and want to learn more and volunteer but don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions…
How to Help Cat Rescue: Boots on the Ground
To help trap the stray cats in your community, identify a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) group in your area and volunteer to help when they go out to trap cats. It is a very good idea to see the process from the “ground up” even if you personally will never trap…without the trappers…all else fails!
You can also help by feeding a colony of cats. Network to find feeders who feed a certain colony in a set location every day and volunteer to help out as the feeders make their rounds – these cats depend upon the feeders to eat and survive every day!
The trappers and feeders work together to identify the cats that need to be spayed/neutered or need vet attention for other reasons. This is where “it all happens”, so it is good to experience what these two groups go through to save the lives of stray cats and reduce the population growth to zero over a consistent application of TNR efforts.
How to Help Cat Rescue: Fostering
Next to money to pay the vet bills, fosters are the most needed volunteers that a TNR group needs because so many cats that they save are friendlies – abandoned cats as well as young kittens who haven’t turned “feral” yet – these kitties deserve to be adopted and need to be fostered until the adoption group can find its furr-ever home.
A lot of people love to foster as the fosters get to enjoy the company of the adoptable cat or help it as it heals from an injury, etc while having many different experiences with many different cats and help ready them for their new home.
Thanks to Hannah Shaw – the Kitten Lady – who advocates and educates on how to care for neonatal kittens and become a “bottle-feeder” foster to save the most vulnerable babies from certain death without 24/7 feedings…these are the most needed fosters of all!
Every TNR and rescue group need fosters – so it’s a great way to get involved with cat rescue!
How to Help Cat Rescue: Circle of Support
The cat rescue teams are usually too busy doing their trapping job and need volunteers to help them in various support areas.
They always need food and litter donations to care for the cats while they are going through the vetting process. Each group has a list of additional needs which can include blankets, towels, cleaning supplies and more – check with your local group and donate where possible.
The adoption groups need help too! Donate your time at the local shelter, non-profit cat café or cat rescue/adoption fundraiser. They are always short-staffed!
Financial donations – needless to say, all these groups need money to fund their role in cat rescue so anything you donate can help them reach their goal.
“Adopt” your local TNR group and donate money to them – no amount is too small. Consider an automatic donation every month.
Business owners consider doing the same thing and creating a give-back as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts…either on a local or national level.
How to Help Cat Rescue: Spread the Word
Thanks to social media and the internet, you can all become cat rescue ambassadors and spread the word about TNR and cat rescue so as to share with your followers that CATS’ LIVES MATTER!
Once you get involved with cat rescue, post about it and share how easy it is to get involved and help save lives!
Set the example and you might be surprised how many of your friends, family & followers are inspired by your cat rescue efforts!