As I have been telling everyone for the past week and a half, I am one of the finalists for Best Blog Post in the Petties for my story about Feral Cat Day. What I haven’t announced yet is who will get the $1000 prize money to if I win. There are three reasons for this: 1) I haven’t decided yet; 2) YOU are going to help me decide; and 3) I’m going to do a little something extra, inspired by the four-times-yearly Be the Change for Animals challenge.
I have already begun work on narrowing down the field of rescues to choose from. I asked my Facebook fans for suggestions, reminding them that since my nominated post was about feral cats, I wanted to donate to an organization that did a lot to help ferals. I also got one suggestion emailed to me. The only other criteria was that the group needed to be a 501(c)3 charity, as designated in the rules set down by DogTime Media. I got a lot of great suggestions, and you will be voting on them in the poll on my right hand sidebar. Because I know it might be tough to choose just one, you can pick up to three.
Here are the groups, with short descriptions and links to their websites so you can explore them further if you’d like:
This CT-based group formed because of a dramatic increase in cats needing help. The founders have over a decade of experience in helping feral colonies. FeralCare, Inc. works with communities to Trap, Neuter and Return, holds spay/ neuter clinics and provides educational resources for feral colony management. They are hoping to establish a year-round spay/ neuter clinic.
Best Friends Los Angeles
Although Best Friends itself is a huge organization, its Los Angeles group is small, and locally, it conducts TNR for thousands of cats in two LA communities. With those numbers, they are always finding injured cats needing medical attention and kittens that can be put up for adoption, so they could definitely use the extra funds.
Stray Cat Alliance
This Los Angeles group advocates on behalf of feral cats and navigates the complicated red tape of the city’s animal control and health departments to help the plight of ferals in this sprawling metropolis. They also work hands-on to Trap, Neuter and Return, and to date are responsible for over 75,000 spays and neuters.
Friends of Feral Felines
FoFF has been helping with colony management in southern Maine since 1992. They help a number of colonies with TNR, food and medical attention, and they also find barn homes for cats and socialize and adopt out kittens.
Some of you may be familiar with this group via their Justice for Bow Facebook page — they are the ones helping Bow, the friendly Grand Rapids, MI stray who was shot with an arrow and almost died. The group offers TNR services for outdoor cat caregivers and has a limited adoption and foster program for friendly cats and kittens.
Beaufort Community Cat Project
These volunteers work to reduce the free-roaming cat population through TNR in the town of Beaufort, and lends humane traps anywhere in Carteret County. They also offer education and advice about free-roaming cats. The human of my blogging friends The Creek Cats works with them!
It’s Meow or Never for Ferals, Inc.
This Florida group advocates for ferals in Tallahassee and Leon counties through education and TNR assistance, and help colony caregivers with food expenses whenever it is appropriate. Their volunteers are very knowledgeable and helpful.
Forever Home Feline Ranch
Located in central Illinois, this no-kill, no-cage sanctuary has a program to help feral caregivers with food and TNR. It’s a wonderful rescue.
Dane County Friends of Ferals
Made up of over 60 volunteers, a part-time vet and seven board members, this Madison, WI organization offers no-cost and low-cost spay and neuter services for ferals, has a shelter and adoption services, helps the public with cat population issues, provides emergency vet care to Dane County cats and does everything it can to promote a no-kill standard in its community.
PACT Humane Society
Like so many other groups, PACT is working towards a no-kill goal and helps ferals through its CORE program. They offer the tools for suburban Chicago folks to TNR ferals, and work with communities and local officials as advocates for the area’s feral cats.
A Call 4 Paws
This was a suggestion from my pal Cathy Keisha, and I’ll just tell you what she wrote to me: “Our favorite charity helps feral cats by taking them off the mean streets of Jersey City, getting them fixed and sending them to rehabilitation, aka a cat sanctuary, to get unferal.” The sanctuary is on four acres of land in Jonestown, PA. This group is working very hard to make a dent in the area’s stray and shelter population.
Catnip Friends Rescue
This group of central New Jersey volunteers cares for several colonies in Hunterdon County, and finds homes for homeless adoptable cats and kittens. They do a lot of TNR in their area.
This group works hard to TNR feral cats in the Pittsburgh area. They also do spay, neuter, rescue and fostering.
So please make your three choices and vote for them at your right. Voting closes July 29 (the same day that voting for the Petties closes). If I win the award at the BlogPaws conference on August 26, the two groups that got the most votes will split the $1000 award. But I have a surprise: the group that comes in number 3 will get a donation widget on my sidebar for the whole month of August! So no matter what, one of the groups above will be a winner!
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