There was certainly a great deal of gift giving this holiday season! Between our Secret Santa wish list and our Year-end Sanctuary Challenge, we truly appreciate the immense love from our supporters to help us continue and expand our amazing resources to more animals in need. One unexpected part of this holiday’s gift giving was the significant amount of cat food drives in our local area for our community cats. Community cats, sometimes referred to as feral cats, are unowned cats that live outdoors. These cats are often not socialized to people, and therefore could not acclimate to living in a home. However, they are still able to live fulfilling, healthy lives with their feline families (colonies) in their outdoor homes.
Our Companions offers many programs to help these cats continue living safe, healthy lives in their environment, while also providing preventative measures to reduce the number of cats living outside. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only humane and permanently effective way to reduce the population of community cats while helping them live happy, enriched lives. We provide community cat caretakers with training, equipment, and volunteer support to safely TNR cats in their care. Our Companions also provides warm cat shelters, food donations, and veterinary services.
To wrap up 2019, here’s a few yearend statistics of our Community Cat Programs:
- OC provided voucher assistance to TNR 120 cats in 2019, most notably, 44 in November alone!
- Our food program supplements 203 cats residing in 20 managed colonies in various locations in CT.
- We trained 54 clients on the principals and procedure of Trap, Neuter, Return, Manage.
- We provided managed colony caregivers with 23 feral cat shelters built by volunteers.
- We provided financial support for emergency veterinary services for 8 injured or sick community cats.
With the arrival of holiday season comes the cold, wintry weather. Community cats are desperately seeking food and shelter, especially during this time of year. Understanding this increased need for food and supplies, local businesses held their own food drives to gather supplies and resources within their local area to help out these cats in need. Donating these supplies to Our Companions, we have the established connections to distribute this food to caretakers who will then feed their managed colony of community cats. It’s truly remarkable the amount of teamwork and streamlined efforts to care for these animals. A big thank you to The Happy Cat Hotel, Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Vernon, Cats Limited, the Tomasso Group, and more for helping us keep these community cats’ bellies full and happy!
Though these community food drives have now ended, you can still donate cat food for our community cats to Our Companions. We hold a permanent food drive all-year round and help distribute these supplies to local, managed colonies. You can drop off unopened, unexpired wet or dry cat food to our Valerie Friedman Program Center in Manchester any time between 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.