Liz Loves Cats Loves...
As a cat lover and avid supporter of rescue, it makes sense to contribute 10% of all earnings from my cat visits to charity. Each month, Liz Loves Cats will choose a different rescue group or shelter to support through social media, fundraising, profies of cats, events, urgent pleas- whatever is needed by the charity. It's a small way I can connect those of us who Love Cats and give back to those organizations who are out there every day working for cats.
For August, I'm donating to a specific plea for help for Sprinkles through Anjellicle Cat Rescue. Here is her story: SPRINKLES is a young female kitty found wandering the streets of Yonkers meowing to get into people's houses. She was clearly a dumped pet who wanted a home again. One of our rescuers took her in, but she began having trouble breathing and we had to take her to the emergency vet. She was found to have pneumonia and heart failure and spent several nights in the ICU. She also tested positive for FIV, most likely from having to defend herself on the streets.
I combined March through July as visits were rightly diminished by COVID. However, I came across an incredible NYC based organization, PAWS NY, that I not only decided to donate to, but I'm also now on their behavior staff! Here is a little bit about them:
The mission of PAWS NY is to help New York City’s most vulnerable residents remain with their pets by delivering critical programs and services through a community of partners and volunteers. Our programs help keep pets in their homes while protecting and promoting the human-animal bond that is so physically and psychologically valuable to our clients. Thus, our motto: helping people by helping pets.
They essentially help care for pets when owners cannot- walking dogs, feeding and caring for cats, vet visits and more. Of course COVID has limited their house call program, but some volunteers still check in via phone or even virtual visits! I am happy to contribute what I can to this fantastic organization!
As the winter months tend to be a little slower, I've decided to combine January through March into one bigger donation, and it's perhaps one of the more incredible organizations that exist. Currently only in TX & Philly, Emancipet is a non-profit on a mission to make spay/neuter services and veterinary care affordable and accessible to all pet owners. They manage an expanding national network of high-quality, low-cost clinics, offier customized training and consulting programs to animal welfare organizations nationwide, and advocate for strategies and public policy that improve the lives of pets in underserved communities. With donor support, they're keeping pets happy, healthy and at home- which is right where they belong.
I went on their site and calculated that for one cat to receive spay/neuter, vaccinations and an FIV test, it's only $120. Proud to say, I was able to provide 3 cats with these life-saving services! This organization just "gets it" and are really in it for the welfare of pets.
For December, the rescue group that will receive 10% of all visits are the incredibly brave folks at The Shelter of Hope in Idlib, Syria, created by Marwan Alobeido. Rescuing & providing sanctuary for cats is hard enough, but I cannot even imagine doing this work with active bombings in the area. "So many are homeless or injured due to the war. They need our help too." When homes are abandoned by people fleeing for safety, or turned to complete rubble by the war, Yousef & Rami find the displaced cats & bring them to the shelter, provide necessary medical care & most of all, give them the love they need in such terrifying times.
Their FB page is a mix of heart breaking & "hope for humanity" posts. They risk their lives every day to save cats (& now dogs). They deserve more than the 10% I can give them, so I'm helping spread awareness of their work all throughout December. There are several fundraisers posted on their FB page, please chip in if you can. Marwan said, in a recent FB messenger conversation, "Please help us save the stray cats from being bombed and forgotten, take care of a shelter containing 70 cats rescued, provide them with food and drink daily 3 times, and a free veterinary clinic treating the sick and perform spaying/neutering operations, any donation will contribute to the continuation Our work, much love and thanks from us to you." Also, please click here to see video of the heroic work they are doing.
November's rescue group (that received 10% of all visits) hits close to home: FIV Cat Rescue (FIVCR). My husband & I have the honor of sharing our lives with 3 Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) cats. We regularly get questions and strange looks every time we mention their FIV status.
It's disheartening how much misinformation surrounds this virus, especially since FIV cats can live full, happy, healthy lives, and humans and other animals cannot catch FIV. Also, FIV cats do not need any special care or medicine. FIV cats don't deserve the stigma that myths attach to this virus.
Enter FIV Cat Rescue, a 501c3 educational organization dedicated to debunking the myths surrounding FIV and providing educational materials to vets, shelter workers, and the general public. They also provide tools to help rescuers find homes for FIV cats.
Although they no longer rescue cats themselves, they have a small sanctuary of 7 cats ( 5 FIV and 2 Non-FIV- see pic below) and 2 cats in foster care. These cats receive the best care and have a lifetime home with FIVCR.
This year after the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA (the worst fire in CA history at that time), FIVCR set up an Emergency Foster Network to save the FIV cats, many suffering from PTSD and deemed feral, and providing for their medical care and daily needs.
Also, this year, FIVCR launched an education program for shelters/ rescues, making available Kennel Cards and FIV Fact Sheets to help educate shelter/rescue workers, volunteers, fosters, and adopters (see info sheet below).
If you would like to make a separate donation for this incredible group, go to https://www.fivcatrescue.org/donate/ And to join in the conversation, "like" them on FB at https://www.facebook.com/FIVCatRescue.CatsInNeed/, and follow them on IG: https://www.instagram.com/fivcatrescue/
October my focus is on a small group out of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn called Ferals to Fosters to Forever Homes. I met Jaclyn at Adoptapalooza & was absolutely taken by Helena & Timothy, two six month old cats who had had to have both eyes removed due to severe untreatable infections. The cost was astronomical, but the rescue group she works with, @NYCTeensforAnimals raised the money to covered surgery and routine care for these two sweet, misfortunate kittens.
Their foster Jaclyn shared some beautiful traits of these bonded siblings. Post surgery, they stick very close together- so much so that if one bumped into a wall, while learning their way around, the other finds them immediately to make sure they are OK! These cats gave kisses, loved to cuddle, and we’re both so on point when they played with toys, she would almost swear they could see. They adjusted quick and remarkably in a large 5 room apartment, navigating flawlessly just a couple weeks in.
Thankfully they were able to find them a home together with a kind, patient human who has a soft spot for animals with impairments. One being a blind & deaf chihuahua He understands the little things she did to help them learn their new space, like not moving the furniture, using a fountain style water bowl so they can hear it, et cetera.. (when a cat is blind- it’s other senses kick into a higher gear)
Jaclyn never bats a lash at difficult cases like this, so I'm proud to support her. She really just want to find incredible homes for her foster babies who are all special cases (you should see the new kitten <3) and that takes visibility. So, please help out by really taking a look at her Facebook page- and joining (linked above). Also, please share! The more exposure these animals get the better. Jaclyn also encourages other foster parents to post their babies in need for adoption on her page. She is trying to grow her page, and create a community!
This September, inspired by the story of their Seniors for Seniors program, I decided to have a birthday fundraiser on Facebook and donate the proceeds to the Patricia H Ladew Foundation, who run a shelter out on Long Island. Their Seniors for Seniors program adopts out senior cats (who are harder to place) with Senior Citizens (companionship, etc). Ladew covers any medical issues with their on-site clinic, and should anything happen to the human, they take the cat back at the shelter so they'll still have a home. I'm happy to say, my goal was $250 and I ended up raising $455!