You remember the catch phrase "I'm mad and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Well, that is exactly how we feel here at Forgotten Felines. Year after year kitten season hits, and we and every shelter in our county are BOMBARRRRDED with kittens. When is it going to stop? We are so fortunate to be living in a county RICH in resources available to pet owners, but still we find ourselves inundated with homeless cats and kittens. So what are we doing about it? Well, we're doing MORE. More than we've ever done before...
We truly believe that the only way to end the senseless killing of thousands of cats and kittens every year is through spay/neuter and education. While our focus is and always has been on the feral (wild) cat community, we've started to take a look at why and how cats become feral, and how we can prevent this from happening. Our solution is to help the people who come across tame cats that are on the verge of becoming feral or giving birth to ferals. These would include:
Every year we receive hundreds of calls from "good samaritans" wanting to help homeless cats in their neighborhood or at their workplace. They have compassion and concern for the animal that is in trouble, but are reluctant to accept it as their own or take it to a shelter. Finances are tight for everyone and because the cat "doesn't belong to me," people are willing to put out a bowl of food and water, but aren't really willing or able to absorb the full cost of altering and vaccinations. These are the cats that, if left unattended, will turn feral or birth feral kittens. These are the people and cats we want to help.
So, for the first time ever, we are expanding our spay/neuter efforts to include tame, stray cats and formerly feral kittens pulled from the wild; these cats will have the opportunity to go through our "Tame Cat" clinics. There is a nominal fee for this service, but for the most part it is subsidized through a bequest left by Jean Mekemson.
Through another generous gift from Mr. Ryder & Company, we acquired, remodeled and furnished the warehouse next to our Administrative Offices, and converted it into our new spay/neuter suite. We've already scheduled 33 low cost spay/neuter clinics for feral cats in the coming year. But, in addition to the feral clinics, we have also scheduled 22 "Tame Cat" clinics. By adding these clinics, we're not overcrowding our already full feral cat clinics AND we're taking yet one more step in reducing the number of unwanted cats being born and killed every year in our County.
Joining our Spay/Neuter Clinic veterinarians - Dr. Leah Hertzel of Cat Hospital of Petaluma and Dr. Joy Mueller of Guardian Pet Hospital, who between the two of them altered 1344 cats in 2008 - we've added two new veterinarians to our clinic crew: Dr. Beth Kenyon who is employed at PetCare Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Darcey Attebury and Dr. Lea Bove. Each of these vets, along with Dr. Kathryn Hinkle of Animal Hospital of Cotati who is our "substitute vet," spend their days off helping Forgotten Felines and the feral cat caretakers make our county a better place for cats.
To help us handle the greater load of cats, we've also added two more Spay/Neuter Clinic Volunteer Crews. Our Clinic Crews continue to impress visitor after visitor with their professionalism and expert care and handling of our feral friends.
If you are interested in signing up for a Feral Cat Clinic or a "Tame Cat" Clinic please call 576-7999.