Wow! Look what you did!
June 01, 2017
BENEFITING: CAT TOWN
ORGANIZER: CAT TOWN
Not everyone loves cats, I know. But if you have ever loved an animal, or cared about someone who did, I hope you'll keep reading. If you haven't yet enjoyed an inter-species relationship, I really hope you do soon -- so please keep reading!
I have always been a big fan of cats and dogs, and count myself lucky to have lived with some fantastic felines. But there are cat lovers who have turned their affection into action, and who literally save lives every single week. In Oakland, where I live, Cat Town is a non-profit that gets the neediest cats out of our city shelter before they are euthanized. By giving the most challenging cats the love and time they need to find their forever home, the caring team at Cat Town is rewriting the story of how the shelter system works.
Cat Town was started in 2011 by a long-time volunteer at the Oakland shelter, Ann Dunn. She realized that most of the cats considered "unadoptable" weren't that at all -- they just needed more time, or a different environment, to show what charming companions they could be. The sheer number of cats at a municipal shelter works against senior cats and those that are scared, sick or strays who don't know how to connect with people. There are only so many cages and new cats arrive every day, making it a sad numbers game.
Before Cat Town, the cat euthanasia rate at the shelter was 42%. Six years later, it's down to 14%. By getting the neediest cats out of the cages and into a foster home, or into its unique adoption center/cafe, Cat Town gives them a chance to relax, to heal and to learn to trust people again. To date, more than 1600 cats have found homes and countless human lives have been enriched through Cat Town's efforts.
I've been volunteering at Cat Town for more than two years. It's a warm and friendly community of cat-people, and offers a welcome respite from the world's more intractable problems. When worries about climate change or politics seem overwhelming, I take comfort in helping potential adopters find their perfect companion, or in showing a visitor how to "introduce" herself to an unfamiliar feline.
Cat Town is participating in a fundraising competition, the Saving Pets Challenge. Every dollar raised for Cat Town goes directly to paying medical bills and the innovative programs that save lives. Every dollar donated during the campaign helps Cat Town qualify for critical extra funds from the challenge sponsor.
If you live in the Bay Area, I hope you'll come visit Cat Town so I can show you why I think it's special. If you don't, you can still benefit from Cat Town's work, since animal rescue organizations from all over the country (and abroad!) visit to learn about its novel techniques for working with undersocialized animals. Everything Cat Town does is intended to be replicable so that other communities can reduce their euthanasia rates, too.
Please help Cat Town save more at-risk shelter cats in Oakland, and create a model that can benefit rescue organizations everywhere.
If you’d like more information about the organization, please visit www.cattownoakland.org. Thank you for your support of our mission!