I founded Cat Town in 2010 while I was a volunteer at Oakland Animals Services, Oakland’s municipal shelter. My husband and I started volunteering there seven years ago, in honor of our two cats, Langston and Tea Cake, who passed away within three months of each other, in 2008. Where Langston was super confident, and could have coped had he landed in a shelter, and would have been adopted quickly, my super shy Tea Cake most certainly would have been the cat who sat terrified in his cage until the day he was euthanized. It was through his eyes that I saw the shelter environment, and became determined to help fearful cats like him, whose only way out is to muster the courage to sit at the front of the cage and interact with strangers. Tea couldn’t even do that in the safety of our home, let alone in cold metal cage, surrounded by barking dogs. Not surprisingly, it is the small minority of cats who come into the shelter who can do that.
I never anticipated my commitment to volunteer two hours a week would lead me to dedicate my life to saving shelter cats, but after being at the shelter a couple of years and taking it all in, I became obsessed with creating a different model for helping these sensitive animals.
What I took on faith then, which turned out to be true, was that our community is filled with amazing people who want to help, and our role at Cat Town is to make that possible. Now with over 250 volunteers, in a little over five years, we've have helped over 1,300 cats, and seen the euthanasia rate for cats at OAS go from 42% to less than 10%.
Still, the problem is not solved, and there is much to be done. The money we raise will help us get cats out of the shelter quickly, and expand our capacity to help the kittens and cats who are at greatest risk for euthanasia. We now have capacity to help in a big way, and just lack the resources.
With your support, we can make sure that every cat who ends up at the Oakland shelter gets a great home and the opportunity to get on with their lives! Thank you for making this possible!!