The Best Friend Friend - Dogs Helping Cats
Organized by: sean schiraldi
My cat, Shortzie, was adopted from a litter of "street kittens" three years ago. She is the most awesome cat I've ever known, a true blessing. For me, it is unthinkable how easily she could be one of the many thousands of cats that roam the city streets, hungry and bedraggled, never enjoying the comfort of a caring home. It is unimaginable that, by this time, the most friendly, loving, "coolest" cat I've ever known would be virtually unadoptable.
That would have been the case if it wasn't for Mark, the soft-spoken retiree who brought Shortzie and I together through a craigslist ad. He had been caring for her mother and older siblings behind a warehouse across the street from his home in New Rochelle, NY, where he built them a small shelter and fed them daily. She was part of the third litter added during that time, and as he explained to me with much sadness, he couldn't find homes for half of them, and the remaining ones either disappeared or became battered and bruised as time went on.
I have since lost contact with Mark, but I often think about him and the many just like him, cat lovers who help these poor animals with food and shelter, often fending off heartless neighbors who wouldn't think twice about poisoning the poor things just to put an end to the occasional cat-fight. They are doing a wonderful thing, but there is also another step that can be taken which goes to the root of the problem, Trap-Neuter-Return.
With The Best Friend Fund I am trying to help others like Mark by educating them on all facets of colony caretaking, paying for traps, low-cost spay/neuter services and, of course, food and shelter. The idea came to me one day when I walked passed a stray on my way to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, a huge park where every day there are thousands of dog owners taking advantage of the "no-leash" rules. It's very simple, we buy dog toys, bones, and even poop bags at a wholesale price and set up a table where we hand out literature and sell the items. The earnings go directly toward local caretakers and the NY Feral Cat Initiative.
The first two weeks have been very successful; most people are more than happy to buy their pup a treat, especially to support the cause. And, in essence, it provides an opportunity for dogs to share the earnest love they receive from their bff and help out their less fotunate feline friends.....hence the name "Best Friend Fund." lol However, because it is just me, started with my limited funds, the project is only a fraction of what it could be. With a little more funding, we can add some more items and quickly multiply that money; with a couple of helpers, we can expand to over a hundred other parks in the NYC area!
That would definitely help the problem!
Thank You for all your love and support.
If you are a cat colony caretaker or know of one who needs assistance, or if you would be interested in spending a couple hours selling dog bones and handing out literature in a city park, Please contact us at TheBestFriendFund@gmail.com