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Cat's Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley

Mission: Cat’s Cradle’s mission is to ensure a safe and compassionate community for cats by decreasing the intake of healthy, adoptable animals at area shelters.

Community Need: Cat’s Cradle exists to address the huge feline overpopulation crisis in the region. Statistics show that spay/neuter and pet retention programs work to reduce shelter intake.  Cat’s Cradle’s spay/neuter financial assistance program and their pet retention programs serve primarily low income and at risk families and citizens, including vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, veterans, homeless, domestic violence victims, and disabled. Their adoption and humane/behavioral counseling and education programs are open to all.   Cat’s Cradles works to address feline overpopulation throughout, to reduce the number of unwanted litters of kittens being born and taken into area shelters, thereby reducing euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals, reducing taxpayer expenses of caring for/euthanizing these animals, and promoting responsible adoption of shelter animals.

Primary Activities: Cat’s Cradle has three primary programs:

  • Spay/Neuter Program: Facilitate spay/neuter of owned cats and trap/neuter/return of feral colonies with established caretakers, providing funding for those who cannot afford low cost clinic prices without subsidy. They also provide trapping/transport assistance.  Through this program, they help to alter 2,000 cats yearly, preventing thousands of unwanted litters of kittens.
  • Rescue/Foster/Adoption: Rescue cats and kittens from area shelters, foster them with volunteers, vet them, and adopt them out locally or transport them to no-kill adoption partner rescues. They rescue over 800 cats and kittens each year and adopt and transport out over 800 cats and kittens.  They have the capacity to foster approximately 125 cats and kittens at any one time.
  • Pet Retention: Offer behavioral counseling, as well as financial assistance to keep pets with their families (help with vet fees for routine, extraordinary, and/or emergency veterinary care, pet food assistance, and/or short-term boarding). This third program has expanded in the past few years to the point that they are now helping over 175 families each year with veterinary fee assistance.

Constituents Served: They serve the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg, as well as Augusta, Rockingham and Page counties.  Last year, they fielded 4,000 calls, rescued 823 cats, facilitated 1,932 spay/neuter surgeries, helped 189 families with medical assistance/pet retention, rescued 823 cats, adopted out 602 and transported 263 to out of area no-kill adoption partners.

Program Details: This continuing program is designed to address a gap in assistance to vulnerable members of the community who need help to keep their pets with the family and not surrender them to area shelters for lack of financial assistance, pet food, or short-term boarding in emergencies.  Pets can be a vital source of support for vulnerable members, yet there exists no parallel to social services to help people care for and keep their pets in times of distress.  Enter Cat’s Cradle and their pet retention program, aimed at supporting these members of the community and keeping pets out of the community’s animal shelters. So far, they have received $9,300 and another $7,500 have been committed.

Amount Requested: $7,000

Operating Budget: $443,000

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