Through our Keeping Families TogetherTM campaign, Alley Cat Allies is helping to save cats and kittens in communities across the nation, including the Brunswick County area in North Carolina, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

Opie is growing up healthy and strong after our COVID-19 emergency funding paid for his veterinary care. He’s getting more playful every day!

Our emergency funding allowed local organization Paws-Ability to feed and care for cats in need—like a tiny kitten named Opie.

Opie was just three weeks old when a good Samaritan spotted him alone on a beach, clearly in need of medical assistance. His mother was nowhere to be found. Opie’s impressive grey fluff belied his teeny, thin body and the health problems that were endangering his life. Because of our funding, Opie was rushed to a veterinarian to receive the treatment he needed just in time.

“Opie has had lots of ups and downs in his short lifetime, but he’s benefitted from his loving and dedicated foster mom and lifesaving veterinary care from Paws-Ability thanks to funding from Alley Cat Allies,” says Mary Beth Mount, vice president of Paws-Ability. “He’s feeling better and getting stronger and more playful every day.”

Our funding also gave Paws-Ability the means to help Freddie, a tabby kitten found in a parking lot with an injured leg. Through our support, Freddie was able to be rushed to a local veterinarian and treated as well as neutered. Now he’s almost “ready to face the world as a sweet and healthy cat,” says Mount, and will go to a loving family after he fully recovers in his foster home.

Many people who help cats like Opie and Freddie in Brunswick County do so by spending money out of their own pocket. However, living along the Atlantic Coast, residents’ incomes often depend on summer tourism. The COVID-19 crisis has meant barren boardwalks and shuttered businesses. In short, cats and the people who care for them need more help than ever.

Our emergency funding gave Freddie a second chance. His leg is healing well and he’ll be adopted into a loving home soon.

Alley Cat Allies is committed to providing that critical support at this most pressing time.

“It is critical to stop the pandemic disaster from causing a secondary disaster of cats going to shelters,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “While so much of our world has been disrupted, we have searched for new pathways to deliver food, veterinary care, and other support to areas in need. We are so excited for this opportunity to help people and cats through the Paws-Ability team in North Carolina.”

Paws-Ability has already purchased hundreds of pounds of cat and dog food through our grant funding. That food has been distributed to shelters and the single food pantry passing out animal food in the county, then handed out to any pet owner and community cat caregiver in need.

In this struggling community, Mount says, food for animals is a symbol of hope for many.

“The gratitude the community is showing toward this grant is just amazing,” she says. “When I showed up with bags of wet and dry cat food to one of the folks who runs a local rescue, she was in tears she was so grateful. She said ‘you have no idea how many cats you’re helping and how many fosters and caregivers will be impacted by this. They won’t have to worry that they don’t have the food to feed their cats.’”

Our emergency funding will continue to help Paws-Ability cover the costs of food and unexpected veterinary bills for foster caregivers and for owned and community cats. In doing so, we will help keep animals with their families in a time of unprecedented challenges. And when more kittens like Opie and Freddie need urgent care, our funding will be there to help provide it.

“Our entire community is exceptionally grateful for Alley Cat Allies’ help,” says Mount. “We would really be in dire straits without this assistance.”

For more inspiring stories made possible by Alley Cat Allies’ COVID-19 emergency funding, visit alleycat.org/Coronavirus.