Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Alley Cat Allies has been providing emergency funding across the country through our Keeping Families Together™ campaign to ensure spay and neuter, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), could continue through every challenge. For organizations and veterinary clinics that made the tough decision to suspend spay and neuter services, we encouraged them to make safety upgrades and reopen as soon and as safely as possible, helping to kick their lifesaving momentum back into full gear.
In September 2020, we gave vital funding for spay and neuter and veterinary care through the Montgomery County Cat Coalition, Inc. (MC C3) in Maryland. Alley Cat Allies has a long history with MC C3, and the expert resources we provided many years ago empowered the coalition to start its countywide TNR program.
When MC C3 reopened their TNR program late last year after curtailing spay and neuter services due to the pandemic, they reached out to us for help “catching up.” Just as we did for many other organizations that remained open throughout the crisis, we jumped to help. The situation was especially urgent since we were approaching the time of year it’s critical to Beat the Heat®, meaning spay and neuter cats to prevent a boom in kitten births come springtime.
In all, 183 cats and kittens from across Montgomery County were spayed and neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and given necessary medical treatment through our grant. This has an exponential impact, as each cat reached means far fewer kittens will be born outdoors now that the weather is warming up and kitten season begins.
“The grant from Alley Cat Allies was a crucial funding source enabling MC C3 to carry on its work through the last part of 2020 and the first three months of 2021,” said Bob Hill, President of MC C3. “Montgomery County has a great need for TNR, and our trappers are dedicated and enthusiastic. We are very thankful to Alley Cat Allies for this generous support.”
Here are just a few heartwarming stories made possible by our emergency funding.
Jalapeno and Fluffy
When these two kitten siblings showed up in their caregiver’s yard one day in late 2020, it seemed impossible to find veterinary services to help them. The pandemic had shut down many low-cost veterinary clinics for so long, and backlogs of patients meant spay and neuter appointments were difficult to come by. Fortunately, Alley Cat Allies’ grant to MC C3 made the difference just in time.
Jalapeno and Fluffy were trapped, neutered, eartipped, and microchipped, as well as given all of their vaccinations through MC C3’s TNR program. Volunteers transported them to and from the veterinarian. Now the siblings are back and living happily together in their outdoor home—right in their caregiver’s backyard!
When regal Sambuca showed signs of pain in his tail, his caregivers in Silver Spring, Maryland, immediately reached out to MC C3 for emergency assistance. Upon assessment at a veterinary clinic, it was determined that the best decision for Sambuca’s health was to remove the tail through surgery.
Alley Cat Allies’ grant funded the operation, and Sambuca healed nicely. After making a full recovery, he returned to his outdoor home. It may look a little upsetting, but Sambuca is feeling much better and is pain-free now that he’s gotten the help he needed. He even has a little “hideout” on his caregiver’s porch where he enjoys to rest and relax.
The Twinbrook Cats
Alley Cat Allies’ grant to MC C3 was also a catalyst to help entire families of community cats. In the Twinville neighborhood of Montgomery County, 16 cats and kittens received care through MC C3’s TNR program thanks to our emergency funding.
Before our grant saved the day, the cats’ caregiver, Karyn, had watched kitten after kitten arrive in her neighborhood—and began to wonder if she could continue caring for them all.
“I was already putting out more money than I could afford trying to feed all of these cats. All I could see was the new kittens reproducing in a few months and more mouths to feed, with less and less food for each cat because I couldn’t afford any more,” she explained.
But it’s a new day! The cats, including Lightning, Misty, and Sammy, were all spayed and neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and eartipped by MC C3’s TNR program, thanks to Alley Cat Allies’ funding. The cats have all been returned to their outdoor home—and Karyn no longer has to worry about new kittens this spring.
To keep the cats’ bellies full, Karyn also received some much-needed support from MC C3’s food bank. Alley Cat Allies is pleased to cover the costs of veterinary care and help such food assistance programs thrive.
All of these cats and kittens were helped thanks to our dedicated supporters like you! Learn more about Alley Cat Allies’ COVID-19 response and relief work through Keeping Families Together™ and how you can help Beat the Heat® in your own community.