In 2018, Alley Cat Allies rushed to protect cats and kittens in Ventura County, California, who were endangered by the deadliest fire season in the state’s history. We supported groups focused on saving, treating, and reuniting cats (like Roni) with their families through an unprecedented disaster.
Fast forward to today, in 2020, and we have helped Ventura County face a new far-reaching challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. We gave an emergency grant to Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) to once again protect cats at the most urgent moment.
Our COVID-19 emergency funding, as part of our Keeping Families Together™ campaign, has provided food, medical care, vaccinations and other lifesaving support to cats in Ventura County and communities across the U.S. We are especially focused on ensuring cats and kittens continue to receive the nutrition they need to thrive, wherever they call home.
“The funding from Alley Cat Allies is making a significant positive impact not only because of the hundreds of animals it helped feed, but also for members of our community who were craving good news during a time of uncertainty,” said VCAS Director Jackie Rose.
Feeding Hungry Kittens
A group of kittens found without their mother in the Ventura County city of Oxnard now have full bellies, warmth, and safety thanks to Alley Cat Allies.
With lifesaving services for animals hard to come by due to the pandemic, VCAS used much of our emergency funding to secure supplies for young kittens and sick or injured cats.
So when a good Samaritan brought the Oxnard kittens in to VCAS, staff were able to swiftly put them on the path toward gaining weight and thriving. Our funding continued to support the kittens as they grew up healthy and strong in a foster home.
With kitten season underway and many spay and neuter services limited or halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our emergency funding had a key role in feeding many more Ventura County kittens.
Community Cats Benefit, Too
VCAS’ other primary focus for our funding was the ongoing care of community cats. When CeeCee, a petite Siamese mix living outdoors as part of an Oxnard community cat colony, needed urgent help, VCAS was able to jump into action because of us.
CeeCee was just a kitten herself when she gave birth to her own litter on her caregiver’s lawn. It was obvious to her caregiver that the new mother and kittens needed some assistance, so they brought the whole family to VCAS. There, with help from Alley Cat Allies’ funding, mom and kittens received food, supplements, and expert care. Slowly but surely, CeeCee and her kittens got healthier and stronger. When the kittens turned 8 weeks old, all were spayed and neutered and adopted into loving homes.
Meanwhile, the rest of CeeCee’s colony was trapped, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and returned through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Our funding supplied cat food to their caregivers, who said they are “…very appreciative for all the help and support during these troubling times of social isolation.”
CeeCee’s colony is just one of the many to receive cat food through Alley Cat Allies’ emergency grants to groups across the country. In Ventura County alone, we have enabled VCAS to distribute hundreds of pounds of canned and dry cat food to multiple community cat caregivers and organizations.
Forging Lifesaving Innovations
Our Keeping Families Together™ campaign is giving communities the tools to come together and provide the long-term aid cats will need through the COVID-19 crisis. Because of our support, VCAS was able to forge a groundbreaking partnership with the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging to work toward this goal.
The Agency delivers meals to at-risk members of the Ventura County community, including seniors, people with disabilities, low-income households, and those financially impacted by COVID-19. Now, before they deliver, the agency’s volunteers stop by VCAS’ Pet Pantry to also load up on animal food purchased with the Alley Cat Allies grant.
“While they drop off human food to their clients, they ask if they have pets who need food. And thanks to Alley Cat Allies, they are able to deliver!” says VCAS Director Rose.
Moving Forward Through COVID-19
In this time of unprecedented difficulty, Alley Cat Allies is determined to make the needs of cats a priority. In Ventura County, other communities in California, and across the country, our support is a light in the dark for thousands of cats, kittens, and caregivers—and it is all thanks to the continued compassion of our supporters.
To learn more about the many ways we are protecting and improving cats’ lives during the COVID-19 crisis, visit alleycat.org/Coronavirus.