Mopsey Malone and Salvador are playful, healthy, and thriving cats.  But last fall, their fate was uncertain. The team at the nonprofit CATNIP Foundation found the felines in a Louisiana trailer park where the group has been carrying out Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) thanks to a grant from Alley Cat Allies.

Mopsey, a black kitten, was tangled in a mop string that had twisted around his waist and was holding his back foot against his body. The string also likely prevented him from properly digesting food, so he was malnourished. Some of the string was so embedded in his skin that it had to be surgically removed, and veterinarians had to ensure his internal organs weren’t damaged.

Salvador was about 7 months old and appeared to have suffered horrible cruelty. He had severe road burn and a mangled ear. His tail was broken and dislocated. A few veterinarians believed his wounds were too severe to heal.  But CATNIP Foundation CEO Catherine Wilbert insisted that Salvador receive veterinary treatment.

After months of treatment and lots of care, including surgery, medications, and physical therapy, both cats are healthy and thriving. They can walk, run, jump, and play without any limitations.

In addition to the extensive medical care for these two cats, Alley Cat Allies’ October grant helped the CATNIP Foundation carry out TNR for about 400 cats as of February. The CATNIP Foundation isn’t the only group that Alley Cat Allies has helped care for cats. In 2018, Alley Cat Allies provided 15 grants to groups in states including California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.

CATNIP Foundation’s Wilbert says there are very few resources in the area such as low-cost spay and neuter for people who care for community cats. After the devastating 2016 floods in Louisiana, many displaced cats ended up living outdoors. Since then, populations have increased without TNR programs. Alley Cat Allies was on the ground assisting the CATNIP Foundation following these floods and also provided the group with a grant in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The CATNIP Foundation is working to get animal control and local governments on board with TNR and support spay and neuter efforts. It is also partnering with other animal organizations to help more cats.

The grants have “afforded us the opportunity to help people and animals in the neediest places who otherwise would’ve had absolutely no other resource,” says Wilbert. “The need here is overwhelming.”

Chincoteague Island Community Cats, Chincoteague, Virginia

Stache, a mustachioed tuxedo community cat, eagerly returned to his outdoor home on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, after he was neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and eartipped.

Stache was the 100th cat who volunteers trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned in 2018 as part of the Chincoteague Island Community Cats TNR program, supported with a grant from Alley Cat Allies.

The group continues to hold TNR clinics and carry out TNR on the island. It’s goal is to carry out TNR for another 100 cats in 2019.

Homeward Trails Finds Homes for Adoptable Cats and Kittens

Meow, an 11-year-old FIV-positive tabby cat, had been in an animal shelter for eight years when he was hospitalized for pneumonia. Luckily, Virginia animal rescue Homeward Trails, with help from Alley Cat Allies’ funding, stepped in and placed him in a foster home, so he didn’t have to go back to the shelter. The cuddly, affectionate cat was adopted in early December and can now live out his senior years in a comfortable, loving home.

The August 2018 grant from Alley Cat Allies supports this critical work of rescuing animals like Meow from shelters and finding them homes. The grant has been used for veterinary care, including for kittens who will come into the group’s new cageless cat shelter called Meow Palace, which will open in the summer to house kittens who come in during kitten season. Meow Place will allow Homeward Trails to increase the number of 3- to 9-month old kittens in its care by 50 percent, says Sue Bell, founder and executive director.

Bell estimates that Alley Cat Allies’ grant has funded medical care for 45 cats, including many seniors, and will help 35 kittens get initial veterinary check-ups.

“This is absolutely not something we could have done without this support,” says Bell.

Phoenix, a tan and white 7-year-old cat who’d been rescued from a rural cat sanctuary, was being treated for an eye infection when the Homeward Trails team learned she may have a rare neurological disorder affecting the muscles in her face—and it could worsen over time. Homeward Trails continued to provide veterinary care, and Phoenix’s foster caregiver decided to adopt her!

Blue Bear, a gray cat who was evacuated from a rural North Carolina shelter affected by Hurricane Florence, arrived at Homeward Trails with his eye swollen shut and in danger of rupturing, and a bad cold. After weeks of treatment and many trips to an eye specialist, Blue Bear’s eye was saved.

Alley Cat Allies relies on and appreciates the support of all of donors, who enable us to continue to provide grants that save cats’ lives.