Sunday, January 1, 2017

A 2016 Stillwater Cat Haven year-end review

This Blogspot has served as our webpage.  It is a time to celebrate holidays with family and friends.  It is also time to review our efforts at Stillwater Cat Haven.  We send our best wishes to all who visit our sites and efforts in trapping, spay/neutering, return or relocation (TNR), adoptions, and sanctuary.  Include our facebook.com/stillwatercathaven in your visits; this is managed by a dedicated volunteer, Nanci Sackett, and we have received many positive comments from its visitors; the facebook page is the most current about our ongoing activities.

Our region is full of Community Cat Colonies.  Moreover, most are out of control.  This year has been worse with calls about kittens produced by mothers without human owners.  This occurs under decks in residential neighborhoods and at trailer parks where living under skirting creates population numbers which become intolerable.  Similar places include community parks and open spaces and around trash containers at shopping centers and restaurants.  Few people are concerned until the numbers are too high or the health of the colony is in question.

Involvement to relieve these situation is a mission of Stillwater Cat Haven.  Just recently Haven Humane, the semi-public animal control agency, with the support of the Anderson City Manager, agreed to participate in an attempt to stabilize the community colonies of the local city park, through TNR.  We have been in partnership with this effort, communicating our knowledge of the colonies and helping in the trapping of the feral and abandoned cats at this park.  It is the first time that Haven Humane has offered to be part of community colony trapping and we are hopeful we can expand that commitment to other areas of the city.

Most of the kittens rescued in community colonies are adoptable.  Without our involvement they could be struggling to survive in the wild uncontrolled environments instead of possible adoption into loving, caring families.  Sometimes even those who are too feral to  be pets would be in better conditions than their current situation, such as barn cats helping in rodent control which would include supplemental feeding instead of survival in an uncontrolled community colony.

We have so many cats available right now, we are troubled wondering if all can be place in forever homes.  We have become a partner with Best Friends, a national 'save them all' animal care organization headquartered in Utah.  They developed a December promotion for $25 adoptions and we have used their publication materials to enhance our adoption possibilities.  The $25 is less than half of our costs for spay/neuter and care but if it results in movement of our animals to good homes instead of increasing our permanent population here it is most positive in the result.

Our success is in the statistics we have reported to Best Friends and to Shelter Animals Count.  From September 2015 through September 2016 we completed 222 spay/neuters, 95 adoptions and 125 feral returns or relocations.  We continue to monitor colonies we have worked with by nightly travel to those locations for supplemental feeding and observation of health or new additions to the Colonies.

Since our non-profit incorporation in 2011 through 2015 we reported 792 spayed or neutered cats/kittens.  When including this year's totals and our estimate since our first project of colony stabilization in 2000 until the incorporation there is another 700 cats, for an estimated minimum 1500 total cats that have been provided a better living situation, and kept from procreating a significant additional number.

These efforts carry the burden of  time and expense.  Initially we utilized inherited funds, but now we utilize our own retirement account to augment the funds necessary to continue at our current level of operations.  We do need help to do the work we have, and have agreed to compensate those that commit the significant hours they have.  Their income becomes a valuable addition to their families and a small boost to our community economy.  We have three shift situations; a morning route which visits community colonies we have stabilized and provides supplemental feeding, an evening feeding shift at our facility, and a morning cleaning of the previous night's efforts.  Part-time employees are at 70 hours a week and Volunteer time is approximately 130 hours.

We hope you have interest in our efforts and might consider financial support to Stillwater Cat Haven.  Donations are tax deductible, we are a charitable non-profit with a tax identification 27-4848192.  We would be most thankful for your help.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Stillwater Cat Haven continues to be amazed and thankful for all of the support that was generated for Boomer, a cat without ownership thrown from a car into the front yard of a home, and suffering with a broken leg.  When taken to the Gateway Veterinary Clinic the X-ray indicated the break and the estimate to repair was $1800.  Stillwater's resources are limited and we feared Boomer might not be treated without a search for community support.  And we found it particularly through our Facebook page, administered by Volunteer Nanci Sackett, from a Red Rover emergency care donation, a significant donation through the Marin County Ferals non-profit, from a posting on the emergency care support website Poundwishes, a local TV report on KRCR, and the great number of individual donors.  These efforts resulted in a request from People Magazine to place Boomer's situation on their pet page of information which generated our hope that additional funding might occur; to date that posting has produced a request from Florida for adoption, but nothing further!

Boomer has been adopted to a super couple who have added information to our Facebook followers about his progress and character.  This episode has been an amazing example of community support and successful medical treatment.  In the Blog previous to this we listed those who have been a part of this effort.  The following is a list of additional supporters which occurred since that posting:

Steve & Peggy Biro               Rosalind Sumner                 Francie Sullivan & Richard Rosenberry
Shay Yohanan                         Sandra Carreiro                  Janet Ballard
J.C, & L.M. McCarthy             Marianne Leopardo            Dr. & Mrs. Chandramouli
Barbara Ball                            Robert Chase M.D.             Allan Furhman
Sandra Davis

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Another bit of Boomer Information and Review
This situation has proceeded as well as we could have hoped for.  Boomer is not a feral cat, he is pleased to have human contact, loves to be touched, and is very handsome.  His operation for the broken leg has gone well.  He currently is in foster care with a vet tech employee at Gateway Vet Clinic where he may become adopted permanently.  He had been taken to the Clinic daily and therefore has had the best of care; he now is being left loose at his current home where he can exercise in rehabilitation rather than be confined in a cage at the Clinic. Doctor Tom is an experienced orthopedic surgeon, semi-retired, and he has done an excellent job with Boomer; his picture with Boomer is one of photos on our facebook page.

It is difficult to understand what transpired prior to our rescue.  Boomer's personality and bond with human contact contrasts with the abuse we were told about; being thrown from a car and having the broken leg defies the relationship that has occurred in our current situation.  We wonder if someone stole Boomer and then threw him out of the car, or.........We wish Boomer could talk about his past!

When we learned of the broken leg and the $1800 cost to treat it we were most troubled.  We were not capable of such an expense on a single animal.  After some thought we concluded we would attempt to find others who would share in the cost and share in saving Boomer's life.  We were a bit surprised at the ease and success of this effort and we want to again express our thanks to each of you who have participated.

The following is a list of those who are a part of this life saving effort.  Unfortunately we do not have the names of those who contributed directly through PoundWishes, the website posting which has generated $660 at this time.  Of particular note also is a $500 donation from Janet Williams, with the Friends of Ferals in Marin County, which is supported by a trust fund.  We also contacted RedRover in Sacramento a website which focuses on emergency vet care support; we received $200 from them which is their max donation amount.  We encourage donations to RedRover to provide additional funds and enable emergency financial support for others.

Other individual donors; and we hope we haven't missed some.  There are some who donated directly to the Gateway Vet Clinic and we aren't sure we have all of those individual names:
Erik Holmquist                            Laurie O'Connell                          Tracy Emerald
Kristen Noe (Chico)                   Janette Pilkington (Hayfork)        Anita DiVincenzo (Chico)
James McMillan (San Diego)   Janet &Canine Crew (Chico)      Judy/Timothy Carter
Jan/Greg Beale                          Rebecca Knight (muliple donations)
Tom Taylor                                  Duane/Kathryn Heiber (Red Bluff)
Trudi Varton                                Carole Berry                                    Jennifer Icenhower
Stacy Goodwin                           Jennifer Bryant (multiple donations)
Jeanne Christopherson             Paul Coxwell                                     Karen Hazeltine
Gail Olmstead                             Lisa Lozier                                        Pam Vansickle
Janet Flanagan

Somewhat amazingly, you all have accomplished the funds for Boomer's treatment.  We continue to need support to maintain our rescue and sanctuary efforts and we are hopeful those that have helped Boomer might consider additional donations and share in all of our future efforts.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 2015, Happy New Year from all of us at Stillwater Cat Haven

Here we are at the end of another year…..where has the time gone? We wish you all peace and joy in the year to come. It's hard to believe that 2016 will be our 16th year of operation here at the sanctuary. Don and I are now 74 and ‘creaky’ but hanging in there.  Our many cats and kittens are also healthy except for a few colds and continued need for flea control, worming, etc.
This has been a busy year that has had its successes and its challenges.  We have found homes and adopted out 72 cats, spayed/neutered 148, continue to feed and monitor 20 feral colonies as well as continue to TNR (trap, neuter, return) which is the only humane way to stabilize cat colonies. For more information on feral cats and TNR  go to alleycat.org as well as bestfriends.org.

Don's been busy, he finished the small "clubhouse" in the backyard which provides various levels for sleeping and relaxation, and we are now trying to insulate the garage and install cupboard cabinetry where bedding can be stored and improve wintertime sleeping quarters. Blankets and towels are always needed as are baskets big enough for 1-3 cats.
 
Our most recent news is that we have become a Best Friends Network Partner. This group is intent on supporting no-kill shelters and being a resource for groups such as ours.  Our first event with them was in November, the Black Friday Weekend Special which provided free adoptions. Zappos.com, an online shoe and clothing sales group, agreed to reimburse us for the adoption fees.  We took advantage of this on our adoption Sunday at Petco Thanksgiving weekend and what a success!  We had 9 adoptions in one day!!!  It was so exciting to know the cats had found loving homes.  We are most grateful to Best Friends and their partnership with Zappos.com.

During December there has been an Adopt a new Best Friend event during the entire month offering a special rate of a $25.00 adoption fee. Spay and neuters can cost $50-$60 and more so this is a bargain rate. There was no Zappos compensation in this situation but we decided we should see what happens with the support of Best Friends of Utah, primarily in advertisement and encouragement.  Unfortunately Don and I got bronchitis and were unable to be at Petco the Sunday before Christmas but, we were able to make it the following Sunday and are happy to report that there were 8 more adoptions. We look forward to many more successful events with Best Friends.

We have some adorable Siamese mix 3 month old kittens that were trapped at Win River Indian Casino by a friend. Win River prohibits feeding and trapping for adoption purposes any cats on their property !!!!!  We had 2 female cats in a box trap that we had been unable to catch previously and security officers made us let them go !!!!!  My friend is still feeding on the fringe. . . you can’t NOT feed !!!  If you have a chance, protest to Win River. 
 
A few months ago we were contacted by a local trucking company that had a growing population of cats and kittens living on the property. Some of the employees were feeding the cats to prevent them from starving to death. We decided to partner with the company in order to get the cats spayed/neutered to prevent the population from growing further. As you can imagine, this was an expensive and time consuming task.  We released the feral adults back onto the property and brought the kittens here where they could be taken care of and socialized while they got big enough to be spayed/neutered and put up for adoption. This contributed to our "kitten explosion" we had this year. So many kittens were abandoned and in need.  Many have been adopted but some are still here anxiously waiting for their forever homes. 

Unfortunately we see our share of cats that have been abused, abandoned and neglected. We find kitties in bad situations, whether from abuse or an accident, we don’t always find out, but we love them and try our best to help them heal and find new forever homes.

There were the unwanted youngsters found at a trailer park by one of our workers, and several kittens found on the doorstep of an empty house, abandoned when the owner moved.  Oh! and 2 were left at two different school sites, charming babies that have now been tested, spayed, given shots, wormed, and already adopted. One kitten we rescued from a deplorable trailer park had thick loose scabs all along his back and sides that our vet said were the result of burns!!! That little guy named Crusty stayed in the vet clinic for more than a month where he could be protected from infection better than we could do, wearing his little stockinette coat to hold all his scabs in place until the underlying skin was healed !!!! What a doll he was. He found his forever home with one of the hospital’s workers and was renamed Christopher. Yeah!!! Another little guy was said to have fallen out of the bathroom window and had a missing lower lip which exposed his pink gum and his teeth. He also found his forever home. Sadly, incidents such as these happen daily.

Our communities are full of cat colonies without owners; many we meet during our early morning feeding, monitoring route at 20 sites. This large population is way more than we can handle alone. Trap, Neuter, and Return is the only humane solution. Most in our community try to ignore the situation.  Public animal control agencies refuse to be involved in or to even encourage attempts to establish a more stable and healthy group of community colonies. There are a number of individuals with whom we have worked with in trapping, neutering, and returning (TNR) in locations like Caldwell and Anderson River Parks, but so much more is needed. We need a spay/neuter grant badly to support the costs that we incur. Haven Humane’s & CARE Animal Hospital’s updated charge of $45.00 -$61.00 feral cat fee for Felv/Fiv testing, spaying/neutering and giving rabies vaccinations becomes a very significant expense, particularly when groups of 10 cats in one night become a target for control as recently occurred at the trucking company’s service yard.  The supplemental feeding and monitoring expenses of multiple neutered/stabilized community colonies also becomes significant. 

Here are some of the ongoing expenses in the operation of our rescue:
TNR expenses                  $4,200 per month
Litter/food                         $3,850 per month
Other Vet expenses           $  850 per month
Meds and vaccinations      $  470 per month
Our expenses exceed $100,000 per year……
Thank you for the support and financial aid you have given us this year and we hope you can continue, as the current financial situation is grim at this time.  We have been working for 15 years to help these ignored/abused community cats....... and things are only slowly becoming better. We are dedicated to giving community cats a better life and eliminating their suffering.  If you are able to help us keep this rescue afloat and improve our community cat colonies and save more kitties PLEASE join us with your support; it is tax deductible. We also accept and appreciate donations of food, litter, used or new cat toys and beds, blankets, towels, cat trees.

Thank you and Happy New Year,


by Joan Neptune, founder of Stillwater Cat Haven, (530) 365-4861, a 501C3 non-profit organization   Visit us on Stillwatercathaven.blogspot.com or visit our facebook.com/stillwatercathaven where you can see many of our kitties, and click on the ‘Donate Now’ tab to be taken to our website to complete your donation.  Our mailing address is PO Box 278 Anderson, CA 96007 if you prefer to mail us a donation.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall 2015

Time does fly whether you are having fun, or not!  We have been so busy............
Our focus remains on stabilizing community cat colonies, feral and abandoned cats mostly unspayed or unneutered and uncared for.  We are unique in our efforts; we do not obtain adoptable cats from shelters, but work with the ignored uncontrolled colonies.  We maintain a nightly, now early morning route, to 20 sites for observation and supplemental feeding of colonies we have previously stabilized in a program of Trap, Neuter, and Return.

We began our work with colonies in community parks.  We have recently worked in trailer parks where colony cats live under the trailers and eat from scraps on trailer porches; there is no problem until the park managers realize the population has grown to out of control numbers and desperate measures are contemplated.  Commercial sites find cats living in the landscaping and eating from trash containers of fast food restaurants and grocery stores.  Residential problems result from home owners feeding a cat or two without the understanding that two can become 7 to 12 in a nine week gestation period.

This problem is huge as there are uncontrolled cat populations wherever they can even barely survive.  Community agencies do not acknowledge the problem, their resources do not seem to be sufficient for its scope, where night time trapping is of no interest to their staffing requirements.  Unfortunately the local animal control response to the problem is a suggestion that people lquit feeding cats and they will go away, which is not at all likely.  The uncontrolled cat population cannot be ignored.

Our current project is at a trucking company with large parking areas occupied by lots of feral cats and kittens.  Staff at the site have been feeding them, and they are willing to continue if the population size can be reduced.  There are many small kittens there, most of which are candidates for taming and adoption.  The kittens are cute, many are Siamese.  At this time of year there is an overabundance of kittens available for adoption, but we are hopeful that the character and qualities of these kittens will be favored for family adoptions, instead of their remaining with the less satisfactory life of a community colony living at the trucking company.

We could use your help in these endeavors.  Spay and neuters for ferals cost nearly $50 each including tests and rabies vaccinations.  When you deal with 7 adults and 15 kittens the costs become very significant.  The trucking company has agreed to support much of this current effort, but the expenses we have with all that we have been doing are not matched by our income and we struggle to survive.

Stillwater Cat Haven, Joan and Don Neptune
P.O. Box 278, Anderson CA 96007
(530) 365-4861