College Point Cat Rescue - 2007
Emergency Cat Rescue
In the Summer of 2007, we were asked to help a senior gentleman who was being evicted from his home in College Point, Queens. The request for help came from one of his friends who had met a Loving Touch volunteer. When we heard that the senior was desperate for help because he didn’t know what to do with his rescue cats, we wanted to help. Little did we know the man had over 80 cats in his home! He explained that many of the cats were “dumped on his property” by people that knew he was an animal lover. The bigger problem was that he had never spayed/neutered any of the cats so they were constantly reproducing. Nobody offered to help him and he could not afford the veterinary bills.
Knowing that we could not possibly take that many cats into rescue, we offered to take a handful and suggested that the man contact other organizations for help. We offered to post the cats, make calls, and do what we could for him, but there was no way we could afford the cost of rescuing that many cats. In addition to the cost, where would we put them?
The man was very upset when we told him that we could not take all of his cats. He did not want them to go to the city shelter for fear that they would all be euthanized. He threatened to put them out on the street if we did not help him. That would have been a nightmare. We needed to calm him down and think of a plan to help him. He wanted our word that we would not call the city on him.
A very kind senior supporter got involved. She offered to pay our outstanding veterinary bills so we could take the cats in. This very nice gesture put us in an embarrassing situation - how could we now not help the cats after she gave us money to pay our bills. We had to put our heads together and think of a plan. We started by taking in the youngest and sickest kittens. Some did not make it and some had to be euthanized. Since we all worked full time jobs it was impossible for us to do the whole rescue ourselves. With the help of our volunteers, all but 6 cats were rescued by the date of the eviction. Knowing that 6 cats remained in the home, we feared that animal control had been called so we planned to set up traps and leave notes to explain that a rescue group was trapping the cats.
Well, we had never been inside the home and in order to enter the “flea infested” home we needed to wear painter’s coveralls and masks. When we saw the condition of the home, we almost fainted. It was a horror house and very disturbing to know that someone actually lived there with all these helpless cats. We were more determined than ever to catch the remaining cats. We left traps and eventually caught five. The sixth cat was never found, but we feel that he/she might have escaped from the house.
All the cats were divided up into groups and taken to different vets for check-ups, testing, spaying/neutering and vaccinations. It was a very long process, but once again, our volunteers were there to help.
Some of the cats were taken to Happy Paws, Zulma’s Grooming Shop in Deer Park. Her wonderful staff members, who were always there to help with our rescues, set up a huge cage for the cats so they could be easily shown to the customers. Some cats went to Doreen and Paul’s house and some went to a Loving Touch member’s home. The senior man requested that he be reunited with some of his senior cats. We allowed him to take 3-4 cats. Once again, our kind senior supporter found a rentable basement close by for us to house the cats. That became expensive and we began doing all kinds of fundraisers to pay the bills. Many of the cats were adopted, but many were not and remained with us for the rest of their lives.