A few weeks ago, I met with Lana Bajsel and Maria Conlon of Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue in San Francisco. Lana is Give Me Shelter’s Founder and Director, and Maria is a volunteer who helps with everything from social media to the facilitation of adoptions and fostering care for both senior cats and special needs kittens.
“Why do you volunteer?” I ask Maria.
Through a giggle, she shares, “Because you know, you can’t keep all the cats yourself. It takes a village. We’re a totally volunteer run organization. Any money donated to us goes directly to the cats for care and medical intervention. Last year we spent over $80K on medical intervention.”
As Maria is speaking she holds 11 year old Mars, who is one of many senior cats who Give Me Shelter supports. Maria explains, “I help pull at-risk cats from the city’s shelters and find placement for them.”
“Who are the at-risk cats?” I ask.
“Special needs behavior cats. Adult and senior cats that have medical issues. These are the cats that need some special attention and a person who can really help them build their confidence. From time to time we also save special needs kittens and 3 legged kittens.”
Lana shares that every single dollar raised on YouCaring helps. “ What your donations do is actually save lives. As we all grow older, we need medical intervention. Many cats are euthanized for having medical conditions that can be easily resolved with a little funding, so every dollar we gain goes directly to the animals. We can give these animals a quality of life. Whether for one year or ten. Without your help these animals would perish.“
It’s clear that for both Maria and Lana, the reward is in finding homes for these cats and proving that every life matters.
Whether you’d like to donate to Give Me Shelter or learn more about fostering or adopting a cat, please visit their YouCaring fundraising page.