Help the homeless cats of East Harlem!

For: The cats, kittens and community of East Harlem
New York, NY
Organizer: Jennilyn Carson
$240
of $1,500 goal.
Raised by 4 donors
16% Complete
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The Story

I will preface all of this by saying the whole experience was/is no doubt the most challenging thing I've done in my life so far! I'm currently caring for 16 cats rescued from the streets of East Harlem, and I can tell you, it's no piece of catnip cake.  

Just call it Jenniy's Cat Santuary. I am my own SPCA. There's more work to be done and more cats to help...and I really need your kindness to continue.

Will you help the homeless cats of East Harlem get healthy and find homes? Please consider donating! Any amount helps. Honestly...every single dollar makes a difference. 

Here's how everything happened:

I'm an animal lover living in East Harlem where there are LOTS of stray and feral cats on the street. It breaks my heart to see these cats and kittens who are hungry or homeless or sick without proper care so I decided to try and do something about it.

In early December I began a TNR project (Trap-Neuter-Return) at a nearby community garden where there was a colony of almost two dozen cats and kittens. I didn't quite know what I was doing — this was my very first project like this — but I was determined to try and help them before the winter fully hit. Luckily, I had help from an amazing fellow rescuer — East Harlem Kitty Rescue — who had been doing this for years and whom I could not have done this without. Together we managed to trap 23 cats over the course of a week.

We spent over 6, 7, 8 hours every day, sometimes sticking it out into the wee hours of the morning in the cold waiting to trap the scared and shy kitties. 

During the week we were trapping I spent long hours checking in on the cats twice a day to feed them, clean their traps and try to figure out who was a friendly stray and who was a feral kitty who would be returned to their colony. This was emotionally draining for me as I want to save them all! But I learned quickly that there are feral kitties who would be happier and better off outside with their colony.

The whole experience was extremely exhausting and intense, but it was so worth it. I can't give up now.

The cats were brought to the ASPCA where they were spayed and neutered, provided with rabies and FVRCP (feline distemper) vaccines, and treated for fleas and other health issues if they had them. This all amounted to over $300 of initial costs right off the bat that I was happy to pay for out of pocket. 

Several cats have been returned to the colony where I've put together shelters to help keep them safe and warm through the winter. We determined that 16 of the catswere friendly enough — most likely strays who were dumped out on the street or had gotten lost somehow — to be given a chance to be adopted. 6 of them were 5-month old kittens^..^

There was nothing else to do but take these cats in myself. So since December I've been caring for them as their foster mom, spending time with them, feeding them and doing my best to remind them that humans are their friends. It's been such an incredible and challenging experience. (My fiance has been wonderfully patient!)

My life has completely changed for the better because of this experience and I want to keep doing whatever I can to help these cats in my care as well as the cats of the neighborhood. They deserve it!

Here's why I need your help.

I've been paying for all of this out my own pocket and I admit it's been a bit of a struggle. It's amazing how much food and litter costs add up with the care of these guys, plus my own 3 kitties. And so I'm asking for your help...any little bit you can give would be so greatly appreciated and 100% will go towards helping these cats and continuing to help the cats of East Harlem.

You donations will help me:
  • Cover food and litter costs as I foster these kitties and help them find furever homes
  • Pay for further health care costs including medicine for upper respiratory infections and FIV/FELV testing (feline aids and feline leukemia)
  • Cover costs of building more warm shelters
  • Donate food to the wonderful people in the community who regularly feed cats in various colonies
  • Continue doing more projects by starting the East Harlem Cat Rescue TNR Fund and helping more cats in my neighborhood.
My deepest gratitude to you, and heartfelt thanks to the incredible work and support of these organizations without whom this would be impossible: ASPCA, Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Feral Cat Initiative, Neighborhood Cats, Alley Cat Allies.

How I got started:
I started with regularly feeding a couple of cats outside my building during the winter (which I still do). Then I set up a warm shelter for them to protect them through the cold. I wanted to do more so I started researching online, which led me to learning about TNR and how it helps cats stay healthy and safe. And by keeping the population down this benefits the cats as well as the entire community. Before attempting TNR I had taken in 3 friendly stray cats who have since been adopted into loving homes. Love to Ziggy Stardust, Freddie Mercury (aka Cat Stevens), and Elton John.

The benefits of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) via Alley Cat Allies:Thank you so much for your generosity! If you have any questions about TNR or shelters or caring for cat colonies in your area please don't hesitate to contact me.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 29, 2016

Posted on January 29, 2016

Be a Foster Human

A major reason why I'm taking care of so many kitties myself is that it's actually really hard to find willing fosters. BUT fostering animals is so important — it's incredibly rewarding and can save lives!

Of course, I'd love the kitties to find furever homes but in the meantime, some of them could really use some loving care in a foster home where they could receive more attention. There's only so much of me to go around! Plus, some of the kitties would do better in a single or zero cat home.

Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Fostering a Pet (via Adopt-a-Pet):

1. Test the Waters. Fostering is an opportunity to “sample” different kinds of pets, and what it’s like to have one if you’re not yet ready to commit forever.
2. Entertainment. You’ll never be bored! There is always something to do with your foster from cuddling to playing fetch.
3. Be Proud. Getting a homeless pet ready for adoption by giving your love, time, and friendship is such a rewarding feeling.
4. Community. Make new friends by fostering! It’s a great way to meet new people who care about animals.
5. Life Saved. Opening your heart and home is an important part of saving a life. Fostering a pet is one of the most direct ways you can help an animal.
p.s. Tax-Deductible. Fostering-related expenses may be tax-deductible!  Ask your tax professional for advice.

Have some fears about fostering? You're not alone. This articleprovides some helpful info on the fears and benefits of fostering a pet. 

xoxo
JL

Posted on January 27, 2016

Posted on January 27, 2016

Good news! Spooky and Smokey have already been adopted to their furever homes and Herbert, Seymour, Tuna & Oyster are at the ASPCA right now up for adoption! 

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