Now that 2012 is over, I can finally sort some of it out. The year included venturing into new territory, primarily the world of animal rescue. I mean, sure, we've helped street cats for many years now, but always stayed separate from what most rescue groups do: get animals out of the city pound. We got to help out when a woman who was fostering some of our cats suddenly and tragically died, leaving her 14 charges homeless.
It was a crash course in what rescue groups do every day. We suddenly had to find placement for all these cats, some of whom had been taken to Animal Care & Control. Getting them out was top priority since the ACC has a pretty terrible record of killing pets without much cause or warning.
The short version of our part of this much larger story: We spent several hours at the ACC to get a kitten (Jack) out of stir. He was one of our cats (we had trapped him and his mom in Bushwick a month before) who the woman was fostering. We had his microchip info so getting him out shouldn't have been a big deal. Of course, even with relatively thorough paperwork AND proof of ownership with the microchip, it took them hours to actually make this happen. Meanwhile we got a front-row seat to the parade of misery and sadness that is the city pound: people dumping cats and dogs that they "found" (people surrendering their pets have to pay to do it, but 'samaritans' who bring in strays are charged nothing, natch), people trying to adopt pets but having to wait hours to get anywhere (most gave up and left while we were there).
There were 2 instances of something not-awful happening. A family looking to adopt a dog ended up taking the young dog a woman was trying to surrender, before the dog went into the shelter proper. This actually happened twice while we were there, I suspect more pets are 'adopted' this way than through the official channels. Too bad they make it easier to dump a pet then to adopt one.
Anyway, we got Jack back and took inventory of the other cats still remaining. Working with many other people, the remaining cats were eventually liberated as well. While we were at the shelter, an intrepid band of volunteers were literally breaking into the woman's apartment to retrieve the remaining cats (the authorities refused to let them in normally, basically claiming they had taken all the cats; there were 5 cats still inside).
A couple of the cats were adopted straight away. Animal Haven, a lovely no-kill shelter, also took in several cats (all of whom have since been adopted), and we ended up with 6 cats. Two were our original cats (Jack and his mom Beulah), but we also took Ernie and Minnie (not fosters but the woman's pet cats) as well as Beau and Mrs Beasley.
We also briefly had Ike, but he soon made it to Animal Haven where he was promptly adopted.
We now have only Minnie and Beau to adopt out, it's been pretty inspiring to see how quickly the group is finding homes. But it's been somewhat brutal getting here. The folks who do this kind of rescue work must be masters of patience and self-control. One day at the ACC and I was getting close to maximum overdrive, I have no idea how they stand it on a regular basis.
In 2013 we're hoping for a return to our TNR focus, but to get there we need to accomplish a few things first. First we need to complete getting our nonprofit status. We have the easy part done, now we just need tax exempt status which is proving hard to finish. Second, we need to get our internal cat inventory whittled down more. We have 4 cats to adopt out before we can take on more projects, but we're hoping to find some good adopters early this year.
Next posts will review who's been adopted since Malibu and her kittens decamped, there's been quite a few.
Oh and we got a ROOMBA!