Thank You CRAFT Supporters - Please Read.
Date: Nov 27, 2011
Cat Rescue, Adoption & Foster Team would like to sincerely thank all of our many dedicated volunteers, adopters, donors, and those in the community who have supported us over the years. In addition, our thanks goes out to the local veterinarians who have worked with us to provide spay and neuter services, and the invaluable care of the sick and injured, and otherwise forgotten, cats and kittens of Central Oregon and beyond.
Since its inception in 2008, CRAFT has helped neary 10,000 cats and kittens. All of those years were very challenging.
While the humane society shelters have benefited from a great deal of taxpayer funding, CRAFT was not eligible because we are cats only (no dogs). This has meant that all funds needed to operate had to come from donations and whatever grants we could get through a competitive process. CRAFT got some reduced cost veterinarian services, but nothing was free. CRAFT also could never get the media exposure that others enjoyed because they are so much bigger, with more influence. We had to pay for media exposure while others got free time on TV and radio.
CRAFT was always volunteer only, with no paid staff. This enabled us to use donations and grants for direct care of the cats. While we would take in and give equal care to any cat - old, sick, injured, feral, semi-feral, part of a colony, dark colored, scared, etc. - most shelters do not want to spend resources on cats (or dogs) that they consider 'unadoptable', and put them down.
As long as a cat has quality of life, regardless of personality, age or ailment, we believe that cat deserves a chance, and that there is an appropriate home for each. For some hard-to-adopt out cats, their new 'home' was with CRAFT but, with a cage-free facility, they adjusted and CRAFT volunteers became their new family.
We had a very successful 'barn/shop cat' program, matching up feral or semi-feral cats with farmers, ranchers and others who would care for them in exchange for natural rodent control.
We would have loved to see CRAFT continue for many years, because the need is there. We hope that others will recognize this need and step up, even if for just one or a few cats that require help.
Alternatively, if the big shelters in this area would finally join this century and work towards a no-kill community, that would give hope to all local companion animals. Many other communities in the U.S. and other countries have done this successfully, and what a difference it makes! Something that all can be proud of!
The one big local shelter here owns almost everything free & clear, and has millions of dollars in reserves (rainy day funds). Some of that money could be used to create a true no-kill community, which has been done in some areas with a lot fewer resouces. What it takes is a commitment and a change in philosophy of the board of directors and upper management, and unfortunately that may mean mostly a new board that truly cares more about all animals than having millions in the bank.
In the meantime, animals go to their death in shelters or remain without care on our streets. And far too many residents either don't care or choose to be ignorant of the cold, hard facts.
If the directors and volunteers of CRAFT have any regrets, it is not for all the challenges, hours spent and emotionally draining work they did. The biggest sadness is that we won't be there to help the cats in the future the way we were able to as a group. Thanks to all who played a role in almost 10,000 cats and kittens getting care and having a chance at life.