Jackson Galaxy Picks NYC Feral Cat Initiative for October #MonthlyMojo

   

Jackson Galaxy Foundation Monthly Mojo - October 2016 - NYC Feral Cat InitiativeEach month, the Jackson Galaxy Foundation’s Monthly Mojo program rallies support for an animal welfare organization. Monthly Mojo is an example of the JGF vision in action. This unique program allows the use of the extensive media reach of Jackson Galaxy and the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to share the inspiring work being done by animal welfare organizations across the nation and even around the world.

The NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, is thrilled to be named the October 2016 #MonthlyMojo recipient!

For the full month of October, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase Jackson Galaxy’s TNR Cat Buddy toy. Filled with organic catnip, this Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) power kitty toy comes complete with a left eartip! $5 of each sale will directly benefit the NYCFCI. What a great way to celebrate National Feral Cat Day on October 16, to get a head start on your holiday shopping, or to share your love of community cats with a feline friend!

The NYCFCI will also be featured on Jackson Galaxy’s website, the Jackson Galaxy Foundation website, and GreaterGood.org, where you can read more about and make a fee-free donation to support the work we’re doing in New York City to help community cats. Finally, be sure to like the Jackson Galaxy Foundation on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram to catch our weekly #ShelterSunday stories, sharing how your help makes a direct impact on the lives of NYC’s feral and stray cats!

Thank you to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation for highlighting the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and celebrating our work this month!

#MaximizeYourMojo! Head on over to Jackson Galaxy’s website and get your TNR Cat Buddy toy today, or make a fee-free donation to help NYC’s community cats through GreaterGood.org.

Jackson Galaxy TNR Cat Buddy Toy

Learn More Save a Life. Donate Now.


Jackson Galaxy FoundationAbout the Jackson Galaxy Foundation
The Jackson Galaxy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity founded in 2014, and the realization of Jackson’s long-standing dream of bettering the lives of animals at risk and helping the people who care for them. JacksonGalaxyFoundation.org

   

NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI)About the NYC Feral Cat Initiative
The NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, supports the efforts of organizations and individuals who work to help stray and feral cats — collectively known as “community cats” — and perform Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in New York City. Our goal is to humanely reduce the population of community cats in NYC. NYCFeralCat.org

Posted in Cats, Events & Campaigns, Feral Cats & TNR, Fundraising | Leave a comment

Thanks to Our Supporters, Rozzy is Home!

   

Rozzy and TiffanyThis summer, we received a call from Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) about a dog named Rozzy, who had been found abandoned and tied to a street post. Upon his arrival at ACC, Rozzy was scanned for a microchip. Thanks to his microchip, it was confirmed that Rozzy was an owned pet.

When ACC contacted Rozzy’s owner, Tiffany, she explained that she had moved to Virginia. Unable to take Rozzy with her at the time of her move, Tiffany left her beloved dog with a trusted family member who promised to take care of him until Tiffany could pick him up. Sadly, this family member abandoned Rozzy on the street. Distraught upon hearing this, Tiffany immediately tried to figure out how to get Rozzy back. That’s when the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals was contacted.

Our mission is not only to our commitment to the day that no cats or dogs are killed simply because they are homeless, but also to work toward ensuring that owned animals don’t become homeless and wind up in a circumstance where they are at-risk for euthanasia. When we heard Tiffany and Rozzy’s story, we were determined to help!

A plan was set in motion, and Rozzy was on his way! Safely aboard the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope, he took the long journey from ACC in NYC to Maryland where his owner, Tiffany, was waiting for him with open arms.

Thanks to your support, the Wheels of Hope keep turning for dogs like Rozzy, and so many other deserving animals.

Don’t let pets like Rozzy become victims of circumstance. Join our Sustain the Success, Sustain the Love! campaign today, and your support will keep our life-saving wheels turning for NYC’s animals.

Sustain the Success, Sustain the Love!

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals works with more than 150 partner shelters and rescue groups to offer important programs and services that save the lives of NYC’s homeless pets and community cats.

Thanks to your support, 2015 was a year of substantial progress for the Alliance. We are thrilled to report that our community-wide Live Release Rate is now at an unprecedented 90%!

Save a Life. Donate Now.

   

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Dogs, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Microchipping, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New NYC Feral Cat Initiative Website Has Something for Everyone

   

NYC Feral Cat Initiative websiteThe NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, recently launched its newly designed website, NYCFeralCat.org, revamped to offer a better user experience. The reorganized, enhanced site is chock-full of easy-to-find information and resources for Certified TNR Caretakers and for anyone who is interested in learning more about feral and stray cats, collectively known as community cats.

For organizations and individuals working to help community cats, the website continues to offer in-depth information, and has many additional features, including:

The site now has material on what to do if you find a kitten as well as on community cats and the law, which should be of interest not only to caretakers but to the general public as well. In addition, there is general information about community cats and their care, including details about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the proven humane method of controlling community cat populations.

For anyone who cares about community cats and would like to help them, the new website addresses the wide range of tasks, skills, and abilities that are needed to manage a colony and offers options for individual involvement. There are also links to TNR certification and specialty training workshops and webinars.

With the latest news, links to other key community cat organizations, advice, resources, and ample photos of beautiful community cats, the new NYCFCI website is the cat’s meow!

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Thanks to Our Supporters, Pinky the Cat is Safe!

Pinky was discovered in the Bronx this summer with a rusty can stuck on her head.

Pinky was discovered in the Bronx this summer with a rusty can stuck on her head.

Last month, Marie, a concerned Bronx resident, contacted the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to request help for Pinky, a young, feral, gray tabby from a local colony, who was in trouble. Marie had spotted her wandering the streets with a rusty, broken can on her head. Unable to eat or drink in the extreme heat of the summer, Pinky was in dire need of assistance.

Marie had tried to get help for Pinky for almost a week, but to no avail. She reached out to the Alliance just in time. Within a matter of hours, Pinky was trapped and brought to a local feral-friendly veterinarian.

First, the vet sedated Pinky so that the can could be removed and she could be examined. Due to the amount of time she spent in the can, she was severely dehydrated, and had sustained some injuries from the metal cutting her skin. The vet administered fluids, antibiotics, and treatment for her wounds. After some TLC, Pinky was ready to be returned to her colony.

“Thank you for helping Pinky…when no one else would! We are very grateful to the Mayor’s Alliance. We tried to get help for a week and then called you. She’s doing great today!” – Marie, Bronx

After being trapped and receiving veterinary treatment, Pinky was returned to her colony.

After being trapped and receiving veterinary treatment, Pinky was returned to her colony.

Don’t let community cats like Pinky suffer in silence. Join our Sustain the Success, Sustain the Love! campaign today, and your support will strengthen the life-saving efforts of our programs, including the NYC Feral Cat Initiative…one cat at a time!

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Sustain the Success, Sustain the Love!

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals works with more than 150 partner shelters and rescue groups to offer important programs and services that save the lives of NYC’s homeless pets and community cats.

Thanks to your support, 2015 was a year of substantial progress for the Alliance. We are thrilled to report that our community-wide Live Release Rate is now at an unprecedented 90%!

Save a Life. Donate Now.

   

Posted in Cats, Events & Campaigns, Feral Cats & TNR, Fundraising | Leave a comment

Networking to Find Help in Caring for Community Cats

A permanent cat feeding station can be a great location to provide contact information and strike up conversations with neighbors about your TNR project. Photo by Kathleen O'Malley)

A permanent cat feeding station can be a great location to provide contact information and strike up conversations with neighbors about your TNR project. (Photo by Kathleen O’Malley)

Through its various workshops and other communications, the NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, encourages its Certified Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Caretakers to obtain neighborhood support and help with the ongoing care of their community cat colonies.

As the NYCFCI’s Director of Education, Kathleen O’Malley states, “The basic rule of thumb is that if you are doing everything for your colony by yourself, you are doing too much.” According to the NYCFCI, “You need to create a ‘deep bench’ of helpers,” so that you do not burn out taking care of a colony (or colonies) of cats on your own and so you and the cats are covered for whatever reasons you might need to be away for a day or longer. “In the best case scenario,” says Kathleen, “it takes a village.”

Kathleen points out that there are different roles in caring for community cats, ranging from TNR work to donating food to feeding the cats to ongoing maintenance of colony sites and more. It is important, she says, to recognize your limits and to seek out helpers who live in your community.

The NYCFCI is aware that many caretakers feel as if they have to do everything themselves because they believe that everyone in their communities is against the cats and, as a result, against the cats’ caretakers. Kathleen guarantees that this is not the case. “I wish something in life were 100%,” she says, repeating a statement originally made by long-term Certified TNR Caretaker Sheila Massey, “but nothing is, and luckily, that includes the statement that everyone in my neighborhood hates the cats.”

It is important to let neighbors know that you are working as part of a larger effort to help both cats and communities. (Photo by Kathleen O'Malley)

It is important to let neighbors know that you are working as part of a larger effort to help both cats and communities. (Photo by Kathleen O’Malley)

So, how does a neighborhood-wary caretaker go about finding supporters? By talking to people. As Mike Phillips of the NYCFCI and a long-term caretaker points out, “Because you are out there 365 days a year, you meet a lot of other people while you are taking care of the cats.” This is your opportunity to find and make allies.

Following a practice that he credits Sheila with initiating, Mike strongly recommends that you not hide what you are doing, but feed the cats out in the open, unless there is a clear sign of danger to the cats if you do so. This will provide you with an opportunity to create an awareness of and interest in what is happening with the cats.

Sheila recommends that you prepare a concise explanation about what you are doing that you are ready to share with anyone who stops to talk to you. It is important, Sheila cautions, that you weave the information into your casual conversation and not deliver it formally or as an educational lecture. The goal is to get people to realize that by taking care of community cats, you are really providing a benefit to people and to the community.

Shelia, who took care of at least one cat colony in upper Manhattan for six years, has a four-point message that she worked into her friendly exchanges with her neighbors. The main talking points are as follows:

  1. What I am doing is a program supported by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
  2. We trap cats and get them vaccinated so they are healthy and neutered in order to stop them from breeding.
  3. Then we put them back and feed them every day so that they will stay put.
  4. This way, we will not have any rats.

Sheila says you want people to understand that you are not a “crazy cat person,” but that you are part of something larger and working as a “we” for the good of all concerned. She also stresses that you don’t have to convince everyone to like the cats, that the goal is to get people to like and trust you.

Feeding your colony cats out in the open will provide you with an opportunity to create an awareness of and interest in what is happening with the cats in a neighborhood. (Photo by Maggie O'Neill)

Feeding your colony cats out in the open will provide you with an opportunity to create an awareness of and interest in what is happening with the cats in a neighborhood. (Photo by Maggie O’Neill)

What both Mike and Sheila have discovered is that the majority of people you talk to will be relieved that something is being done to help the cats and control their numbers and, as a result, to control the rat population. Some people will remain indifferent, and only a small minority will be “cat haters.”

Once you’ve identified people who are supportive of your efforts, you should establish an ongoing friendly dialogue and don’t immediately ask for help. First make sure someone is comfortable with the idea of helping out, and then start small. Perhaps ask them to pick up a bag of food for you one day if you’re stuck at work. Gradually work up to asking for what you need help with in an ongoing way. Sheila says it took her about three years of constantly talking to people on her block to get her “deep bench.” Before she left the neighborhood in 2014, she had dedicated colony feeders for six days of the week.

Networking within your community to find help in caring for your cat colony should be ongoing. It is, says Sheila, an essential, if sometimes overlooked part of being a caretaker. “Even when you are tired,” she says, “you still need to be upbeat and friendly.” In addition to talking to people as if they were all allies, Sheila also, early on, put flyers under her neighbors’ doors that explained the benefits of TNR. According to Kathleen, caretakers in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, recently sent a flyer around their community that featured cute photos of the cats in their care, adorned with hearts.

Another way to reach people who might be interested in helping out, suggests Kathleen, is to put up a sign near the cats’ feeding station with a dedicated e-mail address where you can be contacted.

The NYCFCI website provides a variety of free printed materials that you can use to educate and engage with your cat colony's neighbors. (Photo by Marc Birnbach)

The NYCFCI website provides a variety of free printed materials that you can use to educate and engage with your cat colony’s neighbors. (Photo by Marc Birnbach)

Mike recalls a huge project he was involved in on the Upper West Side that involved about 75 cats living in the same inner courtyard. “Every two feet there was another cat lounging in the sun,” he says. Mike enlisted a number of caretakers on the block, but realized that more help was needed. So, using flyers, he invited people to a block meeting. Only twelve people showed up for the first meeting, he remembers, a few of whom complained about the cats or where skeptical about them. However, seven of the twelve people volunteered, on the spot, to each feed the cats one day of the week.

It is obviously easiest, say Mike and Kathleen, to get people to help out once you’ve completed TNR of an entire colony. Then people will have had a chance to see for themselves that the cats are no longer yowling, spraying, fighting, and increasing in numbers, but are, importantly, continuing to control the rat population.

“People like to see good things happening in their communities,” says Shelia. That’s another reason to share success stories, such as the completion of a TNR project with your neighbors. Sheila was even able to tell her neighbors that two of her colony’s cats, Mr. McGee and Sampson, were going to appear in an episode of Animal Planet’s TV series Must Love Cats about working cats in NYC. The cats reportedly remained unaffected by their brush with fame, but the national publicity was undoubtedly a great networking boon for community cat caretakers everywhere.

Learn More View TNR Literature

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