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"To enhance the lives of community cats by promoting spay and neuter and providing training and mentorship in TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return)."
The Community Cat Coalition (CCC) was formed in November 2011 when a few people realized that if rescue groups, shelters, and independent rescuers work together, we can make a positive change in the lives of our community cats. The CCC is an all volunteer o r g anization . All funds go toward the efforts of TNR including paying for spay/neuters, vaccines, medical care for injured/sick free roaming cats, or the costs of fostering the kittens who are removed from the sites. By funding these expenses, we hope to involve those who have been financially unable to take on the work of TNR alone. Until now, the collective resources have been scattered, and there has been little help for the individual rescuers in the communities. Our goal is to educate interested people in our area so there is a common understanding of what a community cat is and how to care for them. Community cats may be feral, semi- feral, or abandoned/stray tame cats. These community cats belong to no one person, they belong to all of us. This concept is taking hold worldwide, and we can make a difference right here, in our communities. So, how do we plan to do this?
1 - Education. We provide classes in basic TNR, (Trap-Neuter- Return) open to the public and all shelters/rescues. We give people the tools to do TNR safely and effectively. We also offer classes on related topics, such as care of bottle babies, taming feral kittens, and how to do a barn relocation. All classes are free.
Another educational venue is the Internet. We post frequent stories/information on our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/CommunityCatCoalitionWa
2 - Mentorship. We provide a list of mentors to all who attend the classes to ensure there is support for the new person doing TNR. By doing so, we endeavor to build their confidence and encourage their future involvement.
3 - Support. We have set up an email support group where people may communicate 24/7. Sometimes it is a place to ask questions/get answers, at other times it is just a place to share the ups and downs of being involved in cat rescue. This group provides a sense of community, the knowledge that every person in the organization matters. Each of us has a part to play, whether we are trapping, training, fundraising, answering emails, fostering feral kittens, creating documents and tracking records, or providing emotional support to others.
4 - Fundraising. We received our Letter of Determination from the IRS granting our organization tax exempt status effective July 11, 2012. We have an experienced volunteer conducting fundraising events and responding to fundraising opportunities.
5 - Community support. We have established an email account in order to provide a way for anyone to reach out and contact us with questions ( c firstname.lastname@example.org). While we often receive requests for us to come and do the work, we try not to do this. Our goal is to help our community understand how to take care of the problem in their own backyard. There are occasional exceptions, and we may have volunteers who are able to help in a TNR effort.
We’ve also scheduled large cooperative trappings involving several organizations and independent rescuers, where we can TNR a large area together
in a short period of time. In our first year we did 3 cooperative trappings; the goal for 2013 is 4. This provides a way
for many people to be involved without any one person having to do it all. The plans and the follow up are shared with all, which helps to promote the feeling of community and camaraderie.
The Community Cat Coalition is a new organization, and we will undoubtedly be adding more activities as we proceed. The main focus, however, will remain TNR.
Thank you for your interest in TNR and CCC.
What are the goals for the CCC? Education is number one.
- Educate the public about community cats.
- Present classes to promote TNR and increase the numbers of people able to trap.
- Provide mentors to provide support in the learning process.
- Support beginners by loaning equipment to assist in the TNR process.
- Offer resources to members of the public who are dealing with community cats.
- Train individuals to come up with solutions for community cats in their own backyards.
- Relay info to those who contact us with questions but are unable to attend classes - be a resource for where to turn, what to do.
- Provide a support network for people actively involved in helping the community cats
- When the funds are available, offer financial assistance to those doing TNR.
- Establish cooperative trapping, so no one individual has to do it all.
- Make this coalition a vibrant, enthusiastic venue for people who truly care and want to help the cats and the community.
- Nancy Wahl
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