This month, I interviewed Diviya Roney, who is in charge of the Furkids Community Cat program. Headquartered in Cumming, Furkids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in the Southeast for rescued cats, as well as Sadie’s Place, a no-kill shelter for dogs. If you missed my interview with Samantha Shelton, founder of Furkids, last month, read it here.
Describe Furkids’ cat program.
The Community Cat program was launched on July 1, 2022. We focus on spay and neuter and education. We also provide resources and support to the community.
If someone has cats living in their neighborhood, what should they do?
They can email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide instructions and rent out traps. Feeders are the best trappers, as they know the cats’ schedules. If you can’t physically do it, we can send our volunteers to help. Contact us first to set up a plan. Please don’t trap before a plan is in place to TNR (trap, neuter, return) the cat.
What does TNR involve?
The rule is that if you are feeding outdoor cats, you must TNR them. The only way to reduce the overwhelming cat population is TNR. The cats must be returned to their colony after spay/neuter. We train people on how to run their colony, including deworming and providing shelter.
How many cats have you helped?
We already are in 22 counties in Georgia, and we have helped more than 800 cats. We aim to help 100 cats each month. We don’t care where you live in Georgia; we will support you.
What story do you like to tell?
Frida’s Foundation is a story that is close to my heart. The reason I founded Frida’s was due to a human being getting no support and consequently committing suicide. Frida’s Foundation and Furkids’ mission is to help people struggling and lifting them up. Animals help people tremendously and keep them going. We are here to support people, keep animals in their homes or colonies intact.
Has it been easy stepping into this role at Furkids?
Furkids has made the transition easy. This (Community Cats program) is replicating Frida’s on a much larger scale. I am still running both. The name recognition has been helpful. (Frida’s Foundation is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Clayton County, committed to eliminating euthanasia of healthy pets and community cats through high-volume spay/neuter, community outreach, collaboration and advocacy. Learn more at www.fridasfoundation.com.)
How can the community help?
Donations are a huge help to cover spay and neuter. We need traps, too, if you want to donate those. We also need food for our food pantry. We are supporting a lot of people with new colonies, and a lot of people who help community cats need ongoing help with their colonies. We provide medical assistance and food for their cats. Volunteers and trapping volunteers also are needed. And, just getting the word out about our mission and how we can assist is helpful. We help struggling families and are not county-specific.
– Rob Macmillan is on a mission to help shelter dogs and cats. On Facebook @robsrescues. www.robsrescues.com.
These dogs are at Cobb County Animal Services, waiting for homes.
This dog’s name is Boss. He was adopted as a puppy from the Cobb County shelter. He is a 2-year-old small terrier. He is good with kids and other animals. He was turned in because his family was moving to another state and could not afford to take him.
This dog’s name is Shadow. He was a cruelty case in his old home, but is a staff favorite in the shelter. He was only 24 pounds when he came to the shelter. Now, he weighs 31 pounds. He is friendly, playful and affectionate. One of the staff members wrote a message on his cage: “I have never met a dog more deserving of love. Everyone adores him!”
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