by Cody Hoellerman, Chief Community Engagement Officer
Although cats have always been an important part of their home, the Engle family didn’t have any experience with feral cats until they moved to Pittsburgh in 2017. After moving into a newly built house in a growing housing development, they quickly learned that they were sharing their new neighborhood with more than a few community cats.
“While we were happy to meet some of these cats and share our space, we quickly learned that providing food and shelter isn’t helpful unless you are also working to control the population,” says Carey. After a litter of kittens showed up in their backyard, Carey and Mike reached out to Animal Friends and began learning more about our Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) program. “We were looking for low-cost spaying and neutering services, and several people recommended that we check out Animal Friends. From the start we were so impressed by the range and quality of programs available.”
This spring, with help from their neighbors, the Engle family began supporting Animal Friends’ TNVR efforts, renting humane box traps and bringing in cats and kittens from their neighborhood colony to receive vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, microchips, ear tips and treatment for fleas, ticks and ear mites.
But the Engle family’s commitment to Animal Friends’ mission goes beyond their involvement with TNVR. Witnessing the importance of these types of programs and resources firsthand, they stepped up their support with a generous donation to further our efforts. And, Mike even arranged for a couple of surprises at Animal Friends’ recent golf outing, stepping up as the sponsor of our Hole-in-One prize and coordinating a special appearance by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 draft class!
We’re so grateful for support from families like the Engles, who live and breathe our lifesaving mission. “Our work continues, but with the resources through Animal Friends, we know we will reach our goal of a happy, healthy community of cats without any population growth!” says Carey. “We are happy to support Animal Friends and appreciate all they do for these furry creatures that fill our lives.”