When we visited the neighborhood we immediately saw what they meant – nearly two dozen filthy, starved cats and kittens roamed the street. It was overwhelming. And, it seemed that all of these felines were visiting one specific house – Miss Sylvia’s.
Miss Sylvia is an elderly widow, perhaps in her 80s. She lives alone and suffers from Alzheimer’s. She is a mother to children that have grown and moved away. And more recently, Miss Sylvia became a caregiver to more than two dozen cats.
To Miss Sylvia, these cats are so much more than just animals that need food and shelter.Several times a day, neighbors spot her padding onto her porch in her slippers to feed them.
There on her porch is where Miss Sylvia spends her waking hours. Through snowfalls and thunderstorms, she’s there cooing and talking with her animal friends. It’s clear these cats are the reason for her to get up in the morning.
And if that isn’t sweet enough, Miss Sylvia also selflessly shares the food from her own plate.Some days the cats get spaghetti and meatballs, other times, chicken. But never cat food,she couldn’t afford it.
We ventured to Miss Sylvia’s house. With pink plastic curlers in her hair, she answered the door. We tried to find out how much food she needed to care for the cats but she politely refused and humbly wouldn’t admit to feeding the cats. So we did what we could and left some cat food with her.
Not only did we need to get the colony’s population under control, we needed to help Miss Sylvia. So we started by successfully trapping the 20 cats from her yard who were then spayed/neutered and vaccinated at Animal Friends. After they recovered, they were returned to their home. To Miss Sylvia.
But it won’t stop there. She still needs our help. Miss Sylvia needs the proper tools and resources to better care for her beloved cats. So we’ll keep trying, and eventually, we’ll get her everything she needs.”
Animal Friends commits nearly $1 million of our annual budget to keep spay/neuter affordable and accessible to low-income families – like Miss Sylvia. But we can’t fight the pet overpopulation crisis alone. To be a true resource to pet owners and communities, we need your help.
There is no better time than now to invest in spay/neuter. To keep our clinics running through the end of the year, we need to raise $250,000. Together, with you, we can make a difference in the lives of pets and people in our region. Together, we can end pet overpopulation.
Kind supporters, like you, are our reasons to be thankful this holiday season.