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Project Purr

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Project Purr is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives of unsocialized cats and kittens by providing accessible low cost feral cat spay/neuter to all Santa Cruz County, California residents, regardless of income. Project Purr advocates Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only effective and humane solution to reducing cat overpopulation.

Geographic areas served: the County of Santa Cruz, California

Programs: Project Purr is a non-profit feral cat/kitten rescue organization. Founded in 1987, Project Purr has been serving the residents of Santa Cruz County, California for 31 years and currently provides a free, unlimited feral cat and kitten spay/neuter program. Our mission includes educating and enabling our community to improve and save cats’ lives while humanely reducing the feral cat population. Our 100% volunteer organization works tirelessly to encourage residents to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) unsocial cats and kittens in their neighborhoods. Project Purr brokered and funds two veterinary partners in north and south county. Last year our organization was responsible for spay/neutering almost 1,000 cats, not only improving the lives of those cats, but also humanely preventing thousands of kittens being born to an uncertain future. We offer this program completely free, regardless of income, and no voucher required. Unlike other animal rescue organizations that facilitate cat and kitten adoptions and whose adoption fees act as seed money to continue rescue, Project Purr subsidizes volume spay/neuter that has no cost recovery. The spay/neuter program includes FVRCP and rabies vaccines, parasite prophylaxis, microchip, and mandatory eartipping, a permanent visual identification that the cat has been fixed. Project Purr’s "Fix ’n’ Feed Pets In Need" program, which collects and distributes donated dog and cat food to those in need, was started with Valley Churches United food pantry in Ben Lomond, which helps homeless, low income, and seniors. Shortly afterwards distribution grew to include the St. Francis soup kitchen in Santa Cruz. Larger bags of food are broken down to manageable three pound bags. The need for pet food has increased and we are now distributing over 250 pounds per week year round. Keeping animals healthy and out of the shelters helps all animals. Again this year, a Project Purr board member taught classes at the Santa Cruz SPCA summer camp for kids. Learning the difference between a stray and a feral cat and the need to spay/neuter all outside cats teaches our children a kinder and more inclusive way to treat animals. Entering into its third year, Project Purr’s "Kits for Kittens: Saving the lives of the littlest" distributes packets with the items needed to help community members learn to feed and nurture very young orphaned kittens. Due to the intensive process of bottle-feeding, care taking and socialization, shelters often lack adequate resources to address all of those demands, resulting in a high risk of euthanasia. Each kit provides training material and products needed to raise the kittens to eight weeks old, when they can be spayed/neutered and adopted. Almost all of the kits distributed to pickup points throughout the county were used and countless kittens lives were saved. One of Project Purr’s co-founders, Lynne Achterberg, received the Santa Cruz County Volunteer Center's “Be the Difference” individual award and was recognized as one of the top individuals who do the most to transform our community. Most people love animals, many want a better world for them, and a surprising number work hard every day to make that dream happen. All of this comes together in Project Purr’s benefit resale shop, Rescued Treasures, now starting its sixth successful year. Thanks to its success, Project Purr supports life-saving surgeries, volume feral cat spay/neuter, serves as a resource for information on cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and has become a model for fundraising success to other animal rescue organizations nationwide. Each cat we spay/neuter today saves tens, then hundreds, then thousands of animals from entering tomorrow’s animal shelters. Trap-Neuter-Return prevents future unwanted kittens, lessens the strain on our overburdened animal shelters, and saves resources and taxpayer money. We appreciate and salute everyone for their ongoing efforts to humanely curtail the seemingly endless seasons of kittens and help our community achieve the goal of no more homeless animals. And thanks to the support of our animal-loving community, all of Project Purr’s programs are fully funded.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Stephanie C.8

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have the deepest respect for this organization. They help animals that no one else will take the time for. Anytime I have asked for help or information they have been there for me.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2013 we bought a horse boarding ranch off Larkin Valley and started doing business as Equisance, Inc. Rodents were a HUGE problem and some research took us to the Barn Cat Program thru Project Purr. What helpful, knowledge people! They brought out four cats in a crate and helped us get started. Of those four, two, Catniss (Everdine) and Dave (Not so Brave) overcame their fear (long story – contact me) and tamed themselves into Feral-No-Mores.
Rescued Treasures, the store run by volunteers and donations is a delightful shopping experience in downtown Santa Cruz. Fun, decorative and beautifully arranged, this non-profit boutique is a destination. Such dedication.
Project Purr has stepped up to help us when feral kittens were delivered to the ranch. Again, kind, hard working people with patience, and limited resources helped the kittens. Three of the five became feral-no-mores.
In April, four more Project Purr TNR kitties came to join us with crates, litter boxes, blankets and toys. Such dedicated volunteers. The two kittens are on the way to being feral-no-more and the two older ones have a safe home in our large barn.
So far we have 8 Project Purr cats living productive, engaged, kitty lives with doting people who continue to see to their nutrition and care. And, no more unwanted litters coming from them.
This non-profit deserves to be recognized for the hard-work and efficiency they deliver to Santa Cruz County.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known Project Purr for over 20 year, as a volunteer and citizen of Santa Cruz County. It is an amazing organization run totally by dedicated volunteers. Project Purr rescues cats and kittens in Santa Cruz County and also provide free education and help to people who want to rescue feral cats in their neighborhood. They provide funding for free spay and neuter for these cats. Additionally, their Barn Cat program has given a new life to many cats who are not ready to be house cats. These “barn cats” provide invaluable service to keep properties free of vermin. Here’s a picture of our rat catcher extraordinaire, Priscilla, who came from the barn cat program. She is also an affectionate love bug after 5 years on the property.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Did a fantastic job with TNR of a community cat colony that would have otherwise been euthanized. They are now all happy, healthy and safe!

Shelly C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

So many furry lives have been saved by project purr .. so many TNR stories .. Bless you Project Purr .. you have made a difference in the world !

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr does amazing things for Santa Cruz County kitties. The team has managed to grow their fund raising organization to offer free spay/neuter to all feral cats in the county. This has had a major impact on controlling the feral cat population. Not only that, but the trap/neuter program has meant hundreds if not thousands of kittens have gone to wonderful homes. Our family has benefitted greatly from this wonderful program. Hats off to Project Purr!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have gotten 4 fabulous cats through Project Purr. This organization and their amazing volunteers are simply the best!

JAzmin N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love love love this program. I before my kitten 9 years ago. She was caught just when she was learning her feral ways. She is still on edge around unknown noises but we wouldn’t have it any other way. She has brought so much joy to our family and I am so glad I adopted from such a wonderful organization!! They helped socialize her and ensured she was going to a loving home.

Here is a picture of her an my youngest. They have such a special bond.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Through Project Purr, thousands of feral cats have been spayed/neutered for FREE, preventing tens of thousands of homeless kittens. And all we have to do to support them is shop at a gorgeous antique/vintage resale shop! I’m hooked.

Nikki W.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr has been amazing! They helped me learn how to TNR the cats in my neighborhood and even came with me to my HOA meeting to have the project approved.

Kelly Hagerty S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every community needs a TNR program like this! Project Purr is dedicated to the well being of all feral babies. So grateful for them ❤️

Shawn G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr is a huge asset to our community. We have had many colonies of feral cats disappear over the years because of their devotion and education regarding trap and release or in my case adopt. I love Project Purr.

Kim S.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve adopted 3 kitties ... all rescues through Project Purr
Love this organization and all the good they do in Santa Cruz County !!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My favorite non profit! Saves thousands of innocent kitty lives. Generous and kind people who work endlessly hard toward their mission and beyond.

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Purr has been responsible for saving thousands of cats lives, as well as for paying to neuter countless numbers of felines. I adopted two feral cats from them 4 years ago. Rosie was about a year old and Brody 3 months. They were both rescued from the shelter as “unadoptable.” Today they are indoor, living cats who fight to be on my lap. I am very selective about charities to which I donate monthly, and Project Purr is at the top of my list!

Athena H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This wonderful group has helped myself,and many others fix our ferals.One of our ferals,Alphie, has been tamed and has lived with us for 18 yrs.We trapped and fixed a whole family of ferals,and they found homes.Blackie with us,though he would only stay in our outside shed,he was very affectionate,and lived a good long life.The mother cat was adopted to be a barn cat.We would never have been able to fix and tame,or release all these great cats without Project Purr's help.They are the best!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been donating to Project Purr for almost 20 years now. During that time, Project Purr has enabled me to trap and fix over a dozen feral neighborhood cats. They also assisted me with vaccinating and altering several kittens so that I was then able to find loving homes for them. Project Purr has been a constant source of support and assistance providing veterinary care, cages and traps, advice and in-person help with injured cats, ferals and mothers with kittens. By mobilizing financial support through donations and their second-hand shop, they have been able to educate the Santa Cruz County community about Trap/Neuter/Release and have reduced the feral population dramatically. Their barn cat program has trapped, altered and safely relocated countless feral cats to help with rodent eradication throughout the county.

Sasha L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr was instrumental in helping my mom and me care for a cat colony. They provided traps and tips and no cost spay and neuters and vaccines for the animals that we captured and then returned helping them to lead happier longer lives. I will always be thankful to project purr for helping us keep the feral cat population safe, healthy and not breeding.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr is a fantastic organization. This is truly a labor of love. They are dedicated and passionate about making a difference in the lives of cats. We have adopted 6 feral cats from Project Purr and it was a wonderful experience. Our 4 acres are rodent free and the cats provide daily entertainment chasing each other through the treetops and much needed companionship for our sole dog. There is nothing funnier than watching the cats deal with the chickens stealing their food and sunny napping spots. The cats enact revenge and tackle the hens when they're rooting about. Even my cat hating husband is now a fan of our beauties. They work hard for their Friskies and come when they are called.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Project Purr is an incredible organization with a compassionate mission, a solid management team, and dedicated volunteers. Project Purr has made a huge impact in the community by humanely controlling community cat populations through Trap-Neuter-Return, rescue efforts for kittens, and adoption. They also educate people about how to humanely help feral cats while also providing advice and assistance. They have spayed/neutered thousands of cats, which has humanely prevented future generations of homeless cats from being born. Not only do they help cats, they also address the root causes of cat homelessness. Project Purr is a truly exemplary animal welfare organization!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr helped us save two feral cats who were living at Lakeview Middle School but needed to be relocated. We had previously had the cats fixed but our principal said they had to go anyway. We found a new home for our ferals (through a flyer at Aptos Starbucks) but had no idea how to successfully transition the cats to their new environment. Lynne at PP let us borrow a hutch (for 3 weeks) and all the supplies we needed (for free), plus she spent hours answering all my questions. I am happy to report the cats have stayed put in their new home and seem to be happy and healthy.

3 Mary M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I needed a trap on short notice (having found a dumped kitten running around my neighborhood, clearly hungry and terrified). Lynne called me back right away, I got the trap, got the kitten, kitten rescued/adopted out by Project Purr. Quick action on everyone's part saved the day. This is not the first time PP has stepped forward for me, and for the animals, it's just the most recent example.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Purr comprises an extraordinarily dedicated and compassionate team that serves feral cats and kittens in Santa Cruz County. They oversee a large TNR program, maintain feral communities that don't reproduce but do hold the niche. They also place ferals who have no safe colony as barn or garden cats, providing extensive wisdom and support to help people establish these beautiful helpers as rodent control troops. They hand tame and socialize feral kittens, and place them in loving adoptive homes. And, last but certainly not least, they are active advocates, educating and assisting. They are well organized and they truly care. I have had only positive experiences and I recommend them without reservation.

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

Just found the Great Non-Profits site tonight. Was posting a review for something else (unfortunately a very bad experience) when one of my "fur babies" jumped in my lap. Thank you, Project Purr, for bringing these super sweet little kitties into my life.

We had a great initial meeting, a smooth adoption, and 2 (!) cute additions to our family.

We continue to send the foster parents updates. Thank you for helping these small beings who need someone!