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Mercer Island Eastside Orphans & Waifs (aka MEOW Cat Rescue)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: With respect and compassion for all animal life, MEOW promotes lifelong relationships between people and companion animals, providing shelter and care for each precious life until adopted into a forever home.

Results: Since our beginning in 1997, we have rescued and placed more than 21,000 pets into loving homes. Our average shelter population ranges from 60 - 90 cats and kittens, depending on time of year. In addition, at any time our foster homes are caring for 100 - 200 kittens, seniors and special needs cats, some of them as long term care or hospice residents in our Ninth Life Division foster homes.

Programs: MEOW places approximately 1000 animals into permanent homes each year. Adoption fees help to defray the cost of care for the animals, but donations from interested individuals, organizations and businesses provide most of our financial support. Our application process ensures that every adopted animal is placed in an environment where there is appropriate space, human contact, and a commitment to safeguard and care for the animal for its entire lifetime. Our standards are high. The welfare of the animals is paramount in the placement process. Cats and kittens come from various sources and situations: orphans found under a deck, a stray or abandoned cat crying at the door, someone has developed allergies or is moving to a place where the cats are not welcome. Some come from the rescue community, finding tame cats and kittens feeding with feral colonies. Newborn or senior, healthy, ill or injured, all are welcome at MEOW . Incoming cats and kittens are examined for general health, illness, injury, parasites and tested for feline viral diseases and provided appropriate medical care. Daily care of cats and kittens is done both in the shelter and in the foster homes of volunteers, sometimes involving bottle-feeding orphans, often requiring intensive medical care of ill animals. MEOW provides a safe haven and socialization as well as proper nutrition and a clean environment while the animals await adoptive homes. Our volunteers speak with the public, interview prospective adopters, and provide education concerning the care of pets on such subjects as spaying/neutering, introducing a new pet into the family, addressing behavioral issues, proper daily care and well-cat/kitten care. Each year MEOW is faced with the impossible and each and every day we recommit ourselves to something we truly believe in, the motto we adopted at our inception,"all nine lives are precious".

Community Stories

144 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Karen126

Client Served

Rating: 4

We adopted our Kona Boy (formerly Ripley) from Meow in the April 2003. He a was very shy, semi-feral adolescent. I'd looked at nearly every cat in the shelter (being partial to kittens) and unable to decide which cat to adopt. After learning that we were an adult household with two other cats a Meow employee, directed me to shy "Ripley". I am very appreciative that she was concerned with finding the right fit for Ripley as well as us. Our boy has been a challenge at times, but nothing we could not handle. One time when he was having some behavioral issues we called the shelter and asked for advice. We got it, followed direction and the problem was fixed. Reflecting back on the past 10 years, we are very happy we have had this time with our boy, challenges and all, he is a part of our family. They also asked us to take a pledge to keep our cat indoors. The best thing any shelter could do to keep cats safe and healthy.

1 Jon E.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to MEOW for a few years, but had never actually found myself in a need to leverage their services...until recently. In our neighborhood we have a couple of local cats that feed at our back patio. One day five weeks ago I was shocked to see what appeared to be a 5-6 week old kitten looking for food and then run off when it saw me at the window. This happened a couple of times until my wife and I decided it was time to try and catch the kitten. My wife contacted MEOW, which set her up with a no-kill trap that allowed us to successfully capture the kitten. We took the kitten to MEOW that day to return the trap where the quick eye of the volunteer who helped us identify that the little kitten had ringworm on her ear. With the information and the help they provided us, we were able to return the kitten to our home where we continue to successfully treat the condition while segregating it safely from the rest of the household. Our vet continues to support us in this while MEOW volunteers have stayed in touch to make sure we're armed with any help or information we need. All they did was reaffirm my support for such a great organization and people.

1 Jen_13

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted 3 cats from MEOW. Each time I was expertly matched with the perfect cat. They are open, honest, caring, nuturing, and really care that their kitties get a good home but you as the guardian have a cat that matches you and your lifestyle!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

MEOW volunteers work tirelessly to care for abandoned cats, especially ones with special needs. Without them, we would never have known our friend Benjamin -- he would have been euthanized long before we had a chance to meet him because he was considered less adoptable: an elderly, timid black cat with special needs. MEOW does a wonderful job not only of caring for the cats and offering them refuge for as long as it take to ind them a home, but also by providing information to the public, organizing spaying, neutering, and vacination clinics, etc.

1 Meg_3

Client Served

Rating: 5

MEOW is committed to taking great care of kitties and placing them in good homes, making sure you have all the support you need for a successful bond. I went from one to four cats after moving from an apartment to a house - all 3 new ones came from MEOW, and with every adoption, the volunteers were considerate, supportive, knowledgable and all-around great to work with. They also send surveys over time to make sure things are going okay and to make sure you know they have answers and resources if needed.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am incredibly grateful to the staff and volunteers at MEOW for taking such great care of Holly and Dasher, a FIV+ kitty, and all of their other cats and kittens. I first visited the shelter with a friend who volunteers at a cat shelter in California, and both of us were impressed with how well each staff member took care of the cats and knew their personalities, habits, and preferences so well. MEOW staffers went through the steps of acclimating our 3 year old cats into our home and helped explain how to best care for Dasher and understand the progression of FIV. I was pleasantly surprised by how much was covered by the adoption fee - microchipping, first vet visit, one month of pet insurance per cat, and coupons for cat food at local pet stores were all covered, as well as numerous helpful fact sheets about caring for your cat. I would love to adopt more cats from MEOW once I move into a place that allows more than 2 cats - in the meantime, I feel privileged to donate and am considering volunteering.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new volunteer to MEOW, serving as a foster family for kittens who are too young to adopt out. I love this program! Raising abandoned kittens in a home environment helps them become healthier, happier, more adoptable pets. While caring for a whole litter is a lot of work, it is also wonderful fun and it feels great knowing that I'm making a difference for these cats and their future families. MEOW has great systems in place to make sure I have what I need and know what i need to do. I also trust that they will take good care of the cats and will find them loving homes, so I can feel good about giving the little ones back when they are ready.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We adopted two kittens from MEOW years ago--I really like their approach with both their cats and the people they serve. Since then, I've often donated both cash and things to them because I think they are by far one of the best rescue organizations around. Their facility is incredibly clean, their volunteers are friendly and knowledgeable, their cats and kittens are well loved and well socialized, and they work hard to make good matches to result in great forever homes.

1 Deborah  aka KatBoxJanitor

Client Served

Rating: 4

I found an excellent match for my household through MEOW Rescue when my household needed a 2nd cat. The love and patience this rescue gives to the animals in their care is impressive. When it is time to adopt new feline members of my family, MEOW is going to be near the top of the list. Marbles has been a source of humor and awww's for the 13 years we have been family. Keep it up MEOW!

Donor

Rating: 5

There are so many worthy place to put your time and money and MEOW is the best. They care. They live their mission.

1 Nydia W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered all of my life, for many different types of organizations, and MEOW has been the most rewarding experience. This is a very well run shelter, where the needs of the cats always come first. The leadership is very fiscally responsible, while ensuring that the cats in their care get everything they need. There are only a handful of paid staff, two full-time and four to five part-time. MEOW has a very dedicated group of volunteers who serve in many different capacities to help keep the shelter running well. MEOW is a bright happy place to spend time. The shelter is kept very clean and the cats are well cared for. There are many different opportunities for volunteers and MEOW does a really good job of utilizing the talents of their volunteers. If you are looking for a place to volunteer and you enjoy cats, you really should visit the shelter - you will pleasantly surprised. And if you are looking for a place to donate money or materials, there are few organizations that will put your donations to better use than MEOW.

2 Marilyn123

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEOW Cat Rescue is a little gem of a shelter located in the Houghton area of Kirkland across the parking lot from PCC Natural Market. Once you step inside, you know you've discovered a very special place. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the cats are obviously very happy and well cared for. It is clean and very well organized. Some of the wonderful features are:

• Two wonderful free-roaming rooms are brightened by big windows and large window sills for the cats to lounge on (and the sills are always occupied!). Cat trees, climbers and scratchers abound as well as cozy beds. The rooms are cheerful, clean and happy - kind of like Disneyland for cats!
• Two 'Meet & Greet' rooms are used to introduce prospective adopters and cats/kittens. These rooms are cozy and give everyone room to stretch out and get to know each other. MEOW recognizes that some one-on-one time is essential in making that very important adoption decision.
• Each cat over the age of 9 months has a 'personality profile' which is a scientific evaluation process developed by the ASPCA. The 'Meet Your Match' program assesses how cats act in a shelter environment, which can predict how they might act initially in a home, how quickly they may adjust as well as some basic personality traits to expect. This assessment is based on a cat's behavior and level of interest in play, exploration, 'talking', and being the center of attention. Based on this evaluation, each cat is given one of nine distinct feline personality assignments ("feline-ality") and can then be paired with adopters whose personality and lifestyle fit the cat best. Some of the feline-alities are Love Bug, Leader of the Band, Secret Admirer and Party Animal. Research shows that good matches help make strong bonds and bonding is the key to successful adoptions.
• The volunteers and staff are very knowledgeale, helpful and friendly. They are well-trained and it is obvious that they love what they do. There is a genuine concern for the cats/kittens and placing them in the best home(s) possible.
• All cats/kittens are spayed/neutered, microchipped, receive a series of vaccines and dewormings and are tested for feline aids (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV). They are treated for parasites, both internal and external if necessary. They trim their nails and check their ears. These felines really get the spa treatment! They also leave the shelter with a free 'Well Kitty Exam' voucher which can be redeemed at most King County vet offices.
• Foster homes! MEOW has about 75 active foster homes. Because of the volume of cats/kittens that they help, MEOW can't house them all. Most kittens and some cats spend time in a loving and safe foster home until they are ready to make their journey to the shelter. The foster homes love what they do and are the reason that MEOW is able to help so many animals in need. They provide nutritious food, a safe environment and lots of love. This produces healthy, happy and social kittens!
• Although the name, MEOW Cat Rescue implies cats and kittens, MEOW also has a dog division! MEOW's K9 Division serves as breed rescue to Chinese Shar Pei for all of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. They also rescue Great Danes, hairless breeds and all other dogs as space permits. Because of the size of the shelter, all dogs are in foster homes.
The next time you have a little time on your hands or if you're interested in adopting, MEOW is a good place to start. Adoption fees are very reasonable and help to defray the cost of care for the animals. Adopting a pet is actually much less expensive than getting a 'free' pet when you consider the cost of services already provided to the animal.

There are hundreds of reasons to adopt a shelter pet - and each and every one of them has a name. MEOW's motto: All nine lives are precious.

1 NinjasMom

Donor

Rating: 5

As the proud Mom of a formerly-homeless kitty (he rescued ME!), it warms my heart to see the good MEOW Cat Rescue does for cats & kittens in need. Getting to know them through facebook, learning about beautiful Mango and Winter, then seeing them in the MEOW Cat Calendar and vowing to never miss another one of their fantastic wall calendars as each cat and the care provided by MEOW is so inspiring. This year, each of the calendar cats is as wonderful as last year's, and Rumble and Paolo really stole my heart. Although I am unable to donate as much as they deserve, I do make sure my furry son does his share by donating toys to the cats & kittens, and items to be auctioned to raise funds for MEOW. The volunteers at MEOW (shout out to Ninja's favorite, Miss Nydia!) truly care and I am confident that they are what make the difference for MEOW and all the kitties they encounter. It is my honor to speak up and say MEOW is a champion for these sweet creatures and your donation of goods or services or money will be put to good use and deeply appreciated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At this shelter, each cat taken in receives a commitment for the rest of its life. Before adoption, health needs are identified and taken care of. This includes the usual: spay/neuter, vaccinations, treatment for parasites, testing for FIV/Felv, and micro-chipping. It also includes the unusual like dentals, surgeries, ultrasounds, etc., depending on the needs identified for each individual cat. After adoption, the adoption contract requires that any cat that can no longer be cared for is to be returned to MEOW to go through the process again and a new home is found. The shelter itself is extremely clean and cheerful; nothing like the old days of smelly, depressing animal areas here! Some adopters may not be right for this organization because there are rules for the safety of the cats.