I came to Shadow Cats for purely selfish reasons. I am a senior, live in an apt. and can no longer have a cat. So -------- to the Shadow Cat Sanctuary, for a weekly "cat-fix". The only thing I thought I knew about feral cats was they were wild and "scary". After being at SC for a couple of months now, I have learned so much. First, Roy and Sheila Smith are absolutely amazing, to give so much of themselves and their home to this. And the TNR program is so wonderful, I have learned so much about it, at my age, I am not up to being part of it, but it is so heart-warming, to see all of these people who are involved with the program, and taking care of the feral cat communities. And I now know that feral cats can be very dear, and loving and just have had a rough break in their lives. And it takes people like Roy, Sheila and their many, many volunteers to make their lives so much better. It has been a good teaching experience to me too --------- along with my "cat-fix".
4/10/10 I read a newspaper article about a kitten that had lost an eye and through the amazing people at Shadow Cats she found a wonderful home from a former co-worker of mine. I decided I wanted to try to help out the abused or neglected cats that just couldn’t find a regular home, but had found a home at Shadow Cats. I have been a volunteer for a short period of time but I absolutely love it. I am happy to be a part of this group and the wonderful work that they do with the TNR’s. I have learned so much in the time that I have been a volunteer and enjoy it immensely. Sincerely, Kelly Jelson
Many years ago, Amy, a friend of my daughter's introduced us to a woman named Sheila Smith. Amy knew that we were cat people and she thought we might be interested in helping out now and then with bring a colony of feral cats under control. Well, before too long, we became feeders for that colony, parents or foster parents to nearly a dozen of the cats/kittens, and part-time trappers. Sheila is one of the most dedicated people I know and it has been a true joy to see the wonderful work that she and Shadow Cats have done and an honor to be part of it.
After moving to this area almost a year ago, I immediately began finding feral cats and started looking for area organizations that helped them. I was so fortunate to find Shadow Cats Rescue. There I found so many sincerely dedicated and compassionate people. Their sanctuary lovingly houses cats with a variety of medical issues, and some who were simply down on their luck and had no place else to go. These cats will never again have to experience hunger, pain or lonliness. They will always have kind and gentle hands to stroke their fur. These resident kitties are all treated with the love and respect that they deserve. I did TNR in Florida for several years before moving here, and am proud to be a volunteer trapper for Shadow Cats Rescue. They really are like no ther organization I have ever been affiliated with. How fortunate this area is to have them.
I have been a volunteer at Shadow Cats Sanctuary for about 10 months. I help give the cats love and attention and anything else they may need. It has been a joy and privilege to get to know the people involved in this organization. I produce small videos for the Shadow Cats website and recently created a video by following Shadow Cats volunteer trappers as they move community cats through the TNR process. While making this video I came to understand and respect the Trap/Neuter/Return process and the incredibly positive effect it has on the cats and the community they live in. If I had to sum up Shadow Cats in one word it would be "compassion." Shadow Cats is a small organization full of amazing, compassionate people, and just being involved with them (the people and the cats) has changed my life.
It has been almost 1 year since I have been involved with SCR. I started out as a sanctuary volunteer and then the "you name it, I do it" role whenever there's a need. It is absolutely amazing to find like-minded individuals who have a special place in their hearts for these kinds of cats. It has really been a learning experience for me about how involved this group gets, not only with other people, but how it can and has effected various cities and their animal ordinances.
We found two wonderful FIV+ cats thanks to the good folks at SCR. While they primarily perform trap, neuter, and release work, they occasionally come across pets that cannot be returned to the outdoors. A lot of people aren't terribly enlightened about FIV - but SCR is and gave our two a warm, comfortable home for years until we came along. Sheila Smith actually put them into her SUV and drove them 200+ miles to their new home - but only after having someone inspect our house to ensure that it would be a suitable 'forever home' for them. It's five years later (wow), and Bogart and Emily are still healthy and happy thanks to SCR rescuing them in the first place. SCR does an incredible amount of good in the community - they even work with towns in the area to update their archaic policies towards strays. The volunteers are wonderful people and we hope to join their ranks some day.
Shadow Cats is a great organization because it does so many things! Not only does Shadow Cats provide a safe haven for homeless cats but they also TNR (trap-neuter-return). Preventing unwanted births is a crucial part and this organization does everything to stop the cycle of suffering. Shadow Cats has a great team of volunteer "trappers" who go out nightly to TNR. There is also many volunteers who come daily to the Sanctuary and given love/attention to the many cats.
While the positive aspects of Shadow Cats as they relate to the care and nurturing of abandoned, unwanted, sick and abused animals is of a profoundly vast nature, there is another more intangible benefit derived from the organization that goes far beyond the realm of animal care and rights. I speak of the process by which Shadow Cats helps develop the inner goodness, compassion and generosity of the people with whom it comes in contact. I am probably the poster child of that which I speak. Long an introvert whose thoughts and concerns were chiefly limited to himself, it was my brief sojourn at Shadow Cats that made me realize the importance in the giving of one’s self to causes and doctrines espousing the greater good; the beauty and satisfaction to be experienced in the helping of those who truly cannot help themselves: it is the doctrine of unconditional love that Shadow Cats develops in those with whom they come in contact. It is the organization’s ability to instill this mindset upon others who in turn propagate this behavior to still others that is truly one of the greatest gifts. When the goodness inherent in this organization and its people touches those on the outside, the benefits are manifold; and the betterment of all walks of life eternal.
As founder of this organization I am extremely proud to be part of such a dynamic and growing organization. Shadow Cats greatly impacts the environment by reducing the overpopulation of free roaming cats in the community through Trap,Netuer and Return. We place socialized cats and kittens into homes and remove them from the outdoor street life. Injured and ill cats recieve care and medical attention. We impact our communities by working with city leaders to improve local ordinances that will allow us to fulfill our mission. We assist the public in reducing the stray cat population through education and hands on intervention. Recently- Jan 2010- we assisted a senior citizen who was inundated by the large number of breeding cats around her home. We trapped 35 cats, sterilized and vaccinated them and returned them to their environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpLTrvEdPwE She was overwhelmed with joy! She and her daughters did not mind caring for so many cats in her rural home- she just didnt want more kittens being born. Shadow Cats helped both the community, the environment and this kind caretaker in need. For her and the cats, we made all the difference in the world.
I have been a volunteer at Shadow Cats Rescue for over 6 years and it is a wonderful place filled with lots of love and dedication. The cats are just part of what makes it great - the caretakers and volunteers who invest so much of their time loving and caring for these special cats is indeed inspiring. Volunteering for Shadow Cats also exposes one to a wealth of information and education when dealing with cat personalities, behavior, health, illness etc. It is a top notch organization and I am glad to be a part of it!
I have been working with non-profits and volunteer organizations for many years now. Shadowcats rescue is probably one of the smaller, truly local agencies I volunteer with, and it many ways it has been the most emotionally rewarding. Being a part of Shadowcats Rescue has broadened my understanding and appreciation of the impact that feral and "community" cats have on their surroundings, environmentally and socially. I've learned how important these feral cat colonies are to maintaining an environmental balance, and how their reproduction can be managed through TNR (trap, neuter and release)to keep their numbers from increasing. Shadowcats has successfully trapped, neutered and returned hundreds of feral cats to their communities at NO COST to the community, as a service to improve the community environment and improve the lives of the cats. As a volunteer I a, learning political negotiation skills (and tact) that will be useful in dealing with social and environmental issues. What's also exciting to me is the degree to which Shadowcats volunteers are encouraged to take individual responsibility for deciding what needs to be done, and doing it (with encouragement and training from Shadowcats management and related agencies).