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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

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Meow when I moved to the area and my cats escaped through a loose screen. They loaned me a humane trap and a spent almost an hour giving me advice on how to find my cats, and just being supportive and understanding. Now, I'm a volunteer, and am amazed at what they can and will do to help cats in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization and the dedicated folks who run it. I fostered kittens for several years for Meow. Some people say they couldn’t do it because it would be too hard to give them up when it was time to go back to the shelter...it is hard. But, I could trust the Meow team to look out for “my babies” and find them a good forever home. And, sadly there were always more babies that need help.

Our sweet Gracie kitty (Meow adoptee), age 14 yrs.

CatLadyBB

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with MEOW Cat Rescue for over 10 years and have adopted 3 cats from them. The care MEOW puts into every single cat and kitten they rescue is phenomenal. It's obvious that MEOW believes there are no ugly cats and no cats with behavior problems that cannot be resolved. Every cat is treated like the royalty they believe they are.

MEOW treats its volunteers very well, too. I never leave the shelter without hearing at least one "Thank you!".

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I starting volunteering at MEOW by accident. I noticed the shelter one day, and on a whim, I went in. My excuse to myself was that my one cat might like a cat friend. I was greeted by a friendly woman who showed me around the shelter so I could look at all the available cats. I don't know what made me ask her if I could volunteer, but I did. I started volunteering at MEOW the following week. It's been about 11 years now, and I've met lots of people. So many excellent friends who also volunteer. So many adopters who met the perfect cat. So many foster families who care for the so many kittens and moms. I think MEOW has some of the best volunteers anywhere on earth.

emmatremblay

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered on-and-off for the past nine years, and it’s always been a wonderful experience. Whether I’ve been gone for college for months at a time or gone traveling, I’m always received with a warm welcome back. It’s easy to love working with MEOW because staff are such genuinely wonderful people doing great work together. I love it here.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEOW is an incredible nonprofit, for volunteers and adopters alike. As a kennel attendant volunteer in the shelter, I was given a huge amount of trust and responsibility, and I learned so much about animal medicine, psychology, and overall health, it's made me reconsider my career path. I always had work to do, but I also always had someone else from the staff asking if there was any way they could help; I never felt rushed, I always knew someone I could ask questions, and I was doing everything from feeding the shelter to helping give shots. As a foster parent, I housed 20 cats and kittens over a period of 2 years, and the shelter's Cat Personality form made me certain that our babies were going to go to people who they would be compatible with, and who would love them the way we did.

1 Alexandra A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I started fostering for MEOW when it was a tiny shelter on Mercer Island and I was a little kid. I've watched it grow into an amazing rescue. They have the biggest hearts and always do amazing things for their animals. Since we started fostering we have had dozens and dozens (probably close to or over 100) of cats and kittens. From medically fragile bottle babies to seniors we've done it all (dogs and puppies too). Each animals gets the best care and the team at MEOW will go above and beyond where most shelters will because they know no life is worth giving up on. The picture is of my current MEOW kittens. The picture doesn't do them justice. Rio (black) is 7 lbs and Hickory (tabby) is now 16lbs! I got Rio as a 3oz three week old with only a hope and a prayer of survival but MEOW never gave up and neither did we even as chronic health concerns arose. Whatever treatment he needed they made sure it happenes. Hickory has a deformed leg which makes him less adoptable and prone to health issues. Luckily neither are going anywhere as they are definitely foster fails!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love MEOW Cat Rescue. They’ve helped so many wonderful cats and kittens find their forever homes. It doesn't matter whether they were feral, or in need of a surgical procedure, or needed medicine; MEOW came to their rescue. Those who are too poor to afford to spay or neuter their pet gets help here, too. Even more than that: they offer a shoulder for those who’ve recently lost pets, and plenty of extremely helpful advice for new and long-time cat owners. When I had new kittens, I knew where to go. The facility is so clean; it doesn't even smell like cats. Their volunteers at the shelter, and their volunteers who foster kittens and cats in their own homes, offer safety and compassion for the animals in their care.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with MEOW. Have seen firsthand the wonderful work MEOW does in the community. True advocates for cats and kittens and educating the public on being responsible pet owners. Love that MEOW is a small shelter with emphasis on ensuring the cats and kittens in their care get excellent care while they await forever homes. I continue to be honored to volunteer with MEOW.

1 Michelle355

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I foster kittens for a shelter in rural Tennessee. When a litter of 3 kittens turned up FeLV positive, I began contacting every rescue I could find that might take a positive kitty. None of them would give me the time of day. I got rejection after rejection with no offer of hope or help for the kittens. Finally, one evening, I received a call. It was from Bonne Vevea of MEOW Cat Rescue. She explained that they did not have room for my kitties, but discussed other options with me, something no other rescue had done. She suggested contacting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and encouraged me to do so even though I didn't think they would be able to help. I followed her advice and Best Friends accepted my 3 sweet kitties. Unfortunately, FeLV reared it's ugly head and all three passed before they could go to Best Friends.But, if not for Bonne Vevea and MEOW Cat Rescue, I would have had no hope for these kitties. Bonne and MEOW are the only ones who cared enough to reach out. Even though they could not take the kitties, they were willing to help me find a place. I will never forget that. MEOW Cat Rescue is quality. The people, the care is all quality. I wish I lived nearby so that I could be a part of it.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a foster for a shelter in TN and had take in 3 kittens who turned out to be FeLV positive. After contacting dozens of rescues to try to place them, Bonnie at MEOW Cat Rescue was the only one who called me. MEOW could not take the kittens, but she gave me advice on placing them, made suggestions, and used her contacts. Because of her, they were placed at Best Friends. She gave me hope and helped me when she could have just turned me down. She showed real compassion and is truly there to help the animals. I have great respect for Bonnie and MEOW Cat Rescue. I wish I lived nearby so I could foster for them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came across MEOW Cat Rescue a couple of years ago when I was looking for an animal shelter to volunteer with. I had seen their information tents at a couple of local events and it had stuck in my mind. After reading their website and visiting the shelter, I decided to volunteer and support MEOW. All of the volunteers I encountered worked tirelessly and truly have a deep love for the animals. Every one of cats that came through those doors were cared for, loved, and cherished. Although I am no longer able to volunteer, I will continue to support MEOW through different means.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We found MEOW six years ago while looking for a friend for our then one year old cat, Lucky. The shelter is such a welcoming place, staff and volunteers are kind and knowledgeable, and display an obvious joy and enthusiasm for the cats and kittens in their care. After adopting from MEOW, I decided I wanted to be part of this amazing organization, and volunteered to foster kittens. The staff was so helpful throughout, offering support and expertise at every turn. I can offer nothing but the highest praise for MEOW and the tireless work they do for our feline friends. They live their motto that all nine lives are precious.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to MEOW about 12 years ago to adopt a pair of cats I'd seen on Petfinder. Not only did I add two wonderful cats to my family, but I was so impressed with the facility and with how well I was treated throughout the adoption process that I came back a couple of months later to volunteer. I've been volunteering with MEOW since 2005. I've made friends who are truly more like family, and having the opportunity to help our cats find a forever home with a good family has been a privilege and a blessing for me.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great organization. They really care about cats and do everything possible to ensure their welfare. I started as a foster mom for kittens more than a year ago. I was a little intimidated by the responsibilities but got all the support I needed through kitten illness and misbehavior. One litter pulled a panel out of the closet and disappeared into the walls of the house! A trap and some stinky tuna took care of the problem. All the kitten's veterinary needs were taken care of: the shots, the worming, the neutering, and a couple trips to the emergency vet. I can't say enough about their caring, competence, and experience.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering as a Foster Mom for kittens last Fall. Since then I have had four adorable groups of kittens to love and prepare for their forever homes. The staff at MEOW could not be more professional or helpful, even when I called really, really early in the morning worried about a sick kitten. They helped me with all kinds of challenges, from sick babies to teaching the really young kitties how to eat, to trapping escapees, to dealing with litterbox issues. What a great group of people to work with!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think MEOW is an amazing non profit shelter. I have only been volunteering there now for about 6 months, but my family has been a part of MEOW for awhile. All of our current cats, ranging from ages 3 to about 8 have all been adopted from there, as well as, family friends of our have been fosters for them for some time now.
I appreciate everything MEOW does, in the sense that they truly love what they do, helping the cats and dogs of the area find homes, but also helping the people of the community find good fits. All of the cats that come through the shelter are, of course, wonderful, no matter the personality. I love what they are doing and what they continue to do and I love helping out in whatever way I am able to.

2 Elena13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this organization when I starting looking for a canine companion for my Shar-Pei. I adopted Sampson from the canine side of this organization. They were very through before they would adopt out this special boy...Including a home visit to ensure he would be safe. Years later, when Sampson crossed the rainbow bridge, I didn't hesitate to contact them again to adopt my next fur child. And that is also whe I became interested in fostering the homeless fur kids until they could find their forever homes.
None of the dogs that are adopted from the canine side are housed in shelters...They are all fostered in family homes where their personalities, behaviors and temperaments are evaluated in a real situation and we are able to place the right dogs in the right homes.
All dogs are vet checked and any problems corrected prior to going to their forever home.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEOW does a great job of matching adopters to pets

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I adopted my cat, Leo, from MEOW in January. The adoption counselors and other volunteers at MEOW were all wonderful! The shelter is clean and smells good. The cats are all comfortable, and as a no-kill shelter, the cats have all the time they need to find their ideal home! They followed up with me to see how things were going with the new cat. They offered plenty of helpful advice regarding integrating Leo into my existing multi-cat home. All around, they provide a very positive atmosphere for both the cats and the public.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this shelter!! My husband and I foster kittens for them and over the course of the last 3 years have ended up keeping 2 and also adopted an adult cat. Their staff is so helpful and truly match people with the right cat. I highly recommend MEOW!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before moving to Idaho, I was a foster mom for MEOW for 10 years. Kittens from this organization are loved and spoiled from day one. The staff at MEOW is always ready to help with questions from the foster parents. They assist with medical problems, call when it is time for shots and worming. You never feel alone. If a kitten needs medical attention, they have vets lined up to help out. When it is time to bring your little wards in for spay/neuter and adoption, they are there to support you as you reliquesh your charges to their forever homes. I felt loved and appreciated always. I knew my babies I fostered were going to their forever homes and would continue to be loved and spoiled. This is the best organization I have ever encountered and would not hesitate in adopting from them. They ROCK!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adopted my tabby Neville from MEOW and not long after that started volunteering as a kennel attendant. Both experiences were and have been top-notch. The adoption counselor who helped me with Neville, Jerry, was very sweet and helpful, as are all the other counselors I've met since. The volunteer work has been fulfilling, and it's just great to work with other people who stay far longer than their shifts technically ask for (shout out to Dwight and Linda!). Not to mention all the unseen work that foster parents put into keeping their cats healthy and happy. These past couple of weeks alone have really opened my eyes to the kind of conditions some of these litters of kittens are in before MEOW takes them in: a million types of parasitic infestations, severe malnutrition (ribs sticking a mile out), etc. We take them in, treat them, feed them, send them to foster parents for extra TLC, and before you know it, they're healthy and ready to be adopted.

In short, I have nothing but praise for MEOW.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEOW is a wonderful shelter. I moved to the area three years ago, after recently losing my cat, and was not prepared to get another, but wanted to get my fix and help people-less cats find their homes. After researching shelters online, I applied to MEOW as a volunteer. What I saw and continue to see is a no-kill shelter that truly cares for the cats they encounter. All cats are treated well and receive tons of love. Their medical issues are addressed, and a great amount of work goes into making sure they are a good fit with their adopters. The staff and volunteers are very close and I have developed friendships with many of them. The evidence of their high quality is that I plan to be involved even when I lack the time, because I truly believe in their mission and the way they carry it out.

2 Laurie64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Meow when I needed to help an abandoned cat. They were so nice and helpful that I adopted my next cats from them. When I retired I became a volunteer. I can vouch for the high level of care each cat gets here. There is no ther shelter like it.