Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 in Review

As I sit at the computer with a small gray kitten snoozing in my lap, trying to decide where to begin reviewing our year,  I am reminded of the change within my own family of furry friends.

In March of 2013 my Ricky was laid to rest after being hit by a car in front of my home.  That loss resulted in my decision to keep Lucy and Possum inside.   Tending to kittens over the summer showed me that Lucy was NOT going to welcome any other addition to our family.  I was all but resigned to the fact that we would remain a 2 kitty family, until Jasper came along. For some reason this sweet ball of gray fur has not only won over my heart, but the hearts of Possum, my husband and even Lucy.  Oh, she has her moments, but when on the first day he was with us, Lucy jumped on my lap and slept next to the sleeping baby, I knew he was a keeper.   No more outside for these 3...

Ricky was not the only loss for WIFCaP last year.  True Haven lost 3 of their kitties, Daphne, Toby and Henry all went to the Rainbow Bridge.   Rhett Butler, the gentleman from the streets of Walnut passed on.  AVCheryl lost her dog Molly, our friend and supporter Jean S. lost her Tux,  Amber H. lost Dogger I just got word today that our friend and supporter in Shelby lost one of her outdoor kitties.There are more. Please if I missed noting your furbaby, forgive me....listing the sad losses is difficult, but those of you who know me, know that reality is high priority for me.  Among the losses, there were many gains and those are what we focus on.

Thanks to our wonderful friend Kim A. our logo was born in 2013!   I can't say enough how much I love it!

2013 resulted in 289 spa treatments!   A total of 465 since the start of WIFCaP.  We have helped a total of 627 cats since the fall of 2011.  I am so very proud of those numbers.   We remain a small organization, but this year we have grown in volunteers too.   I now have trappers in Atlantic and in Oakland to help me out.  We are learning all the time how to help people learn to trap and transport, which means one or two people (me and/or Cheryl) are not having to do all the physical "boots on the ground" work.   We have found fabulous people that are willing to help where help is needed.  Sue A is helping with grant writing, Becky H is helping with newsletters and Stacey M is working on volunteer coordination.  We are on the road to finding more volunteers to help with fundraisers.   As this all comes together, I can work more intensely on marketing and promotion (and bookkeeping and accounting).

TNR kitties
We could not do any of our work without the cooperation and work from Avoca Veterinary Clinic in Avoca, IA.  We are pleased to add Dr. Victora of the Cass County Animal Clinic in Atlantic IA to our team as well.  Dr. Schultz and Dr. Victora are our WIFCaP heros in so many ways!

Our budget has grown to over twice what it was in 2012, but we have had the best supporters ever!  Along with auctions and other fundraisers, we have people that just send money.   Without them, we would be lost and would have to stop doing what we know is so important.  Thank you!

Kathy and AVCheryl were asked to speak at the Iowa Federation of Humane Society's Annual Conference in September 2013.   What a pleasure it was to stand before our peers and share what we do, how we do it and why.

In 2013 WIFCaP  became the recipient of donated food from Purina Pro Plan to the Rescue, Iowa Animal Resource Pantry and became members of the Best Friend's Animal Society Network Partnership. There is nothing like the feeling when this huge truck backs up to my garage!  Having this "store" of food helps us keep our outdoor colonies fed.  At this time, I am distributing approx 200 pounds of food per month (if I have it).  Many thanks to all of you that feed these colonies out of your own pocket when we don't have the food to give you.

Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition was begun and WIFCaP was honored to be a charter member of this group of animal organizations, all wanting to work together for the benefit of homeless animals in Southwest Iowa.

Exciting grant funding was awarded to WIFCaP and the city of Oakland Iowa to focus on the spay and neuter of their community cats.  We are extremely grateful to Gayle Strickland, who wrote the grant, the city of Oakland and especially the Pottawatomie County Community Foundation for the funds granted for this project.  Having the city council and the county foundation recognize and reward us for our work, by funding us about makes my heart explode!!!

Mrs. Gray
Last but never least, Mrs. Gray and Zeva remain the "pin-up" girls for WIFCaP.  All of our supporters watch them on a near daily basis through the eyes of me, Kathy.   I feed them daily and report with pictures and short videos how they are doing.  Zeva was born during the summer of 2011 and Mrs. Gray is probably a year older (she is Zeva's mother).  Zeva still lives in the foundation of an unoccupied house in Walnut and with the blessings of the owners, WIFCaP has set up a nice feeding station where she gets food and water daily.   Mrs. Gray has moved from the "house" to Kathy's front porch.  There, she has her own feeding station and shelter if she needs it.  It does appear however, that she prefers hiding out under the porch.  These two cats are the perfect picture of what TNR is all about.   They were a family of six when WIFCaP first started and the first group to go in for spa treatment.  Now there are two, only one residing in the original location.   TNR is about reducing the overpopulation of outdoor cats.  We don't know what has happened to the other four cats...either they have moved on, or they met their end.  What we do know is, that while they were around, they didn't add to the increase of outdoor kitties, that they lived happy healthier lives and that they were fed well while they were here. This is our mission lived out.
 So a good year it was and a new one has begun.  We already have our first 20 spa treatments for the year under our belt and of these only 6 I had to go out and help with.  We have a volunteer meeting set up for next week in hopes to find more passionate people so we can help more kitties...

2014 will be even  better and we hope you will hang with us and watch what we can do in Western Iowa.
Click on our HOW TO DONATE button on the right sidebar to see all the ways you can get involved with us!