There are many ways you can help cats in your neighborhood. That can range from donating food to someone who cares for a cat colony, socializing feral kittens, making winter shelters that can be distributed to others, caring for outdoor cats yourself with TNR and feeding, or trying to change laws in your own town to help community cats by getting TNR ordinances on the books!
There are many different ways to volunteer with MEOW, Inc.:
Feral Colony Feeder
Spay/Neuter Recovery Caregiver
Transport Cats to and from Clinic before and after Surgery
Foster and Socialize Kittens
Build Wood Shelters
Fundraising & Events
Marketing & Public Relations
If you're interested in helping in any of these areas, contact us!
If you see an outdoor cat, don't assume that they are being cared for. In most cases, they are not and they desperately need YOUR help and intervention! If you see a neighbor with a lot of cats or see cats near a dumpster at work, they need help to get spayed/neutered so their numbers don't explode. We can be that help and time is of the essence!
We take cats to low-cost spay/neuter clinics to get them surgeries and vaccinations they need to live healthier lives. Many of the problems and complaints that people have about outdoor cats all but disappear when they are spayed/neutered. They fight less, are quieter, spray and smell less, their numbers slowly dissipate and they generally become easier to live among.
3. Feral Colony Feeder
We feed many feral colonies in Monmouth County! We greatly appreciate food donations, but also are in dire need of some reliable help in feeding colonies on a regular basis.
For example, we have some colonies that have 2-3 feeders who take turns on specific days to feed the colonies, which lightens the load on the caregivers. They're out there in rain, sleet and snow ensuring that the cats have food and don't go hungry when they need all the calories they can get to stay warm in the cold. They shovel paths through the snow to feeding stations and ensure that the cats have a way to their food and shelters.
If you think you would be interested in feeding a colony near you even a few days a week, please contact us!
Get Involved and Help Save Lives!
4. Spay/Neuter Recovery Caregiver
This is probably the most challenging part of TNR and involves caring for feral cats after their spay/neuter surgery while they have some quiet and relaxing time to recover for a few days as necessary.
Essentially, we set up large dog crates and put the cat in the carrier inside, with litter and food and water and cover it all with a sheet so they feel comfy and inconspicuous to people.
We then just ensure that we clean litter and feed them at least twice a day while they are in our care. And we watch to ensure that they don't have any unusual complications or any other medical issues that would need tending.
Then we usher them back into their carrier and transport them for their release! If you're up for a rewarding challenge like this, let us know and we'll train you!
The low-cost spay/neuter clinic we mostly work with has specific days and times that we need to adhere to in order to drop off and pick up cats. Cats are safely packed into their carriers for transport.
Their surgery days are Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30am - 8:30am, with pick-ups on the following morning in the same timeslot.
So if you're an early bird and would like to simply help pick up and drop off cats for us at the designated times, please let us know!
6. Foster & Socialize Kittens
This is by far the cutest and hardest part of this type of volunteer work! We often come across feral kittens who are still young enough to be socialized to humans so they can live a domesticated life indoors as spoiled pets.
So if you want to learn how to socialize kittens, we can teach you! After the initial phase of building trust, it's pretty easy from there and just takes some daily quality time with them. We provide the food and you provide the love and the domestic environment that they need to adapt to so they can ready to be adopted into their forever home.
Since everything new is a little scary to these babies, exposing them to new things like the sounds of washing machines, human coughs, television, kids or dogs will help them form positive associations with all things human that they haven't seen before. So if you have a spare bathroom they can crash in for a few weeks and lots of love for cuddly kittens, you can apply to be a foster!
7. Build Cat Shelters
Providing winter shelter for feral cats is absolutely essential to their well-being and survival and is an important part of being a cat caretaker. For feral cats living outdoors, a warm (or cool) safe shelter can be hard to find. Put your cat shelters out of the way as much as possible, where cats will be least exposed to the elements and other dangers of outdoor living.
We often recommend that they are also as camouflaged as possible with the environment that they are being placed in so they are as inconspicuous as possible.
Also, it's vital to only place STRAW (not hay) inside for insulated warmth for them to bed down into. Straw dries quickly and doesn't retain moisture. Click here to learn more about straw versus hay.
There are many different types of shelters that can be constructed, ranging from Styrofoam to wood. So no matter how handy you are, there's something for everyone to be able to manage making.
To see our ideal shelter's building plans, you can go here.
To see a wide range of shelter options, visit this Alley Cat Allies' shelter gallery.
If you have any experience in running fundraisers, event planning, marketing or PR, we would love some help and your expertise!
Rising costs in 2015 at spay/neuter clinics and veterinarians require us to raise more donations than ever before. For example, sometimes we run into cats who need extensive help with dental issues that prevent them from eating or encounter very young kittens who need emergency medical care.
We don't turn our backs on cats who require expensive treatments, but it does take significant chunks of our available money to do so, and we need as much help as we can get raising funds to keep up with our costs and help as many as possible.
So if you can donate your creativity and time, we'd love some help raising funds and raising awareness to educate the general public about TNR and what we do!
As a non-profit organization, we need your help! In order to continue our efforts we are asking you for your support. Support can be monetary, donations of supplies or just volunteering your time to support our cats. Every dollar donated goes directly to our TNR mission. Your contributions are also used to buy food, shelter and medical care for our furry little friends!
Here are some supplies we always need:
Canned Cat Food
Dry Cat Food
Kirkland Maintenance for Cats (Costco Brand)
Fleece Blankets (small) and Towels
New or Used Cat Carriers (in good condition/all sizes)
Clorox/Lysol Disinfectant Wipes
Litter (any type of scoopable)
Gift Cards (PetSmart or Petco)
How can one person save thousands of homeless cats? Easy... just spay/neuter one!