Part shelter, part sanctuary, one partner goes above and beyond for feline friends
As a member of the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition, the Friends of Cats nonprofit shelter in El Cajon works closely with its partners to take in as many cats and kittens as possible when other shelters are overcrowded—all in an effort to maintain the coalition’s “Getting to Zero” goal of ending euthanasia for healthy and treatable animals. The shelter takes in mostly owner-relinquished animals and works to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the number of homeless pets.
“Friends of Cats is not only a shelter, but a sanctuary for cats who are unadoptable due to behavioral or medical issues,” says Janet Bianchini, shelter director. “We also have a Future Lifetime Care program that allows us to care for cats after their owners have passed away. The owner specifies if they would like their cat(s) to be adoptable or if they would like them to live in the sanctuary. Additionally, Friends of Cats has a special building that separately houses FIV positive and FeLV positive* cats that are awaiting adoption or permanent foster homes.”
Finally, Friends of Cats also eases the adoption process for unsocialized cats by housing them in a special “shy” building.
“It helps them get comfortable in their new setting without too many people going in and out,” Bianchini says. “Then we have staff and volunteers work with them to—hopefully—get them social enough to bring them into our adoptable area.”
For more info: friendsofcats.org
*Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus