MEDFORD, Ore. – An animal shelter called the Committed Alliance to Strays, better known as “C.A.T.S.,” was on the verge of closing, when a celebrity Facebook share triggered a surge of donations.
The managers said it would take thousands of donations to survive. C.A.T.S. has a budget of about $15,000 a month. Back in June, the shelter reached out to NewsWatch12 to ask the community for help, fearing many of the strays would not make it if they were forced to close. Just days after the interview, Animal Planet star Jackson Galaxy shared the web article posted to Facebook on his page, liked by nearly a million followers. After, thousands of dollars were sent in to C.A.T.S. from cat lovers across the globe.
“I can honestly say, probably within I think it was an hour, we did have about a thousand dollars of donations that came in. And it’s across the country. It’s from other countries. We’ve got, I think, seven different countries. You know, people from seven different countries that have actually donated. So you know even those five, $10 ones, you’re just going oh my gosh,” C.A.T.S. Shelter Manager Kristina Lanier said.
It’s a surprise even to volunteers like Robert Fowler, who’ve worked to keep the alliance alive for years.
“The response that we got from it just floored me. I was very overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and the community around the country and the world,” Fowler said.
Now C.A.T.S. has enough in donations to get them through the end of the year, but not enough monthly commitments to keep them sustainable for the next year. The shelter cares for more than 80 cats at a time and keeps a long waiting list. The managers said the past few months have been a wake up call, and they’re looking at ways to cut costs.
“We need to look at our own operation and see if there’s ways that we can cut our spending without cutting the care, the level of care that we give to the cats,” Fowler said.
They said one option is using more volunteers. Anyone 12 years old and older can help out in the shelter. C.A.T.S. also has a foster service for many of their kittens, where temporary pet parents can keep the pets healthy for future adoptions.
The local support for C.A.T.S. hasn’t stopped either. On Monday, August 4, Dancin’ Vineyards will host a silent auction. All proceeds will go toward the nonprofit organization. Space is limited. To register, call Kristina Lanier at 541-621-2609. You can also donate to the shelter on their website.