Feline Friends was founded in 1995 in response to the question "What do I do with these outside cats?"
It was a sunny day in March when I looked out the window and saw a mother cat with four kittens in my yard. As I watched, I realized that they were living in my shed. I couldn't fathom a mother cat being outside in the cold with baby kittens. Being an animal person, I went outside with food and water in hopes of picking them up and taking them into my home. I was trying to be realistic. I already had a house full of cats.
When I approached, the mother and kittens ran into the shed and under some boxes. I set down the food and water and brought out some blankets. This became one of my daily rituals. I decided I couldn't just leave them outside so I called animal control and a number of humane societies and veterinary hospitals, but no one wanted to deal with feral cats. They would all be happy to euthanize them if I wished. I began to realize that euthanization was a very common procedure and I was beside myself with disbelief and anger. Thinking more with my heart than with my head, I began making calls to Department of Agriculture, a humane society attorney and many friends who were polite enough to listen to my ranting and raving.
Ultimately, the mother cat and her kittens were caught and socialized. They became our first official "foster" cats. I signed my name to federal, state and local forms. Yes, I was starting a humane society, and I vowed that it would be like no other. My vision was different. It would be non-kill, run strictly by volunteers and all donations would go directly to helping cats. Spaying and neutering would be at the top of the list. The mission would focus on working with the public to help all cats, including ferals. I vowed to work with people to offer solutions that would make a positive difference for all felines.
I began to discover that accomplishing all of this would be difficult, since I was still working full time, and I began to become disillusioned with such a large undertaking. An attorney with whom I had spoken was an animal person himself and sensed that I needed help. He offered to take over the paperwork free of charge. He drew up all the necessary papers and Feline Friends became a non-profit organization. My home became a licensed humane society and the "I" changed to "we" as I met many other animal lovers who wanted to help out. Each person brought with them a solution to the many stumbling blocks involved in starting a shelter. We found that we did not need to advertise. Somehow, we were getting calls from people all over the area. Word was out and we were in business.
Since then, Feline Friends has evolved into a group of very dedicated individuals who are devoted to helping felines in need. We all have a common bond and we are passionate about what we do. Feline Friends has rescued and adopted thousands of homeless cats. I'm happy to say that we now network with many other wonderful organizations that are very similar to ours and who also do great work for cats.
I hope this has given you some insight into how and why Feline Friends was started. Please visit the rest of our website and read about who we are and what we do. You will see some of our cats in need of homes and will read about our many programs designed to help felines in need. Who knows - you may decide to start something similar in your area!