I am contacting you about an urgent problem you may not be
aware of or have given much thought to. The problem concerns
the population explosion and subsequent suffering of stray
cats, sometimes known as alley cats, and more formally referred
to as feral cats, and the plight of those dedicated persons
attempting to care for them, the feral
Feral cats and kittens are historically domestic cats that
have been abandoned, lost or abused. Succeeding generations
struggle for survival in our storm drains, under abandoned
houses, public, industrial and city properties, apartment
building complexes and various other places where they can
find meager shelter and food. Their potent enemies are indifference,
starvation, disease, neglect and abuse. Feral cats form close
knit families, called colonies, around discarded food sources
and quickly procreate beyond their food supply, with tragic
There are an estimated 60-100 million feral cats in the U.S.,
with 17 million plus caretakers caring for approximately half
of them. The remaining cats starve and reproduce at an alarming
rate. The vast majority of kittens are born to feral mothers.
In the city of Los Angeles alone, there
are an estimated 3 million feral cats with an unknown number
into the thousands of caretakers.
Feral cat caretakers are the millions of people, of all ages
and from all walks of life, who dedicate themselves, their
personal finances and all too often, their social security
checks to caring for the homeless cats. Many
must make the difficult choice between food for their family
and their family of feral cats and kittens.
The feral cat caretakers commitment involves care and
nourishment for the lifetime of their feral cats and for those
kittens that are not adopted. It is an emotionally and physically
challenging experience for them, as they see, first hand,
their struggle for survival under heartbreaking conditions.
After the cats have been trapped and neutered, it is the feral
cat caretakers who provide the only link the cats and kittens
have between survival and extinction. Under extremely challenging
circumstances, they courageously forge ahead, implementing
on-going population control, providing food, care, shelter,
medicines, foster care, compassion and commitment. The financial
and emotional burden of caring for homeless cats and kittens,
miles from home, out of doors, rain or shine, is indescribable.
You would only need to look into the eyes of a starving kitten
and nursing mother, to know what moves people to do things
they never thought possible and make commitments that last
a lifetime. They are the heroes whose dedication and courage
are essential, if the suffering is to end. It is time for
them to be recognized and supported for the contribution they
make to their communities.
As you read these pages, I invite you into the unknown and
intensely moving world of feral cat caretaking. "The
Story Behind the founding of the Feral Cat Caretakers
Coalition" briefly recounts the experiences that compelled
me to devote myself to feral cats as my lifes work.
Anna, a 73 year old feral cat caretaker is one of thousands
of examples that characterize the plight of elderly, low income
persons whose hearts have been touched. Often viewed as eccentrics,
vilified by the uninformed public and frequently sabotaged
by property owners, many caretakers begin their journey with
meager resources and without training.
Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition
is dedicated to representing, unifying, educating and providing
help to the thousands of resourceful and fragmented groups
of people, who implement humane population control, and commit
to responsible long-term feral cat and kitten care.
We invite you to spend time with the stories and information
contained in this package. As you do, you will become keenly
aware of the many needs and vast amount of work that must
still be accomplished. The choices are great and varied. Volunteers,
fund raising experience, grant writing, legal advice and public
relations are vital if we are to continue to reach out and
help. It is only through your kindness and generosity, that
we will be able to care for those who care so much. The Feral
Cat Caretakers need your compassion, understanding and commitment.
List" is enclosed for
your kind consideration.
All donations are tax deductible. FCCC is a 501(c)(3) Public
Charity nonprofit corporation. Tax ID#95-4781600. We look
forward to your response and support. I would very much appreciate
your completing and returning the "Donation
and Involvement Opportunity".
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or
would like to meet with me personally.
Caring for those who care,
Dona Cosgrove Baker
Founder and President