UPDATE 11/11/12 200pm: A large large donation was made to Staten Island Feral Initiative today: cat food (200+ cans & 2 large bags), carriers, toys, treats, litter, litter boxes, beds & linens. Thank you to everyone that donated – the feral cat caregivers were so grateful. Elena assembled over 30 volunteers today to build approximately 100 outdoor shelters for the island’s feral cat population. It was hard not to tear up seeing all these people come together to build housing for these cats – truly heart-warming.

donation to Staten Island Feral Initiative

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is #1 on the the check-list for creating a no-kill community. Feral cats do not belong in the shelter system since they do not make good house-pets. Elena and the Staten Island Feral Initiative are making huge strides to keep feral cats out of shelters AND to reduce the number of cats born on the island.

Now, in case you are wondering why Karma Cat + Zen Dog is connected to Staten Island Feral Initiative – here is the brief story:

An email was circulated in March of 2011 about a hoarding case that a group on Staten Island was helping with. The cats were in relatively poor condition and really needed to be transferred into foster homes; most were being kindly housed in a couple of veterinary clinics. At the time, we hadn’t taken on a “tough case” in a while so we figured we’d reach out to help with one. A female cat with severe ear hematomas, a bum eye and dental issues was chosen as a good fit for our organization and available foster home.

Obviously, the group was Staten Island Feral Initiative … and the cat was “Olive”.

We really thought we’d have Olive for a an extended period of time so we needed to have the “right” foster home willing and able. Olive made the trip to NJ with food and medicine in tow. She was immediately one of the sweetest cats we’d ever have met. We got to know her, fattened her up and had her examined by one of our veterinarians before putting her up for adoption. She caught the eye of a young man that was drawn to the disadvantaged animals – his vet history showed that he had one of the biggest hearts for those that “weren’t your model animals”. Olive is now plump, happy, cuddly and ruling the roost. Her adopter loves her dearly and all of us couldn’t be happier!

UPDATE 11/6/12 1030am: Little Bear, Evie, Stefan-B, Cocoa Puff, Pierre, Curley, JuneBug, Kirby, Goofy, Mazzy and Bubba-C had an exciting day that started at the MCPSCA shelter and ended in various Karma Cat foster homes. The generosity of our fosters allowed us to transfer out 11 cats yesterday – for a small group, this is a pretty big deal! All the cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, tested and microchipped … they will be available for adoption this weekend. And, yes, we WILL be having regular adoption hours this Saturday & Sunday – yippie!

Next up: coordinating a trip to Staten Island to get donations of food, litter and bedding to our friends at Staten Island Feral Initiative. If you would like to donate, please bring items to the North Brunswick Petsmart adoption center by 3pm this Saturday – label the donations with your name & email so that we can thank you! The most needed items are: wet cat food and styrofoam containers (for outdoor shelters).

If you can’t get to us by then, you can still donate via PayPal and we’ll do the shopping for you!


Lucky Number 11: Mazzy – sweet torbie girl (gorgeous markings!), available for adoption!

UPDATE 11/5/12 8am: We are gathering our forces and foster homes to transfer a whole bunch o’ cats from the Monmouth County SPCA shelter. We’ve worked with MCSPCA in the past and are glad we can help alleviate some overcrowding there right now – they are seeing a huge increase in surrenders due to so many displaced Hurricane Sandy victims.

Sorry for the lack of pictures … been a little hectic here

UPDATE 11/4/12 8pm: Monetary donations were sent to Staten Island Feral Initiative and Seer Farms. SI Feral Initiative is “on the ground” helping feral colonies and cat caregivers with food, bedding, and foster homes. Seer Farms is doing a massive intake of animals from the Jersey Shore. We are personally connected to both organizations and know first-hand the wonderful work that they do.

UPDATE 11/3/12 6:30pm: Awesome musician and self-proclaimed cat-lady, Sarah Donner, is hosting an online musical performance to benefit a rescue group that we love, Staten Island Feral Initiative! Register for the show here:
http://www.stageit.com/sarah_donner/superstorm_d_animal_shelter_benefit/15661 and then send in “tips” (donations) during the show … Sarah will then donate the tips to SI Feral Initiative! Yay!!

Reasons to attend Sarah’s show: 1. she writes great songs with lyrics that sometimes contain articulate profanity 2. she rescues kitties, a lot! (we use the same spay/neuter clinic!) 3. she has pink hair – freakin’ rockstar! 4. donations will get to a group dealing with on-the-ground issues (no overhead/management/BS to cut into the donations.

UPDATE 11/3/12 4:30pm: Adoptable cats are back at the North Brunswick Petsmart!! Our Edgebrook adoption center is still without power. We are working with local groups to secure more supplies for shelters & groups directly affected by Hurricane Sandy. More on this very soon – thank you to all that have donated money and cat food, your generosity is always inspiring.

UPDATE 11/2/12 4pm: I delivered a truck-full of supplies today thanks to your generous donations … LOTS of cat food, drinking water, cans of soup, crackers, granola bars, cleaning wipes and dry wood (for fireplaces). I saw just a tiny bit of the destruction … but more importantly, I saw happy cats and people starting to recover. The pictures you see on the news are no exaggeration.

On the bright cat side, the Point Pleasant Beach animal welfare group has all their kittens secured in foster homes that were not damaged. One of their main volunteers also works at the Monmouth County SPCA … he asked that we try to take some cats out of there as soon as they open on Monday. The MCSPCA is already being inundated with lost pets as well as pets whose homes have been ruined by the storm.

Our adoption centers should be reopening this weekend so I’ll be headed to MCSPCA on Monday to transfer in as many as we can fit.

Thank you all that have donated so far. Additional donations will be sent to the PPB group, MCSPCA or will be used for veterinary costs associated with cats we take in because of this storm.

Always grateful, Christie


“Down the Shore” … If you are from Jersey … or vacationed in Jersey, you know that this is the proper way to describe your location if you were chillin’ at the New Jersey shoreline.

I doubt the expression will ever change, but the experience may. Hurricane Sandy blasted through New Jersey just before Halloween 2012 and really devastated towns along the shore … Sea Bright, Union Beach, Seaside Heights, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach … just to name a few.

Despite being quite far away, and escaping the hurricane relatively unscathed, we are still affected …

We “facebooked” and “tweeted” about Bubba-B & Antonio just last week. Well, they are still up for adoption (along with Travis-B and, very soon, little Heather) … BUT did you know that we transferred all four of them from a group in Point Pleasant Beach (PPB) that primarily does TNR (trap-neuter-return)? Ah, well, yes we did … PPB has been hit VERY hard … many are in need of food (human & cat), water, clothes. They won’t have power for at least 7 days – probably more like 14 to 21 days.

I am making a trip down there on Friday, November 2, 2012 to bring what I can. I’ll most likely bring a few more kittens back with me so that their group has less to deal with. We are seriously talking about loss of homes and life – human & cat. 🙁

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