THE CHAFFEE BARN CATS RESCUE PROJECT
The Chaffee Barn Rescue Project is one example of how Feral Cat FOCUS has been helping to save cats this winter! Feral Cat FOCUS became involved in January when the SPCA Serving Erie County directed us to a case at an abandoned huge old dilapidated barn in Southern Erie County. This project has gone above and beyond the costs that Feral Cat FOCUS originally allocated to this project.
We need you help. Saving one cat may not change the world, but it certainly will change the world for one of these cats.
Scroll down to read their story and ways you can can help!
When volunteers entered the barn for the first time in January what they found was heartbreaking. There were about 50 cats in the barn–all struggling to survive. The barn has been gradually falling down. One wall had collapsed and there was a large gaping hole exposing cats to the brutal cold weather. They had no shelter. There was no straw or places for them to keep warm during the horrific January cold spell. The water was frozen. One cat was sicker than the next one. The cats were in desperate need of food, water, shelter, affection and someone to save them.
In cold weather, shelter is as important as food because cats can die from exposure if protection from the elements is not available. Volunteers immediately sprung into action. Straw was trucked in and scattered throughout the Chaffee barn to provide warmth. Lots of Styrofoam coolers were set up as shelters in the barn. The Chaffee cats were starving and malnourished. Volunteers brought in lots of food. The cats immediately swarmed the feeding dishes. Volunteers also brought in fresh water and heated water bowls.
On a return visit to the barn a volunteer found newborn kittens and a very sick mother cat with a prolapsed uterus in one of the Styrofoam shelters. The kittens were put into foster care and the mother cat was immediately taken from the barn to emergency surgery. It was touch and go for the mom “Essie Mae” but with medical care and a good foster home she is thriving. Two kittens in the barn were immediately taken to a veterinarian because their eyes were badly infected. One kitten will lose her eye and the other one will need eye surgery.
Every cat removed from the barn has been examined by a veterinarian. Most are sick and suffering with thick mucus and bloody discharge from their nostrils. We’ve seen the cats sitting on their back legs using their front paws to pull the discharge from their noses. It’s all very sad. Some were coughing. Most weren’t eating because they couldn’t breathe. The rescued cats are receiving fluids and steaming treatments to open their airways. We gave them four different antibiotics but nothing was working. We sent a culture to Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center where it was discovered that the cats had pneumonia, streptococcus (bacterial infection), and possible lung worm.
Feral Cat FOCUS has removed 38 friendly cats from the Chaffee barn and we are still in the process of gathering up more cats. The cats are being placed in foster homes (we need more foster homes). When they are healthy they will be spayed/neutered and vaccinated. A few will have to go into good barn homes, but most of these cats are friendly and adoptable as pets. The friendly cats will be turned over to local rescue and adoption organizations to find new homes.
Feral Cat FOCUS would like to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone that helped with our Chaffee Barn Rescue Project:
- Catt County Cat Nippers (helped us feed cats, trap cats, transport cats)
- Kathy Makolinski
- Operation PETS Spay/Neuter Clinic of WNY
- Eladio Adorno/Adoring Pets Veterinary Health Center
YOU CAN HELP MAKE 2018 A BETTER YEAR FOR THE CHAFFEE CATS
Monetary donations are very much needed. The medical costs for this project are enormous. Please consider making a donation to help. No amount is too small. You can make an online credit card donation below or mail us us your donation. If you make a credit card donation click on “Add Special Instructions to Seller” and type “CHAFFEE CATS” so we know what your donation is for.
You can also mail a donation to Feral Cat FOCUS, Attn: Chaffee Cats, P.O. Box 404, East Aurora, NY 14052.
We need foster homes to care for these cats until they are healthy. For more information call 1-888-902-9717 and leave a message for Liz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopt a barn or blue-collar working cat. This is a mutual companionship program where an individual with a barn or other appropriate shelter can provide a safe home to a cat while receiving the benefit of rodent control. Read more this program at www.feralcatfocus.org.
Adopt a friendly Chaffee cat from us or one of our rescue and adoption partners. For more information call 1-888-902-9717 and leave a message for Helen or email email@example.com.