Feral Cat FOCUS is an all volunteer organization. Volunteers are critical to our success. Without them we could not provide feral and free-roaming cats and the community with the level of service and care that people expect from us.
There are many ways to participate in our organization. Please review our Volunteer Requirements and Volunteer Opportunities. Your participation will help ensure that feral and free-roaming cats in Western New York continue to thrive, that our services are available for feral cat caregivers, and that we are able to reach an understanding with residents in communities that all creatures can coexist.
If you live in Western New York (Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus or Genesee counties) and are interested in volunteering, please submit ONLINE VOLUNTEER INTEREST FORM.
- You must believe in and promote TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return).
- You must believe and accept the mission statement set forth by Feral Cat FOCUS
- You must promote non-lethal treatment and care of free-roaming community cats.
- You must be willing to help educate the public in the beliefs of Feral Cat FOCUS
- You must be 18 years or older. If under 18 you must be associated with an adult volunteer of Feral Cat FOCUS.
- You must conduct yourself in a professional manner.
- You must attend a volunteer orientation session.
- You must attend training if the position requires it.
(*) We need volunteers in all the areas below but these opportunities are especially important and needed.
Caregivers help with feral/free roaming cat colonies in the event that a caregiver can no longer do so or is temporarily unable to do so. In most cases this requires transportation.
HUMANE TRAPPERS (*)
Trappers assist in trapping cats when caregivers are not available or able to do the trapping themselves. Trappers will be trained and will work with seasoned trappers. Trappers frequently hold and transport free-roaming cats to their appointments for spaying or neutering. This is most needed when caregivers are not physically able to or when Feral Cat FOCUS has mass trapping cases.
TRAP LOANERS (*)
Trap loaners are assigned traps purchased by Feral Cat FOCUS. They lend traps out to qualified caregivers who have an appointment to have their cat(s) spayed or neutered. Trap loaners require caregivers to complete a loan form and pay a security deposit. They educate caregivers on the appropriate way to set the trap. Trap loaners are responsible for storing their assigned traps in a safe location, keeping track of the traps in their care, and ensuring that the traps are in good working order at all times.
FUNDRAISING/EVENT COORDINATOR (*)
Position entails planning and being creative. Coordinator is responsible for planning, and organizing specific fundraising events to support Feral Cat FOCUS and our projects. Look for new fundraising opportunities. Fundraisers/events can be large or small – choose an event and make it yours! For large events coordinator may work with a committee and delegate tasks. Coordinator oversees his/her assigned fundraiser from inception to completion. All events are subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
Phone volunteers are often the first contact the public has with Feral Cat FOCUS. They are assigned a day to pick up phone calls, disseminate information to callers, and help to educate the caller on Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR). Phone volunteers make appointments for spaying and neutering. If a trap is needed they put the trapper or caregiver in contact with a trap loaning volunteer. Much of this work is done online so a computer is required for this position. Training is provided and support personnel are available to intercede if problems or questions arise. No caller is ever turned away for lack of information.
TEMPORARY HOLDING (*)
Temporarily hold injured feral/free roaming cats while they recover from sickness, prior to or after their spay/neuter surgery, or prior to their relocation. Cages and equipment are provided. A warm, dry place is needed. Rabies vaccination for humans is recommended but not required.
Transporters are needed to help handicapped caregivers or caregivers who do not drive or do not have proper vehicles. The volunteer transports cats back and forth from surgical appointments and holding areas. An appropriate vehicle is required (no open flat bed trucks or cats/traps in car trunks). Vehicle able to hold at least 3-4 cats in traps is required.
BUILD FEED STATIONS AND CAT SHELTERS
Volunteers assist caregivers referred to him/her by Feral Cat FOCUS for help in constructing shelters or feeding stations (work with patterns on the Feral Cat FOCUS website).
Feral Cat FOCUS is frequently called to help educate communities on TNVR. Educators need good communication skills and must enjoy the challenges of getting the word out about TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return). Educators also help teach trappers and caregivers at educational sessions.
Socializers work with feral kittens that need to become accustomed to being with people. Once the kitten is socialized, it is referred to a local rescue and adoption group for placement into an adoptive home. A crate/cage and experience in socializing feral kittens is required for this position.
MAKE TRAP LINERS AND COVERS
We use lots and lots of trap liners and covers and several people are needed to help keep up with the demand. Volunteers cut trap liners and trap covers per patterns provided by Feral Cat FOCUS. They help find places for acquiring the sheets and towels to make liners and covers. Also help with laundering liners and covers to ensure there is always a clean supply.
Placement coordinators work with local rescue & adoption groups towards the goal of re-homing friendly cats and kittens (kittens that have been socialized or friendly strays that have become part of a feral cat colony). Please note that Feral Cat FOCUS is not an adoption agency.
A research volunteer is responsible for looking up city or town ordinances pertaining to cat issues so that this information can be kept updated. In order to assist Feral Cat FOCUS be proactive in protecting the free roaming cat population, the research volunteer will also keep abreast of proposed ordinances regarding cats.
STORE AND/OR TRANSPORT FOOD & SUPPLIES
Store and/or transport donated food, supplies, crates, cages, carriers as needed.