The Lazzy Fund Changes Lives

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Lazzy & Melissa

When Melissa, the Founder and Executive Director of Ten Lives Cat Rescue, started fostering an injured tomcat from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, she had no idea that his transformation would lead to establishing one of the rescue’s key programs, The Lazzy Fund. Prior to being rescued, Lazarus (or Lazzy for short) lived a difficult life outside. He was a cat who belonged to no one, but that changed when he joined Ten Lives in April 2019. 

Lazarus faced many health challenges, which he overcame with the support of the Ten Lives community. His remarkable spirit brought an entire community together and showed us that when we work together, we can help the forgotten cats of our community and achieve incredible outcomes. 

In turn, Ten Lives established The Lazzy Fund in order to provide vital services to medically fragile cats in our community. 

“Ten Lives believes that funds should not be the limiting factor when making decisions about urgent, life-saving care.”
-Melissa, Founder & Executive Director

Many of the cats who join Ten Lives arrive with injuries or illnesses that require veterinary care above and beyond routine services. Often, preventable or easily treated ailments have gone too long without treatment, resulting in the need for urgent or specialty care. The cats featured below are just some of the many cats The Lazzy Fund has helped since its creation.

Neil was rescued by Ten Lives after a Good Samaritan reached out for help with a severely injured cat. Sadly, Neil had been injured for awhile, and his injuries had worsened over time. When volunteers arrived to assess and set up humane traps, they were heartbroken to see Neil had a gaping neck wound and was covered in flies. It was not until Neil was in our care that we realized the extent of his injuries and how much treatment he would need to make a complete recovery. 

With support from The Lazzy Fund, Neil received extensive treatment for his wounds, as well as having a nearly full-mouth extraction due to stomatitis. Neil also tested positive for feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and due to this diagnosis, he required a lot of supportive care and follow up veterinary services to fully recover. Thankfully, his foster dad, Brian, was by his side every step of the way and never stopped advocating for him. Brian is now Neil’s forever dad, and we think they make a pretty awesome pair! 

Neil & Brian
“The Lazzy Fund allows Ten Lives to help cats that other organizations simply do not have the funds to support. I am so thankful to donors who support this fund and make their care possible.”
-Sabrina, Foster Manager

 

Ten Lives rescued Paddington from the same location as Neil. He escaped numerous attempts by local rescuers and spent months living outside in poor condition. Thankfully, our Community Cats team was able to humanely trap Paddington so that he could receive the veterinary care he desperately needed. 

Paddington arrived completely matted, and had broken teeth and a nasty upper respiratory infection. We soon learned that he also had a large, infected abscess that required immediate care. The Lazzy Fund allowed Paddington to receive extensive follow up care to appropriately treat the abscess and upper respiratory infection. He was also able to receive dental surgery to remove the broken teeth, which were causing him a lot of discomfort. 

During the process of physical healing, Paddington’s foster mom, Rachel, worked to restore his spirit. With tools from our Forgotten Feline program, Rachel was able to gain Paddington’s trust and build his confidence. Now, Paddington is a cherished family member who is loved by his very own human and feline sibling! 

“The Lazzy Fund is the gift of life and love for cats typically considered unadoptable due to illness or injury.”
-Terri, Founding Board Director
Pumpkin - Amputation
Lunar - TECABO Surgery
Witchiepoo - Enucleation
The Lazzy Fund helps rescue cats of all ages who are in need of a wide range of services. With the support of generous donors, we are able to provide life-changing care to cats in our community. This care provides dignity to these once forgotten cats, and allows them to live the healthy lives they deserve. 
This Giving Tuesday, help Ten Lives raise $10,000 for The Lazzy Fund so we can continue to provide life-changing care and second chances to cats in our community.

Volunteer Spotlight: Beth

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Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 100 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.

Beth has been volunteering with us since the October 2020, and has been a foster, a cat cabber (transporting our cats to and from vet appointments), and a fundraising and events volunteer since she joined our team. All of these roles are crucial within our rescue, and we truly appreciate everything Beth does! Beth has two resident cats: 12-year-old Remi (adopted from Providence Animal Rescue League when he was eight-years old). She also has seven-year-old Sasquatch, AKA “Sassy” or “Big Momma Girl.” Sassy was one of Beth’s first fosters with Ten Lives, and she says she ”fell in love with the big, 19 pound paperweight pretty much from the second she met her.”

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I have a good friend that adopted a cat a few years ago from Ten Lives. She spoke very highly of the organization and the compassion of the volunteers. As a child, my family was gifted a stray cat that we named Paw. We developed a very strong bond, and ever since, I’ve felt a special affinity towards all cats. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was in a position to have cats in my life again due to my wandering lifestyle. I’ve since bought a house and have been able to adopt as well as use my extra room to foster cats in need.

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

I’ve had so many special cats that I’ve fostered, so it’s hard to pick just one. One of my fosters, Clint Eastwood, came to me through the rescue’s Community Cats program. He was timid, did not trust people very much, had ringworm, and was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). I fostered him for a few months and worked on building his trust and confidence. He ended up being a very affectionate, lovable, and goofy cat! Eventually, he was listed for adoption and I was worried during the first meet and greet that he would hide because he didn’t like strangers. It took a while, but eventually, he started to venture closer and closer to his new owner until he was eating treats out of her hand. I knew we found the perfect match because his new owner knew that she needed to give him the space to approach her when he was ready. Watching the actual moment that he let his guard down and started trusting another human was very emotional, satisfying, and miraculous. I didn’t think that would happen, and I was so proud of him!

Beth and Sasquatch
3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

I’ve learned how resilient cats can be, and that I am too! I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle saying goodbye to one of my fosters once they found a forever home, but that has not been the case. Yes, some cats are tougher to say goodbye to than others and I’ve shed some tears, but once I shifted the way I thought about the process, it’s been much easier. Understanding that adopting a cat out makes room to help the next one in need helps soften the impact of saying goodbye.

Remi and Sasquatch
4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

That the stereotype is true – we are a bunch of crazy cat people! We could all talk for days about our cats and their antics like they are our children.

5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

I’m a social worker for a community mental program based out of Dedham, Massachusetts. I’m also a therapist with a small private practice.

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I can see us getting better connected with funding sources, and establishing a brick-and-mortar facility, perhaps with our own vet.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

We are a dedicated, fun-loving group of volunteers that are very supportive to one another. You don’t have to be a foster to help out cats. There are many roles and opportunities to help keep the organization running. You can commit to as much time as you are able and there’s no pressure to say yes to something that you can’t do.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

A community of like-minded individuals, a chance to do some very meaningful work, and of course my Sasquatch!

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t doing enough to help cats because the need is so great. This kind of thinking can really bring you down and lead to burn out, but when I start to feel that way, I think of the story of the Starfish Thrower. I can’t save all of the cats, but I can make a difference in the lives of many.  

Sasquatch

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Volunteer

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 100 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.

Linda has been volunteering with us since the Spring of 2019 and has worn many hats since she joined us! She has been a Supply Coordinator, one of our Records Coordinators, a foster mom, our New Foster Mentor, and has assisted at our events. Currently, Linda is our Veterinary Coordinator—in this crucial role, she works closely with our partner veterinarians to obtain records for the cats in our care, she inputs the records and information into our internal management system, and she manages our veterinary bills and invoices. Linda also provides guidance when our foster families have medical protocol questions. We truly appreciate Linda’s dedication as a volunteer with our rescue!

Linda and her family have five resident cats—four-year-old Jasper and three-year-old Domino were in her family prior to her volunteer work with us. They also have adopted three Ten Lives Alumni—three-year-old Cheddar, 11-month-old Rolo, and 23-week-old Bongo. They also have two resident dogs: a six-year-old German Shepard named Patches, and a seven-year old Australian Shepard named Hunter.

Cheddar, one of Linda's resident cats
Bina and her kittens
1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I learned about Ten Lives Cat rescue through Facebook. I was interested in fostering with a new rescue, and they were looking for fosters.

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

I have so many favorite memories while volunteering with Ten Lives. One of my favorites is fostering my resident cat, Cheddar, when she was a few days old and bottle feeding her. I had never bottle fed a kitten or held a kitten so young before this. With the assistance of one of my fellow volunteers, Julie, I was able to care for Cheddar and watched her grow from a helpless neonate to a beautiful adult cat. Cheddar was my third “foster fail,” but my first with Ten Lives.   

Another favorite story I have is about Bina, one of my foster cats. I was asked to foster a semi-feral cat, and found out that she was pregnant after she was in my care. I also learned that she was not a semi-feral cat—I could pet her and pick her up from the beginning. I had never fostered a pregnant cat before, but I agreed to continue to foster her through her pregnancy. When she went into labor, she allowed me to sit with her, and she even put her paw in my hand. I had the privilege of witnessing the birth of Bina’s five kittens, and of watching her take care of them until they (including Bina!) were adopted. Fostering her and her kittens was an incredible experience.

3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

Besides learning how to care for neonates, sick cats, and young kittens, I’ve learned that my favorite types of cats to work with are kittens and neonates. While it is wonderful to see them grow and become confident cats, it is not all fun and games. It is a lot of work.

Being a foster mom tugs at your heartstrings, especially when they are ill or when they are adopted and you have to say goodbye. However, to see them thrive in their new homes is exciting and rewarding, and I know without my help, they may not have survived outside, and they may have been abandoned or euthanized. I love getting updates from my cats’ adopters.

4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I would like people to know that that not all rescues are the same. Ten Lives cares not only for their cats and makes sure that they are taken care of medically, physically, and emotionally, but they care about their volunteers’ well-being, as well. I have personally seen the supplies and funds the rescue receives, and when Ten Lives says that 100% of donations are used to give the volunteers food, litter, supplies, medications, and medical visits, it’s true. Ten Lives goes above and beyond to help ALL cats, including medically fragile ones. They do not just euthanize a sick cat; they exhaust all options before making this difficult decision.

Lacey, Linda's first foster with Ten Lives

For Ten Lives volunteers, there is a support system in places that consists of the founders of the rescue and mentors. You are not just given a cat and are told “take care of it”—the support system is there to answer questions or give suggestions via the phone, email, or on our volunteer Facebook page. We also have a foster handbook that is a great resource. If needed, volunteers are always willing to help and teach new volunteers how to do something, such as how to feed a neonate by a bottle or syringe.  

While the adoption process can sometimes take a little longer, it’s because Ten Lives has a team of Adoption Coordinators that review each application that comes in. Our Adoption Coordinators conduct interviews and completes extensive background checks on potential adopters. The foster family is also involved in the adoption process as they know the cat(s) best. We are transparent with adopters about whether or not a cat has medical or behavioral issues, and we provide resources for reference and to help a cat or cats acclimate to their new home. Adopters are given all the medical records for their cat(s). Ten Lives also stands by the statement “Once a Ten Lives cat, always a Ten Lives Cat.” After a cat or cats have been adopted, our Post-Adoption Coordinator will reach out to adopters to see how things are going, and our rescue is always available to answer questions.

Three of Linda's resident cats
5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

When I am not volunteering with the rescue, I am part of a Christian Women’s group. We send out encouragement cards, birthday cards, and notes to people who ask for our support from around the world.

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I know the rescue will grow—hopefully, we will have our own veterinarian and clinic within the next five years! I believe Ten Lives will still teaching the public about cats’ and kittens’ care and will continue to make an impact through their Community Cats program. I also think the rescue will continue to be a soft place for cats and kittens to land when they need a new home.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

I tell people that volunteering with Ten Lives is different than other rescues because our rescue is not here just for the numbers of cats we care for, adopt out, or trap-neuter-return (TNR). We are here to care, love, support the cat’s needs, and to help find a forever home that is right for the cat.

As a foster, you are supported through the whole process—you are never given a cat and left to figure out what to do. There is an incredible support system within the rescue who can help answer questions, assist in making medical decisions, and offer input on whether a cat needs more time in foster care or if they are ready to be adopted. The foster always has a say during the adoption process, which is important. Volunteers are also encouraged to take on only what they can handle. If they need a break or have something going on, the rescue encourages them to take a the time they need.

Additionally, volunteers are encouraged to take online classes, such as classes on TNR, bottle feeding kittens, or socializing cats. The rescue will reimburse you on the cost of the class as needed, which is wonderful.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I have gained a lot of joy, self-confidence, and knowledge from taking care of 25+ cats/kittens over the last few years. I have also gained three cute cats!

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I believe I have made an impact in the rescue by fostering, helping volunteers with questions, supporting volunteers, and helping where I can. One example of an impact I’ve made on the rescue is thanks to an online class I took where they spoke about having a TNR backpack. After speaking with Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director), we decided to implement this idea to better assist our Community Cats volunteers. Two other volunteers and I donated supplies to fill TNR backpacks for the rescue—the supplies will include formula, bottles, syringes, first aid supplies, scissors, tweezers, tick removers, food, wipes, water, and thermometers. The TNR backpacks will be distributed to our volunteer trappers in the near future, and will help them to be better prepared when they come across emergencies while trapping cats and kittens.

Bongo, Linda's newest resident cat

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!

September 2022 Adoption Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Adoption

Last month, 24 cats and kittens found their forever homes! The month’s group ranged from approximately 20 weeks to 10 years old – several of these cats and kittens arrived to our rescue due to unfortunate circumstances that were no fault of their own, while others were humanely trapped as strays thanks to our community cats efforts. 11 of the kittens adopted in September were born while in our rescue and have known the comforts of indoor life and full bellies from the beginning. One of our adopted cats was humanely trapped and re-homed as a barn cat, one cat was adopted by his foster family, and six cats and kittens were a part of double adoptions. Additionally, one senior cat was humanely trapped, was provided extensive medical care, and learned to trust before finding his forever home.

Our rescue relies heavily on donations from our amazing supporters to help us give the cats in our care the best possible chance at long, healthy lives where they are cherished by their forever families. In response to the cats in our program’s needs, we have created our Forgotten Feline program to help scared and under-socialized cats regain trust and confidence. We have also created The Lazzy Fund, which gives a second chance to those cats who have been neglected and forgotten, including cats in need of critical and lifesaving medical care. The Forgotten Feline program and The Lazzy Fund help many of our cats during their time in our rescue, and this month, two of our Forgotten Feline graduates were adopted!

Lenny, an incredibly sweet senior boy, joined Ten Lives in June 2021 after a Good Samaritan contacted us for help. It was obvious that Lenny was struggling to survive outside and was in desperate need of veterinary care. When he arrived, Lenny was suffering from a severe upper respiratory infection and ringworm. We soon discovered that Lenny was also dealing with dental disease, a heart murmur, was positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Thanks to The Lazzy Fund and his attentive foster, Lenny is now ringworm-free, his respiratory status is under control, and he has been seen by a cardiologist. Despite his many medical challenges, Lenny continued to maintain his sweet disposition, and blossomed while in our care. A Forgotten Feline program graduate, Lenny loves to sleep in the hidey house on the cat tower, which is right next to a window. At night, he gets especially affectionate and curious, and he’s learned to love catnip mice and wands. After a little over a year in foster care, Lenny was adopted by his forever family, who is dedicated to giving him the best life in his golden years.

John Duggan 1 was humanely trapped as part of our Community Cats efforts in July 2022. When possible, cats with adoption potential are moved into a foster home for socialization and eventual adoption. Ten Lives understands that not all cats can be socialized to humans, and we respect their unique needs. In these situations, cats are returned to their outdoor homes so they can continue to thrive; also known as trap-neuter-return (TNR). After evaluating John Duggan 1, it was determined that she is a feral cat and could not be socialized. While waiting for her vet appointment, she decided to surprise her foster family and give birth to kittens! John Duggan 1 also earned the nickname of “Houdini” – she managed to escape her trap and be “on the run” for 29 days before being humanely trapped a second time to be TNR’ed. John Duggan 1 is now living as a barn cat, where she is safe and being cared for by her forever family. John Duggan 1’s kittens have been or are in the process of being adopted by their forever families.

Congratulations to Abyss, Alexa, Angus, Barbeque, Elijah, Fathom, Gabriel, Goose, Hisoka, Jarvis, Jasper, John Duggan 1, Kirtan, Lenny, Maverick, Miss Whiskers, Nugget, Peanut, Precious, Prince William, Princess, Twinkle, Vin, and Zenimal for finding their forever homes!

Are you interested in adopting a cat from Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Take a look at our adoptable cats!

How can you help the cats currently in Ten Lives’ care? Sponsor a Forgotten Feline, become a foster, apply for one of our volunteer opportunities, donate to The Lazzy Fund, or purchase a needed item on our Wishlist.

Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Volunteer

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 100 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.

Rachel has been volunteering with Ten Lives since 2020, and she has played a crucial role with our rescue since then! She is our Petco Coordinator, an events volunteer, and the occasional cat trapper as part of our Community Cats efforts. We truly appreciate everything Rachel does, and we are grateful she chose to volunteer with our rescue!

Rachel has one resident cat – a six-year-old male tabby named Toby.

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?
Rachel's cat, Toby

I knew Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director) prior to her Ten Lives days, and loved following her journey as she created and grew the rescue. I decided to finally become a volunteer during the pandemic, when I had more time on my hands after my full-time job switched to a remote role. The hardships of the pandemic also made me realize I wanted to do more with my life and give back to a community I care about.

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

Learning to trap cats for our Community Cats program has been quite the adventure!

3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

That cat-people are the best!

4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

That we’re a part of Amazon Smile!

5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

I keep busy with my office job (I’m a financial writer). I also make wreaths and felt goods, selling products at local craft fairs and online as RAC Felt and Flowers.

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I believe Ten Lives will continue to grow its amazing base of volunteers. I hope we can expand our partnerships with local business and expand our reach into Massachusetts and other areas of New England.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

You can join an amazing group of people with the same interests, and to help care for cats.

Crafts Rachel created for a Ten Lives event!
One of the first cats Rachel helped trap as part of our Community Cats efforts
8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I’ve gained countless friendships since volunteering with Ten Lives, as well as organization skills and increased cat-care knowledge. I’ve also gained a wonderful feeling of purpose and fulfillment.

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

My volunteering with Ten Lives has helped us raise money for the rescue, gain new volunteers, and aid in the adoption of several cats.

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!