Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah

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Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 60 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.

Sarah was Ten Lives Cat Rescue’s very first volunteer! She has been volunteering with us since May 2018, and her role with us includes being a foster, general volunteer, and adopter. Sarah has three resident cats: Brooklyn (10 years old), Cora (2 years old), and Abby (2 years old). Brooklyn has been with Sarah since she was a little kitten, and Cora and Abby were both fosters that she just couldn’t say goodbye to. Sarah has a “no cute kitten” rule with adopting, but she broke her own rule with Cora and Abby! Sarah’s current fosters include Dash (1 year old), who is paralyzed and incontinent, and Bandit (3 months) who is a Panleuk survivor!

Late night snuggles with Bandit, our sole PanLeuk Survivor
1.   How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

A friend knew I was interested in fostering cats and told me about a new cat rescue that she read about on Next Door. I was already actively searching out rescues to volunteer with, so the timing was pretty perfect. I sent Melissa (TLCR’s Executive Director) an email, and within a few days, I already had my very first foster, Chloe. From that very first cat, I knew this was something I would be doing long term. I have been an animal advocate my whole life, always bringing home the stray cats and dogs I would find, slowing down for squirrels, and returning baby birds to nests. Fostering just made sense. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

2.   What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?
Walter after lots of love

I have so many! Walter’s story sticks out the most to me. Walter was a senior cat who lost everything when his family, an elderly woman, passed away. He lost his home when he was tossed out with the furniture shortly after her death. For an entire year, Walter survived outside on the streets of Providence while a Good Samaritan made it her mission to look out for him and try to get him help. She was finally successful when she posted a blurry photo on NextDoor of a white cat who looked like he was made of skin and bones. I got in touch with her and we had a plan to get him inside within the hour. Walter was my foster cat for seven months and he was nothing but a gentle, loving old man who was happy to be sleeping on a bed again. He was adopted into a loving family where he spent the remainder of his days being spoiled and loved. Walter passed away in 2019, but he was a loved member of a family, and not lonely and forgotten outside.

3.   What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?
June and her kittens after she gave birth

I’ve learned a TON. When I started fostering, I had never dealt with medically fragile animals of ANY kind. After two years of hands on experience, there isn’t much I haven’t done. Bottle feeding a litter of kittens used to sound absolutely terrifying; now it’s something I look forward to. Undersocialized cats were intimidating, now it’s a welcome challenge. I never thought I could give subcutaneous fluids to an 82 gram kitten, but you would be surprised what you can be capable of when it comes to life and death. I have also learned that no matter what you do, sometimes a kitten still doesn’t make it, and sometimes you have to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye, unfortunately that’s part of fostering sometimes too.

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

Ten Lives takes in a lot of undersocialized cats that a lot of other organizations do not have the resources to help.

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

I’m a nanny to four really great kids who love to see and meet my fosters (especially the kittens). They even named one of my first orphan kittens, Ben! When I’m not taking care of kids, I’m a photographer! You may have seen some of my pictures on the Ten Lives website or Facebook page – or may have even entered into the July raffle to win a Beach Mini Shoot!

Hank when he first arrived with a terrible URI
6.   How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I think we will only get bigger and better. We have so many amazing, dedicated, and generous volunteers (and a supportive community). I can’t see us going anywhere but up. Everyone who volunteers with Ten Lives are all in it for the same reason—we want to help the cats in our community.

7.   Why should others consider volunteering with us?

Fostering gave me a sense of purpose. For me, it makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger. Not all volunteers are fosters, which I think is important. While fostering is a huge part of Ten Lives, we have so many roles behind the scenes. From adoption coordinators, reference checkers, cat cab volunteers, event coordinators, the list goes on. If you want to help but can’t foster, don’t get discouraged! We have lots of roles that are just as important.

8.   What have you gained while volunteering with us?
Sarah’s quarantine bottle babies, Charlie, Zoe, Luna, and Badger

I’ve gained friends, a community, a sense of purpose, and a wealth of knowledge about cats and kittens – oh, and lots and lots of cat pictures.

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

I know I’ve changed the lives of all of the cats that have come through my apartment. I’ve sent over 20 cats and kittens to forever homes. To me, there are few things more rewarding than getting that first update text, with a picture attached of a cat who just a few months ago was forgotten outside and is now a valued member of a family. I love each cat like they are my own, but in the end, goodbye is the goal.

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Amazon Wishlist!

Forgotten Feline Spotlight: Dash

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If you follow Ten Lives Cat Rescue’s social media accounts, you may have seen a one-year-old cat named Dash grace our pages. She’s playful, she loves to snuggle, and she’s working on her socialization skills. You may have also noticed that Dash does not have use of her rear legs, but this doesn’t stop her from roaming her foster home and scaling beds, couches, and other furniture with little help!

Dash when she was rescued by Ten Lives Cat Rescue in January 2020.

Rescued in January, Dash joined our program after her initial rescuer could no longer provide adequate care for her. As a kitten, Dash was injured and lost function of her rear legs. When she arrived at her Ten Lives foster mom’s home, she was terrified of everything, was extremely dirty, and was medically a mess. It was obvious that she had been neglected for quite some time, and according to our vet, was in the worst shape they had ever seen a cat in. According to her foster mom, if she was trying to nap and you moved around in the same room, she would immediately wake up, as if she could never truly relax. Essentially, everyone she had known prior to arriving in Ten Lives’ care had let her down.

Together, Dash and her foster mom fell into a care routine, which involves the occasional bath, playtime, changing Dash’s diaper, feeding her, and relaxing together on the couch. After extensive medical care and patience, Dash is almost a completely new cat from who she was six months ago.

Living her best life in her foster home.

She’s learned to trust her foster mom, and if her foster mom is in the same room while she’s napping now, she barely stirs. Dash’s favorite place to sleep is right up against her foster mom in bed. Dash also loves to play, and has a favorite little mouse toy that she has absolutely annihilated.

Dash’s foster mom says that while it was difficult in the beginning, Dash’s care routine is easy for a special needs cat. She eats and goes to the bathroom at the same time every day, and wears a diaper and uses puppy pads. In comparison to a healthy cat or kitten, Dash is considered a high maintenance cat. However, she’s worth it, and shows her gratitude in a multitude of ways.

Dash is part of our Forgotten Feline Program, which aims to help scared and under-socialized cats who are considered “unadoptable” by other shelters. With the help of our dedicated foster families, we are able to give them the support they need to blossom.

If you are interested in sponsoring Dash, please click here.

Spay it Forward

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On May 5th, Ten Lives Cat Rescue will participate in Giving Tuesday Now. What is GTN? It is a global day of giving and unity in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. On this day, people all over the world will come together to lift each other up and create a wave of generosity & support for our community. 

 

At the beginning of March, we saw the closure of our local spay-neuter clinic and the immediate halt of spay and neuter surgeries for the foreseeable future. This closure has left a void in our community during a time when rescues and shelters would normally be working overtime to help homeless cats and providing critical spay and neuter services. 

In February, we accepted the first pregnant cat of 2020 into our program. Since then, we have rescued 4 more pregnant cats, 4 neonatal kittens that required bottle feeding, and 3 four week old kittens without their Mom. 

The world may be shut down, but there are still cats awaiting rescue and vet care. As the world returns to normal operations we expect there will be many more cats in need of care. Together, we can be there to provide critical spay/neuter services once it’s safe to do so. 

On Giving Tuesday Now join our campaign to end the needless suffering by Spaying it Forward

 

In seven years, one unspayed cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens. By spaying 1 cat we can prevent the needless suffering for thousands of cats.

How does it work? 

  • You donate $25

  • Ten Lives will match your $25 donation

  • An anonymous donor will match your $25 donation

Together, we’re Spaying it Forward. 

Celebrating Volunteer Week 2020: April 19th-25th

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Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is 100% volunteer-powered? All of our volunteers have the same goal in mind: to help save and advocate for cats in our community. They donate their time and help us foster cats in need, run events to raise life-saving funds, coordinate transportation for the cats in our care to get to and from their vet appointments, and much more. The best reward for all of them is seeing the cats thrive and to get them adopted into loving forever homes. Many of our volunteers do this while working full time jobs with families and pets of their own while asking for nothing in exchange.

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974, and is an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world. In the last two years, Ten Lives Cat Rescue has saved 477 cats, and has grown to 80 volunteers. Their roles range from intake, fostering, coordinating adoptions, creating adoption agreements, post-adoption services, and anything and everything in between. Here are some of their stories:

Sarah

“I’ve been a Ten Lives foster for two years now and it has easily been the most rewarding experience of my life. From tiny 92 gram neonate bottle babies, to a 13-year-old senior cat who was finally rescued after fighting to survive outside for a year, to a paralyzed cat who lived a life full of neglect—they are all welcome here. Twenty-eight foster cats have come through my apartment since May 2018 and I’m only just getting started. I have learned SO much through hands-on trial and error; but what’s great about Ten Lives is there is always a volunteer who is eager to help. We have a really great team of selfless and caring volunteers and I can’t wait to see what this year brings us—even if we are doing virtual meet and greets and no contact adoptions. Some cats pull on your heartstrings a little more than others, but they are all deserving of a loving forever home, regardless of their beginning. I’m so thankful I’m able to give so many cats a second chance.”

Alexandra

“I became involved with TLCR in the spring of 2018 after fostering (and ultimately adopting) my best feline friend, Lily. Following TLCR’s social media pages after that really opened my eyes to the immense lack of resources and the huge unfulfilled need to help abandoned, injured, and abused cats and kittens across our state. I truly had no idea how large the problem really is. I firmly believe that we all can make a difference in this world (especially collectively) and I was so grateful for finding my Lily that I felt compelled to help too. Every little bit makes a difference.  Although I couldn’t foster at the time, a volunteer opportunity that could be done completely remotely came up at the beginning of 2019 and I became TLCR’s post-adoption coordinator.

What I didn’t know at the time I volunteered for the position was how rewarding it would actually be or how important TLCR’s mission would become to my heart. (Nor did I think that I would soon go on to actually foster 6 cats!) I continue to be blown away by our organization’s collective accomplishments and how closely knit the TLCR “family” is. If you volunteer or adopt from us, I can promise you that you will be working with some of the most dedicated, selfless, loving, compassionate, supportive, kind and genuine human beings that exist—their inspiration never ceases to amaze me.

Even if you cannot foster or adopt, or have only limited time available, there are many, ways to become involved and to help do your part in making a difference for Rhode Island cats too—it can be as simple as sharing TLCR’s posts or even when making regular purchases through Amazon, simply using our Amazon Smile link!”

Kim

“Fostering and volunteering with Ten Lives has been such a rewarding experience that I feel fortunate to share with my daughter. Together we have helped to save countless forgotten cats that were worth saving. Ten Lives is an amazing organization that is committed to saving all cats, and puts each cat’s best interest first. I am proud to be a member of this amazing lifesaving team.”

Julie

“I’ve fostered for other rescues in the past, and the difference with Ten Lives is that they put a significant effort into making their volunteers feel connected and supported through an online community. Other volunteers and the leadership of the organization are always available to offer advice and supplies, so there’s never a time that you feel like you’re doing this alone. Over a dozen cats and kittens have passed through my home into their forever homes because of this rescue’s efforts.

People ask me if it’s hard to give up my foster cats, and yes it is. But to me, being a foster is like being a school teacher. You teach life skills, give compassion, and you celebrate when they’ve learned and grown enough to move onto the next step in their life, feeling great that you made a difference.”

Alissa

“I’ve been a volunteer with Ten Lives Cat Rescue for over a year now! My husband and I rescued a bonded pair of four-month-old kittens named Charlie and Ghost in October 2018, and afterwards, I felt an overwhelming need to give back to the amazing organization that saved my boys from an uncertain fate. As the Adoption Agreements Coordinator, I’m able to help the cats in Ten Lives’ care get one step closer to going to their forever homes. I was also fortunate enough to be part of the planning committee for Ten Lives’ first event, A Night Out for a Good Paws. I’m so proud to volunteer for Ten Lives, and I can’t wait to help them continue to advocate and save cats now and in the future.”

Ally

“I started volunteering as a foster and then after we adopted Motzi I decided I wanted to remain involved with Ten Lives because of the great work they do with rescue cats and because they do a great job advocating for cats living in the community through TNR. I love that Ten Lives is all about giving cats a second chance.”

 

 

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more!

Kitten Adoptions

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Kitten season is here! We know that everyone is very excited about the kittens we’ve been posting on social media and we can’t blame you. Below is some important information about adopting kittens from Ten Lives!
  • Kittens remain in our program until they are 12 weeks old so that they can spend enough time with Mom and/or siblings and receive initial vetting services including spay or neuter. 
  • The adoption fee includes: spay or neuter, a distemper vaccination at 8 and 12 weeks old, rabies vaccination, fecal testing, dewormer, flea treatment, and microchip with free lifetime registration. 
  • Once kittens are available for adoption we will make an announcement on social media and begin accepting applications on our website. If a kitten receives an overwhelming number of applications we will remove them from our application. This means they are no longer available. Due to limited volunteer power we will not review kitten applications that have been submitted under another cat and those applicants will not be contacted. 
  • Due to limited volunteer power, we cannot pre-approve applications. Applications will be accepted when they are listed for adoption and available on our application. We strive to respond to applicants within 96 business hours, but during kitten season it may take longer. Please be patient, we are all volunteers! 
  • We receive an overwhelming number of Facebook messages regarding kittens and do our best to respond to them all. Please remember, everyone at Ten Lives is a volunteer who juggles multiple responsibilities in addition to volunteering. Some times it’s just not possible to respond to every message. Please read our posts carefully. Many times the answers to your questions can be found right in the post or on our website! 
Thanks fur reading!!