This week, Sylviag tells us the story of how her and her husband were looking for a volunteer opportunity and ended up rebuilding the CRAFT no-kill animal shelter from the bottom up.
Welcome to The CRAFT shelterMy husband Bryan and I were looking for a volunteer opportunity in Bend, specifically with cats in a no kill environment. We found the Cat Rescue, Adoption and Foster Team (CRAFT). I was to be a highly experienced pooper scooper, kitty room maid and Laundry Lady and Bryan the handyman to fix all those "honey dos" that had piled up.
An organization in crisisLittle did we know that we had stepped into an organization in crisis as their founder and Director was retiring from her "day job" and also stepping down as Director of CRAFT in and becoming "Director Emeritus" to guide whomever took over CRAFT as she so wanted. She had started the dream but needed the help of others to carry it forward.
As her income would be reduced she could no longer let CRAFT use her second home rent free, pay the utilities nor could she make up monthly shortfalls from her personal funds. Once it was agreed by many volunteers this was an organization worth fighting for, I applied my rusty human resources skills to develop a reorganization plan to address numerous issues aside from funding to essentially rebuild CRAFT from scratch. Ceiling Cat must have been looking out for us as she sent us a retired veterinarian to give us her considerable medical expertise, also saving us vet bills in the process.
A unique and loving refuge for catsCRAFT is an all volunteer, non-profit organization whose core mission is to "rescue and adopt out." The more foever homes we find, the more cats needing one can be taken in Last year CRAFT rescued and adopted out 860 cats that would otherwise have been euthanized. CRAFT is unique in that we will take back any cat we adopted out, no questions asked. We are also the only shelter in this area that accepts ferals; tests, vaccinates, medically treats, spays and neuters them and places them in safe outdoor and indoor environments. Other shelters euthanize them. We test, vaccinate, deworm, spay/neuter and give whatever medical and dental care is needed and chip all our cats.
CRAFT is full of beautiful cats all waiting to find forever homes.
Tomasita is one of the many pretty kittehs roaming the CRAFT groundsTomasita was found by a meter reader in Redmond, OR in the bitter cold and snow; sick, filthy, freezing, starving, dehydrated, matted, with an obvious mouth infection. When CRAFT accepted this indomitable little girl with a strong will to live, we commmitted to get her healthy and giving her lots of love. After being cleaned up and given her initial vet exam, her teeth were in such bad shape, and diagnosed with stomatitus, the vet had to remove all of her teeth. Healthy and happy now, she is ready for a forever home.
Adam is on the mend and looking goodWhen Adam was rescued, he was severly matted and so weak he could hardly walk. Now getting healthy again, he slowly makes his way around the house on his little bowed legs wearing his fashionable "Boss" shirt.
Bernadette, Sheldon and Penny are hunting for forever homesBernadette, Sheldon and Penny (all from the same litter) were found at the front door of CRAFT one morning stuffed inside a cat carrier. Of coursee we took these "teenage" cuties in and did the normal intake procedures, Penny (fluffy tailed girl) has already been adopted! And a cheezfren who lives in OR may come visit me and take a look at rapscallion Sheldon of the Stubby Curly Tail. He keeps all the kitties in his "room" hopping. Bernadette is a pure black beauty and we hope she finds a forever home soon too
Binx, Tigger, Joey and Paladin are almost ready for adoptionSome more of the residents at Casa CRAFT clockwise from top left: Binx, Tigger (who just had 10 teeth pulled due to severe decay, but he is recuperating nicely and will be ready for adoption soon); Joey and Paladin.
Rebuilding the CRAFT is a worthwhile work in progress. To ensure just one cat is adoptable requires a big chunk of change and effort. We currently have many sources for funding and ideas for the future. We are also reaching out for more volunteers through social media.
I cannot even express how grateful Bryan and I are for this chance to get share the story of CRAFT and its kitties.
Thanks to Sylviag for her hard work helping the cats of Bend, Oregon and for sharing her tale. Please head to CRAFT's main site or their Facebook page for more information on the shelter and to find out how you can donate, volunteer or adopt a new best friend. Who knows maybe you'll end up having a beer with Bryan and Sylvia in a Bend brew pub.
Sylvia wrote up a longer post sharing more of the challenges of revitalizing the CRAFT shelter. Head to this blog post to read the complete story.
If you enjoyed this feature and want to submit a story of your own, head to this blog post. Also, be sure to check out the other FFM posts here!
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