Local Cat Rescues

Juliette Fang, Staff Writer

Many of us who own a cat can recognize the feeling of love and affection we feel towards our furry feline companions. Of these pets, many are adopted from shelters or other animal rescue centers. These places often play a key role in giving pets a chance at a loving home, in turn helping the community by preventing thousands of animals from roaming the streets. 

Right here in the Los Angeles County area, there are many cat rescue centers that work tirelessly and overcome many obstacles in order to provide care and support for cats. One of these organizations, the Cat Posse, is based in Pasadena and Altadena and has been rescuing cats from off the streets since 2008. 

“I always wanted to help animals in any way that I can as they don’t have a ‘voice’, and although we can’t help all of them, we do our best to help as many as we possibly can,” stated Sharon Clark, the Cat Posse’s founder and owner. 

Rescue organizations take in approximately 6.3 million animals per year, with 3.2 million of these being cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Of these animals, some cannot be cared for by their owners anymore and can find a new home through cat rescue organizations instead of being abandoned. Twice as many are strays rescued from the streets, oftentimes requiring medical care for diseases and parasites picked up from outside. 

Cat organizations “would be kind of helpful for people who can’t take care of their cats anymore,” and “they rescue cats, that sounds nice”, according to Arcadia High School freshman and cat lover Hazel Wong.

Many animal shelters and cat rescues are sadly forced to euthanize many of their animals in order to prevent overpopulation. But some, “no-kill” animal shelters stand out because they do not euthanize any of their rescues. 

“Without ‘no-kill’ rescues like ours, so many more animals would die needlessly,” said Clark. “People reach out to us every day to help animals, and it is so overwhelming, but without private rescues, more cats and dogs would go to the city and county shelters and humane societies, and the euthanization rate would be higher than it already is.”

Indeed, according to a report made by the ASPCA, about 920,000 cats and dogs are euthanized each year. This number would be much higher, but because of the hard work of Clark and the Cat Posse, many animals are saved from this fate. 

Cat rescue organizations and other animal shelters also play a vital role in the community. Some of the animals taken in are lost pets that have been separated from their owner, especially after natural disasters. When this happens, volunteers and workers at these places work to reunite owners with their animal companions. 

Rescue organizations and shelters also provide important benefits to keeping cities clean and healthy. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), there are a whopping 70 million stray cats and dogs roaming American streets. This is a lose-lose situation for both animals and humans, as animals run the risk of catching diseases, being hit by cars, and starvation. An uncontrolled number of stray animals may spread parasites, infections, and other maladies such as rabies to humans. 

Animal shelters greatly curb this number by not only taking in many of these stray animals, but also by encouraging spaying and neutering programs, preventing animal reproduction from creating even more animals that may be euthanized. 

While many of these cat rescue organizations are essential parts of the community, being a part of them is not easy. Healthcare and maintenance for these animals cost thousands of dollars, and these organizations run mostly on donations and their own money. Volunteers and workers often have to work extremely hard and are put under emotional and physical strain. 

“Being an animal rescuer is very, very hard,” said Clark. “You never have time for yourself; you see how selfish many humans are, and you never have any money as you spend everything you have on the animals. And even though you feel wonderful when you place a cat in a wonderful home where you know they will be loved and taken care of, you still feel bad because you couldn’t rescue another one that you can’t get out of your mind.”

People can help out these cats and dogs by fostering or adopting animals and providing donations. Many people only want to foster kittens or the more outgoing cats, but shyer or older animals must also be taken care of. People can also foster cats until they get a permanent home as a more temporary way to help. 

Besides taking in a cat, people can help by donating. The price of healthcare and maintenance of caring for cats can cost thousands of dollars per month, so funding is what places like these need most. You can support the Cat Posse and other organizations like it by donating money, food, or supplies such as litter, or adopting or fostering a cat.