Volunteer

Caregiver

Caring for a feral cat colony provides tremendous benefits to caregivers, neighbors and the cats.

Caregivers can:

  • Promote the cats’ well-being
  • Improve their relationships with neighbors
  • Assist the people who live nearby to understand and co-exist with the cats

Basic care for free-roaming cats involves the following:

  • Conduct ongoing Trap-Neuter-Return as needed
  • Provide food and water
  • Provide shelter
  • Monitor members of the colony and provide ongoing health care
  • Help cats and people co-exist
  • Plan for substitute colony care

Caregivers provide food and water regularly and provide winter shelters to ensure a warm, dry place for the cats in cold and wet weather. Caregivers monitor their colonies and seek medical attention, if needed, for sick or injured cats. Caregivers assure that ALL cats in their colony are spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

Feeding and providing shelter for feral cats allows them to peacefully co-exist in an area. While some people welcome them for rodent control, providing nutritious food keeps them both from roaming in search of a food source and also less susceptible to disease and parasites.

Community Cats of Benzie County will aid caregivers in resources — food, shelter and funds for ongoing care.

Transporter

We need volunteers to help transport cats in traps to the veterinary office for spay/neuter and medical care.

Dates will be set ahead of time to trap cats within a colony. Once they are trapped, we will need one or two volunteers to get them to the spay/neuter appointment in the morning and then pick them up either later that day or the following morning and transport them back to their colony.

Community Cats of Benzie County will cover expenses that are incurred.

Occasionally, we need to get an individual cat to the veterinarian due to illness or if a new cat enters an already stable colony.

Foster

We make every effort to place any social cat or kitten we encounter in our feral cat colonies into a loving home. In order to accomplish this, we need foster homes to keep these cats and kittens safe, cared for and loved until their forever homes can be found. Community Cats of Benzie County works with a network of foster homes. We are always in need of new foster parents.

Fostering is very rewarding, but it’s also a big time commitment. You must be able to keep your foster feline until it is adopted, which could take many months, depending on the animal. You must also be able to transport the animal to one of our veterinarians as needed and be available for periodic adoption events.

If you are interested in fostering, please fill out a foster application. A volunteer will contact you within five days.

NOTE: you must be 21 years of age and have your own transportation to foster.

If you are interested in fostering, please fill out a Foster Application.

Trap-Neuter-Return Support

At times, we will need help from volunteers to set up traps and monitor them as we humanely trap feral cats in a specific area. We will provide all the resources needed and provide guidelines and training to any of our volunteers who help in this way.

The TNR for a single cat colony will be scheduled at least a few days ahead of time. The time commitment is usually 1-3 hours while we monitor the traps from a distance and then move them to a safe area once a cat is trapped.

Other Opportunities

Other volunteer opportunities include:

  • Sewing covers for cat traps
  • Sewing cushions for cat beds
  • Aiding on spay/neuter days
  • Sharing the word on our organization to those in need of help

If you would like to help us in any way, please fill out and submit our Volunteer Application.

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