Habitat for Cats, a nonprofit, no-kill volunteer organization caring for homeless cats

About HFC - how we started, our programs and services, including
trap/neuter/return, foster care and adoption.

Accomplishments, awards and grants

Our Start

Habitat for Cats originated from a small group of people in local communities in Southeastern Massachusetts, who were individually and voluntarily involved in various efforts to care for feral and abandoned cats. Chance encounters at local veterinary clinics initiated colaborative efforts by these individuals. The group organized and applied for recognition as a 501(3)c non-profit, all volunteer corporation and was approved in April 1997. Through the years, Habitat for Cats has steadily increased its programs, services and volunteers.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HabitatforCatsMA

Board Of Directors

Aura Correia, President
Carla McDermott, Treasurer
Phyllis Sweeney, Secretary
Diane East

Betsy Fuller
Claudette Mathews
Debbie Medeiros
Ginny Mc Mahon
Terry Somerson

Trap Neuter Return Program

The Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program is aimed at sterilization of feral or stray cats. A managed colony is considered to be a group of 2 or more cats under the care of a responsible feeder. A colony doesn't necessarily exist only in woods or farmland. Feral and stray cats frequently exist at restaurants, abandoned houses, people's backyards in the suburbs and cities - anywhere they can find food.

HFC works with local low cost spay/neuter clinics and veterinary hospitals to provide spay/neuter, rabies vaccinations and other medical treatment to hundreds of feral and homeless cats and kittens.HFC provides resources, education and advice to the public in regards to homeless cat care , spay/neuter and feral cat colony management/care.

When needed, feral and stray cats are trapped, receive vet care, are spayed/neutered and recover under the guidance of HFC volunteers. Adult cats are returned to their homes or colonies after recovery from surgery. Some cats and kittens that are domesticated may be placed in the Habitat foster care/Adoption program as openings allow; Domesticated cats/kittens may also be transferred to a regional Adoption Shelter to be adopted through their facility.

Habitat loans equipment for trapping and for the post-surgical care of feral cats and provides training on managing a feral colony. HFC is one of a few organizations in the area that has the expertise and knowledge to educate and assist the public on matters related to feral cats and colonies. Habitat for Cats does not promote relocating feral cats.

Click on Info and Resources pages for more information on Trap-Neuter-Return.

Foster Care and Adoption Program

Unlike traditional cat shelters which eventually euthanize cats that aren't adopted, HFC tries to place adoptable cats and kittens in volunteer foster homes until permanent adoption homes are found. This method allows the cat to integrate in a family and home environment in order to develop physically, socially and emotionally. Many of the cats and kitten we rescue require a little "TLC" before being placed for adoption. Caring for a foster cat or kitten is a rewarding experience and
a wonderful way to donate your time to a cat that has nowhere else to turn. Please consider volunteering to be a "foster parent".

HFC created and maintains a small cat Sanctuary for some of the feral cats who could not be returned to their colonies because of life threatening circumstances or for the stray cats who were in foster care but were found to be "unadoptable" because of behavior problems. At the sanctuary, the cats receive daily care from a dedicated volunteer staff and will live their lives in safety within the confines of the HFC sanctuary. Under the nuturing care of volunteers, some of these cats have become tame and friendly and have been adopted into good homes. Your donation provides the funds for food and supplies required for these "foster" cats.Please note that as of 2012, our Sanctuary has reached its capacity and we cannot take in any more resident cats.

Accomplishments, Awards and Grants

Habitat for Cats Receives $10,000 Grant from PetSmart Charities to Spay and Neuter 200 Stray Cats - 2006

Habitat for Cats received a $10,000 grant to help low-income feral cat feeders spay and neuter their cats. The program offers free spay/neuter services for qualifying, low-income people feeding stray or feral cats in the Greater New Bedford area.
Habitat for Cats hopes that this newly funded spay/neuter incentive program will help solve the cat over-population problem in the area and become a model for other groups across the country.
Habitat for Cats s spay/neuter program is a great example of taking the initiative to improve the local community,  said Patty Finch, Director of Charitable Giving for PetSmart Charities. Targeted programs like these are the key to successful, low-cost spay/neuter in local communities. Cumulatively, they are making a huge impact on pet overpopulation nationwide. 
Since its inception in 1994, PetSmart Charities (PCI) has helped save the lives of more than 2.5 million homeless pets, and has given more than $51 million to animal welfare programs across the United States and Canada.

333 Cats & Kittens Adopted - 2005

In 2005, over 300 cats/kittens were adopted from Habitat for Cats. The vast majority of these pets were rescued cats and kittens that were either abandoned cats or feral kittens. Each year, new ways of promoting adoptions are needed. In 2005, mobile adoption days proved very successful.

PetsMart Charities awards grant to fund spay/neuter - 2004

Habitat for Cats, Inc. received a grant from PetsMart Charities to fund project POP, a Pet Outreach Program, to help low-income cat owners spay/neuter their cats for a very low price. Due to the high cost of veterinarian services, many low-income families and elderly cannot afford to spay and neuter their animals. POP will reach out to low-income cat owners through a community brochure and via local media coverage. Cat owners will have to meet income eligibility criteria in order to qualify. The goal of this program is to reduce the number of homeless cats in the local community of New Bedford, MA.

AHIMSA Grant Awarded to Habitat For Cats - 2003

AHIMSA, awarded Habitat for Cats a generous grant to continue our trap/neuter/return program by funding several spay days.

2001/2000 - Habitat for Cats receives Maritime International Community Service Award - 2 years in a row

Maritime International, a cold-storage company located in New Bedford, Ma. gave back to their community by presenting local non-profit groups and activists with a generous gift. Habitat for Cats was one of the recipients to be acknowleged for outstanding dedication and work in the community and received this honor in years 2000 and 2001.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Awards Grant - 1999

One sunny day in mid September 1999, HFC's Sanctuary received a visit from IFAW in response to a grant application submitted earlier in the year. We asked for funding to conduct 12 spay days to spay/neuter approximately thirty feral cats per spay day.

IFAW is an international organization committed to protecting animals throughout the world. Their concerns range from the gray whale in the Pacific Ocean to the homeless cats and dogs right here in the United States.

The IFAW team was comprised of five representatives and headed by Kristina Hemenway, Pet Rescue Program Coordinator. They were impressed by our spay/neuter and adoption record and were particularly interested in viewing our Sanctuary. The team expressed surprise and delight at the concept of an outside but fenced-in shelter for feral and unadoptable cats which is relatively new sheltering concept.

The grant was awarded to HFC in 2000 and it allowed us to help over 350 cats.
We are grateful to IFAW for their generosity towards small, grass root organizations like ours.


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