Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer charity dedicated to addressing the plight of homeless cats in the Greater Toronto Area by:
- Humanely trapping homeless kittens and abandoned or stray adult cats for placement in our foster and adoption program;
- Feeding and providing medical care for feral cats in designated colonies;
- Curbing population growth in those colonies through trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating;
- Educating the public on the compassionate treatment of homeless cats and responsible pet ownership; and
- Improving urban environments through community cooperation.
- Walk or Run for Annex Cat Rescue on October 16!
UPDATE: A private citizen will match any funds we raise up to $15,000! So if we raise $15,000, we will have $30,000 to go toward vet bills. This is amazing news!
Last year was our first participating in the Charity Challenge. We were bowled over by the enthusiastic response from our supporters and team members! In addition to the money raised, for which we (and ACR kitties) were very grateful, we genuinely had a great time doing the race and invite you to join our team for 2016! There is room for both casual walkers and dedicated runners. Children accompanied by adults are welcome! Not only will it be fun and for a great cause, but you’ll get a one-of-a-kind ACR team t-shirt and meet some nice people. There will even be prizes. Any team member who raises at least $150 for ACR will be eligible to have their race registration fee reimbursed after the race.
Most of us are doing the 5k walk but you can run the 5k, Half-Marathon (21.1k) or Marathon (42.2k). It’s up to you!
Every Team ACR member will receive a special ACR T-shirt and there will be prizes in several categories (e.g., top fundraisers, best costume, etc.).
To join our team, please email Joanna at email@example.com so she can get you placed on our team. ***Note: you MUST register for the race using Annex Cat Rescue’s charity discount code in order for us to reimburse the fee.
Don’t delay — join today and help us help homeless cats!
And if you aren’t able to participate this year, you can still support Annex Cat Rescue by making a team donation.
More information on the STWM Scotiabank Charity Challenge is available here.
- Urgent: Socialization Homes
URGENT: We need assessment/socialization homes for semi-feral cats. The role of the assessment home is to get to know the cat and see if he/she is socializable. Sometimes traumatized stray cats get into the mix and can need additional support as well. You would be helping the Foster team decide what sort of more long-term foster home the cat needs. The cat may need you for only a few days or for a few weeks.
A socialization home works with semi-feral cats to regain their trust. This is a more long-term commitment. Here is one ACR volunteer’s description of the role:
It is best if assessment and socialization homes have had some exposure to feral and semi-feral cats and have great compassion for cats that are transitioning off the street and the trauma that street life may have caused to a cat.
If you are not sure what is involved, here are a few helpful resources to help you decide if you and your home might be suitable:
The Socialization Toolbox: How to rehabilitate stray and semi-feral cats
How to help a semi-feral adjust to your home
Can you help? If yes, please read through the information here and apply. If you’re applying to be a particular cat’s foster home, please mention that somewhere on the form.
Do you know someone who might be interested? Share this post with them.
Please allow a few days for a response as our Foster department is swamped. We have more cats in foster care than we’ve ever had before! And there are even more on our waiting list. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.
- Urgent: Foster Home Appeal
URGENT: We need foster homes! We are bursting at the seams with kittens of various ages that have been rescued from street life. They need patient and loving people to help them to learn to trust humans and to prepare them for adoption. We also have some adult cats who are looking for temporary shelter. Can you help? If yes, please read through the information here and apply.
Do you know someone who might be interested? Share this post with them.
Please allow a few days for a response as our Foster department is swamped. We have more cats in foster care than we’ve ever had before! And there are even more on our waiting list.
- Morning Feeders Needed
Feral cat feeders are needed to feed weekday mornings (day is flexible) at a colony in the east end (Carlaw area). We could use a couple of feeders, either once a week or every second week. Feeders supply their own wet and dry food for about 9-10 cats. Any help is appreciated! Find out more here.
- The happy truth about FIV+ cats (hint: they’re totally adoptable)
He might not relish the role but eight-year old Winston could be the global ambassador for FIV+ cats.
That’s because Winston is both a classic example of how most cats come to be infected with the immune deficiency virus and, more importantly, a persuasive example of just how manageable – normal, really – life with an FIV+ cat can be both for its human caregivers and for any potential feline flatmates.
Winston’s story is a handy testimonial for anyone who may encounter an FIV+ cat candidate in an adoption search.
“Winston is very playful and has a lot of energy,” confirms foster Mom Alexandra Cioppa, who grew up with another cat, Baltimore, which was also FIV+. She continues: “Winston is always hungry – he loves to eat. He is super-loving.”
Once homeless, Winston doubtless became infected with FIV via a deep bite wound that occurred during a fight with another male cat over turf or food. FIV almost always presents in males, and transmission is almost always through intense fighting.
FIV – which stands for feline immunodeficiency virus, just as HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus – can be transmitted sexually in cats and through improperly screened blood transfusions. But according to experts, it’s rare. Mother cats cannot readily infect their kittens except in the initial stages of her infection.
Casual contact such as sharing food bowls, grooming or snuggling is unlikely to transmit the virus. Meaning that unless indoor cats have screaming brawls where blood is drawn, FIV negative cats sharing a home with an FIV+ cat won’t contract the virus.
Indeed, veterinarian Dr. Vlad Stefanescu of Toronto’s Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital says adopting an FIV+ cat and integrating it into a multi-cat household is something he endorses, albeit with a few caveats.
“The only real considerations for FIV+ cat adoption are slightly more frequent vet visits, keeping the cats indoors and avoidance of a raw diet,” he says.
That’s because uncooked foods, meats especially, can include parasites and pathogens that a cat with a normal immune system might be able to handle but an FIV+ cat might not. Leave the fad diets to Gwyneth Paltrow and stick to regular cat food, says Dr. Stefanescu.
All cats should be kept indoors. However, owners of FIV+ cats have a particular obligation to keep their pets away from homeless cats in their community to help contain the virus. As for more frequent vet visits – recommended twice a year for FIV+ cats versus once-annually for non-geriatric FIV negative cats – that’s mainly because “Dental is also a big thing with these guys,” Dr. Stefanescu says.
“They suffer stomatitis [a severe, painful inflammation of a cat’s mouth and gums that can cause ulcers to form]. Some FIV cats just have bad teeth and need a full mouth extraction. The majority of FIV cats need regular dental work.”
Plus, regular vet visits allow owners and vets to monitor small changes such as weight loss that might be more significant in an FIV+ cat. Vaccinations, meanwhile, should be maintained for FIV+ cats just as they are for other cats.
Humans cannot be infected with FIV; FIV is a cats-only infection. Dr. Stefanescu pegs the prevalence of FIV among owned cats at about five percent. “Leukaemia (FeLV) is actually more common,” he says, adding that he has never treated a cat that contracted FIV from another cat in a domestic situation.
Adds Alexandra Cioppa, “FIV has never been an issue with Winston and it wasn’t with my cat Baltimore either. I don’t remember exactly how old Baltimore was when he passed away but he had quite a long life.”
So the takeaway for prospective cat adopters: don’t shy away from an FIV+ cat.
If you are adopting a cat directly from the street, be sure to have the cat tested while he (or she) is at the vet being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and typically readied for a new life indoors. Remember that cats with FIV do not always appear sick. In the early stages of the disease, many cats show few signs, so the only way to know for sure if they are infected is through a simple blood test.
Should an FIV+ positive cat catch you eye on ACR’s adoption listings, don’t reject the cat in knee-jerk fashion. You can’t catch FIV, your other cats probably won’t either, and you’ll be giving a forever home to a lovely fella who will reward you daily with purrs and cuddles.
Just ask Winston.
— Kim Hughes
Update: Winston was adopted!
- National Volunteer Week 2016
This National Volunteer Week, we’d like to honour, salute, and thank our 400+ volunteers. Annex Cat Rescue has been a 100% volunteer-run organization since the day it was founded 19 years ago. It is because of the continuous support, care, and dedication of all of our volunteers that ACR has been able to help hundreds of cats over the years. Thank you. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
- World Spay Day 2016
World Spay Day is the first and only international day of action to promote the spaying or neutering of pets, community cats and street dogs to save animals’ lives. On World Spay Day and throughout the month of February—Spay/Neuter Awareness Month—veterinary and animal welfare professionals, business owners and concerned individuals join forces to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as the most effective and humane means of decreasing the number of homeless animals put down in shelters or living on the street.
In 2012, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) released a groundbreaking report on the cat overpopulation crisis in Canada. The report found that the animal sheltering system was at, or dangerously over, capacity to care for the cats that arrive at their doors.
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) gathers data on the number of animals entering shelters and the numbers adopted, returned to their owners or euthanized. The 2014 animal shelter statistics report presents the results of the most recent survey of humane societies and SPCAs and represents the best information about companion animals in Canadian shelters that the CFHS is aware of.
Some key findings from these reports:
- More than 85,000 cats ended up in a shelter in 2014. This number does not include animals rescued by independent groups such as Annex Cat Rescue.
- Cats are twice as likely as dogs to end up abandoned at a shelter or rescue.
- 2 million cats in Canadian homes have not been spayed or neutered.
- 1 unspayed female can result in 25 kittens in just one year.
- 35% of shelter-admitted cats are kittens
- 53% cats in shelters were adopted but 27% were euthanized
Please spay or neuter your cat. Don’t be part of the overpopulation problem.
- Global Pet Foods Adopt-a-Thon
This coming Saturday, we’ll be at Global Pet Foods, 2100 Bloor St W (just west of High Park) from about 10 am to 5 pm. Drop by and see if there’s a furry friend that’s right for your family!
- My Purrfect Valentine – Charity Fundraiser
Join us for an evening of comedy on Sunday February 14 at 7:00 pm
All proceeds will be given to Annex Cat Rescue.
Raffle Prizes and Silent Auction.
Thank you to our sponsors for their past and continued support:
Via Rail, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Pet Uno, Global Pet Foods, Hops and Robbers, Nutrience, Insomnia.
Get your tickets today!
- Saluting Fay Neuber 1959-2015: Daughter, sister, aunt, friend and ACR volunteer
A quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi goes, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” That same maxim also applies to individuals, and by that measure, Fay Neuber was a sterling example of moral progress where cats were concerned.
A dedicated, long-time volunteer colony cat feeder with Annex Cat Rescue throughout the 1990s and much of the aughts, Neuber – who died last December after a lengthy battle with cancer at age 56 – had a devotion to cats that was boundless.
Indeed, Neuber almost miraculously met friend and fellow ACR volunteer Liz Cabral shortly after she was diagnosed in early 2015 while Cabral was coincidentally trying to locate some feral cats near Neuber’s home in rural Ontario, where Neuber had recently moved after two decades in Toronto.
“It was like divine intervention,” sister Kelly Neuber confirms, “because at that point Fay wasn’t going outside much. But she just happened to walk outside at that very moment.”
“I saw this lady and asked if she knew anything about stray cats,” Cabral recalls. She did. And with Cabral’s help, four ferals Neuber had been tending despite her advancing illness – Trixie, Pixie, Jackie and Danny – were eventually taken into care as were Momma, Manny, Tara and Jessie, Neuber’s owned cats.
“Fay would always refer to cats as her ‘little loves,’” says Cabral, who Neuber referred to as her “cat angel.”
“When Fay was in hospital last fall, I went over to her place to get her cats. Manny was frightened so I had to call Fay and she called out to him, ‘Manny my love’. She said that for about a minute and he calmed down enough for me to get him in a carrier.”
Says Kelly Neuber, “Fay always talked about Annex Cat Rescue being a grassroots organization, which was really important to her.” (Fay Neuber’s family asked friends to make donations to ACR in her memory).
“Even when she had moved to the country,” Kelly Neuber continues, “she was so devoted to feral cats. And she stayed in touch with ACR and would occasionally reach out for help with trapping [for TNR].”
“Fay was like a long-lost sister to me. She had such a loving heart,” adds Cabral. “She thought cats were such unique creatures. And they gave such unconditional love.”
And so did Fay Neuber, to the very end.
— Kim Hughes