CAT gets non-profit status and donation for work

CAT gets non-profit status and donation for work

By Page H. Gifford

            Cat Action Team (CAT) was recently Awarded 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status and a matching gift opportunity of $5,000 from Jessica Beath Foundation, a respected and influential animal-rights group. Jessica Beath established The Beath Foundation in 1991 with the mission to provide for charitable causes, particularly to support the general welfare, care and rescue of animals and to improve the lives of those less fortunate.

            CAT is located in Charlottesville and 12 counties throughout central Virginia, including Fluvanna. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for cats through programs such as trap, neuter, and return (TNR), pet-retention and colony management, fostering, adoption and education. Like many animal welfare groups and animal sanctuaries, CAT shares the same view that spaying or neutering a cat is a responsible course of action that not only improves it’s well being but also helps curb feline overpopulation.

            CAT has already TNR’d approximately 110 cats from 15 colonies and assisted 30 people by helping cats with various medical issues. Also, CAT has provided food for more than 40 people to feed their colonies monthly. Much of CAT’s early work started behind the scenes and without public financial contributions.

            “Securing our 501(c)(3) status is a necessary milestone for CAT,” said President Betsy Ballenger. “This opens the door for us to grow awareness, expand fundraising opportunities and realize our goals as both a charitable and educational organization.” She added that the twelve-county area served by CAT covers an enormous amount of territory and there is a compelling need to alleviate the suffering of felines in these counties. CAT can always use volunteers regularly for TNR, transportation to and from veterinary visits, food drives, event organization, taking resources to pet owners and helping to find foster and permanent homes.

            Ballenger the current president of CAT and one of four founding board members has been working at this goal for nearly a year. They were a group of cat-rescue volunteers in central Virginia incorporated in August 2018, taking over from a rescue organization that was no longer able to focus on cat rescue and the time-consuming Trap/Neuter/Return process.

            Ballenger moved to Virginia in 2012, and immediately sought out animal-welfare groups who were involved in cat rescue.

            “I have been trapping feral cats to get them spayed, neutered and vaccinated since the mid-80s, starting in Connecticut and continuing in California when I moved there in 2004. I feel very strongly that someone has to advocate for these animals who are often left behind by people who cannot or will not be responsible pet owners.”

CAT’s goal is to reduce and stabilize the feral cat population in central Virginia by a minimum of ten percent while concurrently providing needed medical care and rescue of non-feral cats and kittens.

            “Spaying a young female cat is estimated to prevent the births of 420,000 kittens in seven years. Neutering a young male cat is estimated to prevent the births of 420,000 kittens in five years. Some estimates are lower, but all are large,” she said and added that exact numbers have not been scientifically verified. “Additionally, multiple health benefits are described in many sources. The point is that we are helping to reduce needless suffering. We offer financial support and physical help, transporting cats to and from vet offices, providing food and shelters, etc. for people who want to do the right thing but can’t afford it.”

            “This also prevents people from dumping cats in rural areas, leaving them behind when they are forced to move, or taking them to a shelter where they could be euthanized.” She encourages anyone seeing a homeless kitten or cat, to contact them. It could be a stray.

            “If it is a friendly cat, we will take it to the vet and foster it until it can be re-homed. Kittens will be socialized, treated for any medical issue, spayed or neutered and vaccinated, then adopted out to responsible homes,” she said. “Don’t just walk away. That just means more kittens will be born and live short, miserable lives. With your help, we can put a stop to that.”

            To further public awareness CAT has flyers in vet offices, pet food stores, post offices, and community bulletin boards about what they do. They have flyers looking for barn homes and foster homes. They have a Facebook page and an up-to-date website.

            CAT’s vision is every cat has a right to a pain-free life with sufficient food, shelter, and medical care.

            “A compelling need exists for those felines who currently fall between the cracks of well-meaning but underfunded caretakers. Without our intercession, many kittens and adult cats will starve, suffer or die from injuries, illness or exposure,” she said. “The standard of living for feral cats should be just as high as for house cats when it comes to food, medical care, and shelter. Working effectively and efficiently, we will liaise with other animal rescue and welfare groups to fill a vital niche for the cats in our area.”

            CAT will advocate for and support felines whose caretakers cannot provide for them, as well as for those cats living in counties with inadequate or non-existent low-cost clinics or shelters.

            “Our work will greatly reduce the numbers of cats brought into shelters who would otherwise be euthanized, by helping them remain in place. All cats deserve to live in peace in their colonies with appropriate care. All that said, we are a non-profit run solely by volunteers. We need donations and volunteers to carry on our work. If you think you can help, please contact us.”

            To contact Betsy Ballenger, email: or call (434) 738-2228. Donations can be made via or P.O. Box 7722 Charlottesville,

Virginia 22906. Visit to volunteer.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138