The 4Paws Rescue Team is a non-profit community-based all-volunteer
organization that takes in neglected, abandoned, abused and unwanted
cats and kittens. After providing appropriate veterinary care, these
previously homeless animals are adopted into permanent, loving homes.
An animal rescued by 4Paws will never be euthanized, except out
of medical necessity.
4Paws is run entirely by volunteers. We have no rent or salaries
to pay; more than 90% of our revenue each year is used to pay for
veterinary services, medical supplies and pet suppliesexpenditures
directly benefiting the cats that we rescue. The remaining funds
are used for administrative functions such as printing, postage
and telephone service.
On average, it costs more than $150 for 4Paws to ready a healthy
cat for adoption:
and distemper vaccines ($20 - $30 each vaccine)
and FIV testing ($40 - $60)
and flea treatment ($15 - $25)
or spay ($60 $90)
you can see, the $140 adoption fee received by 4Paws for an adult
cat falls far short of covering the veterinary costs provided to
a healthy sterilized cat. If a cat were sick when rescuedstress
related illnesses such as diarrhea or upper respiratory infections
are quite commonthe vet bills could easily be double those
of a healthy cat. This is why your donations are so important to
our ability to save feline lives.
During fiscal year 2007, adoption fees represented only 15% of
4Paws' total revenue. Your donations are the primary source of
operating funds for the organization. Last year, more than 84% of
4Paws' revenue came from donations from the general public and
Combined Federal Campaign (workplace giving by federal government
employees). Please, if you have a cat you love, know someone who
loves cats or sympathize with the plight of homeless cats, consider
giving a donation to the 4Paws Rescue Team. Out of every dollar
donated, 92c is used to directly benefit our rescued cats.
past fiscal year was filled with many, so many, challenges. More
than 300 cats and kittens were rescued and placed into new homes.
These previously homeless animals were permanently adopted by
families whose lives, like those of the pets themselves, were
improved through the 4Paws Adoption Program.
cats that were adopted out during FY 2007 came from local shelters,
owners who could no longer care for their pets, military personnel
deployed overseas, and local neighborhood streets. Because 4Paws
pledges a lifetime commitment to every cat rescued, if an adopter
can no longer care for his pet, the organization will take that cat
back into the adoption program.
is a “no kill” shelter which means that we will never euthanize a
cat or kitten, except out of medical necessity. A cat rescued by
4Paws is never killed simply because we don’t have enough room. The
reality of this commitment, though, is that we cannot rescue any
additional cats from shelters or the streets until one of our cats
finds a home, opening a space in foster care. The organization can
only rescue as many homeless cats as we have fosters homes available
to care for them.
Foster home volunteers are the foundation of 4Paws. The number of
foster homes determines the number of feline lives that we can save.
Foster volunteers provide temporary housing to cats and kittens that
have been scheduled for euthanasia in over-crowded animal shelters.
Some of these cats, especially the young ones, have never known a
warm home or regular meals. Others have lived their entire lives in
the comforts of a home only, to one day, find themselves thrust into
a metal cage waiting to die. (Click
here for more information about fostering a cat.)
Humane Society of the United States estimates that 8 to 10 million
cats and dogs are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters each year.
According to the National Council on Pet Population study, 71%of
cats and kittens entering shelters each year are killed. In many
cases, they are euthanized simply because these facilities do not
have the space or resources to care for the many homeless animals
surrendered to them.
is why, to the extent that we have foster space available, 4Paws
focuses on rescuing cats from animal shelters, focusing on
facilities with high kill rates and low (sometimes no) adoptions. We
believe that we make the greatest impact by taking cats directly
from the clutches of death—sweet and innocent cats and kittens
scheduled for euthanasia in over-crowded facilities.
the word gets out, workers at more and more animal shelters are
contacting 4Paws about cats and kittens in their facilities that
have been slated for imminent death. Last year, we rescued cats from
shelters in the DC area as well as from facilities in more rural
areas such as Giles, Fluvanna, and Madison counties in Virginia and
Carroll and Tricounty shelters in Maryland. Localities outside of
the Metro area have great difficulty placing abandoned animals into
permanent homes. Consequently, the euthanasia rates tend to higher
for shelters in these outlying areas. 4Paws makes an effort,
whenever possible, to take cats from these rural shelters.
cats are adopted out primarily through four venues:
- Adoption fairs held
approximately twice each month provide an opportunity for cats in
foster care to be seen by potential adopters;
- Temporary placement in local
Petco stores allows gives the cats more visibility as they await
adoption into a permanent home;
- On the website, the online
adoption fair highlights many cats as they appear in the comforts
of their foster homes; and
- Local vet clinics in Fairfax,
Burke, and Clifton display 4Paws kittens available for adoption.
past year, adoption fairs were held at five locations—Petco stores
in Chantilly, Fairfax, Stafford and Tyson's Corner as well as Wylie
Wagg pet store in Fairfax. All year round, Petco stores in
Alexandria, Burke, Chantilly, Fairfax, and Tyson's Corner provide
space for 4Paws cats to be better seen by the public. Volunteers
take care of the cats twice daily while they await adoption.
virtual adoption fair, which can be seen on the organization’s
website at www.fourpaws.org, allows cats that do not adapt well to
noisy stores or adoption fairs to be seen as they truly are in the
comfort of their foster homes. 4Paws continues to post cats
available for adoption on national websites designed for the purpose
of promoting rescued animals. The most successful of those sites is
Petfinder.com. The following is a breakdown of adoptions listed by
the various venues:
Adoption fairs 34%
Foster homes and vet offices 25%
Petco stores 24%
Online resources 17%
cover at least a portion of the costs associated with caring for the
cats before permanent homes are found, adoption fees are charged:
$120 for an adult cat and the fee for an unsterilized kitten is $145
which includes a deposit of $50 that is returned after the owner
provides proof of sterilization.
Adoption fees cover less than half of the cost of the veterinary
care necessary to ready a healthy cat for adoption. Medical care for
injury and disease (i.e., diarrhea, upper respiratory, and flea
induced anemia) also drain a large portion of the organization’s
relies on the generosity of you, the public, to cover those costs
that exceed the amount recovered with adoption fees. Last year 4Paws
spent almost $115,000 on medical care for our cats.
financial support is vital, the life saving work of the 4Paws Rescue
Team would not be possible without the help of approximately 120
volunteers who dedicate a portion of their free time to improving
the lives of homeless cats. Volunteers perform a variety of
functions including fostering homeless cats, caring for cats in
Petco stores, assisting at adoption fairs, and fielding calls on the
Community education is also a very important aspect of the work done
by 4Paws. Throughout the year, volunteers respond to inquires about
cat care and behavior issues, giving suggestions about food, litter
and other supplies that are most appropriate for particular
team of volunteers visits local elementary schools and talks to
students about responsible pet care. 4Paws cats are taken to the
schools during these visits in order to demonstrate proper care and
handling techniques. For the past 8 years, the first grade classes
at Forestville Elementary have sponsored year-long donation drives
to collect food, litter and other supplies for our rescued cats.
are grateful for the generosity of those children, their families,
and all of you that wish to improve the lives of homeless cats and
kittens. Thank you.
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