Hearthside walk raises $3,000 for cats
A record $3,000 was raised at “Walk For Cats” to benefit Hearthside Cats. Nearly 50 walkers and volunteers turned out for the annual event on May 6 at Highland Park in Geneseo to support the care of homeless cats and kittens.
“We are very pleased with the results,” said Hearthside president, Victoria Raschi. “Every dollar will go directly to fund veterinary expenses and supplies for the 70 cats currently in foster care.”
The Walk was sponsored by Hearthside Cats, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)3 humane society for cats based in Geneseo. Founded in 1991 and totally run by volunteers, the group takes in abandoned and unwanted cats and kittens into foster care to address their medical, emotional and social needs until a suitable home is found.
Hearthside volunteers also promote spaying and neutering efforts to alleviate the problem of homeless animals. To-date, Hearthside has helped over 1,700 cats in Geneseo and surrounding areas.
Once Hearthside cats have the proper veterinary care and socialization, they are ready to go to new homes. The adoption fee is $30 which includes vaccinations, neutering or spaying, and testing for disease. If the placement doesn’t work out, Hearthside will take the cat back, regardless of how much time has lapsed.
“Our philosophy is ‘once a Hearthside cat, always a Hearthside cat’, so if an adopter can no longer provide care, we will take the animal back, no questions asked,” said Raschi. “And because June is national Adopt A Cat Month, and we encourage people to consider a shelter cat.”
In addition to traditional adoptions, Hearthside has other options to bring people and cats together during Adopt A Cat month. The “Kitty Kompanions” program matches adult cats with senior citizens who would enjoy the company of a pet, while alleviating some of the worries and expense of pet ownership. There is no adoption fee and basic start-up supplies are provided.
Hearthside will take the cat back in the event the person can no longer provide care or circumstances change.
“We recently extended the Kitty Kompanions program to local veterans who would like to share their home with a pet,” said Raschi. “This is one way that Hearthside can say thank you to the men and women who have served our country.”
Another program, “Special Needs,” provides sponsorships for cats in foster care that for reasons of health or temperament cannot be adopted, to help offset the cost of their long-term care. “Because we are a ‘no-kill’ organization, a cat that comes into our care it stays as long as needed,” said Raschi. “Some Special Needs cats can never be adopted out, and they will stay with us for the rest of their lives.”
Hearthside Cats operates entirely on private donations, with no public funding. “We have incredible local and regional support,” said Raschi. “The veterinarians in our area are totally committed to our mission, as well as hundreds of people who love cats.” Hearthside has an active fundraising program that includes craft shows and yard sales, direct mail campaigns, and an Italian dinner. The Kitten Appeal campaign is now in full swing, and the annual yard sale is scheduled for June 15–17.
For more information on cats awaiting adoption or sponsorship, events, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.HearthsideCats.org, find Hearthside on Facebook, or call 585-243-0873.