When another Northern Neck shelter couldn’t address the number of homeless cats in the area, Ann Bedford and six other volunteers knew they had to do something. At the time there were approximately 1,000 homeless cats that were of concern.
Unlike feral colonies, the majority of these cats were social and often abandoned when previous owners dropped them or relocated and had to leave them behind.
So, in March 2020, the team partnered together and established Garfield’s Rescue, Inc. (GRI) as a 501 c(3) feline rescue organization.
Now upon their first full year, the foster to adopt program has already rescued 313 cats and adopted out 213 of them.
CONNECTIONS IN THE COMMUNITY
As any non-profit will tell you, fundraising is always the biggest challenge. For GRI, they too are always in need of donations to cover the shelter, food, and medical needs of their furry residents. Needless to say the team was thrilled when GRI was one of 33 recipients that received grant funds from the Mason and Lula Cole Charitable Trust through Chesapeake Wealth Management (CWM).
The trust was established so that it could continue the philanthropic efforts of the late Lula and Mason Cole. Candidates must meet certain requirements to be considered. Thankfully, GRI was a non-profit, in the Northern Neck, with a focus on one of the many interests the couple held, animals.
Ann says, “I was confident that we would receive funds but I never imagined it would be $4,000. I had chills and tears in my eyes.” She also says that on average they are supporting 100 cats and this grant will cover monthly bills.
In addition to these funds residents of the community are supporting this effort. The agency has also been able to form partnerships with other businesses in the community. Dr. Casey at Bayside Animal Hospital reserves a significant amount of time to care for the Garfield cats. Farm and Home Supply of Kilmarnock, also allows customers to make a donation on their behalf at checkout. Tractor Supply provides funding for supplies once per month. Land & Sea Market of Wicomico Church allows GRI to come up on a Saturday with cats that are available for adoption to create awareness. Customers will get a discount if they make a donation to the organization.
The team does not receive any local or state funding. They rely solely, and gratefully, on the generosity of donors and volunteers in the community to sustain the two foster sites in Weems and Lively.
HOW ABOUT YOU
If you’re interested in donating, volunteering, adopting, or learning more about their cats, you can visit the GRI website or contact them directly to learn more at 804-480-2066.
As for events, their Big Red Auction is HAPPENING NOW and will run through February 7. They also have a spring yard sale coming up with a date to be announced. They will need quality donations and can arrange for pick up, if necessary.
Here are some of the furry faces available for adoption.
Black Cats = Donny & Marie
Cats in the house = Sonny & Cher