Friends of Companion Animals, Monroe’s only all cat rescue and adoption center, yet again came to the rescue of 40 felines of various ages at a single location in Monroe County in the Temperance area. This recent endeavor is the largest that the all-volunteer, nonprofit has faced since it rescued 33 cats single-handedly from one location in downtown Monroe in March 2021. Ten of those semi-feral felines are still looking for barn homes via their free barn cat program and one friendly cat, Tiny Tot, still needs her forever inside home.

 

It was discovered through various sources that the resident who had dogs on the property also had 40 cats in the single-family home that included 20 adults and 17 kittens to 3 nursing mother cats. FOCA then contacted the resident who said they were struggling financially and were unable to care for all the animals. Over the course of a few weeks FOCA collected and provided health care to all the cats, all of whom also required spay/neutering and medication for upper respiratory infections, which often happen in colonies such as these.

Charlie, the blind kitten, at home with his new sibling

 

Originally, an acquaintance of the surrenderer paid to have two of the 40 cats altered so they could be returned. However, upon seeing the cats’ condition the veterinarians were gravely concerned for their well-being and even suggested reporting the case to animal control for possible prosecution. Since the surrenderer worked willingly with FOCA to address the neglectful situation, shelter director Penny Bly simply wanted to get the cats to safety and into new homes that could provide proper care.

 

According to Bly, what started off as someone trying to help cats escalated into a hoarding case after a few litters because they were unaltered. It’s one of the many reasons FOCA is trying to create the first ever local low-cost spay/neuter clinic for feral cats in Monroe County.  But as she mentions, it’s something that requires community financial support from individuals and businesses in the area.

 

“We could have this clinic up and running next month if we had local sponsorship. We have veterinarians ready to go – we just need funding. Our rummage sale in March generated about half of the $20,000 we need to get started but we require financial support to see it come to fruition. We’ll be hosting the rummage sale again August 17th to 20th (Wednesday to Saturday) from noon to 5 pm in the hope of raising more capital. By having a clinic like this, it would cut down on events such as these. Many people don’t realize cats reproduce quickly and they can mate with siblings as young as 4-6 months old,” explains Bly.

Macy and her kittens

 

Director Bly says that’s the situation with some cats in this hoarding case. Since these litters are breeding with one another it leads to health issues for some of them. For instance, a kitten Charlie was born with no eyes and Spencer had a rare bladder condition from birth that was never addressed. Charlie, although blind, did find a forever home with a vet tech, but Spencer, however, wasn’t as fortunate –he had to be euthanized since he never received an operation that could have saved him if done earlier in his life.

 

“Don’t misunderstand. It’s always wonderful when the community wants to help cats in the area. But you need to know your limits,” says Bly. “Saving animals means more than just giving it a little food now and then and some shelter. It also means regular check-ups and providing extended care should they need it. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in this case, but we’re trying to make it right and we hope that the community pitches in to help these cats.”

 

Bly says, “This project so far is over $5000 and growing. Add in the fact that the shelter, which we purchased in 2020, is seeking donations for a new roof, funds are tight to say the least. That means every donation goes a long way in keeping the rescue going.”

 

Bly added that the good news is that most of these cats are socialized and friendly. Now it’s just a matter of getting them matched into loving homes. She says if anyone would like to adopt, become a volunteer or make a donation to their care they can do so by visiting their website friendsofcompanionanimals.org. Plus, to create awareness of the over 200 cats in their care they’re offering a special in July and August. Adult cats are $60 each or two for $100. Likewise, kittens that are $90 each will be discounted at two for $150. Also in July, the resale shop at the shelter has 50% off toys and games (some exclusions apply).

 

“As we often tell people, get cats in pairs; it’s not a sales gimmick. Cats really do better together and since we have an abundance of felines it’s perfect. Costs to run the rescue are rising and next month we’ll probably have to raise our prices as well. So right now is a good time to get yourself a new family member of the four legged kind,” Bly remarked.

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RE: Male Calico at FOCA

Contact: Nadine Meeker @ 734.770.8324

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Monroe, MI — Friends of Companion Animals, Monroe’s only all-cat rescue, is pleased to announce one of their new arrivals this kitten season is literally 1 in 3000. Barney the kitten is officially a calico! About one in every 3,000 calico cats is born a male, which means there’s less than a 0.1 percent chance of a calico cat being born a male. A visit for his neuter today at Humane Ohio in Toledo officially confirmed it.

 

Rescue director Penny Bly stated, “We love all the felines who make their way to us. There are those rare few who are rarer than others and he’s certainly the most unique one we’ve seen in our 11-year history. His foster mom has a done a great job of taking care of him, his mom and his four other siblings.”

 

Although he might look like an orange tabby to the casual observer, his distinct black marks on his belly, hips and back make him unique.

 

“This news is also fun because it comes on the eve of our yearly plant sale Mother’s Day Weekend from Thursday to Saturday Noon to 5 PM,” says Bly. “It’s one of our biggest yearly fundraisers that keep the shelter going while also allowing us to grow. One of the biggest plans is a low-cost feral spay/neuter clinic. The shelter recently held a three-week rummage sale that garnered just over $7000 of our goal to raise $20K by the end of the year.”

 

Bly goes on to admit that although kittens are adorable, and in some cases like Barney rare, there are way too many felines in the area. That’s where having a local clinic will help communities throughout Monroe County.

 

“But we can’t do it without community support and that’s where donations, or shopping for plants this weekend at FOCA, helps cats like Barney. It puts food in bellies, keeps the lights on and hopefully, by years’ end, provide a low-cost clinic for area residents.”

 

Getting a peek at Barney in person won’t be an option though because he’ll be headed back to his foster mom while he recovers from his surgery. And although male calicos are almost always sterile, he still requires being neutered.

 

As Bly states, “Not only is it about stopping reproduction, but neutering also stops urination, aggression and reduces the rate of cancer so they live longer and happier lives. And although Barney won’t be onsite, the shelter still has over 100 cats and kittens that people can visit and possibly take home during our normal hours of Wed – Sat from Noon to 5 pm.”

 

To learn more or make a donation to the shelter visit https://friendsofcompanionanimals.org/donate/

 

FOCA Announces Feral Spay /Neuter CLINIC Plans with Rummage Sale

 

RE: FOCA Announces Feral Spay /Neuter Plans with Rummage Sale
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friends of Companion Animals, Monroe County’s only all cat rescue and adoption center, which rescued 33 cats at a single location in downtown Monroe in winter 2021, has a new venture – plans for a low cost feral spay/neuter clinic. The all-volunteer, nonprofit rescue established in 2011 is seeking donations to help fund the project, which would make it the only low-cost spay neuter clinic between Toledo and Downriver Detroit. They will kick off the endeavor by hosting an Indoor Rummage Sale fundraiser starting March 9th in their events building next to the shelter.

Director Penny Bly states, “The hoarding case we experience from last year is a prime example of how rapidly cats can reproduce and why we stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets, especially outdoor feral cats. Monroe, like most areas, has a serious overpopulation problem. As a rescue and adoption center, we find cats homes, but that’s only treating the symptom and not addressing the root problem. So, the only logical step is to host a spay neuter clinic in the events center next to the shelter.”

The clinic plans to serve only outdoor feral cats found by FOCA’s TNR program and by local Monroe County citizens who want to control the population of colonies they maintain. The cost is to be determined but it will include the spay/neuter, ear tip (where the top part of the ear is clipped to show it’s been altered) and a rabies vaccine. The low-cost service will try to remain competitively priced with nearby overworked low-cost clinics and help lessen their burden.

“Local low-cost clinics in southeast Michigan are overwhelmed. It can take weeks or months to get appointments because the need outweighs their resources through no fault of their own. The number of cats and people that need help are just enormous. But with financial support from the Monroe County community, and local businesses, Friends of Companion Animals will be able to help lighten the load and address the issue head on.”

Bly says at least four licensed veterinarians said they support the clinic idea and plan to be a part of the solution by performing the surgeries. She adds, “At first the clinic will be doing monthly or bi-monthly appointments. However, before we get to that point, there are supplies we need to acquire to get started — that includes everything from surgical instruments to patient tracking software and that’s where our fundraiser comes into play.”

Starting March 9th through the 13th and then again March 16th to the 20th, FOCA will have their Indoor Rummage Sale. It’s a rain or shine event where everything that’s raised will go toward the evolution of the new spay neuter clinic. In addition to the usual resale shop items, the sale plans to feature items not normally found in their store like furniture, office equipment, linens and other odds and ends. As for when the clinic will open, Bly says that depends on how much they raise and how soon.

“Essentially, the more donors we have who support the project, the sooner the clinic doors will open to area residents. We realize that times are tough financially for many people, but we’re hopeful that those who have the means – whether it’s individuals or businesses – will see the necessity here and contribute to the cause.”

Bly points out that the reason for this clinic doesn’t just benefit people who care for cats but the entire community. She says, “As a whole, it’s better for everybody when overpopulation is brought under control. We truly believe that together we can all make a difference because even five dollars from one person here and one person there really adds up quick and proves that even a small donation can make a large impact.”

To learn more or to contribute to the cause visit their site at www.friendsofcompanionanimals.org today.

FOCA Rescues 34 Cats in Monroe Home; Seeks Donations

 

Friends of Companion Animals, Monroe’s only all cat rescue and adoption center, recently came to the rescue of 34 cats at a single location in downtown Monroe. Although they have done smaller multi-feline rescues in the past, this recent endeavor is the largest that the all-volunteer, nonprofit has faced since its establishment in 2011.

It all started when a concerned mail carrier contacted Monroe County Animal Control (MCAC). They witnessed cats on the roof of what appeared to be an abandoned home along their route, according to Shelter Director Penny Bly. She explains, “Animal control instructed the mail carrier to contact us and after coordinating with MCAC regarding who will take the lead in this endeavor, FOCA volunteers jumped into action and secured the first initial batch of cats, which included seven felines.“

According to Bly, originally the property owner stated there were about 15 cats, but they later clarified that it was probably closer to 30. In truth, the total ended up being 34, which are all now secured at the Friends of Companion Animals rescue located in front of Detroit Beach in Monroe.

“As you would imagine, a number of these felines require serious medical attention. For example, two felines appear to have a genetic mutation where their front claws are growing abnormally so they will require a declaw to alleviate their pain. While another required a partial tail amputation due to exposed bone,” states Bly. “Others are battling vision issues, upper respiratory infections, and other ailments you see often with colony cats who are left without medical treatment.”

As for what will happen to the property owners for having these many cats in their possession without proper care, Bly is unsure. She says that’s a question for local law-enforcement and adds, “FOCA‘s main priority from the start is caring for the cats. We need to make sure that they are taken care of medically and then for those who are friendly we want them in loving homes. For those who might not be that friendly, because of lack of human interaction, we will place them in our barn cat program so they too can have an enjoyable life.”

Director Bly mentions that if readers would like to contribute financially to this project it would be extremely welcome. She states, “FOCA has set up fundraisers on our Facebook page and each day we are releasing images of the cats with links to make a donation for their care. All the funds raised through these programs will go towards making sure these cats are taken care of properly. For those not on Facebook, they can also make donations on our website www.friendsofcompanionanimals.org/donate.”

Bly mentioned that she’s extremely proud of her volunteers who worked in harsh conditions to secure these cats so they could have a better life. She’s also grateful for the help she’s received from all the volunteers who have been contributing their time to this case, whether it’s been data entry, medical procedures and fundraisers, just to name a few.

“This case is a prime example of how rapidly cats can reproduce and why we stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets, including outdoor feral cats, to alleviate unnecessary suffering. It literally does take a village to make Monroe a little brighter, so we are grateful to residents of the city and the surrounding areas who helped make this first leg of the rescue possible. Now that the cats are secure, the second and third legs begin which include medical care and fundraising, respectively. We already have the medical appointments so now it’s just a matter of generating the funds to cover those procedures. So again, all donations, no matter what size, will benefit our mission.

 

Cat Rescue:

Give Him a Second Chance 


“Chance” was found near PetSmart in Monroe, MI and brought into the store. Friends of Companion Animals (FoCA) cat rescue center was called to see if we could help him. A microchip scan revealed that he is been adopted in August 2017 at four months old to a home in Southfield Michigan from a rescue located in Walled Lake, Michigan. His adopters didn’t report him missing and they had him declawed, which is against the organization’s policies. Because of this contract breach, the rescue has retained custody of Chance.

Since he is now back in their possession, they are responsible for his medical costs and care. In fact his original foster from when he was a kitten will be fostering him during his recovery. After the veterinarian examination, it appears that his jaw is dislocated or broken. They surmised that the injuries he sustained are consistent with riding under or inside the engine compartment of a motor vehicle and ultimately falling from that vehicle. 

Currently, we are seeking funds for his vet care so any monetary help we can give is appreciated. You can send your checks with a ‘memo’ note that says ‘Second Chance Fund’ to:

Friends of Companion Animals

Attn: Second Chance Fund

2532 N. Dixie Hwy.

Monroe, MI 48162 

 

Below are some additional images but they are more graphic in nature. However, it illustrates the extent of his injuries and why funds for his care are desperately needed. 

 

 

Some Images Might be Unsettling

Trigger Warning