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.

 

RE: FOCA Announces Building Purchase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Friends of Companion Animals, Monroe’s only all-cat, non-profit rescue and adoption center, finally has a forever home of their own.  This week they purchased the buildings located in front of Detroit Beach off N. Dixie Hwy. in Monroe where they currently reside. The birth of the ‘FOCA campus’ will open the opportunity for more growth for the organization and more help to local cats, individuals and families in the coming months and years.

 

Rescue director Penny Bly, explains, “FOCA always leased our space in the last 9 years of our existence.  Being able to have a building, not to mention multiple buildings, is a dream come true. Our hope is it will continue to help local residents while helping control the feline population in Monroe County. But we couldn’t have done it without the generous support of our FOCA Friends.”  

 

Since 2011, FOCA has helped with a variety of programs over the years that include their Trap-Neuter-Release program, barn cats program, discount cats for seniors and the ever popular adoption center which brings in adopters from Monroe County, but also Wayne and Washtenaw Counties as well as Lucas County in Ohio. This year alone they’ve taken on ventures in Monroe that include mobile home TNR projects, rescue cases for felines in physical trouble and possible treatments for deadly feline diseases like FIP, which currently has no test and no medical-recognized treatment.

 

“2020 has been a rough year for everyone but we try to look for the bright spots. For example, two young women witnessed a cat thrown from a moving car on I-75 and rescued it from the freeway. They made their way to us where it received medical care thanks to our generous Facebook donors. Another example involves our TNR team that located a missing cat who was accidentally released by a shipping company that a family hired for their move. FOCA volunteers went nearly every day to the Welcome Center rest stop near Erie where it was lost and spoke with nearby residents. One caring Monroe citizen saw the cat on their surveillance camera and contacted our team. So, we staked out the location and caught the cat within 48 hours. But it took over 30 days and people – both at FOCA and everyday citizens – coming together to help an animal in trouble. Our volunteer even drove to Pennsylvania to meet the grateful New York family half-way to do the pet return. So again, in uncertain times like these, we look to these stories that illustrate the compassion of others.”

 

Bly adds that it’s that same caring and kindness from others that has made this purchase possible. FOCA is an all-volunteer organization with an assortment of generous people that include monetary donors, resale store shoppers, cat adopters, fans on social media who share posts and a team of dedicated site workers like the resale shop clerks, marketers or animal caregivers, who work 365 days a year. Since FOCA has little to no overheard, their fundraising efforts of the last 2 years helped them save money for the building down payment. The purchase, which includes the current structure that houses their shelter and resale store, also comes with the third building closest to Grand Blvd. at the front of Detroit Beach in Monroe.

 

“Our supporters, which we call FOCA friends, are the reason this purchase even happened. Although Huntington Bank is the one who truly owns the property now, our goal over these coming years is to continue our fundraising so our name will be on the deed free and clear someday. So, until that day comes, we’ll continue our bottle drive, monthly events and other fundraising projects.”

 

As for what happens next, Bly has some plans in the works and says, “There are a few ideas we’ve got for 2021 that we know will help our local community tremendously, but they’re a surprise for now. In the coming weeks, we’ll be researching and planning those ideas in greater detail, so we hope to have more exciting news soon.”

 

The shelter and resale shop are currently open to the public with limited capacity four days a week from Wednesday to Saturday Noon to 5 PM and you can learn more about the upcoming events at FOCA on their site friendsofcompanionanimals.org.

 

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