I’m a cat lover. I have two cats of my own, Max (Brown/black striped 4.5 years old) and Daisy (Black, 2.5 years old). I adopted both my cats at the SPCA in Tonawanda, but since I have found another cat shelter that does some amazing work locally; 10th Chance Animal Rescue.
10th Chance Animal Rescue was founded in 1989 by Michelle Rott. Michelle has been rescuing cats for over 20 years and finally decided the best way for her to help would be to create a non-profit, no-kill shelter where the multitude of cats she saved would increase greatly.
Michelle is the sole owner of the non-profit, and has various volunteers including Laura Clary, who I interviewed for this article.
I first heard about the organization when a co-worker adopted her cat Panda from them. I fell in love with the story of the organization and the deep passion they have for cats, and made it my mission to find out more.
The actual physical shelter for the organization is in Lockport, however all of the “adoptable” cats are in foster care for their entire stay with 10th Chance. The only cages they see are during adoption events. Laura said the shelter is more of a sanctuary. In the shelter Michelle houses about 20 feral cats that she took in from the outside almost ten years ago. The majority of the cats are from a house that the SPCA raided. Unfortunately, they could not accommodate the cats so Michelle took them in. Michelle’s very caring personality doesn’t allow her to say no to any cats who need a place to live, especially ones who were living in horrible conditions.
If you have been thinking about getting a cat or kitten, it's always a great time to surprise your family with one. All of the adoptable cats and kittens are posted (with photos) on their website: http://www.10thChanceRescue.org. They also hold adoption events every weekend at Pet Smart.
Here are the adoption fees:
Kitten under 5 months: $110
Kittens over 5 months: $85
Young adults: $65
Older cats: Have a very minimal rehoming fee if they do a home visit and believe they are going to be in a safe and loving home.
The adoption fees include: Deworming (2 rounds), de-fleaing, two distemper vaccinations, rabies vaccine and spay/neuter.
When talking with Laura I could clearly tell that she is extremely passionate about the organization and so is everyone involved with it. “10th Chance is very different from the SPCA, and every other shelter I personally have volunteered at. We are a no-kill shelter, so a cat could live its entire life with us if need be. We do not euthanize any animal unless they are physically suffering and a vet recommends it. The greatest difference from other similar organizations is that we do not use cages. ALL of our adoptable animals are in foster care so they have free run.”
If you are interested in donating to this great organization, your donation will go almost exclusively to medical costs to test, treat and keep the cats healthy. Another great benefit of adopting with 10th Chance is they will cover vet bills for the first five months for kittens. They will not allow a cat to be adopted if it is sick, and they will use what funds they have to nurse it back to health and work with the adoptable family to ensure a smooth transition.
Michelle and her volunteers have tirelessly given their time and money to make sure all the cats are treated great and most of the time it isn't enough. In addition to monetary donations they are always looking for donations of cat/kitten food, cat toys, scratching posts, litter, and other supplies to care for the cats. Any donation you make is tax deductible!
Laura wanted me to point out that ALL donations REALLY do make a difference. A donation of just $10 is enough to get a shot into a cat, and $20 can almost cover costs to test one.
If volunteering is more your thing, 10th Chance is in need of foster homes and advocates for the organization. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent you can contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are able to help spread the word about events, or can set up a small fundraiser for the organization, every little bit is always greatly appreciated.
The organization also has a Facebook page. I encourage you all to "like it" and share their updates on your personal pages. The link is: www.facebook.com/10thchancerescue.
One other thing I want to mention is that 10th Chance offers low cost spay/neuter options for people in the community. They can offer this service for a little less than $60, and also offer advice on caring for cats and working through issues you may be having at home. Many times people want to give up an animal because of a behavior issue or small health issue that can easily be taken care of with a little help. 10th Chance is always available to answer questions and work you through any problems you may be having.
While there are many options when adopting a cat, 10th Chance should be the first place you contact. They really go above and beyond for the cats they serve (in 2011 alone they were able to save 250 cats/kittens), and make the transition to adopting or fostering so easy.
10th Chance will be one of the organizations I will be helping out this year in my "12 Missions in '12" plan. If you are interested in helping out the organization, stay tuned for the details.