Calvert County, Maryland, is a place with a lot of cats.
The lucky ones are pets in loving homes, and the barn cats that do rodent control in exchange for room and board (and occasional chin scratches). The unlucky cats of Calvert County are homeless, hungry and struggling to survive.
This didn’t sit well with Carol Hall, a Calvert County resident and cat lover. “Something had to be done,” she says. That something was launching Friends of Felines, a nonprofit, foster-based organization dedicated to rescuing free-roaming and abandoned cats, spaying and neutering them to prevent more unwanted strays, finding homes for the human-friendly and protecting the feral.
Controlling the Cat Population
Friends of Felines works to reduce the cat overpopulation problem through humane methods, primarily TNRM — trap, neuter, return, and maintain. All the cats they rescue are given veterinary care, spayed or neutered, and microchipped.
Some are brought to FOF’s cat sanctuary, a special area for feral cats. “Those are the ones that aren’t too sociable, and won’t be safe if returned to their original area,” Carol explains. “We give them a place to live, and fresh food and water on a daily basis.”
Others rescues are happy to use their expert mousing skills in the area’s local barns. “Those are working cats,” says Carol. “They’ll do a great job of keeping your barn free of rodents.” And others, like the many, many kittens rescued each year, go to FOF’s foster network while they wait to find their forever homes.
Grant Funds Supplies, Spay and Neuter Surgeries
All the cats are helped by donations and PetSmart Charities grants. “PetSmart Charities actually helped us get our start,” says Carol. “The grant enabled us to transport food, water, and supplies out to the feeding stations at the sanctuary, and for spay and neuter surgeries.”
The grant money also goes toward medical care for the kittens hoping to be adopted. “This has been a rough year for our cats,” says Carol. “That grant money has helped considerably in getting these cats and kittens healthy, so they can go to their forever homes.”
Now there’s hope for the cats of Calvert County. “We just found a home for Maxine, a little gray and white kitten,” says Carol. “She went to a family with a teenage girl who needed an emotional support kitten. It was wonderful to see how they bonded almost immediately to one another.”
And there was the kitten rescued from a car engine. And the senior citizen who wanted a friendly furry companion. Each one needed a friend, and found one — thanks to the Friends of Felines.