In 2003, a small group of concerned Bloomington citizens noticed a troubling problem with the local animal shelter: the number of healthy animals euthanized was significant. Wanting to reduce the number of animals euthanized, these caring individuals looked at the shelter statistics and found that 100% of feral cats were euthanized which accounted for 24% of the 2000+ animals euthanized in 2003.
Six Hundred feral cats were euthanized in 2003!
The group started by providing $25.00 vouchers toward spay or neuter to anyone adopting an animal from Bloomington’s Animal Shelter. The group wanted to make it easy for those adopting an animal to have the pet sterilized. Their system was simple: adopt a pet, take the voucher to a veterinarian for spay/neuter procedure, no limit on the number of vouchers and no applications back and forth between Feral Cat Friends and the adopter were necessary. Often other organizations require proof of financial need, completing an application, waiting to see if approved and limit to only 5 vouchers.
All animals deserve compassion, protection and kindness. Living creatures deserve the best life possible, yet many don’t have the means to achieve this on their own. Some, like community cats, need an advocate or support to help improve their life. Fortunately, this group of people wanted to be their guide. This was the start of “Feral Cat Friends”, a nonprofit that focuses on the reduction of the use of euthanasia on the feral cat and community cat population. In 2003, Feral Cat Friends started a pilot program, and declared a clear focus: to focus on Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR). TNR is the most ethical and humane way to reduce the feral and community cat population.
In March 2005, Feral Cat Friends, Inc. was officially formed and registered in Indiana. On September 30, 2005 they received 501©3 status from the Internal Revenue Service. Since the formation, the reduction of feral cat euthanasia has drastically decreased from 600 cats in 2003 to 16 in 2015. All cats sterilized by Feral Cat Friends are neutered, vaccinate and the left ear is tipped which is the national sign of a neutered cat. Feral Cat Friends strives for the protection of the feral and community cats.