Each day, as we approach Thanksgiving, we will spotlight an animal rescuer who works tirelessly to improve the lives of animals in need. Please join us in giving thanks to these generous, kind, and oh so pawesome folks.
I met Amelia in the summer of 2008 after she replied to a Craigslist ad I put up looking for fosters. I had just completed my second Trap-Neuter-Return project, which resulted in a few friendlies in need of homes. Tom and Huck were two kittens Amelia very kindly agreed to bring home while I looked for their furever home. “Little did I know that they would be the start of my new life,” she says.
Three months later, I helped Amelia trap a mama cat and her single surviving kitten, get them spayed, and then adopted. Soon after she got certified through Neighborhood Cats to do TNR on her own, and has since managed to trap and neuter over 100 cats, rehome half of them, and become the caregiver to four feral cat colonies, totaling 25 felines. She does all this on her own, paying for food and medical expenses out of her own pocket. Having done cat rescue on a much smaller scale for 3.5 years, I can tell you that this type of work is taxing on both your finances and your spirit. It’s easy to get burnt out, exhausted and disheartened. The fact that Amelia continues to help animals at the level that she does is inspiring.
What keeps her going? “Placing a cat in it’s forever home knowing the cat will have all the love, food and care it deserves for the rest of it’s life,” she explains. Before these fortunate kitties find their furever homes, they stay at Amelia’s house, sharing a home with her eight cats and revolving door of fosters. “My permanent cats are basically the unadoptables, except for two of them. There’s my 20 lb. tuxedo who adopted me and my little tabby with the curly tail. She was just too cute, and the fun of doing rescue is finding some very special kitties. All rescuer’s have kept one or two of those special ones. And like most rescuer’s, I have my feral cat as well. I don’t mind her. She leaves me alone and loves the other cats so much that when I can’t spend time with them all she helps me out.”
For those who are at Amelia’s only temporarily, it can take anywhere from two to six months for her to find them their purrfect home. “I do a specific kind of adoption, in which I like to focus on high quality food, natural litters, etc. So I look for homes that will continue this level of care.”
While Amelia has devoted her life to helping animals, the animals have helped her back.
Tom and Huck, Amelia’s first foster cats, were a turning point in Amelia’s life. They showed her that there was a community of people, like her, who cared for animals and wanted to spend their lives helping them. “I worked in many different industries,” Amelia shares, “and I knew it was never anything I wanted. Then I found TNR and found my way.” Amelia now works as a vet tech assistant in Brooklyn, where she’s able to educate people one-on-one about the importance of TNR and has even gotten a few people certified. ”I can’t imagine my life any other way.”
Thank you Amelia for all that you do for the cats of Brooklyn, NY.
If you’d like to donate to help Amelia continue the amazing work that she’s doing you can visit Kitty Mafia’s Facebook page and click on the FundRazr button.
Images: Amelia Deslongchanps