CARE Pays It Forward to FAAS
Furry Fiesta Comes Through Again
For the past 8 years, the Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) has been the chosen charity of the annual Furry Fiesta, a DFW area convention for anthropomorphic art, science fiction, and fantasy fans. Through the years the attendees of the convention have donated tens of thousands of dollars to CARE to help provide for the 40+ big cats and other exotic animals that call the facility home. The generosity of this animal-loving group has been beyond incredible, and at times has been the only thing that kept the CARE organization from an empty bank account. So, this year, CARE wanted to pay back that kindness and generosity by paying it forward.
CARE staff approached the Furry Fiesta directors with a proposal to invite another animal related non-profit to the convention and to share a percentage of the total donations with them. CARE felt like we had the big cats covered, but that some little kitties could use some help too - so we chose a group called FAAS, based in Arlington, TX.
FAAS was started when a group of people heard about the Arlington, TX animal services immediately euthanizing all feral and stray cats that it trapped. These people wanted to step in and try instead to spay/neuter them, rehab them if they were hurt or sick, and release them back to where they were picked up so they would have a chance at life.
Since then, they have grown to have a very active TNR (trap-neuter-return) clinic where the goal is to reduce the number of free-roaming cat populations. An estimated 7,000 cats have been TNRed in Arlington by FAAS. 4,100 have been spayed or neutered at the Snip & Tip Clinic. An additional 2,200 cats have been rescued from the Arlington Animal Services. This has resulted in an increase in the cat live release rate from 24% to 80% and has reduced the intake at animal services by 2,000 cats a year.
FAAS also has an education program where they encourage pet owners to have their cats fixed and tell people about "community cats" - feral cats that roam freely and should be considered wildlife, just like squirrels or raccoon.
Trapped feral cats waiting for vetting so that they may be re-released or relocated to a safer area.
FAAS attended the Furry Fiesta event with CARE in March where they were overwhelmed by the kindness and enthusiasm of the 2,820 convention attendees. These generous convention-goers ended up donating a whopping $17,970 and CARE committed to sharing 25% of that with FAAS.
On April 24th, 2016 CARE’s Board President, Jamie Reed, stopped by to present a check for $4,500 to the FAAS Clinic manager, Becky.
While there, Jamie got to meet and learn about some of the cats that this amount will directly help. While TNR and education are the main focus of the FAAS group, it isn’t the only service they provide. FAAS also traps abandoned strays or finds adoptable kitties at shelters that are on the euthanasia list and takes them in with the hopes of finding them loving homes. Quite a few of these unwanted cats have health issues – illnesses and injuries – that must be addressed before they have a chance at being adoptable. 100% of the donations from Furry Fiesta will go towards the veterinary treatment of these cats.
Gandalf is a sweet 10 year-old male who was found abandoned in an apartment complex. When he was picked up, he had severe stomatitis – it was so bad he would growl and cry every time he tried to eat even wet, mushy food. He had to have every single one of his teeth pulled and is now a much happier guy now who will be a great companion to someone.
Snowflake is another 10 year-old who was dumped at a trailer park along with several other cats. He has stomatitis as well and has to have 18 teeth removed.
Timmy is yet again a sweet boy with stomatitis and is waiting to have his painful teeth removed (that is why his little tongue is sticking out).
Rebecca was trapped and was very, very sick. She needs to go to the vet to get a diagnosis on her left eye so she can receive treatment.
Dizzy came from a hoarder. All of the cats that came in this group have immune system problems. Dizzy and his brother both have eye problems that need to be checked out.
And there are many, many more that need attention. Most importantly, they need homes. The cats at the FAAS clinic are all special needs which means that most shelters and rescue groups would not consider them adoptable. But, there is no reason that they can’t make a great companion to either the right person with a little bit of extra patience or even the companion of another pet. All they need is a little extra TLC – like Gomez:
Gomez was trapped as a feral – and was incredibly wild! There seemed to be no chance that he would ever be okay with people until a magic little mouse came along. FAAS staff and volunteers started playing with him with a small mouse toy with a long tail. He was mesmerized by that tail, and started becoming more comfortable with the people playing with him. Now, he is a clinic favorite and begs to be held and pet by his adoring “staff”. Gomez will make a wonderful friend to someone – but beware, FAAS will not let him go easily. They are waiting for a very special person to love this very special cat!
Please consider contacting FAAS at www.faastexas.org if you are interested in giving one of these slighty imperfect, yet absolutely wonderful cats at FAAS a furr-ever home!