Special to Iredell Free News
The Lucky Cat Program needs the community’s help. The lingering effect of COVID-19 has driven needs for community cats higher than ever before.
The lack of low-cost veterinarians due to limited staffing and rising costs has resulted in many new kittens and cats in need of emergency medical help as well as general TNR (trap, neuter, return) services. Requests from the community to help have also risen, and Lucky Cats’ volunteer efforts to help those in need have risen too.
Desperate calls seeking help from Statesville to Charlotte and everywhere in between are a regular occurrence for the program.
“Our Fall Call for Care fundraiser is a call to the community to raise needed funds to help us continue our work into 2023 and beyond,” said Robin Byrd, executive director for the Lucky Cat Program. “We’re grateful that we are here for calls for help and grateful to our supporters who make successful outcomes possible,” added Byrd.
As the numbers of unowned cats grow each day due to population growth, financial struggles, and lack of spay/neuters, adoption efforts cannot keep up, which equates to a death sentence for too many cats every day in local shelters.
“Through supporting the Lucky Cat Program, unowned cats in need receive medical care and spay/neuter services and stay out of the shelters, ending the breeding cycle, and creating a happy future for a healthy Lucky Cat,” said Lucky Cat founder and president Abigail Jennings.
Recently, the organization’s efforts quickly averted disaster in one Lake Norman neighborhood, when a homeowner moved and left behind 17 breeding cats outside and four kittens inside.
Through extraordinary measures by dedicated volunteers and Lucky Cat donors, these cats were swiftly trapped, received medical attention, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and transitioned to a new feeding area with a new caretaker in a successful TNR mission. Eleven cats were adopted and neighbors agreed to feed the remaining community cats. One of the kittens, Ashley, was first thought to be deaf but upon visiting the vet was diagnosed with needing surgery to remove a polyp from her ear. Her medical bill was immense and is only one of many. These cats are now truly Lucky Cats.
Roxie was found at the age of about three weeks along with two of her siblings on the side of the road in Taylorsville. Their mom had been hit and killed. They do not know how long the kittens had been without food. They were covered in fleas when they were found, and two of the siblings died leaving Roxie as the sole survivor. Little Roxie is truly a Lucky Cat and will lead a much happier life thanks to Lucky Cat supporters. She is currently in foster care gaining weight and strength so that she may be placed for adoption through a partner rescue.
Sevine, a tiny gray tabby weighing less than a pound, was found on the side of Interstate 77. She was taken to the vet, where it was determined she had mouth injuries, scrapes, and abrasions consistent with having been thrown from a car. Her treatment has added one more Lucky Cat to the world. She is currently in foster care awaiting her opportunity for adoption through a partner.
Dezi was trapped at Lowes Home Improvement in Mooresville and required a partial tail amputation costing over $500. He needed surgery fairly quickly to prevent infection from overtaking his body. With the veterinarian shortage, finding a vet who could schedule surgery quickly was challenging. He ultimately had his surgery and it was a success. Dezi has been adopted into a forever family thanks to one of our rescue partners.
Calls for help like these continue daily seeking help with community cat needs.
“Thanks to our supporters, we can help cats like Arthur, found in a trailer park as an only kitten. His mom has been spayed and Arthur whose bulging eye finally stabilized after treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, preparing him for life-saving eye removal surgery,” explained Byrd.
Arthur has been adopted into a loving home, and now living his best life as a Lucky Cat.
Efforts are currently underway to help what were once well over 100 community cats in a Charlotte neighborhood. Residents were feeding cats scraps of food and chicken bones, fueling an endless cycle of breeding and dying through disease and starvation. Through the work of many volunteers and partnerships, this cycle is ending. A dedicated and clean feeding station managed by volunteers awaits cats from their return after being trapped, vaccinated, and spayed/neutered.
“Thanks to our volunteers, donors, and adoption partners, these cats will live their lives out happily and healthily. Please help us make our greatest impact in 2023. Through your support, we can help more community cats become truly Lucky Cats,” said Jennings.
In light of the magnitude of challenges this year, the Lucky Cat Program’s Fall Call for Care hopes to successfully impact the greatest needs in our community and turn this upward trend around. In addition to financial donations, cat and kitten food donations are also being collected.
“Please share this plea for help with your friends and neighbors too, as a community, we can all make a difference. Transforming the lives of these cats also helps better our community and together we can make it happen. Thanks to the generous support of our presenting sponsors, Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Lake Norman Realty, we can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of the many community cats around us,” shared Byrd.
Fall Call to Care Raffle
Fall Call to Care donors will be entered into a raffle to win a Lucky Cat Fun Pack, with each package featuring a unique gift or gift certificate, along with special treats for humans and cats. Gift certificates include On the Nines, Fresh Chef, Lake Norman Brewery, Royal Bliss, Savvy Salon and Spa, Fresh Market, Brand Name Consignment, DaVinci Fleur, among others; as well a Lake Norman waterfront vacation, or a waterfront penthouse Oak Island experience. For additional details and to donate, visit www.LuckyCats.org.