Ocean City Today

Feline focused group looks to raise funds

Since 1998 Town Cat has provided food and care for large feral kitty population
By Katie Tabeling, Staff Writer | May 26, 2016
Photo by: Town Cats Facebook Town Cats will be continuing their fundraising campaign with its third annual Yard Sale in Terns Landing section of Ocean Pines. People can donate home décor and other select items to the yard sale before the event on June 11.

(May 27, 2016) After taking care of thousands of feral cats for 17 years, Town Cats needs help.

The organization is launching several fundraisers, including a yard sale and a quarter auction, to help raise money to cover medical and food expenses for feral cats in their care.

“This group feeds more than 200 feral cats daily. In the past, they’ve used grants, donations and their own money,” said Town Cat fundraising coordinator Robyn Baker. “But there’s cases of emergency surgeries or cesarean sections, and those aren’t covered by grants. We started fundraising to take care of those needs.”

Town Cats is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing and tending to the feral cat population. The organization started in 1998 when several residents noticed that many summer visitors would leave behind cats without food or shelter. Volunteers started banding together to humanely trap, neuter/spay and release the cats back into Worcester County.

In the last year alone, 267 felines were spayed or neutered through the program.

“We often take roughly 16 cats to Annapolis twice a month to be spayed and neutered, since the county’s services can’t handle that amount at a time,” said longtime volunteer Pat Chance. “After the surgery and back here, we take care of them. It’s not a fun job, but it’s fulfilling.”

In addition, Town Cats also builds insulated winter shelters for felines, and has branched out to rescuing and finding homes for kittens and cats. The group also provides a low-cost spay/neuter program to pet owners in need, but that program is limited because its focus is handling the feral cats – and their own veterinarian bills.

“We try and help out the best we can, but we need help since our grants are limited to spay or neuter ferals. Our medical bills are astronomical. If we do the low-cost program for pets, we usually ask for a donation,” Chance said.

The latest influx of kittens has also racked up medical spending. Roughly 50 kittens have been born this spring from 10 mother cats, and all need to see a veterinarian. Some kittens have been raised with Town Cat’s seven foster families before they can be adopted. Kittens are shown at the OC Pet Spa in West Ocean City.

“But we know they’ll be adopted soon, because they’re all so beautiful,” she said.

This year, Town Cats has increased its visibility with the community through its social media, organizing a fundraising committee and bringing on coordinators. The group also held two fundraisers, one when Chick-fil-A donated a portion of its sales, and a $25 dinner benefit at the Marina Deck Restaurant, which garnered approximately $700.

This summer, Town Cats will offer two more fundraising events, including its third annual Yard Sale on June 11 at 8 a.m. People can shop or peruse the large selection for kitchen items home décor, linens, antiques and toys, at the yard sale in Terns Landing section of Ocean Pines.

The group will be organizing a “Paws and Whiskers” event at the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market on June 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guest vendors will sell items for cat or dog needs.

On July 30, the organization will have a Quarter Auction at the Berlin American Legion Post #123. Ticket prices include the first paddle, and additional paddles are $2. Each item is auctioned off at any price from 25 cents to $1.

Proceeds from all events will go to Town Cats’ efforts to providing medical care for feral cats and kittens. Organizers said a possible long-term goal is to fundraise enough money to buy a building since the group does not have a permanent base.

“It would be great if we could get enough money for our own place, but we have something right now,” Baker said. “Our priority is the veterinarian bills and taking care of the cats the best we can.”

For more information about Town Cats, visit its website towncats.net or their Facebook page. If interested in donating items for the third annual Yard Sale fundraiser, contact Pat Chance at lastchance7@verizon.net.

To donate items for the quarter auction or to purchase advance tickets at a discounted price, contact Robyn Baker at (410) 629-9134.

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