Twenty years ago, I took on a mission that would change my life: on March 29, 1995 Caring About The Strays (C.A.T.S.), Inc. was registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Now, two decades later, I proudly reflect on what C.A.T.S has become!
Looking back, there have been so many high points: thousands of animal rescues and adoptions (including a horse named Tommy). The Resale Shop has grown, helping support our mission. I was honored by an award from the SPCA. And of course, there have been the hundreds of educational and fundraising events which have made C.A.T.S. an organization that changes lives – quite literally. Naturally, there have been some sad times as well, such as the passing of many key volunteers (who were also dear friends), as well as some very special animals.
The last 20 years have been filled with many challenges, but C.A.T.S.’ greatest triumph has been our transformation from a small volunteer rescue into a growing animal welfare resource. With our tireless volunteers and year-round resale shop, we’ve become a second chance at life.
In our early years, we quickly saw the need to involve more volunteers with special skills – from medical knowledge to retail experience to web builders –and that has become our strength. Our skilled, dedicated and compassionate volunteers have allowed us to increase our presence in the community, and demonstrate our love for homeless animals in many practical ways. Working with each of you has been a distinct honor.
I thank all of the board members, legal representatives, veterinarians, and hospital staff, sponsors, adopters, and the wonderful volunteers I’ve been privileged to work shoulder-to-shoulder with: each of you have played a significant part in our achievements. You’ve given your time and knowledge so freely, and have been financially generous as well.
There’s no doubt that, without our dedicated supporters and friends, we would not have been able to stay on this mission. Every donation, no matter the size, has made an impact. I do regret that I have not always adequately shown each of you how much your generosity has meant to our work. There are just not enough hours in some days to fit in all that I want to do for the organization. Also, the kind notes you have sent me over the years with expressions of gratitude and encouragement have served to recharge me. I appreciate all your words and support very much.
Together we do make a difference, and I hope to head into our third decade with your support. Our next goal is a new facility, something that can improve our ability to reach a larger population of abused, abandoned, injured and homeless animals. And –as we have proven in the past 20 years– with a strong circle of support and a good deal of initiative, anything is possible.
Lastly, to our thousands of rescued animals: I thank them the most for their loyalty, appreciation, and willingness to continue to give unconditional love despite the many hardships they’ve faced.
From the bottom of my heart (and on behalf of our animals’ hearts), thank you for helping the C.A.T.S. rescue organization these past 20 years! With your ongoing support, we will continue our mission of animal rescue, welfare, and raising awareness far into the future.
Sincerely and gratefully,