We have so many adorable, sweet kittens available for loving, forever homes. They are all being lovingly cared for in private foster homes, being socialized to make perfect family pets. If any of our babies catch your eye, our first step is to fill out our online application. Someone from our group will be in touch right after we get the app — but if you have any questions in the meantime, call our shop at (201) 666-5444 or email us at email@example.com.
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,
It was a busy day on April 21st, as C.A.T.S. volunteers and the medical staff of Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital worked to spay and neuter a number of cats in our area who otherwise might not have been. All told, 49 cats were altered, including some feral cats. This will go a long way to helping reduce overpopulation and its sad consequences. Below are some photos of this great day. C.A.T.S. wants to thank everyone who helped this event, and the wonderful staff of FLAH who made it possible. 1) FLAH staff and C.A.T.S. volunteers helping revive the kitties. The device with the hose blows warm air onto a pad to help warm the animals up and bring them around after the surgery. They got mani-pedi’s while they were still under! 2) Some pet parents taking their fur babies home after a long day. All patients got ice cream that night (not really). 3) Dr. Alan Pomerantz of Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital attending to one of his furry patients. All told, 49 animals were treated.
Published in Community Life • 10/11/2012 • Kathryn A. Burger
Lynn Cancro has been the driving force behind Caring About The Strays – C.A.T.S. – since she formed the nonprofit organization 17 years ago. The resale shop on Kinderkamack Road is really her “second home” and the temporary home of the some of the many abandoned, rescued and unwanted companion animals – mostly cats – that the organization takes in. The goal is finding all of them, “forever homes,” where they will be cared for, loved and appreciated.
She grew up Jersey City and now lives in Passaic County. She spoke lovingly of her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. as children during the Depression, her father from Prussia and her mother from Germany.
“My father was a baker and had a shop in Jersey City and we lived above the store,” she said. The “we” included her two older sisters. “I had a wonderful childhood. I had lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. But I couldn’t have any pets because the Board of Health didn’t allow it.”
When she was 13, her father died and her mother sold the bakery and the family moved to Bergenfield where her aunt and uncle lived.
Lynn said, “I’ve more than made up for not being able to have pets when I was child,” referring to the strays she and the volunteers at C.A.T.S. foster and place in loving homes.
Her own current pets include her dog, Donald, a rescued mixed breed who she’s had for three years, and two cats, Wolfgang, who is 21 years old and Leibling, who is 17.
Q: Why did you start C.A.T.S.?
A: I was living in an apartment complex that had a somewhat transient population – many people moving in and out. Some of them just left their cats behind. I’d see them at the door of their former homes waiting to be let in. I just couldn’t fathom how people could treat animals that way. They just threw them away like trash. I took a few of them in, and that’s when the “light bulb” went off and I decided I’d try to do something on a bigger scale.
I started doing some research. I’d worked with the volunteers at the old Pascack Valley Hospital and knew that they’d started a thrift shop as a way to raise money to support it. That was a great way to get the community involved. So I decided that’s what I’d do to raise money to establish C.A.T.S.
There was a colony of cats behind the hospital and one of the hospital trustees and her daughter would TNR them – that’s Trap, Neuter, Release. So I was learning about the magnitude of the problem [in the Pascack Valley]. I’d met Jeanne Thalmann, who was the manager of the hospital’s thrift shop and she became my mentor. I learned so much from her and just went with it. Jeanne was a volunteer at our resale shop and she was just wonderful.
Q: What do like most about your work?
A: Saving a life.
Q: What do you like least?
A: Not being able to help. Having to say we don’t have any more room. We do our best but there has been an explosion of abandoned pets because of the economy. We have to refer some of our callers to other groups because we can’t help – it’s the saddest thing. Right now we only have three people who foster pets for us and we need more. We supply everything so there is no cost at all.
Q: Where is your favorite place to relax?
A: My backyard. I enjoy being outdoors.
Q: Do you have a hobby?
A: I like to play tennis and I like to watch tennis.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: All of Charles Dickens’ stories. He always shows the worst and the best in people.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Q: Do you have a pet peeve?
A: People who call up and have an animal they want to get rid of and don’t have any real connection with the animal. They sound angry and say things like, “If you don’t take her today, I’m putting her to sleep.” Some people can be very aggressive like that.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Forming C.A.T.S. and that it encompasses so much – the community that donates items that might otherwise wind up in a landfill, so I’m proud to be helping the environment. I’m proud of all the lives that been saved over the past 17 years.
December 19, 2007
BY Kathryn A. Burger of Community Life
Caring About the Strays, a non-profit organization that finds homes for stray, surrendered and abandoned kittens and cats, operates the C.A.T.S. Resale Shop at 80 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, to support that mission and to raise funds to establish a no-kill cage-less animal shelter in the area.
“For every birth of a human baby, seven puppies and 15 kittens are born,” Lynn Morchel, of C.A.T.S. said. “There are just not enough homes for the animals born each day. By spaying and neutering pets, owners will be doing their part to help end this tragic cycle. There are many loving, loyal, affectionate animals in shelters, foster homes, and on the streets fending for themselves. Ultimately, many of the latter die miserably. Area no-kill rescue groups are doing their best to handle the ever-increasing number of stray and abandoned pets. Some shelters are forced to euthanize healthy, sweet, animals – young and old – due to space constraints.”
If, after careful consideration, the decision is made to bring a new pet into the home, C.A.T.S. offers some advice.
Once the decision to adopt a pet has been made, C.A.T.S. recommends pre-adoption.
If there is a lot of commotion in the house – children, holiday gatherings and parties, and/or other pets, C.A.T.S. suggests pre-adopting a pet from your local rescue group or shelter and bringing the animal home after the holiday festivities. If parents are planning to surprise their child with a pet, there are several ways to accomplish that without having the pet there on Christmas morning. A photo of the pet, a dog or cat bed, or appropriate pet toys, can be wrapped and tagged for the child to open. Adopting a pet can be a family experience: caring for an animal in need that will be considered a member of the family.
For those who choose to bring the pet home at holiday time, it is important to keep a watchful eye on them.
Pets new to the home may find an open door – when guests arrive, or when deliveries are made, for example – a chance for an adventure. They may run out, not realizing the consequences. If guests are expected, it might be best to keep pets secured in another part of the home. It is also advisable to keep chocolate, small toy parts, tree trimmings, poinsettia plants, and other items pets may find enticing, out of their reach.
A home that is quiet and low-key would be a good place for an adopted pet to be welcomed into one’s family.
One special cat would be very happy to have a home for the holidays, and the rest of his life, is Beckett. After being abandoned, and then hit by a car, he was rescued by Kim Carbone, a volunteer at C.A.T.S. [Carbone was profiled in a feature article in the Sept. 26 edition of Pascack Valley Community Life.] His broken jaw has been wired and mended and he is ready for his “forever home.” He doesn’t get along with other animals, but would be a wonderful companion for someone who only wanted one cat to hug. He’s the “curling up in your lap” kind.
Adopting a cat with FIV or FeLV
Kittens and cats with special needs are often overlooked. C.A.T.S. advises that neither the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus nor the Feline Leukemia Virus are transmittable to other species. Under the right circumstances, these cats can live normal, long, healthy lives. Morchel said, “By keeping their stress levels low and feeding them a nutritious diet of foods that do not contain by-products or fillers, they can live a very long time.
Cats with FIV can share a home with cats that don’t have the disease. This disease is spread from blood to blood contact. They can share the same food bowl, drink from the same water bowl, and groom each other without spreading it. Out in the wild when cats are not neutered and are fighting for their territory or mating is when the disease is transmitted via a deep penetrating bite wound. Tame cats that are neutered and share a home are not in these types of situations” (For more information see www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/cats_fiv.cfm).
Cats that are FeLV positive do need to be kept separate from cats who are negative because it can spread through litterboxes and other means. Those who are considering adopting one cat and have no other cats are asked to consider one with leukemia. Many of these cats are overlooked by those seeking to adopt, but C.A.T.S. advises they are still able to give lots of love and will be forever grateful for their chance at life.