Animation and animals.
Two things I feel very passionately about.
My name is Kaukab and I am an animator with a weakness for helping animals. Particularly, those that are undesired and unfortunate.
Free roaming cats that have socially regressed over one or more generations of living outdoors are known as feral. These are not your typical house cats and live in colonies, built to withstand outdoor conditions. But I also believe that they deserve to live with dignity. Feral cats require the same necessities house cats would: daily supply of food, basic shelter from the elements and medical attention when required. Self-reliant, withdrawn, incredibly sharp and resilient, millions of free roaming cats struggle to survive in our increasingly urban dwellings and face life-threatening situations on a daily basis.
My husband, Junaid and I are certified TNR volunteers and manage a small feral cat colony in a neighborhood of Jersey City. We also occasionally rescue friendly, abandoned cats and help find them homes. But our main role is playing caretakers to our small family of feral cats and paying out-of-pocket for their needs. We are affiliated with the following no-kill, animal rescue organizations: Companion Animal Trust (NJ), Hudson County Animal League (NJ), Closter Animal Welfare Society - CLAWS (NJ) and Neighborhood Cats (NY), and Kitty Kind (NY).
So, what is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return is a no-kill policy in which large populations of unwanted feral and stray cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, ear-tipped (for identification) and vaccinated. Cats that are too feral to be socialized and adopted are returned to their territory, where they are looked after by a TNR caretaker. The TNR method has proven to be the most effective and humane way of breaking the cycle on unwanted kittens outdoors, curbing territorial aggression, and controlling the number of diseased cats in an area.
However, when the caretaker can no longer care for the colony, a new caretaker must be appointed. Another option is to relocate the colony of cats to an area where they will be safe and looked after. Relocation is the last resort, however, since feral cats are extremely territorial and will try to find their way back “home” no matter where they are dropped off, getting lost in the process. Nevertheless, if carried out patiently and expertly, relocation has proven to be successful and effective.
And this is where our Indiegogo project comes in!
Junaid and I will be relocating the West Coast the first week of April. It's a big change, in more ways than one. After more than 2 years of caring for our beloved feral cats, it hurts to end our local volunteer efforts and say "good bye". Most of all, we worry about will happen to our cats once we have moved away. We have spent weeks trying to locate a new caretaker but have failed to do so. Nobody is willing to take on the long term, demanding responsibilities of managing a feral cat colony. We have also been unable to locate farms or horse stables in neighboring states that would let our cats live on their property. Sadly, most people in our neighborhood don’t understand or support our cause. On many occasions, Junaid and I have been subjected to insults and threats for looking out for the cats’ well-being (but that hasn’t stopped us). In short, our colony will not be safe once we are gone.
As a last resort, we started searching for a sanctuary for cats: a place where our colony could safely live out the remainder of their feral lives. And after much questioning, we have managed to find ONE that is ready to work with us and take in ALL of our cats!
The admission fee for each cat is $350 - multiply that by 10 cats + other costs. We will need YOUR help to reach our goal of $3800! We cannot do this alone. Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals has come on board to help us transport the cats to the sanctuary which is great. This highly complex relocation project will be the ultimate kind of rescue, no doubt. But we will need your help to see this through!
Please, help fund this immensely important, life-saving project! We have some legendary, world-famous animators and budding, young artists donating wonderful art work (NOTE: Perks are a mix of both high resolution prints and originals) to support our cause!
Don't hesitate to come forward and save a helpless colony of cats with a small contribution that will go a very long way. We have already spent close to $500 on getting these cats (and many more) spayed/neutered/vaccinated and FeLv/FIV tested. Now we need money to just relocate them. These may not be typical, friendly house cats but they are precious to us. Each one is unique, has been given a name, and we know personally!
We have only until the end of March to collect the funds and transport the cats! Please help us make a difference. We will be forever grateful and will publically thank you on Facebook.
Thank you for caring about our mission and helping us keep these highly undesired cats safe for good :)
*** LATEST UPDATE ***
MARCH 17 - We drove down to the sanctuary to meet its few volunteers, many cat-residents, and wish our beloved kitties all the best on their new and exciting beginning :) Check out the photos taken on our amazing trip! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200471451281505.1073741825.1013755689&type=1&l=c44fd91e00
MARCH 11 - OUR FERAL CAT COLONY HAS SUCCESSFULLY BEEN RELOCATED! Please check out the new photos in the Gallery section to see how our babies are being acclimated at the sanctuary! We couldn't have gotten here with YOU, so: THANK YOU!