Who We Are, What We Do, Why We Do It
Colony Cats is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose primary mission is to address cat overpopulation in central Ohio through public awareness and spay/neuter efforts. Since 2002, our organization has facilitated spay/neuter of nearly 9,000 cats and dogs, and placed more than 6,500 pets in homes.
Specialized help for feral, stray and abandoned cats is a core element of our programs. We assist compassionate caregivers who are feeding and watching over homeless cats by providing TNR (trap-neuter-return) and other support services including food, shelter, vaccines and additional vet care for injuries/illness, as well as educational resources.
Experts estimate that there are more than one million feral and stray cats in this area; animal shelters can't accommodate such a vast number due to lack of space. Sadly, thousands of cats in the region are being euthanized each year. Through Colony Cats' humane, non-lethal programs, homeless cats can have the decent, healthy quality of life they deserve and better co-exist with their feline and human neighbors.
We also have a cage free cat adoption center and a network of foster homes for friendly, adoptable cats and kittens (as well as dogs/puppies we encounter while assisting cats) that have been rescued.
The Tragedy of Abandoned Pets
The decision to adopt a pet is one of life's special high points - it is the beginning of an enriching and enduring friendship shared with a loving animal companion.
Unfortunately, what starts as adoption sometimes ends as abandonment, with owners deserting pets instead of seeking more humane solutions. Unable to fend for themselves, these discarded cats and dogs are subject to numerous stresses and hazards in the outdoor environment - predatory animals, traffic, human abuse, harsh weather, parasites, disease, poisonous plants, dangerous chemicals, and malnutrition. Declawed cats are especially vulnerable. And, if the pet is not spayed/neutered, unwanted pregnancy is another outcome, with litters born into miserable conditions and a high mortality rate.
Frightened and confused, abandoned pets may flee or hide and can accidentally end up trapped inside a shed or garage, making the possibility of rescue less likely. After much suffering, many die alone and forgotten on the street, or may be euthanized at a shelter because there isn't enough space to accommodate all strays.
Here are three examples of cats that were lucky enough to be rescued by Colony Cats. The little we know of their stories sheds some light on their harrowing experiences while homeless.
This male, originally a healthy pet, was dumped in a cat colony. By the time he was rescued, about two weeks later, his eyes were matted shut, he had a bad upper respiratory infection, and a
large head wound. He was loaded with fleas and worms and frantic for food. He would not have survived much longer had it not been for the kindhearted volunteer who picked him up just prior to a snow storm.
Owyn was found roaming in a Columbus south-end neighborhood this winter. It is likely that he got the cuts on his body from climbing through broken basement window panes in search
of shelter. He tested positive for FIV but is healthy and has recovered from his wounds.
Larbi was a stray male that was brought to a Colony Cats spay/neuter clinic so covered in mats that he had to be shaved.
His prior owners left this declawed cat behind when they moved. Before Larbi's rescue, he had tried repeatedly to get back into his former home. Adopted by a Colony Cats volunteer, he subsequently weathered through a serious bout of probable IBD/pancreatitis, possibly brought on the trauma of abandonment. With intensive treatment, that included tube feeding, he eventually recovered. He is slowly coming out of his shell, but remains a skittish cat.
Nobody likes to be dumped. Don't love them and leave them.
Please visit our Resources for Helping Pets page for links about pet care and behavior, pet health, advice on what to do if you find a stray cat or dog, and other useful pet topics.
To help Colony Cats with our life-saving work, please donate now.