Updated: Jun 23
June 23, 2021
As promised in our latest Mews Flash, we want to provide our supporters and the rescue community an update about our activities and the current state of Nine Lives Foundation.
After the pandemic hit and our founding veterinarian made the difficult decision to retire, some said Nine Lives should close altogether. For many of us, this was unthinkable — what would happen to the at-risk cats and kittens in our community who so desperately needed our help? We were, and remain, determined to keep Nine Lives going, and to build on its original foundation for an even brighter future.
Our primary aim, as always, is to keep Nine Lives a positive force in the Bay Area by rescuing cats and kittens and finding their forever homes, as well as providing low-cost spay/neuter services for feral cats, cats from other rescue groups, and cats in the community-at-large. Here is where we stand in our efforts.
By The Numbers
We’re proud to say that in the first six months of this year, we’ve already performed low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for more than 1,400 cats. On top of that, we still have a wait list of more than 300 cats and kittens needing spay/neuter surgeries. Other spay/neuter clinics in the area are similarly overwhelmed — many are booked through September — which highlights the enormous demand for spay and neuters. We are grateful that we are able to serve the Bay Area community by providing this critical service.
In addition to offering these important clinical services, we are committed to rescuing and finding forever homes for at-risk cats in our local area and beyond. Our Adoption Center remains open, and we’ve placed over 200 cats in loving homes so far this year. This is admittedly far fewer than this time last year. However, we've been ramping up our rescue efforts over the past couple of months, and recently expanded our adoption hours. There is much more work to be done, but we are moving forward!
We are less than six months into this new phase of Nine Lives. Our priority first and foremost has been obtaining veterinary coverage for the medical care of our cats, and that’s where we’ve focused our attention in the first half of this year. While we haven't yet hired a full-time veterinarian, we are excited to have assembled a group of wonderful part-time veterinarians who have formed a critical team. They provide care for our cats in the Adoption Center and Clinic, they enable us to do rescue, and they provide desperately needed spay/neuter surgeries for cats and kittens in our community.
We’re also working to adopt a framework of best practices to ensure that cats waiting to be adopted get optimal care. We’re working to streamline operations, like ordering medical supplies in a systematic manner, and establishing consistent protocols for various treatments. These systems benefit the cats and make things run smoother for our veterinary staff that are covering different shifts in two locations.
All of this makes it possible to meet our mission while we take the time to recruit the right full-time veterinarian for Nine Lives — a process that began almost a year ago but has proven challenging in this region.
Hours of Operation
We’ve received questions about whether we offer 24/7 medical care for the cats at Nine Lives. We have veterinarian coverage five days a week, along with veterinary technicians caring for our cats seven days a week. Our medical staff works together as a team, and often on their days off because of their dedication to the cats. They keep each other informed about changes in the health status of cats under our care and collaborate on treatment plans.
For cats who need medical attention beyond our normal coverage, we’ve formed relationships with two local veterinary practices to provide urgent care when our veterinarians are not immediately available. This network of medical coverage ensures that Nine Lives cats receive proper care for their health needs in as timely a manner as possible.
Where Are The Kittens?
Some people have asked whether we're doing large-scale fostering and adoptions of kittens. The answer is: not yet, but we hope to soon! While we build out our medical team and get our feet under us, we have decided to focus initially on rescuing at-risk adults, who are less likely to be saved and adopted.
In the meantime, we are collaborating with other local organizations who rescue moms with litters. They foster and adopt out the kittens, and we take the mom and find a home for her — and, of course, make sure they all get spayed or neutered.
Since we can't do everything right away, this approach seems like the best way for us to make an impact in the bigger ecosystem — filling a niche where there are few resources available. Animal rescue takes a village!
We want to assure our donors that Nine Lives is in a solid financial position. We’ve tightened financial controls and are closely managing our funds in a standardized way. As a result, your hard-earned dollars make an even bigger impact on the cats and kittens in our community.
Feedback: Talk To Us!
We understand that this transition is hard for many of our supporters. It means change, and change can be uncomfortable. To build a Nine Lives that remains increasingly flexible and adaptable to the needs of cats in our community, we’ll hit obstacles. There will be concerns and different points of view. People who truly want to save cats are passionate about the cause and sometimes don’t see eye to eye on how to do so. So starting now, we invite you to ask us anything. What does this mean? We want you to send your comments, suggestions and thoughts directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll do our best to provide a timely response. We’ll discuss your ideas and answer your questions to the best of our ability. That’s our commitment to our fellow cat lovers. Finally, we pledge to keep you posted on what’s happening at Nine Lives more frequently — through Mews News, our website, and social media.
The Bottom Line
We’re working hard with our staff and volunteers to enhance our services and continue making an impact in the community.
The Board of Directors is just a small group of dedicated volunteers doing their best to save cats. We want Nine Lives to do more, and be more, so we can help more cats. We welcome your ideas. We need your involvement. This work is hard and it takes all of us pulling together to make the greatest impact!
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Please know that we’re grateful beyond words for the steadfast support from the entire Nine Lives community — all of our donors, adopters, fosterers, rescuers, volunteers, and staff. You keep us going. Most importantly, you give the cats who cross our doors a shot at a much better life. Thank you for being a part of our journey!