“It’s the people power here, I think, that makes a difference,” says Kelley Leaf, Community Relations Director of Feline Rescue, Inc.
Yet despite the title, Leaf is not paid for her work; Feline Rescue is an all-volunteer no-kill feline rescue. Founded in 1997, the nonprofit houses and rehabilitates up to 70 cats at a time at its adoption center on Fairview, just north of University Avenue, in Saint Paul.
The organization also maintains an extensive network of foster homes to care for kittens, whose special socialization needs require them not to be kept at the adoption center. In 2012, 277 cats were adopted from the rescue, making a dent in the hundreds of cats picked up by animal control each year in Saint Paul. This represented a 17% increase in adoptions over 2011, even as the shelter took in 10% more cats than over the previous year.
Further helping to decrease the number of unwanted felines in the Twin Cities, Feline Rescue gets out into the community in partnership with MNSNAP and spays and neuters hundreds of feral cats (or as Leaf calls them, community cats). This year, a $24,000 grant is expected to increase the number of cats the organization can spay or neuter from the 719 ‘alterations’ performed last year.
Those interested in adopting, volunteering or just visiting with the cats can stop by the adoption center seven days a week or visit the website at http://felinerescue.org.
This is one of a number of articles produced by students at Macalester as part of a New Media class.
CORRECTION: The official name of the organization is Feline Rescue, Inc.