Kitty Bungalow & Covid-19
Covid-19 has affected us all. Even before the safe-at-home orders, Kitty Bungalow's Executive Director & Board of Directors decided that it was time to temporarily rethink how we would move through the next few months - as our staff and volunteers are of the utmost importance to us. For the past few weeks, we have been very busy trying to find the safest and most responsible way to continue our lifesaving work. Covid-19 might be keeping the humans at bay but not the cats - and the kittens are coming!
Unfortunately, our main staple program TNR (Trap Neuter Return) is on a temporary hiatus. As access to spay and neuter resources are almost non-existent to not waste critical medical resources in this very challenging time, we have to scale back. This means we can no longer TNR 200 cats a month, per usual. However, we are still TNR'ing on a much smaller scale within our South LA community. Our Program Director keeps an eye on local pregnant mamas, and heads out to trap but only alone and if it is safe. Mamas are fixed at a local private veterinarian and returned. The kittens still get enrolled as Charm School students. This is what we can expect from TNR for now - Kitty Bungalow identifying pregnant females and mothers in the community, and doing our best to TNR while observing all social distancing rules. We might not be able to make the dent in the feline overpopulation that we had hoped right now, but we can do our best to make the lives of a few cats and kittens better. As soon as we get the green light for large scale TNR, we'll be back on the streets with a sneutering vengeance!
There is good news for ferals/community cats though! Kitty Bungalow's Working Cat program is still operating at full capacity. Forty-eight working cats, and counting, have been saved from euthanasia at the city shelters since we began the stay-at-home orders. This program can easily observe social distancing rules, keeping staff safe while still saving the lives of our beloved community cats. This program will continue for as long as there are feral at the city shelters to rehome.
The city shelters are not currently taking any kittens unless they are in emergency medical need but we are, so you can expect to see an increase of new enrollees coming in from community members who need our help. All students are being cared for in foster care, and receiving consistent veterinary care. For those of you who haven't heard, we currently treating a handful of students with FIP and their care and treatment continues as well. Adoptions have moved to a digital platform and are in full force. Kitty Bungalow's adoption counselors are working harder than ever to accommodate the increased number of interested parties. This is good news for our cats & kittens, as they keep coming, we have hopeful homes for them.
It seems like almost overnight we had to shift our operational strategy, moving all cats off-site and into foster for the safety of our team. But thanks to an outstanding response from staff, volunteers, board members, and the community, Kitty Bungalow is still going strong.
But we are still struggling. We had to cancel our largest fundraising events this year, even celebrating our 10th birthday as a non-profit Your financial gifts mean the absolute world to our survival. Our mission is to provide quality care, socialization, and placement for LA's most vulnerable felines and, while Covid-19 has temporarily changed how we do that, we haven't deviated from that mission. It is through continued collaboration and compassion that we will see this through as a community and come out as a stronger organization on the other side. Thank you for your support and for sticking with us through thick and thin. You can expect to see updates as we progress through these unprecedented times.
Melanie Wagner, PhD, CPDT-KA (featuring FIP survivor & warrior, Honey)
Executive Director "The Dean"
Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats