Stray & Feral Cat Rescue
One of Tasha's first babies
Good morning readers. I've found a really remarkable lady in Eugene, Oregon who operates Stray & Feral Cat Rescue. Her name is Tasha. I'd love to tell you her story. She offers a lot of advice, as well as love, on how to run a private rescue.
I love doing stories showing how one person can make a difference in the lives of the abandoned and unwanted. I hope my stories encourage each person to do more and think positively because a single person is all it takes to help a cat.
I found Tasha thru a page on Furby's site and had to get in touch with her for an interview. (Tasha's Rescue)
What she's doing for the ferals is so GREAT!! Here is her mission statement from that page.
"I run an in-home stray and feral cat rescue. I take in cats that no one wants or cares about, the cats that are sick, beaten and abused, the cats that are hurt and starving to death, the cats that could die today and no one would know they even existed.
I devote my life to rescuing "throw away" cats and making sure they know that at least one person in this whole world does care and love them. I get them all fixed, vaccinated, tested for FIV/FeLV and find them loving forever homes."
Tasha began Stray and Feral Cat Rescue on July 4, 2009. Since that time, she has TNR'ed 350 stray and feral cats. Tasha works mostly in the Springfield, Oregon area as they are overrun with stray and feral cats. She traps them, has them spay/neutered, vaccines, tests, vet care, and purchases food and litter all out of pocket. This is amazing and a lot of work. But Tasha doesn't stop there.
Once a cat has been spay/neutered thru the Trap, Neuter, Release program, which she works for, her work is really just beginning. Tasha takes in as many as she has room for (and if you look at her page of photos she has a LOT) and socializes and tames as many as possible. This can take months and even then some are never ready for another home. They are either too feral or have health problems that keep them from making good adoptable pets.
For the cats that are too sick to live (some die within hours) they die with her holding them. For a short time they know the love of a human. Tasha takes in the throw aways, the ferals, the strays, and the dying. Sometimes even the vet can't save them. I'm glad Tasha has the heart to be with these poor babies at the end. It must be devastating. And yet, she continues her work.
I was curious about her work with the feral and stray cats in her area and asked her several questions since she doesn't have a large nationally recognized rescue where I could have found the answers.
One of the questions I put to her was how to start a home rescue. She recommended talking to others who run feral rescues. Tasha told me there's always something to learn and the only way to learn is to ask questions. Volunteering for a TNR program is another way to self educate yourself. Get a hands-on feel and go from there.
Tasha is a big believer in going above and beyond the call of duty. Not only does she care for the cats through their surgery and in taming them, she does much more. Networking is a big part of her rehoming program. She stays in touch with other rescues, offers the reformed ferals on Craigslist and through adoption events, and networks through her MySpace page (opens in a new window or tab).
Instead of immediately returning the feral cats to the wild, she goes above and beyond what is expected of a TNR advocate.
This story just gets better and better, Whenever Tasha finds a feral that can't be trained or adopted out for health reasons, she keeps it herself. Here's a quote from her as to how the cats in permanent residence live.
"For the cats that are special needs or considered "unadoptable" due to behavior issues or if they are unable to be tamed, I keep them. They live a cats dream as a barn cat on our property where they have numerous cat houses, beds and toys in different areas of the property. And of course food and water 🙂 We currently have about 35 permanent residents that live on the property and they couldn't be happier. They have everything they could ever want and need."
I hope all of the cat lovers will check out her page and help her out if you can.
I know I'll never find all of the individual rescuers out there and do a story on each. There are simply too many. That's not to say those who run a similar rescue can't write their own story and submit it to pictures-of-cats.org. I'd love to hear more about how different rescuers operate.
Please feel free to leave comments and let Tasha know she's appreciated. And Tasha, please comment and inform the readers here of anything I may have missed.
Stray & Feral Cat Rescue to Feral cats
Thank you for your reply. I’m in salem or. Connie
Connie, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is in Portland. I’d give them a ring and see if they can help. Click on this link to go to their website. I hope this helps.
Hello, I’m email you because a feral cat showed up and is right now living under the porch.the cat has some problems with walking and a broken tail. I’m afraid she would be put to sleep in a shelter. With some work would be a good cat. I have two of my own and recent my neighbor I took in his feral that when he died they just left to fend on its own. I have to do something soon as my landlord does not allow this many cats. Please help in any way. Connie. I would make a donation to help out until he could be helped. Connie
Hi Connie. Where do you live? Is it Eugene, Oregon? This page does not connect directly with a feral cat rescue organization I am sorry to say so your message will not be picked up by a rescue organization.
If you tell which town/city you live in I may be able to point you in the right direction.
cat on center strip just outside Eugene looked like he had a dark head and white on his body….maybe dark grey/white or black and white. He’s not that far north from Eugene I have hope for a rescue as he has stayed in the same place for 6 days. Please someone help…..I would be more than glad to reimburse gas to drive there.
Sue, I’ll contact Elisa Black-Taylor the person who interviewed Tasha and see if we can get contact details.
Sue, look in your Yellow Pages under “animals” and start calling shelters. As a last resort, you can try calling the fire department to see if they will help before he gets killed in the road.
I don’t think I understand why you couldn’t stop your car. Pull into the center lane and put on yout flashers.
Thanks Dee. I don’t know how busy this road is but at some stage it should be possible to stop the car and grab the cat. Anyway I would have thought that if Sue can’t do that neither can Tasha.
Tasha………I am from Klamath Falls or. On tues I rode up to salem. Just outside Eugene, just past the mess of bridges and over passes and beltline rd there was a cat sitting in the narrow divider on the hwy 5. I came back yesterday and the cat was still standing upright looking at the traffic. It seemed that he sat facing the north side and then went under the wire and looked at the traffic going south to Eugene. I could not stop either way and have been trying to find someone to help him. I am not good at judging miles and should of gotten the nearest marker number. But, he’s not more than 15/20 miles north of Eugene. In a very narrow center strip with the low wire and posts. I can’t believe that he has been stuck there for 6 days. Can you help? Do you know of someone who can help. You really have to watch that center strip to see him. Both times he was almost sitting straight up watching the traffic. I have done this type of rescue before, but other people were driving. He was just before one of those center dividers that the State Police use to turn around. Please let me know if you can help.
Hi Sue. I own the site. You show great concern which I love. I feel very anxious about this cat. I can’t help because I live in Europe. The chances of someone visiting this site and living near this cat are slim sadly and the post on this page was written some time ago I am afraid. I don’t understand why he is stuck in what we call the “central reservation”. At night it must be relatively quiet. He could cross then.
I have been feeding 5 feral cats that were starving when I moved into my apt. I have a cat an a dog. Last winter here was brutal. I would like to find a place in Lynchburg, VA that would take them before the cold sets in. They are really sweet. The city did come and spay and vaccinate them last year. I am the only one feeding them and it is getting expensive. Can you offer any suggestions please? Thank you.
Hi Theresa, I have read your comment. Well done for feeding the cats. You are a good lady. Just give me a little time to try and work out a decent response.
Thank you so much!
I will look forward to hearing from you again. Much appreciated.
Theresa, if you are in the US, I suggest that you cook or make about a cup of oatmeal or rice every day, cool it, and mix it in with your wet food. It is nutritious and will stretch your food. You can also layer a bit of dry food over it.
Outdoor sheltering is pretty easy to do. Follow what Michael has written about them. Big storage containers are cheapest at Walmart or Target. Shredded newspaper and stray (not hay because it is food and draws bugs) are the warmest to put on the bottom if you can’t afford outdoor heating pads (which are available on Amazon).
Thanks a lot Dee. I was struggling as you can tell. I needed your help.
Thank you, Michael. Ferals are my world. Whenever I see something like this, I can’t help but chime in. I just don’t want to step on toes.
Michael, I hope you can give Theresa some direction. It’s hard to home ferals. In the interim, she may be able to create shelter for them and cut feeding costs with some nutritional “shortcuts” like adding oats and/or rice to stretch her wet cat food. Oats and rice are VERY cheap here and very good for cats.
I think there is an article by you here about how to make cheap, homemade shelters.
Yes, Dee there are pages on feral cat winter shelters. I try and suggest something tonight.
Hi Theresa, sorry for the delay in responding. I get too busy on other things.
I think it will be all but impossible for me to find a shelter where feral cats will be homed. The barriers to that goal are too high.
Inline with TNR programs feral cats are best left where they are. However, the cold makes leaving them where they are dangerous. And I feel bad about that.
I can only suggest something rather feeble: building a winter shelter and feeding economically.
There are two pages on feral cat shelters:
Are there any other people in the vicinity who do TNR? Can they help?
Could a relocation to a farm environment be managed? What I mean is make them into barn cats. Some farmers take on feral cats although relocation does present problems.
Sorry that this is rather feeble. Feral cats as you know are treated as third class citizens. It is difficult to get support for them.
I have been looking for someone to help with the strays in my area I have adopted 2 cats plus one from before there are so many that need help and if I could I would help all I want to cry there are more cats and babies than I know what to do I have been searching things I can do but all tell me the same thing they can not help in Springfield Oregon area we have 2 month old kitties no home the neighbors all help trying to feed there is only so much we can do any advice will help and thanks for all you do!!
Tasha.I have to give up rescuing asap due to a heart issue.I have 3 kittens and 2 moms that need some where to go asap.Kittens are 14 weeks male and 2 -9 week kittens male and female.I have applied to spayship for vouchers but have not heard back yet.Tasha all this with my heart has us broke so I can not take care of them.Pleas help.