Holly, my S.O.(significant other) shares my vivid love for animals. She wrote this article about a tremendously worthwhile project—especially for those of you whose hearts are touched by the saving of animals. This is SO well-done that I want to post it on my own website. (She gave me credit as “co-writer,” but I probably added about ten words to the whole thing.) Read and enjoy—this small but wonderful organization really needs our help.
The Humane Touch
By Holly Albin with Les Roberts
1 having or showing compassion or benevolence
Each of us holds the whole world in our hands, reminiscent of song lyrics from a long gone flower child era, but a timeless truth. Whether it be a gift of food for the hungry, a couple of dollars or a thousand, or the dedication of one’s life to helping the most innocent and vulnerable, we all possess the power to touch the world with compassion and benevolence.
Manifesting that truth are Ginger Hannah and retired state ranger, Brian Licht, of the Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project (EBFCP) in Cleveland Ohio, a nonprofit organization that receives no city or county funding. In April of 2009, using a humane animal trap, Ginger and her new project partner, Brian, trapped, neutered and returned (TNR) to his outdoor home, a cat in need, Tony, who was too feral to be adopted. He was their first. More than four and a half years following they have together helped over 1200 cats through rescue, TNR and adoption. Tony, now a portly orange tiger, still lives under the old Euclid Beach Pier along with some 17 other feral friends, all cared for daily with fresh food, clean water and warm straw-filled enclosures. He sits on top of the pylons and waits for his gift of a life-sustaining meal, brought faithfully by Ginger, each morning at 7 am. She walks down to the beach, followed by a trail of grateful souls, tails held high in demonstrative appreciation. The Pier colony of cats is one of four colonies the only two volunteers of this project maintain. Feline benefactors abound at the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park, the Euclid Beach Villa Apartments, Wildwood Marina and the old Euclid Beach Pier. These are fine examples of successfully maintained cat colonies.
Sadly, there are always newly abandoned arrivals, often starving, and the girls pregnant. It is EBFCP’s continuing goal to get these cats safely into their expertly set traps, have them altered, vaccinated, treated for any injury, nourished and either returned to their colony family or placed in loving homes through the Animal Protective League (APL) or by Ginger and Brian, themselves. Ginger and Brian foster kittens and temporarily shelter recuperating cats and momma cats about to give birth or just having given birth until they can be adopted, while each day feeding and looking out for the welfare of over 120 other cats who live outdoors throughout the Euclid Beach Lakefront Properties of North Collinwood. On occasion, they have also painstakingly befriended and brought to safety a dog deserted, emaciated and fearful of humans. All of these wandering souls are deserted, unwanted, and left without shelter–no warm bed, no assurance of a daily meal, no care, no safety–not to ever know the kind touch of a human. It is a hard life, an undeserved life. Many will die before their time, undoubtedly suffer, and many will become targets of horrific cruelty and abuse. EBFCP is doing all it can to ease the struggle of those too feral to be placed in homes and ultimately to control the growth of the population, and the subsequent suffering, by trapping and altering. *
Brian and Ginger believe much is accomplished by the single individual, willing to help out a fellow sentient being in need. She wishes we would all do something for the cat or dog who roams homeless into our own backyards or whom we see being mistreated or neglected. The residents, many elderly, of the impoverished neighborhoods Ginger daily frequents help keep an eye out, watching over the colonies and reporting to her abuses and drop-offs of new victims. How is it that those who have the least, often give the most?
When we reach out to improve the life of another, we change the world for the better. Let Ginger and Brian be our shining example. They would like to thank their current and continuing supporters! It is solely through the kindness of others and their donations that EBFCP is able to continue.
Tax deductible donations are welcome and can be made to Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project, P.O. Box 19203, Cleveland, Ohio, 44119. EIN # 46-3324801. All funds received go directly to the animals!
EBFCP is looking for volunteers to help trap, transport and feed the cats. Guaranteed, these feline individuals will give more than they get. Call Ginger at (216) 470-4125. And visit their website for more inspirational stories, www.EBFCP.org.
If you would like to help an abandoned kitty and live in Cuyahoga County, contact the Animal Protective League at (216) 377-1624 and visit their website, www.clevelandapl.org, to learn more about TNR.
EBFCP has partnered with PetFix to offer free of charge to those in need 100 spays or neuters, including vaccinations, to support the low income seniors in zip code areas 44110 and 44119. Appointments can be made at (216) 732-7040. For more information visit www.petfixnortheastohio.org.
*One statistic asserts, a fertile female cat produces an average of 3 litters per year, with an average of 4-6 kittens per litter, conceivably producing in seven years 420,000 unwanted cats on the streets. Sadly, only 1 in 12 finds a home. (Multiple sources.)