Financial Resources for TNR/Community Cat Care
Caring for community cats is highly rewarding, but the costs can add up. Luckily, there are a number of resources and strategies to help relieve your financial burden so that you can care for your cats without having to worry about your bank account.
- Contact your local SPCA or animal rescue group (any on THIS list) about borrowing equipment such as traps and cat carriers.
- Visit your local animal shelters and ask for any surplus cat food. Food banks and food pantries also sometimes stock cat food, and some animal shelters have their own pet food banks.
- Grocery stores and pet supply stories are sometimes willing to donate broken packages or dented cans. Some will also donate recently expired products, which are still good for a few months after their sell-by date.
- Speak to local vet clinics and ask if they have surplus or recently expired foods that they are willing to donate.
- Hold your own cat food drive, and publicize the event on social media. Sometimes high schools or volunteer organizations are willing to hold a drive as well. You can also ask your local grocery stores and pet supply shops if they will allow you to put out a box to collect food donations.
- Building supply stores and contractors often have scrap lumber and will sometimes give it away for free.
- Check your local garden supply or feed store to see if they have surplus straw which can be used as insulation.
- Craigslist and garage sales often have used dog houses for sale (or for free). These can easily be turned into cat shelters with some insulation and making a smaller door.
- Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program provides financial assistance to feline caregivers who can’t afford vet care in life-threatening situations.
- RedRover provides grants in urgent care situations to help offset vet bills
- Do a Google search for clinics near you that offer low-cost services. Try searching “low-cost veterinary clinics” or “affordable spay and neuter clinics”. Additionally, local animal shelters may be able to provide information on low-cost veterinary clinics.
- Many states have clinics and shelters that provide low-cost vet services. Sometimes these services are available to the general public, however sometimes you will need to meet certain criteria such as earning an income below a certain level or being on public assistance. The requirements vary clinic to clinic and state by state so it is best to contact the shelter or clinic directly to discuss your eligibility.
- Create a savings plan and set aside what you can afford each month to put towards your TNR expenses. Speak to your vet to estimate the cost based on the number of cats you’ll be trapping.
- Holding a local fundraiser is a good way to raise money as well as get the community involved. Fundraising events such as bake sales, garage sales, and car washes are all good ways to raise funds.
- You can also do fundraising online. There are numerous websites tailored to fundraising, such as GoFundMe.com, Fundly.com, and Crowdfunding.com, among many others. Be sure to inform your potential donors of your plans to spay and neuter your community cars, and share pictures of the cats so everyone can see who they are helping. Summarize your financial goal and let your donors know where their money will be going.
- Apply for grants. Grants are monetary gifts offered by organizations which are designed to be used for a specific purpose. Typically you will need to fill out an application, where you can explain how you intend to use the grant and agree to follow up on how it was spent. Some grants are designated for spaying and neutering and TNR. Some places that offer grants are: