Operation Hood has many kittens in their care. Thanks to our many fosters, these babies will have a good start on life and will soon be made available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting a kitten, please contact Operation Hood and we will work with you to start the adoption process!
We'd like to thank Rikki's Refuge for welcoming Pappy, our 12-year-old Leukemia + cat, into their sanctuary this morning!!!!
Pappy will be in the isolation room for 2 weeks (so that he can be monitored for any health issues) and then he will be released in to the run with the other FeLuker's. Although he is still not trusting of humans, he did go over to the kitty in the kennel next to his and said hello. He was given a big bowl of a wet food mixture (tuna, chicken, and canned cat food), a bowl of dry, and a BIG bowl of water! While he's in the isolation room, they will test him for diabetes as he is drinking a lot of water.
Pappy was trapped last week at Operation Hood.
We had to share this update about Pete, aka Poptart. He was trapped at Operation Hood over a month ago and resided at Loving Tocuh until recently when he was moved into foster care. While at Loving Touch, no one could pet him and he often swatted at his caregivers (scaring them a lot of times), however he was alway curious as to what was going on and he loved cat treats and toys.
About two weeks ago Pete went into foster care and he quickly became withdrawn. He was moved today to another foster home in hopes that he would come out of his depression...Julie, his new foster mom wrote this to us soon after arriving home:
"Hi. I think there's been a mistake. I was supposed to pick up Pete aka Poptart but I brought home this lovable baby instead. He seems to be ready for adoption. I had to sit with him for about 20 mins petting him. He didn't want me to stop. He was purring and kneading the whole time. It took about a half hour to get home and I sang him the Barney song the whole time. I'm telling you... Barney is the way to go! Lol love you. Xoxox"
Talk about a transformation! If anyone is interested in adopting Pete, please contact Operation Hood. We'd love you to meet this handsome guy...we always knew he was special but never realized how sweet he could be!
Operation Hood has volunteers feed the cats at the colony everyday. Here are a few photos that one of our Operation Hood feeders shared with us!
Gracie is one of the cats rescued from Operation Hood. When we got her, she was very withdrawn and sickly. She has been in foster care for a few weeks now and she looks amazing!!!! See what a little TLC can do!!!
Gracie has put on weight but not enough to make my happy yet and her fur is starting to fill out. She is a shy gentle soul. Her favorite spot is on the office chair to the point she refuses to leave it other than to use the litter box or go drink water. I actually put her food bowl up in the chair with her. She is no longer trying to climb the windows, curtains or blinds everytime I open a window. This is her safe spot.
I feel like it is Christmas today after the recent loss of 2 of our Hood Kitties. Mozart had his vet visit this morning. His combo test came back negative on both counts, he does not have a heart murmur like several of the hood kitties and he put on enough weight to get his vaccinations. He is 5 to 8 years old. So once this handsome loving grey gentleman has put on enough weight nothing will stand between him and a forever home.
Mozart is doing great considering the state he was found in - severely emaciated like so many of the long time residents of Operation Hood. He is the biggest love bug and feels so safe in his crate with his cat bed he literally refuses to leave it. Although he now does get out of his comfy cat bed to stand and eat. Speaking of eating this old guy eats not 1, not 2, but 3 bowls of food per day (wet and dry). But all the food is very slowly paying off, I can see his face filling out just a tad bit and his fur is getting better. He still has a long road ahead of him to full recovery but he is well on his way.
It is with much sadness that we must report that Angel has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Angel is an Operation Hood cat that was trapped last week and seen today by the vet. Little Angel was in the last stages of heart worm disease and had a very bad heart murmur. Her prognosis was not good and we were advised that the humane thing to do was to end her suffering.
Angel first appeared to the colony feeders a few weeks ago. Although she was five or six years old, she was extremely tiny and was severely emaciated. Kate, one of the Operation Hood feeders shared that she would always ensure Angel received her own food and was starting to put a little weight on.
Since Angel was trapped last week, she has lived in one of the biggest cages at Loving Touch. She had a soft bed and lots to eat. She was warm, dry, well cared for, and most importantly loved.
Peach was one of those cats that if you got within a foot of her cage at Loving Touch, she would start growling. As soon as you made eye contact or touched the handle to open the cage, she started hissing. Numerous times she smacked the cleaning brush out of volunteer's hands swiping at them. Her ears were flat back against her head about 98% of the time. 😂
Now, she no longer hisses or growls! She even let her foster mommy pet her head! Her ears stay perked up and she doesn't stay hidden in her bed anymore.
These cats have never known love like this. Yes, it takes a lot of patience, and yes, it's going to take time for them to learn to trust us. They've had their guard up their entire life with wildlife, cruel humans, and harsh environments.
Please consider fostering one of the many cats we have available! You can help them on their journey to finding a forever home! The reward in the end is worth all the hard work, dedication, and patience. 💕🐈
Operation Hood would like to thank Lovable Whiskers Animal Rescue and Sanctuary for rescuing and taking into their care five cats and kittens from Operation Hood!!!
The other day at Operation Hood we went to take more pictures. While looking around we discovered a kitten. K went to grab it and she heard rustling. There was a blue barrel filled with cans and garbage. Inside were two more kittens. They are about 4 to 6 weeks old. They only weigh about a pound, they are infested with fleas, and they have eye infections. They were hissing and spitting at us, in hopes we would leave them be.
We were not prepared to find these guys. There are so many hiding places, it makes it very difficult to find kittens or get to them. We made the best of the situation at hand and just went with it. If we had left these guys, they probably would have become very sick or they would have been even harder to catch.
There is one female and two males. The flea infestation is bad and they are a little anemic. Katie gave them a bath both days and picked fleas off for almost an hour before giving in and trying capstar on them. The capstar seems to have helped and they are doing well. They are eating on their own and warming up to us already. We are working on treating the eye infections and setting them up get all of their medical needs addressed.
Operation Hood volunteers had a very special moment this morning. We began to pack up the male cats to be released within the fence that was built for the Operation Hood cats. When we got to the first orange tabby pictured here, he began to meow loudly. Immediately we knew this was not the cry of a feral cat. We began petting his head and before we knew it he was sitting in our lap and soon after that was laying over our shoulder. He was getting lots of kisses and he would stretch his neck because he wanted more and more. He was holding on quite tightly, as to say, dont let me go!
Then another volunteer went over to his sibling's cage and began petting him as well and before we knew it, he too was sitting in the volunteer's lap. He is the second orange tabby pictured!
In speaking with one of our feeders at Operation Hood, the two orange tabbies showed up about a month ago. It is now obvious that someone abandoned them. This is extremely disheartening, but what is more disgusting is these cats received love and affection at one point in their lives and then thrown out like a piece of garbage!
Yesterday Katie from Lovable Whiskers Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, based in Chantilly, contacted us about the cats in our care. She came down today to visit them at Loving Touch Animal Hospital and also at the colony location.
We are so incredibly happy to say that Katie took these two sweet boys back with her. They will be fostered until they are fully adjusted to indoor life again and then will be placed up for adoption through Lovable Whiskers as a pair.
Thanks to Katie and Lovable Whiskers, the boys will never experience abandonment, fear, or loneliness again. Lovable Whiskers is very thorough with their adoption process and the boys will only go to the best of homes!
Operation Hood's 1st monthly newsletter entitled, "A Cat's Meow" has been released. We hope you find it both enjoyable and informative. If you would like to join our mailing list and receive it via email, please subscribe to our mailing list (see bottom of page) and we will add you to the monthly distribution list!
Although A Cat's Friend is the lead organization for Operation Hood, we will no longer be posting updates about this endeavor on A Cat's Friend's Facebook page. Please "like" OPERATION HOOD on Facebook if you would like to stay up-to-date on what we are doing, as well as receive updates on upcoming events!
Some of them can't always be saved... No matter how hard we try. I am beyond thankful that I was able to provide a safe home with food and unconditional love for just over a month. Today he crossed the rainbow bridge to kitty heaven.
Many of the cats from operation hood are sick like this sweet boy because of NEGLECT and HOARDING. It's cruel! Not only have they been breeding out of control, but many irresponsible pet owners drop off animals they no longer want as a part of their family. To me, that's the same as dropping my child off without care for how they will eat or survive.
Brawny's situation is preventable, but it take a COMMUNITY'S help. Help stop the growth of cat colonies by being a responsible pet owner and always spay or neuter.
We have great news to start the weekend. Mouse has been adopted! He joins his fellow colony buddies, Puff Daddy, Merlin, Zorro, and Manny!
Mouse was trapped back in early January at Operation Hood and has resided at Loving Touch Animal Hospital ever since. He had a huge mass on his neck that required surgery and he had to wear a cone for a month. Mouse terrified us for the longest time. He would hiss, growl, and occasionally lunge at volunteers caring for him. Then one day, and it seemed like overnight, a softer, more gentler side of Mouse appeared. We put toys in his cage and he loved to play. We also started giving him Temptation treats, which he LOVES! He pounces on them like he is trying to kill them! Mouse still doesn't fully trust humans but he is very curious. When volunteers clean his cage, they would have to wash around him and he would tap our hands with his paw (no claws). We don't know how Mouse ended up at Operation Hood, but he is now in a safe, warm, loving home.
Congratulations Mouse! We are so happy for you, but will miss you terribly!
As we walked around some of the cats were curious while others merely watched as we passed by, some greeted us with head bumps while others laid sunning in a window enjoying the beautiful day. As I think back on the day one word keeps coming to mind... Harmony. There was such harmony and peace at Cats Crossing among the cats that live there. Our hearts filled with emotions as we placed both Winston and Thomas in there crates in a room and opened the doors. Thomas was the first to venture out and was so curious about his surroundings while Winston was very laid back taking it all in...ears never went backwards.....no hissing just complete comfort. I truly believe both Thomas & Winston picked up on the peaceful environment they were in and felt at ease...it was such an AMAZING experience! If you get the chance look up Cats Crossing and read more about Darcy and her amazing cat sanctuary.
Thomas O'Malley and Winston went to their new home today. As Shelia and I drove up to Cats Crossing we both just kept talking to both Thomas & Winston saying, "oh wow boys this is a beautiful place!" When we drove up we were greeted by a few cats who snuggled my feet and sniffed the crates that Thomas & Winston were in...no hissing was exchanged. Darcy the owner of Cats Crossing came out to greet us and welcome us to Cats Crossing, she is absolutely a warm and caring person that made us feel at home.
Courtesy of Mary, one of the Operation Hood volunteers who drove Winston and Thomas O'Malley to they new how.
Drew, our little dilute calico kitten, has transitioned to King Street Cats, a private rescue that operates its own shelter on Dove St. In Alexandria. The advantage of her going to King Street Cats is that they not only use foster homes, but have cats who reside at the shelter, which is very homey and has a large cat room, until they are ready for adoption. They have numerous volunteers who come in daily and so Drew will get used to an environment with others besides and most importantly will have playmates her own age.
We have great news tonight...Angie and her babies were taken in this evening by one of the Fredericksburg SPCA's loving fosters. Angie and her seven kittens will remain in foster care until they are ready to be adopted. The Fredericksburg SPCA has offered to help Operation Hood by providing foster homes for nursing moms, thus allowing more pregnant cats and/or nursing mom's with kittens to be rescued from the Hood colony.
A sneak peak at some of our Operation Hood Kitties and what they are really like. Many of them are not feral cats but strays. Please support Operation Hood.
We are desperately in need of foster homes for these kitties. If you have a bathroom, small bedroom or other room to spare they sure could use your help.
Operation Hood applied for an emergency grant from Two Mauds early last week and we were uncertain whether we were going to receive funding since we are located outside their coverage area--they cover the Appalachia. To our surprise, we received $3,000 in emergency funding! This is more than originally requested!!! The funding will be used to spay/neuter the cats, as well as cover other medical expenses.
Thanks Two Mauds!!!
The donation drive that Valarie and Jim hosted at Giant at Harrison Crossing was a huge success. Operation Hood received lots of food donations and received $307 for the Operation Hood cats! One young lady come up and single-handedly put $220 in the donation jar! There were Girl Scouts selling Girl Scout cookies on the other side of the entrance, and the little Girl Scouts kept coming over and dropping dollar bills in the donation jar (so sweet). Some people at the very least would bring us a can of cat food to add to the collection. These people are going to make our efforts at Operation Hood a success!
I was overwhelmed by what was waiting for me when I went to feed so I had to take this video to show the community what we are dealing with at Operation Hood.
A small view of Operation Hood so you have an idea of what we are dealing with on this one acre parcel of land. This colony has been a public problem for over a decade and finally a group of dedicated cat rescue individuals is taking on the monumental task of caring for these cats many of which have been dumped by their owners over the years.
If you would like to donate please go to either of the following Facebook pages - Operation Hood Making It Great or A Cat's Friend Inc.
Video filmed, narrated, and uploaded to Facebook by Kate Balow, Operation Hood colony caregiver.
We want to thank all those wonderful generous people who donated to the Operation Hood Fundraising/Food Drive today! We appreciate everything that you graciously donated for the kitties today! Because of you, we will make this work! Thank you to the great customers and staff of PETCO at Harrison Crossing!
This morning Dawn at Loving Touch Animal Hospital went into the cat room to get Angie to have her spayed. To her surprise, Dawn heard the sounds of little kittens. At the end of the day, Angie had given birth to seven kittens...a black one, two gray ones, two brown tabbies, and two orange tabbies.
Angie seemed very content. She allowed us to transfer her and the kittens to a dry, warm cage without any hissing or growling.
Angie and her kittens were removed from the cage at Loving Touch and taken into foster care this evening.
We are sad tonight about the passing of Sanne to the Rainbow Bridge late this afternoon. She was a senior girl with such a will to survive, black and white with big green eyes...the first kitty to be officially rescued by Operation Hood right after New Year's. It was because she was so ill and so dirty and so pathetic that she came out first. She is the type of kitty who haunts the rescuers of Operation Hood....to see one of God's creatures so thin and ill and struggling on. I call it Trap, Neutered and Returned to H E double hockeysticks...not the fault of those who performed TNR but the fault of the ones who are supposed to "caretake" or take care. She was a senior, roughly 10 to 12 years of age and the highlight of her two months of foster care was food, and plenty of it. She purred greedily each time she was fed, it had been so long since her tummy was full. She purred when she was lightly brushed, and she slept a lot in between. The wonderful vets at Loving Touch waited for her to get stronger before they would attempt to do a dental on her, as her mouth was so bad it smelled and she drooled. Today, when the doctor started to do the procedure, she found that Sanne could not tolerate being under for very long and six teeth were severely infected and would have required a dental specialist to spend three or four hours with her under anesthesia to bring any relief to her mouth. In the past several weeks she has been fragile, and tired. Last night she curled up on the couch with me, and today was the time go give up the good fight...we know the Rainbow Bridge is peace for all of our kitties who have had their time here with us...Thank you Sanne for surviving long enough to come into my life.
Posted on Facebook by Mary Anne Schneider (Sanne's Foster Mom)
We were recently offered a piece of land to use as a sanctuary for the Operation Hood. This property requires a Purrfect fence, which will be used to contain the cats, as well as keep them safe.
You may be asking why we are looking to relocate the cats. To date, we have not gone into much detail about the location in which these cats live. We have shared photos, but nothing more. The cats are living in filth! Most, if not all of the cats, have intestinal parasites, thus causing severe diarrhea. The property reeks of feces and urine. Additionally, there is Bentonite on the property that is causing extreme harm to the cats as they are ingesting it and walking through it. It cakes onto their fur and in their mouths, thus causing SEVERE health problems for the cats, such as rotting teeth and skin, cancer, and extreme anemia. The cats are infested with fleas and some have shown signs of having lice. Also many, many cats suffer from upper respiratory infections and iron deficiencies. Operation Hood MUST relocate these cats to a healthy environment in order for them to become healthy once again.
This is Bentonite. It is causing severe health problems for the cats living at Operation Hood.
Alley Cat Allies has offered to pay for a portion of the fence, but but not all. We must order the fence in the next couple days as we have been advised that the company is in short supply and if not ordered quickly the fence will be placed on back order.
If the fence is ordered immediately, the fence can be delivered within the next 7-10 days and we will install it immediately! Once installed, we can begin trapping all of the cats. Those who need to be spayed/neutered will be done at that time and all others will be vaccinated for rabies and given flea/tick/dewormer. Those requiring medical attention will be cared for as well.
If the fence is NOT purchased immediately, it could be months before the fence is ordered, installed, and the cats relocated and the cats will continue to suffer.
If you would like to contribute toward the fence that will house the cats of Operation Hood, please click here. We MUST raise $3,700 to cover our portion of the fence. Please help!
Much of our attention this past week has been toward the care of the cats at Loving Touch Animal Hospital, at the Operation Hood colony site, and those in foster care.
Most of the 24 cats at Loving Touch have diarrhea as a result of intestinal parasites that they acquired while at Operation Hood. All of them are being treated accordingly and we are seeing positive results already. One would never believe that a solid stool would make a handful of ladies so excited!!! We are also caring for a two cats that have severe upper respiratory infections. They have been isolated from the other cats so not to spread their illness. They are already showing signs of improvement as they are up and about in their cage and curious as to their surroundings. If you have two to three hours to spare once a week, we desperately need assistance in caring for the cats at Loving Touch. We work in two-three person teams and the more volunteers we have to assist the better!
As many may have heard, we trapped Grace, one of the colony's sickest cats on Wednesday. She was taken to CARE Hospital immediately where she was treated and then released to her foster mom. Grace is content being in foster care, but still very scared. She is holding her own though and enjoying meal time. She LOVES to eat!!!
We have also been attempting to trap a somewhat friendly, very pregnant cat. We have a foster on standby in the event that we trap her. She will be given the opportunity to have her kittens before being spayed. Hopefully by then mama kitty will be socialized well enough to be adopted out, along with her kittens!
We currently have two volunteers who feed daily at Operation Hood. We trained others this week to assist in the workload. Volunteers were shown where feeding and water bowls are maintained and provided instruction on how much food should be given to the cats. If you have an hour to spare one day a week and would like to help with feeding the cats, please contact A Cat's Friend. We can use the assistance in feeding the many cats of Operation Hood!
We also had our first adoption. Karma, one of our older, more sick cats was adopted by her foster mom. We couldn't be more happy as we know that she will be well cared for and loved!
Karma - Adopted on February 17, 2016.
We currently have seven cats and kittens in foster care. Drew and Gypsy, both calico kittens, are available for adoption at this time!!! They are VERY cute! Sanne currently requires medical attention, and Shelton and Oreo require socialization before they can be made available for adoption. You too could be a foster parent. We are eager to get many of the cats at Loving Touch into foster care within the next week or so. If you are interested in welcoming one of these cats into your home so they can recuperate and learn what it is to be loved again, please let us know! We will gladly provide all supplies and food for the cats.
A Cat's Friend would like to thank everyone who has donated toward the Operation Hood effort. We have been able to provide medical attention to 37 cats to date and are feeding 150+ cats daily as a result of your financial support and in-kind donations. We have a lot of work ahead of us and there are many, many cats who require medical care. If you would like to contribute to Operation Hood, please click HERE to donate.