There will be a supply donation drive at 360 Farm and Pet this Saturday, January 30th to support Operation Hood's 150+ cats!
Operation Hood goes through 50-75 lbs of cat food a day and we are hoping that we will receive enough cat food to last us a couple weeks, if not more, as well as supplies for insulated cats shelters and much needed medication.
Please stop by and visit 360's friendly staff, visit with Purrs and Whisker's adoptable cats, and support Operation Hood!
Colony caregivers dug out the cats at Operation Hood and gave them plenty of food and water. Must say...We did good!!! The cats were out and about and were VERY happy to see us. They had a feast after being snowed in for a couple days.
On January 16th, an orange tabby kitten who we named Keagan was rescued from Operation Hood. At the time, Keagan was having difficulty walking. After being seen by the vet, it was determined that he had Bentonite (or drilling mud) caked to his hind legs and feet. The mud was rotting his flesh and the pads of his paws. He was treated and was provided pain killers. All of us expected a full recovery. Over the next few days, Keagan began fighting a high fever, stopped eating, and began having diarrhea. He was rushed to the vet on the morning on January 21st and x-rays revealed that precious Keagan had Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). We knew immediately that he didn't have much longer in this world and we did not want him to go through any additional pain and suffering. Keagan crossed the Rainbow Bridge that morning.
Keagan and Toby, who we shared with you earlier today, were not the only victims of Operation Hood this week. We found three dead cats last weekend, we had a kitten pass away as volunteers rushed it to the ERF, and we found a skull and a mummified cat as well.
Please keep Keagan, Toby, and these five other cats in your thoughts and prayers tonight. Also, please say a prayer for Mary, Keagan and Toby's foster mom. She suffered a great loss this week and misses them both terribly.
This is Toby. He walked into a set trap intended for a kitten last Sunday at Operation Hood. Toby gave us a look of relief when when he saw us approach the trap and we quickly learned that he was friendly as he meowed at us and rubbed his head against the trap walls. We immediately moved him from the trap and placed him in a carrier along with some food and a blanket to keep him warm.
The next day he went to Loving Touch Animal Hospital where he was examined thoroughly and underwent tests. Toby was severely emaciated, extremely anemic, his red blood cell count was much lower than normal, he was missing teeth, and sadly he showed signs having cancer. Toby was taken home that day only to return on Wednesday. He had stopped eating, was vomiting, and had bloody diarrhea.
In speaking with the vet, it was determined that there was nothing that could be done for the poor sweet Toby. We could not let him suffer any longer. Everyone was praying for a miracle, but not this time. Toby died in his foster mom's arms as they sedated him. He was so very fragile.
We don't know if Toby was abandoned at Operation Hood or if he lived there all his life. However, we do know that he was warm, comfortable, and experienced a lifetime's worth of love during the last few days of his life. Toby would lay in his foster mom's lap, purring and "making biscuits" with his little feet. Toby was a sweet, sweet boy.
Toby is just one of many cats who have suffered greatly at Operation Hood. There are so many more that need our help and Toby's death has made us more determined than ever to make things right for these cats. We will never forget you sweet Toby. Your death will not go without meaning. We love you...
RIP - January 20, 2016
A Cat's Friend and all the Operation Hood volunteers would like to thank everyone who donated supplies and/or made shelters for Operation Hood this week. Thanks to your generosity, we able to provide shelter to more than 100 cats! We still have quite a few shelters to make but rest assure, we will complete them as soon as possible. Our goal is to ensure that every cat at Operation Hood is protected from the severe cold and snow this winter.
On 1/2/2016, A Cat's Friend Inc. (ACF) officially took on the lead role in Operation Hood. Operation Hood is a special project providing sorely needed assistance to a long standing (10 year) existing 150+ cat colony located on a well drilling property in Fredericksburg, VA. The cats are living in desperate conditions and the caregiver historically has been unable to provide minimal feeding, watering, sheltering, TNR, and veterinary care of the cats. Two efforts were made in 2007 and 2009 to TNR the cats but no follow up was provided to assist the caretaker. Some of the cats are desperately ill and emaciated.
In cooperation with Spotsylvania Animal Control and the nationally prominent Alley Cat Allies, ACF is launching a multiphase project to upgrade the two existing shed shelters for cats on the property, provide interim shelter from winter weather to the cats in the form of handmade feral cat shelters until permanent shelters can be provided and taking into foster care the cats who are ill and providing veterinary care for them. Going forward a massive TNR effort will begin in February financed by Alley Cat Allies and staffed by experienced feral cat volunteers. TNR will continue until all cats are spayed and neutered. Cats who have been previously TNR'ed will receive exams, vaccinations and veterinary care. Since this site has been a publicly known dumping ground for previously owned domesticated cats, an ancillary effort is made to take into foster care those cats and find permanent homes for them.
The final phase of Operation Hood is to remove the cats from public view and draw them to a permanent colony in the woods on the back of the two acre well drilling property, install the permanent feral shelters and feeding station and form the permanent team of local volunteers who will manage the colony to include daily feeding and watering, and monitoring the colony for new cats who need TNR and cats who need emergency veterinary care. These volunteers will be under the auspices of ACF.
ACF has taken the lead in this project because it has 10 years of experience in cat colony care and has seasoned volunteers to form the network of multiple agencies who can complete the project. ACF also is undertaking the applications for grants for spay/neuter, veterinary care, and materials needed for upgrading shelter and feeding and providing for permanent shelters and feeding stations. Currently the caretaker has been throwing dry food on the ground and filling mud puddles with water in an attempt to feed and water the cats.