The Florida Southern College Campus Cat Club recently held a profit-sharing fundraiser at Sonny’s BBQ on South Florida Avenue.
The event was one of many efforts the club makes throughout the school year to support the population of spayed and neutered feral cats living on Florida Southern’s campus. All funds raised by the Cat Club go directly to the cats, covering medical care, food and general supplies needed to care for the felines.
Having raised an estimated $3,000 since it was founded three years ago, the club has been able to cover the cost of spaying, neutering and vaccinating new cats, which occasionally integrate themselves with the rest of the colony.
In March of 2017, the Cat Club paid to have resident feline Franklin fixed, bringing the college colony to 100 percent TNR (trap, neuter, return) status, meaning every single cat was finally spayed, neutered and vaccinated. The average cost of having a cat altered is around $100.
While local clinics and shelters such as SPCA Florida and TLC Petsnip offer low cost community cat programs, the Cat Care Team has additional services performed to ensure the cat is as healthy as possible.
“We like to have the cats vaccinated for distemper and leukemia,” Cat Care Team Founder and FSC Safety Dispatcher Nan Holleyman said. “We get them treated for fleas, ears cleaned and checked for mites, the whole nine yards. It is more expensive, but worth every penny.”
In addition to covering the cost of having any new cats spayed, neutered and vaccinated, the Cat Club has aided in vet bills as well as general food and care supply costs. Last year, the Cat Club raised nearly $1,000 during their annual Spring Sale, which completely paid for having all the cats brought up to date on their vaccinations.
“Without the club, funding Project Bojangles would not have been possible,” Holleyman said.
Several of the things made possible by the FSC Campus Cat Club are similar to what SPCA Florida does through its Guardian Angel Fund. The latter invests up to $15,000 each month to help sick and injured animals.
While on a much smaller scale and focusing solely on cats, fundraisers done by the FSC Campus Cat Club have enabled the Care Team to reach out into the surrounding community to help other cats in need.
In the fall of 2017, the Care Team responded to an emergency call about a cat that had been abandoned outside of a bank in Winter Haven. The Cat Club helped the Care Team raise the money needed to cover the medical expenses of the cat they named Checkers.
While this case in particular did not have the desired outcome, other situations the Care Team have gotten involved with have had more positive results.
To be able to do these kinds of things, the fundraisers hosted by the Cat Club are planned out in extensive detail. Much work goes on behind the scenes to put various events together, sometimes taking months to work out.
The infographic below gives a quick look at the work that goes into pulling off the FSC Campus Cat Club’s annual Spring Sale.