You might be surprised to learn how many veterans from the United States military forces are cat folx. They have pets, they volunteer, and many have memories of cats (and dogs) they encountered in their service.
And some are caretakers of cat colonies … continuing to serve their communities by feeding and TNVRing cats. This helps the cats, but also the neighbors and others in the community. A healthy stable cat colony is good for public safety as well as a reflection of the compassion and desire to be of service many of our veterans hold dear in their hearts.
Here’s a tale from a rescuer who trapped two kittens in late summer 2019.
So today I got a call from a gentleman named Bob. Bob is a Vietnam Vet who frequents the bike trail with his Jack Russell named Izzy. He discovered these kittens under the porta potty about a week and a half ago and he couldn’t catch them though he tried so he decided to take care of them, feeding and watering and giving them a shirt to lay on.
Bob is ELATED and relieved that these guys are now with us. He told me a heartbreaking story of him being in Thailand in the early 70’s. He’s an Air Force Veteran who fixed the planes. He and his men took in a dog they called Champ. But they had to leave Champ behind when they returned to the US and this has haunted him since because the eat dogs in Thailand that are strays. Almost 50 years and he’s still sad over this dog. Bob is my kind of people. The kittens were lucky to have him keep them well until Ashley could spot them and we could trap them.
You can honor that spirit by supporting them through our Dr. John P. Ruffing VMD Cat Food Projects.
- Bit.ly/CatLennyMaryAnn (73, 72, Northside) *Veteran
- Lenny is Veteran who is disabled on a fixed income. We are both up in age and it gets harder each year. We love these kitties even though they are not friendly with us. It’s not their fault people failed them.
- Bit.ly/CatMike (73 years old, Robinson) *Veteran
- Mike is a veteran who kept a promise to this dying daughter 20+ years ago that he would continue to feed the cats.
- Bit.ly/CatRich (78 years old, Munhall) *Veteran
- Richard is a retired veteran who served in the Coast Guard in the 1960s. He serves the community now by caring for a colony of 10 feral cats – he works with groups to get them vetted and keep as healthy as possible. He mows lawns to pay for cat food. Rich recently had a community cat who needed dental work. Rescuers arranged for the veterinary care and Rich hand fed this cat every day before and after the procedure until he was back to health.
- Bit.ly/CatRosemary (72, Northside) *Veteran
- I am a disabled Air Force veteran from Illinois and a senior of 70 on a subpovertylevel pension, an artist and published poet and a retired publisher/editor of a women artists’ magazine and three small poetry presses I rescued dozens of cats for about 50 years, and can tame most feral cats. I am a work in progress.
- Bit.ly/CatPgh **This is the general list for donations that will be divided between all caretakers, including those who are not listed here by their choice.
Note: these lists include items that are currently in low supply and thus high prices. We advise you scroll to options that are more affordable. We leave those items on the list because we anticipate the prices will return to normal in the near future.
Food is the very best thing to donate. If you can commit to making a monthly donation of perhaps a small bag or some cans of food, that goes a long way to helping these veterans and all caretakers stretch their incomes.
The following items are always welcome in good condition from smoke free homes.
- Pet food bowls, any size.
- Pet beds (laundered without scent, smokefree home) any size
- Outdoor pet beds in good condition
- Cat food any brand – someone on our list of caretakers will use it
- Cat treats any brand – used to build trust, supplement calories, trapping
- Pet carriers and crates with all working parts and in clean, good condition
- Toys. Outdoor cats like to play, too. Please launder.
Financial donations for veterinary care or to purchase specialized items are also welcome. Our non-profit is called Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities, but we administer the #PghCatProjects. Just make a note.
- GoFundMe Charities (no fees) https://www.gofundme.com/charity/pittsburgh-lgbtq-charities
- Venmo @PittsburghLGBTQ
- Paypal bit.ly/PayPalPLC
- Facebook.com/PittsburghLGBTQ – Click on Donation
- Checks can be made payable to “Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities” and mailed to 1439 W. North Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15233
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