Community Cat Companions and the Community Cat groups of Lake County and Ashtabula Counties are fortunate to have many friends. Some of these friends are partner organizations, others are volunteers, supporters, and sometimes a special individual that doesn’t even realize how much they have helped us. Included here are individuals who have made a contribution or are contributing to our organization in a unique way. We have special “Funds” to assist with the medical needs of our cats and kittens in our adoption program, as well as programs to assist with the cost of TNR. We have added an in memoriam section that recognizes the contributions of “Friends” that have passed. We are very grateful for the support that we receive from all of our friends!
Tony and Jean are the Dynamic Duo when it comes to “Fighting the Good Fight”. What began back in 2016 as a simple TNR job at their business, turned into an amazing opportunity for us. In 2018, Tony and Jean had a litter of 5 kittens dumped at their workplace and they reached out to us for help. Because we didn’t have any available fosters at the time, we asked if they could possibly foster them for us. They said yes and the rest is history! They have been fostering ever since. Tony turned one of their trailers into what is our Mobile Adoption Center. He custom designed and built the cages inside to take our adoptions on the road. You will find him at a number of events throughout the year. Most weekends, you will find Jean at one of our partner PetSmart stores assisting with adoption events and managing the Adoption Center at our Mentor location. They have generously offered the use of a storage space to house the Lake County half of a cat shelter project that launches this fall, in partnership with Kate Grigsby and Community Cat Coalition of Ashtabula County. They will make sure kitties are safe and warm “One Cat at a Time!”.
Established in 2022, the Eleanor Albanese Kitty Commando Award honors individuals for their dedication and for exemplifying our values. We value cats and acknowledge their place in our community. We value the people and communities that advocate in the best interest of cats.
Eleanor is the original Kitty Commando. There is little that she wouldn’t do to help a cat. In her legendary trapping career, she has helped thousands of cats, assisted countless people, and put who knows how many miles on her cars! Eleanor began feeding cats in 2008 and shortly thereafter started her first trapping project at the American Legion Hall in Willowick. She became a volunteer for Western Reserve Humane Society and the Cleveland APL. She trapped anywhere they sent her. Eleanor is a founding member of both Willowick and Eastlake Community Cats. She spent six years trapping and fostering for us, deciding that 2021 would be the year to retire her traps. She recently took over a feral cat colony in Eastlake and continues to assist Kate Grigsby in her effort to make feral cat shelters. She is still helping cats; she just can’t help herself!
Catherine Messina exhibits all the characteristics of a true Kitty Commando. She always puts the needs of the cats first. Catherine approached us in 2017 when the apartment complex where she resides threatened eviction for residents that were feeding cats. At the time, there were several people feeding, the cats were everywhere, and reproducing. In a coordinated effort, management allowed us to start a TNR project with Catherine as the designated feeder. Funds were raised by residents, traps were set and so it began…One year later all of the cats were neutered and the colony was stabilized, NO kittens! Catherine oversees her colony like any Italian mother would. You can find her any day sitting on her tree stump chair imploring her charges to eat. You can almost imagine her yelling “Mangia!”
The Micah Memorial Fund was established in 2017 by Animal Medical Center of Euclid, with Lynne, in memory of her cat Micah. This fund is renewed annually and is intended to benefit cats or kittens that need extraordinary care that either saves or improves the quality of life and improves the likelihood of adoption.
Donations can be made to Animal Medical Center of Euclid
Memo: Micah Memorial Fund
24100 Lakeshore Blvd.
Euclid, OH 44123
The Foster Emergency Fund was established by one of our dedicated volunteers to cover the cost of “extraordinary” medical expenses relating to the cats and kittens in our foster program. Extraordinary expenses include but are not limited to X-rays, bloodwork, surgeries, specialty veterinary visits or medications and/or euthanasia.
Rocky was one of a litter of six kittens born to a very young mother. He was much smaller than his littermates and required supplemental feedings in order to survive. Rocky was treated for an upper respiratory infection but developed what was believed to be pneumonia. After many tests and visits to a specialty vet, it was discovered that Rocky suffers from a condition that is so rare that the clinic has never seen a case in cats. One of Rocky’s lungs is undeveloped. His heart is slightly enlarged and out of position as a result. He is on medication and monitored closely. His long-term prognosis is unknown but he is doing very well today. He remains with his foster mom and celebrated his first birthday in February. His care has been extremely expensive and without the fund would have proved difficult, if not impossible.
The Janet Reed Fund was created in 2017 by a PetFix benefactor to assist with the cost of TNR surgeries in Lake County. It has since been expanded to include cats trapped in Ashtabula County. The Janet Reed Fund is a $15 subsidy toward the cost of surgery. To date the fund has received $15,200 and subsidized the surgeries of 1,000 cats!
PetFix of Northeast Ohio
Memo: Janet Reed Fund
885 E 222nd Street
Euclid, OH 44123
Tony and Jean Pike are an integral part of our Foster Program. They not only foster our adult cats but a great number of kittens each year. In 2019, they generously donated the use of a trailer for our Mobile Adoption Center. Tony installed custom built cages in a fully appointed trailer to house our cats and kittens that are transported to adoption events and festivals throughout Lake County. In this way we can reach out and educate a great number of people about our Trap-Neuter-Return and adoption programs.
The cats and kittens in our care come through our own trapping efforts. In 2020, Painesville Township created a sponsorship program to assist with the cost of spaying and neutering stray and feral cats in the TWP. In the same year, Tony’s dad and best friend, Roger, passed away. He lived next door and was a daily presence in the lives of Tony, Jean, and the foster cats and kittens. Lake County and Ashtabula Community Cats designates $2.50 for every adoption for the Painesville Township Sponsorship Program in memory of Roger L. Pike.
Donations can be made to the Painesville Township Collaborative TNR Program
If you knew Donna Vaughn, then you know just how much she loved cats! She, of course, loved her own cats (inside and feral) but she also loved them in general and took up causes to improve their lives. She not only took up their cause with her checkbook but her time and talent. I met Donna several years ago when I trapped some feral kittens for her and thus it began. In 2015, as a member of Willowick Community Cats, Donna approached me with her desire to start a sister group in Eastlake, at the end of her term as an Eastlake Councilperson. Eastlake Community Cats was born! Donna served as the group’s secretary, answered phone calls, fundraised and was our liaison with the city. Finally, she threw her support behind what we were hoping would be a new TNR ordinance in Eastlake. Less than 2 weeks following her death, the ordinance that she worked so hard to pass went into effect. What a great tribute for her! We affectionately refer to the ordinance as ‘Donna’s Law’. Her work is done and she can rest easy knowing that her beloved cats will be safe. We love and miss her.
Dick Goddard was a much-loved man and a legend in Northeast Ohio. He was an animal advocate and made huge strides in the fight against animal cruelty in the state of Ohio. His biggest impact came when Goddard’s Law was passed in Ohio in 2016. The law made acts of cruelty against a companion animal a fifth-degree felony, punishable by six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. That includes depriving a pet of food, water or shelter. This law has been extremely beneficial to the plight of feral cats. It designates all cats as companion animals, ensuring that stray and feral cats are entitled to the same protections under the law as “owned” cats. We will be forever in his debt. He is loved and missed.
Dawn Ikehara was a wonderful and generous woman. She championed many causes but had a soft spot for the small and helpless. We met Dawn at an event that we hosted for caregivers of “community cats”. Her family had a small colony that they wanted to register with our organization but she was also seeking some assistance in placing some kittens that she was fostering on her own. We helped to get the kittens vetted and placed for adoption. We were so impressed with Dawn and her family that we asked if she would be interested in fostering for us. Dawn would take any kitten but her very favorites were bottle babies. That is why we have started a “nursery fund” in her name. Donations of money or items from our Wish List will go to the care of kittens in our foster system. It will also help with the training and set-up of new fosters.
Lake County Community Cats
225 E. 266th Street Euclid, OH 44132
Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/BEZBL7C66ABN?ref_=wl_share