2008 Annual Report
Educating our community on responsible pet ownership while providing safe haven for cats and kittens in transition to new lives in permanent homes.
Founded on July 1, 2003, FieldHaven Feline Center remains focused on the rescue of cats and kittens and providing shelter, adoptions, community education, and feral cat spay/neuter assistance to our community.
FieldHaven’s shelter facility is located on a private horse ranch in rural Lincoln, California. With a volunteer roster approaching two-hundred (200), a new building in the planning stages, and an amazing network of foster homes, FieldHaven has taken its place among the most respected animal welfare organizations in northern California.
Changing, Growing, Giving Back
Our fifth year of operation was truly a year of new challenges for FieldHaven. Beginning with the notification from Placer County of the need to replace our existing shelter building, FieldHaven’s Board of Directors, volunteers, and community partners set about planning to raise the necessary $150,000.
Our best laid plans and our very first fundraising event were repurposed to raise money for victims and heroes of Lincoln’s Labor Day fire. The FieldHaven family did what they always do: gave of themselves to help their neighbors.
While our own needs were many in 2008, FieldHaven volunteers, staff, and Board of Directors chose to reflect the faith, support, and heart our community has always given us.
Jennifer Ehrlinspiel, DVM, Technical Service Veterinarian
In July 2008, FieldHaven celebrated five years of saving lives and building happy homes! Here is the past half-a-decade of FieldHaven at a glance.
- FieldHaven started by Joy Smith and Jann Flannagan in the horse barn tack room
- First adoptions at Lincoln Farmers Market
- First volunteers recruited (many are still with us today)
- “Cat Trailer” brought into service and outdoor adult habitat built
- Gladding McBean Project: 50+ feral cats trapped, spayed or neutered, and relocated
- 501(c)3 non-profit status granted
- $5,000 Excellence in Execution Award granted by Iams
- Outreach adoptions begin in PetSmart Roseville
- 159 cats spayed and neutered through Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)
- FieldHaven awarded 10-tons of dry cat food from Iams and we shared it with nearly twenty other animal welfare groups
- First Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) grant awarded by the Lincoln Community Foundation
- 214 cats spayed and neutered through Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Responsible pet ownership program in local schools begins with grant from Lincoln Community Foundation
- Operation: Amoruso in Lincoln addresses a long-standing overpopulation of stray and feral cats
- “Prevent Teenage Pregnancy” SNAP campaign poster wins the Brain Bank Marketing Award of the Humane Society of the United States
- 447 cats spayed and neutered through Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Voted Best of the Best Non-Profit Organization in Lincoln
- Hosted community fundraiser to benefit firefighters and homeowners affected by the Labor Day Gladding Fire in Lincoln
- Became full-time adoption partner with PetSmart Lincoln and continued part-time partnership with Petco Rocklin
- Collaborated with rescue organizations in Placer and Sacramento Counties to rehome 150+ feral cats from a Sacramento mobile park, placing approximately 50 cats from the project
- 566 cats spayed and neutered through Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)
Projections for 2009
- Collaboration with UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program for new FieldHaven shelter design
- Fundraising campaign for new FieldHavens shelter
- Implementation of FieldHaven’s Volunteer of the Month Program
- Collaboration with other rescue organizations to continue educating the public about animal welfare issues, spay/neuter assistance, etc.
- Expected 700+ cats to be spayed and neutered as we continue our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) for residents of Lincoln and surrounding areas
2008 marked the fifth complete year of adoptions for FieldHaven. With 1,439 adoptions under our belt, we naturally felt experienced in this area of shelter operations, but to learn more from our customer base of adopters, we developed an Adopter Survey.
An invitation to complete the Adoption Survey was sent via email and snail mail to every adopter with current information in our database; 157 responded, representing 14% of adoptions from 2003 to 2008.
What We Learned
- More than 95% of our adopters said FieldHaven adoption counselors were very knowledgeable in matching them with the best cat for them.
- While our matching success rate was high, our adopters also had valuable feedback in proving our adopter-to-cat matchmaking skills. We are planning to begin implementing the ASPCA Meet Your Match program to further improve our adoption success rate.
- 95% of adopters recommend FieldHaven to their friends.
- FieldHaven’s comprehensive medical program greatly minimizes post-adoption medical issues.
- 22% of adopters report “shy or scared” as the most common post-adoption adjustment issue. Note: This is a fairly typical response for any feline moving into a new home. FieldHaven provides adopters with guidelines for helping their new family member adjusts.
In September 2008, we became a full-time adoption partner in PetSmart Lincoln, showcasing adoptable cats in the in-store adoption center all week long. Cats and kittens are rotated twice weekly so no animal is left in the adoption center for too long and to provide maximum exposure to all adoptables.
With this opportunity, we elected to drop our four-days-per-month partnership with PetSmart Roseville to concentrate our adoption efforts within our own community. We continue to maintain our adoption partnership with Petco Rocklin when volunteers are available to staff it.
We are constantly striving to increase our market awareness for our adoption program. In 2008, we employed several new methods that appeared to have a positive effect by bringing in more potential adopters.
Online Adoption Survey
While viewing an adoptable cat or kitten online, interested persons may complete an adoption survey immediately. If they do not see any particular cat that grabs their attention, they may complete a general survey. Completed forms are emailed directly to adoption counsellors for a timely follow-up.
Videos of Adoptable Cats
Short video clips of adoptable cats increase their exposure to help people make a connection with an individual animal prior to even meeting it.
Courtesy Adoptions: 29
Adoptions by Venue
FieldHaven Shelter: 162
PetSmart Roseville: 52
PetSmart Lincoln: 77
Each cat and kitten who comes to FieldHaven becomes part of our family. Their physical and mental health are of the greatest importance.
In 2008, FieldHaven provided comprehensive care (which consists of housing, spay or neuter surgery, veterinary services, and lots of time and love from volunteers) for over 350 cats, kittens, and special needs animals until they were all adopted into homes.
To maintain the optimum level of feline health, volunteers and staff members adhere to our comprehensive medical protocols, established in a partnership with our shelter veterinarian, Roberta Peterson, DVM, the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, and several local veterinary clinics. Through these partnerships, we are able to ensure these protocols are continually updated with the most up-to-date information available.
Additionally, all volunteers and staff are encouraged to attend continuing education presentations, focusing on feline shelter medicine whenever possible.
Adult cats at FieldHaven are housed onsite under the care of shelter manager, Jen Paul. Jen is responsible for the day-to-day care and well-being of the adult cats, conducting daily physical exams with Dr. Peterson to ensure their continued health. Her duties also include overseeing the volunteers who come for shelter duty, socializing cats, and screening potential adopters. By providing a safe, clean, and loving environment, Jen is able to make the cats waiting for their forever homes are happy and healthy.
FieldHaven’s foster program allows us to work with Placer County Animal Services and other rescues to help ease overcrowding by transferring their kittens and special needs animals into foster homes. Foster homes are an integral part of our success, as they also provide shelter and care for up to two-thirds of the animals at FieldHaven.
In 2008, FieldHaven hired Penny Dougherty as the part-time foster coordinator. Under her direction, the foster program has continued to grow and expand while staying progressively up-to-date with current medical protocols.
All of the volunteers and staff at FieldHaven work diligently to provide the best environment possible for all of the felines who come to our shelter. Their tireless efforts continue to make FieldHaven a success in maintaining the highest quality of care possible for the cats and kittens coming to us as they wait for their new forever homes.
In early 2005, FieldHaven introduced Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) to assist Lincoln residents with spaying and neutering feral and stray cats and provide education on the importance of addressing the issue of animal overpopulation.
The first year was wildly successful, with 159 cats spayed and neutered through the program. Thanks to the generosity of our funders, each year since, we have increased the number of animals put through the program.
In 2008, 566 cats were spayed and neutered, for a total of 1,386 to date.
Program Overview and Methodology
FieldHaven provides the funds to spay and neuter cats using Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic in Auburn, California. As part of the service, cats receive an FVRCP and rabies vaccine with additional medical care provided on an as-needed basis. Residents are given assistance with the logistics of getting the target animals into the program through the loan of traps, carriers, and cages, with volunteers providing education on trapping and safe-handling of the cats.
Volunteers also provide pre-spay/neuter recovery, housing, and transportation to the clinic, when necessary. The shelter acts as a triage center where cats may be dropped off for transportation and picked up for recovery.
Qualifications for SNAP Recipients
There are three categories of cats qualified for our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program:
- Owned community cats: There is no income ceiling to utilize SNAP, although we do encourage donations of whatever the recipient can afford. Any reimbursement funds received are placed back into the SNAP fund.
- Un-owned (stray) community cats: These are typically homeless strays who have been rescued by someone in the community. When an unowned cat is found suitable for adoption (not feral), FieldHaven provides resources and assistance for rehoming the cat after spaying/neutering.
- Feral cats: Our first contact with people dealing with feral cats on their property is education on their options on how to deal with the “problem.” We set out to inform them on the advantages of Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR). We encourage the release of animals back into their familiar environment, but when it is not possible, we provide knowledge and assistance on how to successfully relocate ferals to a safe area.
In 2008, we received funding from the following foundations and trusts:
- Berniece Barbour Foundation
- Build-A-Bear Foundation
- Handsel Foundation
- Placer County Animal Services Trust Fund
In 2008, SNAP provided the spay and neuter surgeries for 566 cats (301 females, 265 males). Exclusively using the Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic enabled us to keep our cost to a minimum, while still providing the necessary care for each of the cats. Our average cost per cat was approximately $36, the same as 2007.
All of us at FieldHaven are proud at the success of SNAP. Not only are we gaining ground on ending the plight of homeless pets in and around Lincoln, but we are providing services that save taxpayer dollars. Below are several highlights of our 2008 SNAP experience:
- Through a cooperative agreement with the Placer County Landfill, when cats and kittens are found abandoned at the facility, FieldHaven will rescue the animals and provide for their care. The facility donates $35 per cat/kitten rescued.
- FieldHaven participated in an area-wide rescue operation when Regency Park, a Sacramento mobile home park, was slated to be razed. Nearly 150 homeless cats, many of which were feral, inhabited the grounds. Numerous animal rescue organizations from the greater Sacramento area participated in the project. FieldHaven rehomed over fifty of the feral cats after spaying and neutering.
- A Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) team comprised of four to six volunteers was formed in 2008. The team functions as a community service to help educate people on TNR as an alternative to trap and kill. Team members provide all levels of assistance, including performing all functions of the TNR operation if necessary. The team managed about ten projects in 2008, involving approximately 75 cats, in addition to projects where they only provided education and guidance to residents.
From early on, we realized no organization is an island. To have any impact, we must all work together. FieldHaven’s philosophy has always been to work as a team with the community and other organizations.
In 2008, FieldHaven participated in several collaborative efforts, with the largest by far being the Regency Park project. Regency Park, a mobile home park in a not-so-pleasant area of Sacramento, was scheduled to be levelled. The demolition crew was booked and the residents were told to vacate, but no one thought about the nearly 150 cats living there until an animal rescuer in the area found out about it.
The animal ally put out a plea to the greater Sacramento area to find a solution, and it was answered by the founders of the Sisters Animal Sanctuary in Elk Grove. Over the next two weeks, they coordinated the efforts to trap, spay and neuter, and rehome all 147 cats, 90% of which were feral.
FieldHaven volunteers stepped up to the plate to help with every phase of the project, including braving the drug-invested trailer park by night to set and monitor traps. Through our strong network of animal lovers from Sacramento to Reno, FieldHaven was successful in rehoming over fifty feral cats.
In much smaller, but no less important, collaborations, FieldHaven partners with Friends of Placer County Animal Services to share the adoption center at Petco in Rocklin. We also work with Placer County Animal Services to transfer overflow and hard-to-adopt cats to FieldHaven when space permits, allowing their adoption prospects at their shelter to be less limited. We thoroughly enjoy the learning experience sharing and partnering with other organizations gives us.
FieldHaven’s participation in the Placer County Animal Services Advisory Committee grants us the opportunity to meet with representatives from many of the animal welfare groups in our county each month.
A community-based event we hosted this year had little to do with cats. On Labor Day, a fire erupted in rural Lincoln, spreading to several homes and barns and threatening many others. The FieldHaven volunteer force was called in when one of our own volunteers had to evacuate their considerable number of animals as the fire creeped into their backyard. A few phone calls brought the volunteers to help triage the transport and placement of the animals. At one point, FieldHaven was also threatened by the fire, but thankfully, due to the extraordinary efforts of the fire crews, we were kept safe.
After the fire, all of us at FieldHaven felt compelled to help those who were less fortunate. We also wanted to honor the firefighters who worked endless hours for several days until the fire was completely out. We had been planning our own fundraiser when we changed course and reorganized the fundraiser to benefit the firefighters and the families who lost their homes.
This is the type of community spirit characterizing FieldHaven. Reach out to the community, and they will reach back.
Why do they do it? What drives them? Why FieldHaven?
America is full of volunteers and volunteer opportunities. From homelessness to education, neighborhoods and through the internet, if you have time, there is a cause that can use your help.
For 200 special people, FieldHaven has become so much more than that, with their talent, expertise, time, heart, and courage combining to create a team like no other. This year, our FieldHaven team was honored as Best of the Best Non-Profit by the readers of the Lincoln News Messenger.
A permanent home is the final successful outcome of everything we are dedicated to at FieldHaven. These committed individuals trade their precious time with family and friends to staff the adoption locations. It goes without saying we are incredibly grateful. They are the face of FieldHaven to this community, making us very proud.
In September, the Labor Day Gladding Fire brought FieldHaven volunteers out by the dozens. Our people worked alongside police, fire, and county shelter staff to evacuate, care for, and reunite neighbors and their cats. Even as the fire eventually threatened FieldHaven’s own facility, volunteers continued to transport cats to safety.
What can truly be said to describe the dedication necessary to take these wonderful cats in your home, love them, feed them, care for them, and then give them up? It takes strength and character beyond the call of duty. FieldHaven is blessed with an incredible number of these amazing people. They extend our reach beyond our shelter walls, reminding us of the joy of doing what’s right even when it’s difficult.
FieldHaven’s 2008 spay and neuter finally tally was an incredible 566 cats. However, it’s only part of the story. Trapping, surgery, recovery, fostering, health care, love, and finding safe havens and homes are all part of the exhaustive, rewarding, sometimes frustrating, and fulfilling jobs behind the numbers.
Volunteers Without Borders
In early February, FieldHaven was notified that a mobile home park in Sacramento was scheduled for demolition. Inhabited by 100-plus stray cats, the felines were certain to be ambushed when the bulldozers arrived.
Though it was far outside of our traditional service area, FieldHaven volunteers were unfazed by the daunting task and answered the urgent call for help. Responding on a moment’s notice, FieldHaven volunteers jumped in to help with trapping, transporting, spay/neuter, veterinary care, and recovery, then finally transporting them to new homes as far away as Reno, Nevada.
In the end, nearly 150 cats were saved through the combined efforts of FieldHaven and other local rescue groups.
Each challenge is met by a FieldHaven volunteer. It is a very personal choice to spend your “free time” doing something to make your community (and your world) a better place. Those who choose FieldHaven honor us in ways that cannot truly be described. The joys and sorrows of working with these wonderful cats combine to produce a feeling of accomplishment like no other. At the end of the day, it’s the answer: it’s who they are, what drives them. It’s FieldHaven.
Tasked by Placer County with replacing our shelter building, the volunteers, staff, and board members of FieldHaven hit the ground running in the spring. Pulling together the bones of a wonderful open-air fundraising event to be held at FieldHaven, the planning was ahead of schedule and it looked like we were on track for a great kick-off to our brand new Shelter Fund.
However, during one of our planning sessions, we wondered if this community, still reeling from a devastating fire, would be better served by using the heart and soul of FieldHaven to help those who had lost so much before we began fundraising for our new building.
Having lost their home, most of their belongings, and sadly, some of their animals to the Labor Day 2008 fire, Helen and Harley Hutchinson became our inspiration, just as Helen and her huge heart had been the very inspiration for FieldHaven back in 2003.
With that, FieldHaven’s Board of Directors voted to repurpose our “Kick Off to a New Shelter” event and instead give any money raised to a fund for the victims of the fire. Having seen first hand the heroism and bravery of the firefighters who had saved FieldHaven that day, there was no question we should thank them as well. The result was a particularly warm and wonderful gathering with nearly 200 people in attendance, with donations of nearly $3,500 split equally between the Victims’ Fund and the Firefighters’ Fund.
Firefighting equipment, great food, beverages, raffle items, friends, and family combined forces to make this a true, old-fashioned barn-burner of an evening. FieldHaven volunteers solicited contributions from local businesses, cooked food for the potluck dinner, ran the raffle, gave tours of the shelter, and introduced many neighbors to FieldHaven for the first time.
It didn’t matter we were setting ourselves back quite a ways from our Shelter Fund goal. Knowing our neighbors, friends, and amazing first responders needed help, FieldHaven proudly chose our community first.
Forming Partnerships, Building Trust
In 2008, FieldHaven continued as an active participant in the Used Book Co-Operative (UBC) and again earned money from three activities: donating books to the UBC, providing volunteers to the UBC, and selling used books provided by the UBC. This year, we earned over $6,100 from books from our affiliation with the UBC. We are proud of our participation in the UBC and hope to continue this successful partnership as long as they will have us.
FieldHaven is proud of the growing list of community and national sponsors who are choosing to help us. These special companies and organizations represent our online collaborations with those who believe in what FieldHaven stands for:
This growing list of partners helps make it possible for FieldHaven to continue to grow and meet the needs of our community. You can help by going to our Partners page and clicking on any of the companies/partners listed. Supporting our partners supports FieldHaven.
In 2008, Placer County notified FieldHaven of the need to replace our existing shelter structure within two years. FieldHaven’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers have sprung into action and we are hard at work on the design, implementation, and fundraising required to accomplish this goal by the end of 2009.
Please consider a generous donation to our building fund by:
- Attending one of our scheduled fundraising events in 2009.
- Co-sponsoring or selling tickets to Classics, Cats & Cabernet, FieldHaven’s signature fundraising event.
- Considering a contribution of $5,000 or more and let us name a room in the new shelter after you or someone you love.
Cars for Cats
We can turn your old, unwanted automobile, boat, or RV into new opportunities for the cats you love. Vehicles in any condition can go a long way towards helping care for the cats at FieldHaven.
Gifts of Appreciated Stock
Giving stocks and bonds to help FieldHaven fund programs can dramatically reduce your tax bill while helping us to improve the lives of stray and feral cats.
Host a Third-Party Fundraiser
Many companies allow you to designate a favorite charity to receive a donation for based on your refereall to their business or marketing their products, such as in-home party sales.
Join the Foster Program
If you have the heart, time, and space in your life, sign up for our Foster Program. Fill out the application now.
Leave a Gift to FieldHaven in Your Will or Living Trust
By including FieldHaven in your will or in a living trust, you create a powerful legacy that will protect stray and feral cats for years to come. FieldHaven has information available upon request for you to discuss the procedure with your attorney.
Join FieldHaven as a member of our Monthly Giving Program. Members are the lifeblood of FieldHaven. Your contributions make a direct impact in the lives of Lincoln’s unwanted and needy stray and feral cats every day. Monthly gifts are easily made via credit card or electronic funds transfer. The amount is up to you. Contributions are secure and your information is never shared with anyone.
Sponsor a Sanctuary Cat
FieldHaven has a few permanent residents, or shelter kitties we call our “sanctuary” cats. You can choose to directly sponsor one of these amazing cats.
Sponsor the care of a special needs cat with a monthly pledge. You will receive a monthly letter about your sponsored at and other happenings at FieldHaven. This is a perfect gift for the pet lover in your life.
Honor a special person or animal companion by making a Tribute Gift to FieldHaven in his or her name. Your honoree will be notified of your contribution with a personal card from FieldHaven and will receive a subscription to our newsletter for one year.
With a Memorial Gift, we will send a sympathy card to the person you designate, noting that a special gift was made in remembrance. If you want to make a more lasting and public gesture, gifts larger than $500 entitle you to an engraved plaque honoring your loved one. All memorial gifts are highlighted in our newsletters and annual reports.
Weddings, Birthdays, and Other Special Occasions
You can suggest your guests give to your favorite charity instead of buying presents for your special occasion.
Many companies will match your contributions, doubling, or even tripling your gift of support to FieldHaven. To request a matching gift from your employer, ask for a matching gift form from your human resources department, fill it out, and send it to us – we’ll take care of the rest!
Adoption Fees: $27,750
Total Income: $141,454
Animal Expenses: $57,134
Business Expenses: $4,110
Total Expenses: $106,817
*This is a partial, unaudited presentation of the financial statements of FieldHaven Feline Rescue. The entire financial statements are available upon request.
Elton found his “Yellow Brick Road” to a forever home with the help of the staff at Lake County Animal Care and Control at FieldHaven Feline Rescue. Faced with the grim reality of euthanizing many healthy, adoptable animals each day, Lake County Animal Care and Control staff work diligently to network with shelters and rescues in surrounding counties where there is not such an abundance of homeless pets. By working with these groups and transferring pets to them, LCACC has been able to save several loving animals from euthanasia.
In June 2007, Elton was scheduled for euthanasia the next day, for no reason other than there being too many cats and not enough homes. A volunteer from FieldHaven asked LCACC staff to select two cats to transfer to FieldHaven’s shelter in Placer County. Elton was sent over.
While at FieldHaven, Elton was chosen as a model for Art for Critters’ Home for the Holidays are campaign. It was the brainchild of several artists to raise funds and awareness to homeless pets, especially during the holiday season. Participating artists created art of Elton and offered it for sale on eBay, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting FieldHaven.
In March 2008, Elton found his forever home with Mikayla (12) and Savannah (5). Mikayla wrote this letter to FieldHaven after adopting Elton:
Mikayla’s Love Letter
By Mikayla, age 12
When we first got to FieldHaven my sister and I thought all the cats were cute but when we met Elton my mom turned to me and said “He’s the one.” and I nodded my head in agreement. When we brought Elton home he could barely fit in the box/cage. When we let him out he searched around for a hiding place. He found the space in between the two computers. He stayed there for a while but eventually he found out he didn’t fit to well in there either.
When Elton had adapted to his new surroundings he found some spots that are his favorites. He likes the cool tile by the fireplace, the window viewing the backyard, in his carrier, and his little cushion at the front window. Elton’s two favorite things to do are sleeping and playing. His favorite toys are his little toy mouse and his feather toy.
Here are some funny reasons why we love Elton:
We bought Elton one of those non electric, automatic feeders, so when Elton drinks he makes bubbles in the container. When Elton sees the bubbles he sticks his paws in the water, thinking he could reach inside and get the bubbles.
Every morning my mom comes in to wake me up and Elton comes with her. Once she “woke me up” Elton sits down and meows like crazy until I get up. Then once I’ve pet him I walk down the hallway to get breakfast, and the whole way there he follows me and bites my legs! (not too hard though)
Our neighbor has a male cat that Elton loves to play with. They both sit at the window (Elton is inside and the other cat is outside) and bang up against it. The other cat hisses, and Elton sneaks up from the side so the other cat doesn’t see him, and than he pounces! It’s better than TV!
Thank you for rescuing Elton – he’s the best!
The proud owners of Elton John