2012 Annual Report
FieldHaven promotes the care and safety of animals in need. We inspire positive change through innovative solutions for the lives of animals and the community.
From the President & Co-Founder
By Joy Smith
We say goodbye to 2012 with many achievements we are proud of. With just under 300 adoptions and about 600 community cats spayed/neutered through our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), we continued making a huge difference in the lives of animals and people in Lincoln and the surrounding communities.
2012 marked our first full year in our remarkable new shelter. We see the positive impact of the shelter design by the improved health and happiness of cats in our care. The effects of these changes are also seen in improved operations, lower length of stay for the cats, and lower medical costs.
Our annual Classics, Cats & Cabernet was better than ever in 2012! This yearly fundraiser has truly become a signature event in our area. I hope to see many of you again and meet new FieldHaven friends at our next Classics, Cats & Cabernet event this coming summer.
2012 was a challenging year for adoptions – not just for FieldHaven, but for all shelters and rescues in our area. We stepped up to the challenge in many ways, including our first ever Free Cat Friday. For three Friday evenings, we waived adoption fees for all of our cats. It was very successful. We plan on doing more adoption promotion events in 2013!
We ended the year by reaching far beyond our town and even state by lending support to the animals and people affected by Superstorm Sandy, bringing back seven cats to FieldHaven left homeless by the storm. This was a deeply personal mission for me because I grew up in New Jersey, spending much of my youth on the Jersey Shore.
None of what we do would be possible without your generous support. I’m so pleased and honored you are all part of the vision in action that is FieldHaven.
Here’s to ten years of success and a fulfilling 2013 for all of us. Stay tuned! More great things are sure to happen!
Board of Directors
Joy Smith, President
Kristi Pawlowski, RVT, Vice President
Diane Lamkin, Treasurer
Jennifer Tindall, Secretary
Members at Large
Making the News
Our Headline of the Year! Superstorm Sandy – The Saga of the Magnificent Seven
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”
– Charles Dickens
On October 29, 2012, the New Jersey coast was slammed by the second costliest hurricane in United States history. It merged with a frontal system and became Superstorm Sandy. As the devastating winds and flooding swept inland, it destroyed and/or damaged several buildings and homes. Large numbers of residents were forced to flee. In the midst of the panic and rush to safety, many pets found themselves separated from their homes, or unfortunately abandoned by their owners. Terrified and alone, these pets were at the mercy of the elements and without food or shelter.
Keenly aware of all this across the country in California were FieldHaven co-founders, Joy Smith and Jann Flanagan, sisters who hail from the stricken area. They were notified that a relative of theirs in the affected area had perished in the storm and her two cats had been removed by a rescue organization. After an exhaustive telephone search of approximately fifty phone calls spanning several days, Joy was awakened one morning at 4 AM with a return phone call. Success came in the form of a very welcome message from a New Jersey shelter called S.A.V.E.: “We have your cats!”
Things became busy for Joy as she organized transpiration for the two cats. FieldHaven decided to expand the long-distance rescue from two to seven cats, all homeless from the storm. Thusly, they were nicknamed “Sandy Cats.” Red Rover, a national animal welfare organization, funded the flight. Sacramento’s Fox 40 and Channel 10 news covered the preparation at FieldHaven and the arrival of the feline stars welcomed by very excited folks, including the two sisters.
Once safely at the FieldHaven shelter, the traumatized kitties immediately began to receive the care our organization is famous for. This included physical examinations and tests, loving socialization, shots, spaying/neutering, and all other actions necessary to prepare them for adoption to new forever homes. Adoptions began as soon as the cats had clearance from our veterinarians.
Sammi, the one-year-old black female shorthair who had been living on what was left of the beach in Seaside Park, was the first to be adopted, followed by the others. She went to a retired couple in Lincoln and became the fourth cat in their family. She could not be happier!
It’s another example of the heart of FieldHaven, this time stretching from coast-to-coast.
Addressing the Feral Cat Problem: Shifts in Community Cat Management
As we close out the first decade of FieldHaven and look back on where we’ve been, there are so many achievements and milestones we’re proud of that have been made possible by your support. One momentous feat was when we launched our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2005. We took pride in our first Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) project the same year. We worked on a large colony of cats on the Gladding-McBean campus in downtown Lincoln.
Our goal with the Gladding-McBean project was a three-pronged approach: return some of the cats to the location, relocate some of the ferals to other locations, and socialize and adopt out the cats with potential to be adopted as pets.
Back in 2005, it was the solution for feral cat colonies. Eight years later, Trap, Neuter, Return is still going strong and one of the best long-term resolutions for homeless cats.
Nevertheless, there are still too many homeless cats in shelters in need of homes. They aren’t moving out fast enough to make room for cats who need to come into shelters. We’ve had to open our minds to even more ideas for reducing intakes at shelters.
Animal shelter experts have done their homework and research. Thinking “outside the box,” experts have come up with a concept called “community cats.” Community cats are unowned cats. They may be feral or friendly and born in the wild, lost, or abandoned. They are fed by community members. While they may not have the four walls of a traditional home, it doesn’t mean they are homeless.
As FieldHaven moves into our second decade with a renewed focus on solving the plight of homeless cats in our community, some of the cats we may have previously thought of as “homeless” really aren’t.
Please continue to join us as we carry on our quest to ensure each and every community cat is spayed and neutered. It’s our goal.
For the Love of a Kitty
By Wayne Ford • Copyright © 2012
No money can gain the love of a kitty,
no matter how hard we try
The trust and love of our feline friends is
something we cannot buy.
The only way of finding that love
is to earn it day by day
Patience is needed in great amounts –
there is no other way.
Now a poor man or beggar with love in
his soul can be the best friend of a kitty
While a rich man who possesses no
kindness, cannot – oh my what a pity.
We hear some say that cats are no good
and the comments are oft with a slur
But these are sad folks who never have
heard the deep-throated sound of a purr.
A good test of worth it is said,
whether found in a woman or man
Is to earn the love of a gentle old cat,
which only a kindly heart can.
So when adding up the riches you own,
remember what’s said in this ditty
No wealth can compare, any place,
anywhere, to the wealth in the love of a kitty.
What Happens in Vegas...
What happens when eight FieldHaven women hit Las Vegas? Well, they didn’t leave any secrets behind, because they wanted to bring back everything they learned at the October 2012 Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Conference to all of our volunteers, supporters, and the community.
The contingent, which included four staff members, two veterinarians, our board president and one volunteer, attended four days of highly educational and inspirational seminars from the leaders, movers, and shakers from the animal sheltering world.
FieldHaven was even featured in a video shown in a general session, where Classics, Cats & Cabernet was spotlighted as a successful fundraiser. How proud we were!
The team brought home some great ideas, many of which were immediately put into use. There was some great fun, too! (How can you go to Vegas and not have fun?) There was a Halloween costume contest one evening and the FieldHaven Ferals reprised their act from Classics, Cats & Cabernet, entertaining the partygoers. They ended up Reserve Champion in the costume contest!
Having fun with nearly 2,000 other like-minded animal rescuers and learning from each other made for an unforgettable time!
2012 Adoption Stats
Courtesy Adoptions: 35
We continue our partnership with PetSmart Lincoln for our satellite adoption center! Sponsored by PetSmart and PetSmart Charities, the adoption center is located inside PetSmart and can be visited during regular store hours. It is staffed by FieldHaaven volunteers on weekends and intermittently during the week. Adoption counselors will be on-call for anyone interested in meeting an adoptable kitty. Adoption hours are Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM to 4 PM.
Here are a few of the events we participated in during 2012.
Pet Parade at Flower Farm Nursery, Loomis
This charitable event was sponsored by Flower Farm Nursery to benefit FieldHaven. Our feline representative, Scotty, wore his rooster hat and won the honorable mention award! Flower Farm Nursery features FieldHaven gift cards for sale year-round.
PetSmart Santa Claws Portrait Fundraiser
Students from Del Oro High School Animal Rescue Club helped with this event. Pet owners had the chance to have their pet’s holiday portrait taken with Santa. A large portion of the proceeds from this festive fundraiser go to FieldHaven every year.
Other Fundraising Events
- Italian Festival – Downtown Lincoln
- First Fridays at the Fountains in Roseville – The Fountains, Roseville
- Holiday Crafts Fair and Special Adoptions – FieldHaven
We Continue to Expand Our Partnerships with Other Businesses in the Community
Help “Pave” FieldHaven’s Future!
We’re paving the pathway to our shelter door with commemorative bricks. Personalized bricks are $50 for one or $250 for six. This is a great way to honor or celebrate someone – a friend, a relative, or a pet (all species wellcome). They are the perfect gift for someone who has everything and enjoys giving.
Bricks are a standard red, 2.5” tall, 8” wide, and 3.75” long. There are three lines per brick with a maximum of fifteen (15) letters per line. Letters are all one size in UPPERCASE. To learn more, please visit our donate page.
Go Green with a Rodent Raider!
Our Barn Cat Program works hand-in-hand with our Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program. As any supporter of Trap, Neuter, Return knows, a feral cat colony should never be relocated unless the cats’ lives are in danger, or if their environment is about to be demolished.
The best course of action is to resolve the issues forcing the cats out of their established home. However, this is not always possible. For this reason, FieldHaven has developed an innovative Barn Cat Program to find qualified homes willing to follow the required protocol for successful relocation.
Cats are territorial, and feral cats are particularly bonded to their environment. They survive there because they’ve learned where to find food, water, and shelter – all the elements essential to their survival.
When qualifying a new home for relocation, the adopters must first have a safe location conducive to feral cats. Generally preferred are rural homes with outbuildings where the cats can provide environmentally safe rodent control in exchange for a safe place to live.
Potential adopters are interviewed and approved by a qualified adoption counselor and must agree to confine the cats for a three to four week period, where they will be provided with food, water, and shelter and learn how to survive in the new location prior to release. This confinement period is called “imprinting,” and provides the highest level of success possible.
The Barn Cat Program provides otherwise unadoptable cats a second chance at life when Trap, Neuter, Return is not possible. FieldHaven has had great success with this program, as most of the cats are still providing valuable rodent control for their guardians.
FieldHaven values every life, feral or tame, and the Barn Cat Program is saving lives otherwise subject to certain death.
FieldHaven’s Community/CAT Assistance Team (CAT) has spent many years evolving to solve community cat issues. Team members are armed with information and knowledge they share with callers to resolve issues such as stray or community cats, improper elimination, low-cost spay/neuter programs, lost and found animal reports, and requests for rehoming.
On average, the team handles twenty to forty calls per day. They greet the public during open shelter hours and many team members are dually trained as adoption counselors. Another tool the team uses to assist the community is the internet: answering emails, relaying information on Facebook, scrolling through Craigslist, and constant research for new and innovative solutions to community cat issues.
For many years, FieldHaven has been proud when we hear from our callers, “You were the only ones who called me back!” Those nine words simply sum up the caring, concern, and compassion our Community/Cat Assistance Team feels toward people and the animals they love.
Foster families open their hearts and homes to homeless cats and kittens. Their dedication allows FieldHaven to rescue cats who would otherwise be turned away due to limited space at our facility.
The guiding mission of FieldHaven’s Foster Program is to provide shelter, care, and love to cats and kittens who will not thrive in a shelter environment, such as nursing moms and their litters, injured cats, cats with chronic medical conditions, and cats with special needs (e.g. frail, elderly, or hospice care). These cats need the extra TLC that can be provided by our loving foster families.
An important role that our foster families provide is their ability to provide individualized care and socialization to prepare the cats for adoption. The information gathered during the foster process helps us place cats in homes and with families who can best match their needs.
We are always looking for volunteers who can provide a safe, healthy, nurturing home for our rescues. As we say here at the shelter, “We provide the supplies, you supply the love.”
Outreach and Education
In 2012, we saw our outreach efforts expand significantly. We attended many traditional community events where our amazing volunteers staffed booths and answered questions.
While we often think of our outreach as taking FieldHaven out to the community, it’s not the only way we spread the word. Each year, we welcome hundreds of visitors to our beautiful shelter, where they learn not only what we do, but who we are. As we grow, so does our FieldHaven family. We are grateful for each new ambassador. As FieldHaven’s reputation grows, so do requests for educational presentations and we couldn’t be more proud of that. We answered one such call from Sacramento City Animal Services. Peri Oldham, outreach coordinator, and Scotty the Traveling Cat hit the road to do an after school presentation at the South Natomas Library.
FieldHaven enjoys regular visits from local Girl Scout troops. Our guided visits include a tour, a little history about who we are and what we do, education regarding responsible pet guardianship, and the importance of spaying/neutering.
The troops are very generous with book donations, wishlist donations, and/or performing a service project, such as helping to spruce up the shelter. Of course, no visit is complete until every Girl Scout has had her turn visiting our kitties and providing the always-welcome play therapy.
Teaching children about caring for their pets and loving and respecting animals is an especially rewarding – and sometimes challenging – task, but Scotty and Peri know their stuff! Taking along a handsome spokes cat gets the conversation rolling, the laughter flowing, and brings the lesson home in a way no standard presentation can.
With 538 community cats (non-FieldHaven shelter cats) spayed and neutered in 2012, this brings the total to nearly 4,000 cats since we started our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program in 2005.
Our volunteer Trap, Neuter, Return team manages various trapping projects when caregivers need assistance with the logistics of TNR. In 2012, the team coordinated over thirty-five projects, ranging in numbers of cats from one to thirty-six, for a total of 172 cats.
We continue to provide weekly transport services from FieldHaven to Animal Spay & Neuter in Auburn, which is one component of what makes our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program unique. By providing transport assistance, loan of traps and cages, training, and guidance, we remove many of the barriers preventing people from doing TNR.
The communities FieldHaven supports are mostly comprised of older neighborhoods and rural properties, where feral cats have been living unmanaged for decades. Therefore, we are an avid supporter of Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) for the management of feral community cats.
FieldHaven is well known throughout the greater Sacramento, as well as Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba counties, for our outstanding TNR program. Any shelter can lend traps, but FieldHaven is the only one who goes the extra mile to provide free onsite and phone trapping assistance, onsite and offsite temporary housing for holding feral cats before and after surgery, free scheduling of spay/neuter appointments, low and no cost spay/neuter, and free transportation of the cats to and from the Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic.
While other shelters are reactively responding to community cat issues when they are brought in by frustrated members of their community, FieldHaven is actively going out and developing partnerships with the citizens of our community by providing TNR education and assistance. Only by being proactive and concentrating our efforts in the areas with the most need can we truly make a difference with this program.
We educate and motivate our community to be a part of the solution rather than the problem, and in turn, we are able to maximize our limited resources to achieve optimum results.
UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine veterinarians are sought after to help shelters around the world with their expertise in shelter design, medicine, and procedures. They helped FieldHaven design our new shelter and have worked with us closely through the years. Several times each year, they bring visiting veterinarians, students, and residents to see or facility and operation. How fortunate and honored we are to have their support!
We couldn’t survive without our volunteers! Each one brings their own unique brand of experience, knowledge, talent, and skills to perform a variety of necessary tasks at FieldHaven, including:
- Cat care at the shelter
- Cat socialization
- Data entry and reporting
- Education outreach
- Marketing support and media relations
- Medical record analysis
- Phone support and adoption counseling
- Spay/neuter and/or medical transport
- Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) team
- Veterinary assisting
Our volunteers are the heart of our day-to-day operations at FieldHaven – we love them!
The Adoption Challenged
Kittens sell themselves, but adult cats always need a helping paw. FieldHaven currently offers discounts to seniors when they adopt senior cats with our Mature Cats for Mature People program.
Needing to cast a broader net, we have developed other promotions to garner attention to the adult cats, such as Free Cat Fridays and Rebates for Rescues along with Placer SPCA. However, special needs cats need special promoting. We have created a special page on our website entitled “Why Choose the Adoption Challenge?” with a bio for each FieldHaven shelter cat, who for some reason or another is being overlooked for adoption. Their best traits are listed, as well as why they are adoption challenged. Often, the only reason cats have extended stays at FieldHaven is because kittens are so darn cute.
On the adoption challenged page, we try to engage the public in the cats’ stories by transferring them to a “We’ve Been Adopted!” section when they do find homes. Occasionally, a story is so compelling we write a whole article about the cat and his/her special circumstance on our “Success Stories of the Adoption Challenged” page so the public can share in the celebration. What makes these stories so compelling and interesting is learning how either the cat or the new adopters overcome the obstacles to make the relationship between cat and human the best it can be.
Long-time FieldHaven resident Sirod needed understanding people and a creative solution to stop his penchant for spraying. We thought he would have to be an outdoor kitty, but after a veterinary examination, it was determined the prescription drug Prozac would calm his urge to spray. He is now an adopted and content indoor kitty!
FieldHaven received a call from a local animal shelter about a friendly feral who was going to be euthanized because she didn’t pass the temperament test. Bertha (aka “Princess”) had a tendency to bite fingers or hands after too much petting. A FieldHaven volunteer who specializes in feral cats fostered her and worked with her to modify this behavior.
Meanwhile, the folks at High Hand Nursery in Loomis decided they were in need of a cat, so they submitted an application for a barn cat. When they heard about Bertha’s behavior “quirks,” they didn’t think it would be an issue – after all, a girl’s got to express herself! This is how Bertha became the newest “employee” in the nursery. Bertha has a basement apartment to hide out in and when it’s quiet, she comes out to greet the staff and the occasional shopper. She likes to play and supervise from the counter top, and she especially likes the rug shop – hmmm, wonder why? As for being a biter? “Not at all,” they say.
Sometimes, getting the adoption challenged kitty into a home puts the creative emphasis on the word home, as with Bertha and Jacquo-Baire. “Rough around the edges” with a black loose coat, torn ears, cropped tail, and a couple of behavior ticks, Jacquo-Baire could only appeal to a special someone who wanted the least likely to be adopted. Brian was just the right adopter!
So as not to upset the loving relationship of his existing house cats, he opted to set Jacquo-Baire up in his cabin office, which Brian often frequents and is also occupied by an ex-stray cat. While Jacquo-Baire and Brian do not get to see each other 24/7, J-B has a safe home, a cat companion and gets double the affection when Brian comes to work in the office.
People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around.
– Susan Easterly
Look What's New on Our Website!
Black Cat Club: The Black Cat Club features a slideshow of member stories and a listing of FieldHaven’s current black cats available for adoption.
Blog – Whiskeygrams: Whiskey the Wisecat shares stories as told by cat guardian extraordinaire, Wayne Ford.
FieldHaven FAQ: This page provides answers to commonly asked questions about FieldHaven.
Sidebar: The special events box on the homepage sidebar lists upcoming events with links to flyers or the Events page.
Volunteer Portal: Link from homepage to a password protected volunteer portal. This page offers links to useful FieldHaven documents, industry-related webcasts and articles, a special TNR section, and more. The page is continually evolving to serve our volunteers.
New Fundraising Campaigns
Buy a Brick: Help pave FieldHaven’s future with a memorial or commemorative brick.
Tenth Life Club Fund: Donate to fund veterinary expenses of medically complicated cats.
Workplace Giving: Make payroll deductions and review our employer matching list.
No Heaven will not ever Heaven be unless my cats are there to welcome me.
– Author Unknown
Best of the Best
We are pleased and honored to have been selected as the best non-profit in Lincoln for the fifth year in a row. Thank you, everyone!
Adoption Fees: $13,754
Total Income: $212,446
Animal Expenses: $73,776
Business Expenses: $12,731
Total Expenses: $173,953
* (This is a partial, unaudited financial presentation. The entire financial statement is available upon request).
A New Life for Zachary
Kittens born to outdoor cats are born in all kinds of places: sheds, abandoned, cars, dumpsters, you name it.
On Saturday morning, August 25, 2012, one of FieldHaven’s longtime volunteers, Diane H., received a phone call from Nortech informing her one of its workers had found a small kitten on the sorting belt. It had most likely fallen out of a dumpster and ended up on the belt. They knew to call Diane because she had worked with Nortech, the recycling division of Western Placer County Waste Management, for years, trapping cats and rescuing kittens who ended up at the dump.
Diane quickly went out to Nortech and was given a small orange and white kitten. Once secure in a carrier, she brought him to FieldHaven for evaluation. Hungry and covered in fleas, this little boy needed warmth and a little bit of food right away. Joy Smith quickly set about doing a complete assessment and intake on this kitten, soon to be named Zachary. Once he was warmed up and had a little food in his belly, he settled down enough for Joy to finish her evaluation. It was then that she found that Zachary had two very swollen paws. Worried that they might be broken, Joy made the arrangements to bring him to Banfield Pet Hospital.
X-rays revealed that Zachary had fractures in his right front paw and left rear paw. He was prescribed a little bit of pain medication and lots of cage rest. Once back at FieldHaven, Zachary was gently bathed to rid his little body of fleas, dirt, and oil. He was placed in a nice warm bed to rest, and before long, he was purring away.
Have you ever tried to keep a young, energetic kitten quiet? It wasn’t easy to do, but there is a veterinary saying: “All you have to do is put two cat bones in the same room and they will heal together.” Within a short period of time, little Zachary was walking normally and would soon be available for adoption, and adopted he was!
The couple who adopted Zachary was looking for a young kitty to add to their family. They had lost their beloved cat Rumi to a sudden stroke and were heartbroken. Their very sweet yellow lab Wilma was also grieving. The couple’s hope was that Zachary, now named Ollie, would love their home and heal their hearts. It was a dream come true for everyone. Within days, Ollie was sleeping with Wilma. They now share everything, even their food. At the end of the day, he climbs the stairs and sleeps under the covers with his new family.
It’s a true “rags to riches” happy ending!