Sat 2/10 @ 7-11PM
For nearly a decade, Deborah Gulyas and the Waterloo Alley Cat Project have helped make a significant impact in the North Collinwood area’s feral and stray cat problem.
“The Waterloo Alley Cat Project (WACP) is a dedicated group of five people volunteering from the heart to care for the abandoned and feral cats that live in the burgeoning arts and retail district on Waterloo Road in Cleveland,” says WACP president Gulyas.
The impetus behind the nonprofit was a shared interest among both residents and business owners regarding the large number homeless/stray cats struggling to survive around the Waterloo area.
“WACP implemented the humane method of trap-neuter/spay-release (TNR) in November 2009 to protect the lives of a large number of unsterilized cats that were multiplying, suffering and roaming the streets in search of food and shelter,” Gulyas says. “To date, we have spayed and neutered over 400 cats and are currently managing three healthy outdoor and indoor cat colonies by feeding, providing shelter and continued veterinary care.”
The nonprofit, which finds support from municipal officials, residents and local businesses, is a proponent of the ASPCA-endorsed TNR. The program humanely manages feral and stray cats while at the same time reducing their numbers. The cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, ear-tipped and, if they are feral, returned to their original territories.
A trained caretaker then provides food and shelter. Feral cats originate from pet cats who were not spayed or neutered, then abandoned to have kittens in the wild who are fearful of humans.
Because of the roughly $20,000 annual budget to cover food and veterinary care costs, WACP holds its annual fundraiser to raise money, as well as raise awareness to support TNR efforts.
“TNR is not only trapping and getting cats spayed and neutered; it also requires that we care for the cats on a daily basis by feeding and monitoring their health/well-being and watching for new cats that may show up in our target area,” Gulyas says.
The WACP benefit takes place Sat 2/10 @ 7-10pm at Cleveland’s historic Slovenian Worker’s Home.In addition to the traditional $1,000 grand prize raffle, there will be also be basket raffles. Providing musical entertainment for the evening is Ace Molar featuring WJW’s Todd Meany. Admission is $20 per person with all money raised helping Waterloo’s community cats. Also, cat food and supply donations will be accepted at the door.
While the benefit is feline-centric, cat lovers shouldn’t bring their own furry friends.
“No, but there will be a lot of cat photos and a room full of cat lovers,” Gulyas says.
As for dog lovers, Gulyas adds, “We invite all animal lovers.”