By: Jennifer Jones, Lifeline Administrative Director
Since March of this year, I have spoken to countless residents of Bolivar who expressed frustrations surrounding the overpopulation of Community Cats and lack of resources in their community. Hundreds of feral and stray cats reproducing and those who wanted to help end the cycle were faced with road blocks. The vets on Galveston Island were either not affordable or were overbooked. Since Lifeline of Galveston County came into the picture, we have been more than willing to help Bolivar Peninsula. However, crossing with the ferry can make helping residents of Bolivar difficult- especially during the busy summer months. I once had a resident tell me that she had to wake at 3am to get her cat to the clinic by 7:30am. Residents would need to come over to borrow traps, and then to go to their appointment on another day. Cats are ready the same day as drop off, so Bolivar residents would have to stay in town all day or decide if it was worth it to travel all the way home and come back. These hurdles became too much for so many residents and the more I spoke to people, the more I heard the frustration and the less people called in for assistance. I knew we had a huge problem and we are finally in the position to help!
By: Caroline McKenna, Executive Director
In 2019, over 1,500 cats lost their lives in Galveston County shelters. There were almost no resources for community members caring for neighborhood cats besides trapping them and bringing them to a county shelter where they may or may not be accepted. Due to the often fractious behavior of the cats (not used to being confined indoors) and overcrowding at our overwhelmed county shelters, these cats often faced euthanasia.
Community members caring for these cats felt helpless and like they had no option but to watch the cats they care for and often couldn’t touch give birth on their porches, under their trailers and in their sheds…two cats turning into five.. and then ten… and then twenty, with no end in sight.
Lifeline of Galveston County was founded in September 2020 by myself and two other women. We felt passionately that Galveston County could reach a time in the near future where euthanizing pets in our county’s shelters out of necessity for space would no longer be needed. We knew that creating programs that supported the most vulnerable populations in these shelters would need to be our primary goal.