Forever Home Feline Ranch is a shelter downstate I discovered via Twitter last spring. Many thanks to Cheryl Johnston of FHFR for taking the time to participate in this interview, and I look forward to visiting this unique haven in the near future!
Can you tell us about the founding of Forever Felines?
Forever Home Feline Ranch came about because of proposed legislation that would have allowed animal control officers to pick up any cat wandering outside. This dangerous legislation would have increased the number of cats entering the shelters across the state. Unfortunately for cats, 70% of cats that enter shelters are killed regardless of their health or condition. We also received a link to the Caboodle Ranch in Florida and thought it was a great idea. Research was done and we found the number of cats that were euthanized was too high. Work began to form the Forever Home Feline Ranch.
What is your mission statement?
Forever Home Feline Ranch is a nonprofit organization created to provide every cat in need a forever home. Forever Home Feline Ranch will be a sanctuary where cats will have a second chance to live a full life in a no-cage, no-kill environment. Forever Home Feline Ranch will lead the effort to make Central Illinois a no-kill community by ending euthanasia as a method of controlling feline populations.
What services do you provide for your rescues and the greater community?
We provide several services to the community:
How many cats presently live at Forever Felines? How many cats were adopted last year from Forever Felines?
In 2009 we adopted out 9 cats/kittens, 2010 we adopted out 176, so far in 2011 we have adopted out 184. We have 85 cats in our care. Some of these cats are adoptable and some are sanctuary cats. Sanctuary cats remain at the ranch for the rest of their lives.
What do you consider the greatest challenges in running a animal shelter during these tough economic times? The big one money. It is very hard to raise funds during this economic time. More people need to relinquish a cat and don’t have the money to help. Staying afloat is a huge issue. Some of the other challenges are the following:
What are your long term goals for Forever Felines?