Several weeks ago, Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, the non-profit behind the Cat Café, announced that it had received a $25,000 grant from the ASPCA as part of the ASPCA’s Relief and Recovery Initiative, which has provided $4 million in funding for animal welfare organizations that have been affected by the pandemic.
The Café certainly falls under that category: closed for months, it lost 85% of its income, while at the same time, the number of cats needing assistance double and the cost of their care nearly quadrupled because of the severe reduction in low-cost/free spay/neuter services as a result of COVID-19.
“ASPCA’s grant is helping us to bridge the gap during this crisis, allowing us to pay for spay/neuter surgeries, exams, tests, vaccines and often extensive veterinary care to meet the demands of increased intake and prepare cats for fostering and adoption,” said Anne Levin, executive director of the BBAWC. “We are honored and grateful to be selected for this COVID Relief grant from the ASPCA in a very competitive process for limited funds.”
Great news, right? Definitely…but $25,000 doesn’t go as far as it used to.
BBAWC expects to spend $10,000 this week alone on veterinary bills. Sixteen cats need echocardiograms. A few need dental surgery or eye surgery. Among some of the animals recently rescued that have required care:
In 2020, BBAWC helped nearly 1,300 cats and found homes for 1,021 (2019 numbers: 810 animals helped, 430 adopted).
The Café is now open for visitors on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon-7pm. Reservations are required and all visitors must wear masks.
So while $25,000 is nothing to sneeze at, the Café continues to seek donations to support its work with Brooklyn’s felines.
If you have a car, you can also volunteer to drive Café cats to and from vet appointments, foster/adoptive homes, and the Café.