Cambrian: Opinion

Please help: HART kitty needs replenishing as kitten season arrives

These five kittens were born with a congenital eyelid defect.
These five kittens were born with a congenital eyelid defect.

HART’s just completed June campaign, “9 lives for 9 dollars” resulted in 24 adoptions. We’re still checking the books to find a better month in our 31-year history. Certainly, that result made the volunteers and staff at the Homeless Animal Rescue Team feel good about fulfilling our mission!

On the downside, $9 is a far cry from the $99 dollar regular fee. Sad to say, neither fee ($9 or $99), typically covers the cost of housing, feeding, neutering and medicating these precious animals in our cage-free, no-kill facility. Then again, that is the reality of being a nonprofit.

A peek under the balance sheet shows that it now takes $3.60 a day per animal to cover the direct costs (versus overhead) for each of our — on average — 50 cats.

Half of our yearly expenses are covered through various fundraising efforts including newsletters and our year-end appeal; special events such as Goodwill collection, “Wines/Pines/Felines,” the Festival of Trees and the Christmas Market; various grants; and the invaluable work contributed by our corps of dedicated volunteers.

The other half comes from support by the public.

In the past, the citizens of Cambria, the county at large and a scattering of nonlocal donors have made up the difference.

For some reason, that is not true this year: The numbers and sizes of private donations have fallen significantly. This is occurring as we develop new strategies to increase revenues through improving sales in our retail shop/adoption center and by redesigning our marginally functional website. Advertising is not free, whatever form it takes.

In other words, our expenses are up and our income is down.

As it is kitten season, we also have more little mouths to feed attached to bodies that are more likely than adults to require veterinary care. Pictured are five special needs kittens (left in our parking lot), all born with a congenital eyelid defect. They are healthy, but because of their underdeveloped eyelids, they will need a lifetime of eye drops to prevent disease or blindness. Surgery may help.

HART needs its community’s financial help to continue to do this vital rescue work. Many have told us how much they love having the shelter in town. We hope you are moved to send funds by check, phone call or via the PayPal button on our website. As Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Look for our $5 adoption special in August; watch for us at the Lemos Feed & Pet Supply grand opening in Morro Bay.