On August 28th, Catskill Creek burst its banks with great force. Katrin Hecker’s house – home to the cat rescuer extraordinaire, her dogs and 35 mostly special needs cats and kittens – was consumed by torrents of flood waters from Hurricane Irene. As currents rose to levels five feet high and rushed into her living and dining room, friends hurried to the scene with their cars and cat carriers to rescue the animals. All escaped with their lives, but nothing more. Katrin lost everything, from her home and computer to precious personal keepsakes and all else in between.
HUDSON, NY’S CAT LADY
Katrin is a woman of tremendous strength, determination and compassion, skills that greatly benefit the cats in her non-profit rescue at AnimalKind, Inc. in Hudson, NY. (Read more about Katrin at BTC4animals.com.)
Katrin’s rescue philosophy embraces a holistic approach. To control overpopulation, she says, “We have to address the crisis from two ends. We provide low or no cost spaying and neutering assistance to low income pet owners.”
The many cats in her care are available for adoption, free to approved applicants, complete with spay/neuter, distemper, rabies vaccinations and 1 month of pet health insurance. She also manages feral cat colonies through trapping, altering, and releasing the animals into a managed environment.
For all that Katrin does for countless orphaned cats, her rescue now needs our help.
NOW CARING FOR MORE CATS
The feral colony of cats that Katrin manages, although they too miraculously survived the flood, have also lost their only shelter. Their barn was swept to the opposite side of Katrin’s property where it crashed and then collapsed. With winter on the way, Katrin worries for the cats’ survival without a roof overhead. Of other cats in the neighborhood, she says the hurricane is over, but forgotten felines are left in distress:
During the rebuilding of my home for my rescued cats and myself we have discovered many homeless cats and kittens roaming the neighborhood in search of food and shelter. These unfortunate creatures were left behind by people that relocated and did not come back for their pets. We are feeding and caring for them right now. Animalkind has already taken in 5 kittens, 3 adult cats, and we are feeding and trapping daily in the area. We are also helping pet owners who are struggling to rebuild but who have lost everything. They need assistance with food, bedding and litter for their kitties.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
AnimalKind, Inc. will receive a donation of $1000 this week, thanks to my winning story, “Beelzebub, a Beast of a Bird?,” in the Bissell/BlogPaws essay contest. Sadly, this money is a small drop in what has become a very large bucket of need. When asked if she needs personal items, Katrin’s only response is to request donations for the cats.
Financial donations can be made directly to AnimalKind
through Network for Good.
If local, please bring the following items to 721 Warren Street in Hudson, NY, 12354 from October 7th – 9th from noon to 4:00, or call 518-822-8643.
- cat beds
- cat shelters
- canned cat food
- dry cat food
- heating pads
AnimalKind’s Project Catwalk, their big-ticket annual fashion fundraiser, has been postponed from this month until February 2012, causing atypical financial hardship. All couture donations made over the course of several months have been destroyed by the flood.
Please go through your closet. If you have fashionable “high end” designer outfits to donate, send them to AnimalKind, Inc., 721 Warren Street in Hudson, NY, 12354. All proceeds from this event benefit the orphaned cats in AnimalKind’s care.
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A BIT MORE ABOUT ANIMALKIND, INC.
I filmed a day at AnimalKind this summer at the height of kitten season, a very demanding time for rescues everywhere. As you can see, the care offered here is bursting at the seams.
I also filmed our own adoption experience through AnimalKind, Inc. as we chose our bouncing baby boy cats two years ago. I fully stand behind this organization with every fiber of my being.