FOBVK now Friends of Bay Village Community Cats – Westlake

Friends of Bay Village Community Cats is looking for volunteers to foster kittens.

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel (FOBVK) has changed its name to Friends of Bay Village Community Cats. We have long thought about the name change.

FOBVK was incorporated in 2010 to help provide shelter and veterinary care to homeless pets until permanent homes are found, promote spaying and neutering and TNR (neuter trap return) and support animal rescue. At that time, the Bay Village Kennel temporarily housed cats and dogs, and FOBVK supported the kennel as a way to help Bay Village’s lost, stray, and homeless pets.

However, in August 2011, Bay Village changed its animal control policies: generally, dogs were not kept in the kennel more than one night before being transferred to the Cuyahoga County kennel, and cats were left alone. These policies continue.

Over time, our involvement with the kennel has steadily diminished, but the need to provide services on behalf of lost, stray and community cats has increased. Since the reorganization of FOBVK in February 2021, we have answered calls from more than 60 households involving more than 100 cats.

Sometimes all a resident needed was the loan of a humane trap to retrieve a lost animal. Often the problem was more complicated: Community cats would end up in backyards, sometimes with kittens. Friends of Bay Village Community Cats is not a rescue organization, although we can help residents find a rescue organization and care for a friendly cat until the rescue has room to take cat.

Community cats live among us but have no “masters”. They may be lost, stray or unsocialized homeless cats, but unless they are neutered their population will increase rapidly. Most shelters are full, and adult cats in particular have a hard time getting adopted even if they are friendly. Unsocialized cats are not adoptable.

Friends of Bay Village Community Cats helps TNR residents cats on their property. When a cat is neutered on a TNR program, its left ear is tilted to let others know the cat has been neutered. For more information about TNR, visit clevelandapl.org and click on Programs, Services and Resources.

Successful TNR requires planning, patience and luck, especially when kittens are involved. Residents must feed the cats and kittens at a specific time and place for a certain period of time, as the trapper must know where the cats will be and the cats must search for food in order for the trapping to be successful.

If kittens are involved they should be cared for and there are many possibilities, but the mother cat should be neutered under all circumstances. If the kittens are the right age and a foster family is available, they can be picked up, socialized and placed with a rescue organization for adoption into a forever home.

If the kittens are too young to be separated from the mother, the best plan is to wait until the kittens are a little older. If the kittens are too old to be easily socialized, they are probably big enough to be TNR. A kitten can be TNR when it is at least 8 weeks old and weighs 2 pounds.

We are a small, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization and we count on your support. We could really use volunteers: to help with TNR, to maintain our Facebook page and help us communicate better with the community, and to foster the kittens. We are limited in the number of kittens we can save mainly by the shortage of foster homes for kittens.

Please contact us if you know of any cats in need. Maybe we can help you. Message us through Facebook, facebook.com/FriendsBVCC, or call 216-925-0534 and leave a message.

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