In 1997 there were very few resources available for stray cats in the central Texas area and nationwide. Rampant breeding allowed cats to give birth to countless litters of kittens to continue the cycle of suffering. Doomed to an indifferent life on the streets, their lives were usually brief; or, if they ended up in shelters, they were usually euthanized soon after arrival.
Identifying a great need, Shadow Cats became a reality- a resource for cats in the shadows.
Through diligence, a small cadre of veterinarians and trappers began to work together to learn to humanely trap, sterilize, vaccinate and return feral cats to their original location and to watch over and manage them through regular feedings and providing outdoor sheltering if possible. (Trap, Neuter and Return or TNR). As TNR programs grew across the country, it became- and remains- the largest rabies vaccination program available for community cats. Shadow Cats has sterilized over 12,000 cats which represents countless kittens over the years not born into a world unwilling and unable to care for them. Our work would have been much easier if all was black and white, but with many of the cats we trapped, there were gray areas- cats that could not be "returned" to their colonies for a variety of reasons- injured, ill or social cats and kittens that had a chance at adoption. A small 10x10 structure was built off of a bedroom in the founders backyard and became the holding or fostering area for countless cats as we worked to bring them back to health, provide veterinary and supportive care and get them adopted into safe homes.
Our TNR program had evolved into a sheltering and adoption program and The Sanctuary was born.
Through years of hard work and perseverance, we have achieved many milestones for cats over the last 25 years. In 2010, Shadow Cats worked with the city of Round Rock, TX to pass ordinances to bring legal TNR to our city, in addition to petitioning other cities in the area including Leander, Lampasas and Taylor, TX. We were instrumental in the dismantling of the gas chamber in Taylor- responsible for the hard deaths of cats and dogs. We have provided mentorship and paved the way for many other rescue organizations since our early years. In 2013, we developed the One Life Fund, which allows us to help other feline organizations or good Samarians to address the needs needs of community cats in their areas with small grants to assist with TNR, injured cats, food and veterinary care. This has helped Shadow Cats extend our reach from our own community to far beyond what we can physically do ourselves and help cats near and far.
Shadow Cats continues to provide TNR resources and is now also home to 80 special needs cats at our beautiful Sanctuary located on two beautiful treed acres in central Round Rock. Here, we provide hospice and long term care to special needs cats.
Shadow Cats has grown from identifying a need to providing resources that were once unimaginable. We have seen what was once illegal become the norm- the standard for addressing community cat issues. Most in a community want the same thing- fewer stray cats. Shadow Cats chooses to provide services, options and alternatives to humanely address their needs while at the same time reduce their numbers.
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