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Cat’s Cradle begins annual Beat the Heat fundraiser, accepts donations through April 1

Rebecca Barnabi

(© Irina - stock.adobe.com) Kitten season is right around the corner so Cat’s Cradle is preparing for this year’s Beat the Heat fundraiser.

Kittens can get pregnant at approximately 6 months of age and have up to three litters per year if they are not spayed.
Cat’s Cradle has facilitated approximately 3,000 spay/neuter surgeries in the past few years, and reached a new record of 3,668 surgeries in 2023. And 1,031 of the surgeries were TNR, which helps stabilize colony populations.
But it all comes at a cost. In 2022, Cat’s Cradle spent $176,000 to help fund alterations. In 2023, costs continued to rise, and the nonprofit helped to alter a record number of cats with a total cost of $205,361. While the money is well spent and keeps the cat population low, rising prices are bringing about a huge dent in the nonprofit’s budget.
Jackie Zehring became the patron saint of Beat the Heat campaign many years ago, when she offered matching money to help save lives. More recently, the Rose Zafren (RZ) Foundation stepped up as a matching funds sponsor.
In 2024, Jackie Zehring is contributing $20,000 in matching funds and the RZ Foundation is pledging at least $10,000, which means Cat’s Cradle has at least $30,000 in matching money. Last year, the Valley provided amazing spay/neuter champions, who stepped up and contributed $46,000 to Beat the Heat. In 2024, Cat’s Cradle hopes to raise $50,000 for Beat the Heat. With matching funding, the organization would come away from the fundraiser with at least $80,000, which would go a long way toward helping to stop the cat population from ballooning.
Spay/neuter assistance is the one of the most important program Cat’s Cradle offers to make a long-term difference in shelter intake and euthanasia.
Beat the Heat will run through April 1, 2024.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.