part time building manager


I am a Neighborhood Cats-trained feral cat rescuer who has been active in the Bronx for over 10 years. In my backyard, I currently maintain a colony of 20 cats. Recently, Mayor’s Alliance For Animals reached out to me to ask if I’d help get some cats who have lived happily in a small parking lot two blocks from my house TNRed. These cats are watched over by a team of three people–they have a large shelter and many long-term parked vehicles to take refuge beneath, and also a fair amount of open space.

From this lot, Lulu, a female between 1 and 2 years old, required an abortion and spaying, 2 days ago. She has a ruptured left eye, and the vet who spayed her said she should have eye-removal (enucleation) surgery. According to the parking lot caretaker, the eye injury occurred 1 pregnancy ago, so she has endured the pain and suffering of it for a very long period.

What national or NYC organizations would be able either to directly fund her surgery, or to host a Go Fund Me or similar fundraising campaign on her behalf? And perhaps foster her for the 10 days of recovery this would take? Internet says cost would be about $1000 plus pre- and post-op costs. She has a good situation in the parking lot, with people that care about her. Once she is healed and healthy, she will have a good life re-entering that successful colony, if no one adopted her. She’s feral, but fairly sweet and probably easy to tame.

  • Dorian    March 19, 2019 at 07:24 AM
    Best Answer

    I wish you were closer. We have a low cost vet here, and several others that are normally not low-cost, but very open to help community cats. Have you reached out to your local vets? I would write a nice letter to all of them, I would be surprised if no one came forward to help, either at no cost, or reduced cost! I work in a regular (not low cost!) vet office, and $1000 is a LOT for an enucleation!

    • CarolZ    March 19, 2019 at 11:55 AM

      Thanks, Dorian, for your good idea. I have not reached out to local vets, but will try that. I'm so glad to hear enucleation is less costly than I figured. I actually saw online that the estimate was "$200 to $1000," but figured in NYC it would be the highest of those, since my own vet (in Harlem) just charged me $3400 for surgery to remove another feral cat's (Pirate's) leg with a badly broken elbow. Ouch, both for the cat and myself. I'll reach out to her, and to a couple of other local vets.

      • Carol    March 20, 2019 at 01:15 PM

        It is unfortunate when some vets take advantage of people who care about animals and deliberately put the highest price tag on saving an animal, knowing that good people who care will pay it when they feel there are no other options. I know I have experience that here in AZ, esp. when it comes to emergency vets. They prey on people's emotions and charge exorbitant amounts. Obviously, these guys are more in it for the money and not for the animals.

        • CarolZ    March 20, 2019 at 05:06 PM

          I agree, some vets are mercenary. Others are good-hearted and sympathetic. I hope I can find one of the latter for Lulu!

  • JaneN    April 17, 2019 at 05:47 PM

    Hi CarolZ! I just saw your post & thought I'd see what the status is on Lulu? You may have already sourced funding for this, but you might want to contact your local TNR Coordinator? or Animal Services Program? We live in a smaller sized rural county in Eastern NC but our City/County has worked wonders in coordinating TNR with Animal Services, a non-profit county subsidized spay-neuter program (rabies, too) & other volunteers to help with the over population of animals. Our county has set aside funds annually for the health of the feral population. Your county may have something similar? Just a thought... In Eastern NC we have a long breeding season so we have all worked hard together to make this happen. My husband & I are fosters & work with bottle feeders & kittens who are brought into Animal Services. I have a really close friend who monitors, feeds & follows a feral colony who live in the woods behind his home. He has been really fortunate to be able to work with Animal Services to get all the cats (except for one) spayed/neutered. The last one is hopefully going to be fixed this year! Good luck to you & do let us know the update on Lulu!

  • SilverCometAWA    April 16, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Sorry I didn't see this've probably already taken action on this. But, for future cases, you might try the ASPCA there in NYC? Also, Ian Somerhalder Foundation offers medical emergency grants up to $1000 with a quick answer (usu less than 48 hrs). American Humane also has an emergency medical grant program. There are quite a few other grant funders that will provide for medical expenses...maybe apply for a larger grant with the intention of maintaining a major medical/emergency fund? <3

    • CarolZ    April 16, 2019 at 10:31 PM

      Thanks, SilverCometAWA, for your reply. ISF's Emergency Medical Care Grant For Animals looks like a good match, and possibly American Humane's Second Chance Grants. It cannot hurt to try them, too. I have no luck calling local vets for help, and the ASPCA does not fund individuals or individual animals, only organizations.

      • KerryAnn May    April 17, 2019 at 05:22 AM

        Did you ask the ASPCA If they could do the surgery? They may not Fund it at other vets but could do the surgery themselves.

        What did Neighborhood Cats say when you told them of the need? Perhaps they could galvanize donors to help or maybe they have a lower cost vet that could do it?