Who Are We?
Clear Creek Cat Rescue is a group of individuals in Southcentral Alaska and the Kenai dedicated to rescuing cats in need, giving them care, rehabilitation if needed, and finding happy homes for them. We each give what we can to help these cats get through this most unfortunate time in their lives when they have been taken to the pound or are otherwise lost and homeless. Some of us share our homes with these cats while they are waiting for their forever family, some transport them from place to place, some host adoption fairs, take pictures, post ads. Some offer financial help. We each do what we can to help. And through this dedicated group of people, about three thousand cats have been saved and found loving homes.
What Do We Do?
Clear Creek Cat Rescue was originally founded to help find homes for the Mat-Su Animal Shelter’s cat population. Gradually we have expanded to cover a broader portion of the state and to take in cats that are strays or otherwise homeless. We rescue cats from the Mat-Su, Houston, Kenai, Soldotna, and Homer shelters as well as homeless cats from southcentral and Kenai, Dutch Harbor, Bethel and other areas of the state. CCCR also takes in homeless cats of all kinds, including ferals; we also sometimes accepts cats from private individuals and other rescues when there is a need.
Through our Barn Cat Project, we trap, spay/neuter and vaccinate feral and colony cats, and rehome them to welcoming barn homes.
What Do We Believe?
CCCR is NOT an advocate of indoor-only cat care. We believe that cats need and have a right to the outside as much as humans or dogs. We therefore encourage adopters to provide a safe place for their new family members to go outside, to feel the sun on their face and the wind in their hair, and to enjoy the wonders of the natural world. Over the years, we have discovered that many of the now-common health issues with cats relates directly back to the condition of being locked inside and never being able to walk on the earth or have the sense of freedom that cats, and other creatures, need for a happy life.
We are adamantly opposed to declawing. Because declawing is a painful and unnecessary procedure which has no benefit to the cat, we will NOT adopt a cat to anyone who would declaw. Please see our page on declawing for more information on this reprehensible practice.
CCCR does charge adoption fees. The usual adoption fee for an adult cat is $75; for kittens under 6 months, the fee is $125. We do have many sponsored cats whose adoption fee is $40. Under our Senior Cats for Seniors program, cats 9 or older can be adopted to seniors over 55 for $30. Barn cats are available to suitable barn homes for a donation. (All cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micochipped.) Because we believe that people with lesser income can provide as good a home for a cat as those with more money, we will, in some instances, adopt a cat to a family that cannot afford the full adoption fee.
A LOOK AT 2016!
In 2016, Clear Creek Cat Rescue rescued 498 cats! We took in 427 strays, 29 owner surrenders, and 42 from animal control facilities; 152 were kittens and 346 were adults. Twelve cats were returned to their owners and 461 were adopted. Even with these awesome success stories, it was also a very difficult and distressing year for CCCR. Many of the cats we rescued were in critical condition, presenting heartbreaking challenges for our foster families. Diseases, starvation, dehydration and injuries claimed the lives of 48 of our feline friends, with another 5 needing to be euthanized. We started the year with 91 cats in foster and ended the year with 63 still in our care. (Our lifesaving percentage was 89% for 2016; of the 498 cats that we rescued, 447 were rehomed.)
Our rescue is dedicated to taking in cats that are most in need as our first priority—strays found outside, the starving, cold, or injured. We also focus on colony (feral) cats when we have the volunteers and money to help them because these cats have no other options. At almost all public shelters, with the exception of the Houston Shelter, these cats and kittens are considered unadoptable and they are euthanized rather than offered to adopters or rescues. In 2016 we took on several large feral cat colonies to trap and rehome, two of which had more than 60 cats and kittens fighting for survival. This kind of operation is always stressful and full of uncertainties. But, in one of the colonies, there was so much disease (distemper), parasites, and starvation/dehydration that many of the cats did not survive. This is a distressing outcome for all the volunteers who put their time and hearts into helping these cats. For those that did survive, we are delighted to have saved them and given them a chance for a better life. Amazingly, we were able to socialize many of these cats and they have settled well into the life of being a loving family member. Others are still a little uncertain of human contact, but they make wonderful barn cats for adopters looking to eradicate pesky rodents from their property.
Sometimes saving the lives of rescue animals requires a little effort in the legal arena as well. We continued our efforts to not only provide rescue for individual cats, but also to implement changes that help cats and other animals within our shelter system. After a CCCR volunteer made comments at a public meeting about the Homer shelter, we were prevented from rescuing any more cats from Homer. We filed suit against the Homer Shelter and City of Homer to ensure that rescue groups would not be denied the ability to rescue in the future. This is a fight that rescue groups around the country have taken on because shelter managers have penalized rescue groups critical of shelter policies or procedures by not allowing the group to rescue. This resulted in animals being killed rather than being rescued. We are pleased that our suit was successful, causing the City of Homer to recognize and inform the shelter that the public cannot be denied the use of public facilities because they used their right of free speech. We hope that our action will send a message to other shelter managers that rescue groups cannot be silenced by denying them the right to rescue.
As we could, we provided dozens of cat owners with needed food, litter, and in some cases, funds to help with emergency vet care. We also supplied cat shelters, heated water bowls and heated beds to people who had cats living outside.
Our expenditures for 2016 increased despite the fact that we have NO paid staff. All of our work is done by volunteers. We spent $94,720 in 2016; approximately $80,000 of that went to vet charges and medications!
Thanks to all our wonderful fosters, volunteers, contributors and supporters who made it possible to give so many kitties a chance for a better life. We hope 2017 will be another year of making a positive difference in the lives of felines in Alaska. If you would like to help in this mission to give homeless cats hope for the future, please check out our How to Help page, or call us at 980-8898.