LiFeline cat rescue needs donations

Holly Clawson said the outpouring of support her organization received after our last Make a Difference column about her organization was amazing.

“The supplies from our Wish List helped so many cats and kittens,” she said.

It was June, 2017, when Clawson realized more cat rescues were needed in the Miami Valley and brought together a group of like-minded people. Together they started LiFeline Cat Rescue and Network Inc.

The nonprofit organization began with a handful of volunteers, with help from one of the PetSmart stores in the area.

“We adopted 257 cats in our first year of operation,” said Clawson, who serves as the group’s director and “chaos manager.”

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

“We raised the goal to 500 a year and have reached or exceeded that goal every year since.”

The group’s tagline is “It Takes a Village.” Clawson said it wasn’t long until that small group of dedicated volunteers had grown to dozens of individuals willing to take time out of their lives to make a positive impact on the local cat population.

“We are a foster-based rescue, meaning we operate with no specific building or facility at our disposal,” said Clawson. “The volunteers foster cats in their homes whenever they can — some foster all the time, some during the summer, others do not foster but help in other ways like doing laundry and cleaning cages at the multiple PetSmart stores throughout the Miami Valley that serve as our collaborators. With the addition of Elizabeth Ellis as our assistant director, we have been able to get even more accomplished.”

In 2018, the group became involved with its first PetSmart store, in Huber Heights, followed by the location in Beavercreek. In 2019, PetSmart on Feedwire Road in Centerville joined the effort and most recently, the PetSmart near the Dayton Mall was added.

“PetSmart has been an incredible partner and we sincerely appreciate all that these stores have allowed us to accomplish,” said Clawson. “We love the incredible staff and how much they care about our amazing cats. Many of the employees have even adopted from us.”

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Clawson said at least once a year, the volunteers aim to make a serious dent in a euthanasia list at a rural shelter.

“We have been able to take as many as 30. Unfortunately, many are often too sick to survive, but for the time they were with us they were loved and comfortable — receiving the care and affection they deserved their entire lives for the short time we were able to help them. All in all, 21 of the 30 from that list went on to forever homes. "

The organization gets calls for just about everything cat-related, from those looking for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) efforts in places of unwanted feline activity, helping with cat behavior issues, vetting for strays, and making recommendations of vets in the area.

“Because we have volunteers from Springboro and Carlisle to Troy, we have many people from whom to glean information. If we cannot help, or do not know the answer to one of the myriad problems presented to us, we often know of someone who can. We often work with local TNR groups and other rescues, to that end.” Clawson said.

She said they have also been called in by several local police departments to help with difficult situations.

“This year, we have taken on several eviction cases, all with a dozen or more cats. We go the extra mile with every single adoption and make the effort to ensure these cats leave our care and go into truly loving, forever homes.”

Clawson said those involved with her organization love what they do. They typically field more than 100 calls a week.

‘Our mission is focused on those most in need before all else, so we mostly take in homeless cats and kittens, often from horrific circumstances,” Clawson said. “We cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to have a plan in place for your pets, should something happen that you cannot care for them, and please, spay and neuter your pets and outdoor cats.”

Here’s what they can use:

  • Bleach
  • Heavy trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry deodorizer
  • Gerber chicken or turkey baby food
  • Heating pads
  • Food scales
  • Kitten food, canned and dry such as Iams, Kitten Chow, Hills Science Diet
  • Cat litter

Your donations can be dropped off from noon to 6 p.m. at 4000 Terre Linda Drive in the Riverside area (45424). For more information, call or text (937) 620-9281 or message the LiFeline Cat Rescue Facebook page. Here’s the Amazon Wish List:

Other ways to help:

Make a difference

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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