Contact Us!

Phone:
410-414-2122

Email:
[email protected]

Mailing Address:
Friends of Felines
P.O. Box 325
Port Republic, MD 20676

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."
-Ernest Hemingway

Our History

The Friends of Felines, Inc. (FOF) is a cat rescue organization which operates within Calvert County. We are committed to reducing the free roaming cat population within Calvert County through non-lethal means. We also educate the public regarding pet care and handling, and their responsibility for their pets.

Our mission of Trap, Neuter, Return and Maintain (TNRM) started in 2001 when one of our founding members realized the County was trapping out a colony located at the Huntingtown compactor site and that the cats would be euthanized. The County had trapped out that colony in the past, but the cats always returned to fill the void. The cats then multiplied again until they became a problem at the site and the cycle repeated.

Our founding member obtained permission to trap the colony, have the cats tested, spayed or netuered, given distemper and rabies shots, microchipped, ear tipped, and returned to the compactor site where he would feed and maintain the colony. This was a true TNRM effort. The result was a stable, healthy colony which was not reproducing or fighting.

During the process, other like-minded individuals who were feeding colonies at other locations were identified and an organization began to form. We started in 2001 as an independent committee under an established 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the County.

We then started trapping out private colonies as well as county and commercial properties.

Many of the feral (free roaming) cats were trapped had kittens or were abandoned domestic cats which could be socialized. We recruited volunteer fosters to socialize and maintain these cats and kittens until they could be adopted into forever homes

Adoption teams were formed and equipped to do adoptions. Adoptions were conducted in Calvert County and at PetSmart stores in Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and northern Virginia.

Our annual results show approximately half of the trapped or rescued cats are returned to their maintained colonies and over a third are socialized and adopted to their forever homes as indoor cats. For various reasons, some of the rescued cats are not quite compatible with indoor life but are quite compatible and friendly outdoors. They were adopted as working barn cats, usually at horse farms located in Maryland and Virginia. These cats are fed and vetted by their owners and live a good life.

One of our County Commissioners, Linda Kelley, was instrumental in identifying a piece of County land that could server as a sanctuary. We became a committee names Friends of Feral Felines and, in September 2002, the County Commissioners unanimously agreed and signed a parcel of public land for a feral cat sunctuary. We became a pilot project to see if TNRM has a positive impact on reducing the number of animal control calls and on the number of feral cats euthanized at the Tri-County Animal Shelter.

We received a substantial grant from PetSmart that allowed us to set up and operate the sanctuary. The sanctuary is now funded through continuing donations and grants. We use the sanctuary as the last choice location to place those Calvert County cats which cannot be adopted and cannot be returned to their original colony site, usually because of ongoing consturctions and destruction of their habitat or other local activites which are dangerous to the cats.

In March 2004, we expanded our mission to include training and informing the public on TNRM, and working with other volunteer organizations on joint efforts including spay/neuter clinics and disaster relief. We changed our name to "Friends of Felines, Inc." and formed an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All our members are unpaid volunteers. We use donations and grants to fund our operations.

In 2004 we trapped or rescued 386 cats and kittens. That number has increased each year and in 2007 we rescued 467 cats. We work closely with our Animal Control personnel. They have confirmed over the years that their calls have been greatly reduced as we work through small and large colonies within the County. They routinely call us to follow up on calls they receive. Our Tri-County Animal Shelter also confirms the number of cats they receive from Calvert County has significantly decreased.

We have provided training, equipment and other assistance to individuals in Anne Arundel, St. Mary's and Charles Counties who have free roaming cats, usually with kittens, or large cat colonies which they need to vet and control.

We are members of the Calvert Pet Coalition which is comprimised of many of the volunteer pet organizations operating in the County. Through the Pet Coalition and in partnership with the Patuxent Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) we jointly operate the Pet Taxi service. The Pet Taxi provides citizens with a weekly transport of their pet dogs and cats from Prince Frederick to the low cost spay/neuter facilities located at the Charles County Humane Society in Waldorf. The Pet Taxi provides a means for working pet owners to drop off their pet in the morning and pick it up after work in the evening. The pet can receive the full range of testing, spay/neuter vetting, current shots and micro-shipping. All services are offered at significantly reduced prices an have been used by citizens from Calvert, Anne Arundel, St. Mary's, Charles and Prince George's Counties.

In 2007, again working throught the Calvert Pet Coalition and in conjunction with PAWS, we participated in the initiation and operation of the "Promise Wagon". The Promise Wagon is a mobile spay/neuter clinic which is brought to Calvert County once a month to provide low cost spay/neuter and vaccination services for cats and dogs. The mobile clinic rotates between locations in northern, central and southern Calvert County. The services are available to everyone and people have brought their pets from as far as Prince George's County, Baltimore and the Eastern Shore.