Community Spotlight: Cat’s Cradle

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 11:13 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Cat’s Cradle was founded in 1998, with the hope to provide a no-kill alternative for stray cats in the Shenandoah Valley.

Over the last 25 years, through partnerships with other area organizations, it has evolved into a nonprofit that helps thousands of cats annually by keeping feral populations down, working to end overcrowding at area shelters, and finding the animals loving homes.

“We really have three areas that our programs focus on. First is the spay-neuter program, the second is trap, neuter, and return, and third is our adoption program,” Cat’s Cradle executive director Sherri Heishman said.

In 2022 the nonprofit facilitated spay and neuter surgeries for 3,130 cats, a big number, which Heishman says makes an even bigger impact.

“If you just think about that say if maybe half of those were female last year, each of those had four kittens. That’s 6,000 kittens that would have been born if they would not have had spay-neuter assistance,” Heishman said.

Heishman says the requests for spay-neuter assistance often come from pet owners who may not be financially-able to take care of the procedures themselves.

“They want to be a responsible pet owner, but they do not have the means to spay or neuter so it makes us feel good that we can cover all of it or a portion of the spay and neuter services,” Heishman said.

A portion of the funding for the procedures comes from the nonprofit’s ‘Cat Café’, where visitors pay a $20 fee and enjoy a free cup of coffee, along with play-time with adoptable cats and kittens.

The animals come from area shelters, so Heishman says it gives them a chance to socialize before ultimately finding a place to call home.

Heishman says volunteers are vital to the work done at Cat’s Cradle and are always welcome whether through fostering or help with coordinating spay and neuter surgeries.

You can find more information on those opportunities and Cat’s Cradle by visiting their website.