Providing for the feeding, shelter and care of homeless, abandoned and feral cats.
Educating the public about the importance of spay/neuter population control, responsible pet ownership and kindness to animals.
Establishing an ongoing community network to achieve these goals.
Branford Compassion Club annually hosts Animal Awareness Day, A Celebration of Pets, which is a wonderful free community event that draws thousands to the Branford Green. It’s scheduled this year for Oct. 1 from noon-4 p.m.
Though Branford Compassion Club is devoted to the care, rescue and adoption of felines, the Blessing of the Animals, the featured highlight of the day, draws pet lovers of all kinds to the Green. The tradition is always held around the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Clergy from all denominations gather to bless animals ranging from dogs and cats and gerbils to horses, goats, rabbits and exotic reptiles and amphibians.
Attendees are entertained throughout the day with live music, a chance to learn from and patronize dozens of area and regional business vendors and animal care and rescue organizations, whose missions are similar to BCC’s: educating the public about the importance of spay/neuter programs, teaching humane treatment of animals and responsible pet ownership. There is a special tent devoted to children’s activities, live animals for further hands-on education, plus a huge bake sale. A particular push is made to involve businesses contiguous to the Green, who benefit from the increased traffic to the central area and those whose taste for food may go beyond our food truck(s).
Our goal is always to raise at least five figures, which we did last year, with just over $10,000 from vendor and sponsor fees, bake sale, and a special offering from the world-famed Stony Creek Quarry.
In 1997, three highly motivated, civic-minded Branford residents, having in common a great love of and compassion for cats, became aware that in Branford alone there were uncountable numbers of entirely homeless, often starving, often pregnant, never spayed, neutered or vaccinated and often sick or injured cats and kittens.
Operating a cat shelter is not without challenges. The difference between our expenses per cat and the adoption fee is over $100 in all cases. Every cat is tested, neutered, vaccinated and vet examined before adoption. Senior cats often need dental surgery and senior blood-work. In addition to medical bills, there is the cost for food and shelter, special diets, supplements, and medications. Every cat we take in is an unknown quantity in terms of the care it will require. And every cat receives care they need.
In opening its first brick and mortar shelter in 2011, the Board of Directors and the volunteers made a giant commitment to use its existing resources to carry out their mission with the expectation of success. We wanted to become a community destination: a place where visitors, adopters, animal lovers, and volunteers would be warmly welcomed, and a place where all rescued felines would be given excellent veterinary care, proper nutrition, a clean enriched environment, and personal attention. For the first five years, we functioned with an all-volunteer base. As we expanded our outreach and collaborated with similar rescues, we realized that hiring a shelter manager would be the next logical step. After volunteering with Branford Compassion Club for 15 years, I started as the first paid shelter employee in December 2015.
Last fall one of our volunteers was trick-or-treating with her young son who spotted a skinny, old, buff colored cat outside in the cold. Reluctant to take a cat out of someone’s yard, she went home and worried all night. The next day she returned there and found the cat in the exact same place. After calling for permission to make him a BCC cat she immediately took him to our vet. He was on the brink of death- he was dehydrated, parasite infested, and had a massive upper respiratory infection that caused him to wheeze when he breathed. But what a sweetheart and what a will to live! One of the neighbors who had been feeding him after his original owner put him outside, came to visit him at our shelter after seeing a Facebook post. The neighbor told us the cat’s name was Rocky and he was about sixteen years old. Everyone at our shelter adored him. He was so loved and cared for. He had a heating pad, toys, and lots of attention. Sadly, as every layer of illness was addressed, another layer emerged. About six weeks after his arrival, Rocky started to exhibit heavy breathing. He was rushed to the vet who diagnosed him with lymphoma and fluid in his lungs. We made the decision to humanely help him cross over the Rainbow Bridge. Three volunteers and I held and petted him while he purred and passed peacefully, surrounded with love. We care for every cat that we rescue as if it were our own.
It can be disheartening that every year the volume of assistance calls for feral, pregnant, or injured cats seems to grow, and that there are hundreds of homeless and abandoned cats struggling to survive. We continue to educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter by making sure every one of our cats is fixed before adoption and by cooperating with like-minded rescue groups to rescue as many cats as we can. Caring for these animals is a labor of love and matters to each of us and each cat we rescue.
Veterinary Care Program: BCC provides full veterinary care to all cats and kittens under our care - this includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, combo test for feline leukemia and FiV, treatment of injury, illness, or disease.
Cats are evaluated medically and socially, applications are reviewed and references are checked, we work with approved applicants to make the best possible adoption outcome. An adoption contract is then signed by the adopter.
Please see: Board of Directors Comments under FINANCIALS
As stated earlier, BCC does not have a CEO/Executive Director
As stated elsewhere, the By-Laws of BCC do not provide for a CEO/Executive Director.
Please see: Board of Directors Comments under FINANCIALS
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Branford Compassion Club's most critical challenge is to become and remain self-sustaining. The urgent need/demand for the services and assistance we provide continues to exceed the availability/supply of those services and of our ability to afford to pay for them.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
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