Mission and History
Our mission is to engage and empower our community to save the lives of community cats.
"Community Cats, Community Effort"
There will be a harmonious and caring relationship between people and community cats and all cats will be able to humanely live out their lives in the environment that best suits the welfare for each cat.
- Belief in the humane treatment for all animals
- It is OK for community cats to live outside with managed care
- Solving the community cat problem requires a community effort
- Community cats should be afforded the same legal protection as companion pets
- Collaboration leads to better decision making and more efficient problem solving
In mid-2014 the amount of TNR assistance requests coming in through local rescue groups were increasing monthly. At the same time, Loudoun County Animal Services (LCAS) was also handling an increasing amount of neighbor complaints about community cats and kittens. Community cats that entered the county shelter were at a high risk of euthanasia because there were no options that offered a positive outcome for live release. Groups with active TNR programs were being exhausted from a lack of resources, funds, and untrained volunteers. No single group had the available resources or training to handle all types of requests such as population control, health and welfare, neighbor complaints, and lost pet cats that were not fixed and were lost or abandoned. In addition, many individuals that wanted to help manage local populations of community cats were unable to because of the lack of available and affordable resources.
One of the groups with an active TNR program at the time was the Humane Society of Loudoun County. The Board of Directors met to decide if the program would continue or they would give financial support to another group with an active program. During this discussion, the President at the time, Kim Fields, came up with the idea to build a coalition that would work to handle all types of requests. They created a list of key people to help with the plan to pull together animal welfare groups for the first time in the region.
Kim contacted the attorney for Alley Cat Allies, Will Gomma, for assistance and guidance in building the Coalition. Dr. Melissa Derbin, a local veterinarian, was also brought in to represent community cat health and welfare. The team reached out to local rescue group leaders, veterinarians, LCAS, and other animal welfare groups in order to build relationships with them and identify potential partners.
They held the first meeting and established the goal to build and support a local spay/neuter clinic. After subsequent meetings and discussions, a coalition committee was formed made up of Alley Cat Allies, veterinarians, VVMA, LCAS, and board members from HSLC, 4 Paws Rescue Team, and others.
The Committee met to discuss the mission, vision, goals, and objectives. It was determined that working with and engaging the community using innovative, progressive, and sustainable solutions would better serve the community and the community cats that live among us. The Coalition wanted the entire community involved to not only help the cats, but change the perception and value of the cats.
In order to achieve its goals we would need an organization focused on TNR and the services needed to save lives, the Coalition would seek a 501(c)(3) status. Once that was obtained, the Coalition Committee became the Advisory Committee and a Board of Directors was established to govern the newly formed Loudoun Community Cat Coalition.
In just three years, The Loudoun Community Cat Coalition has provided TNR services to over 1,000 cats and kittens. If you'd like to be part of our success, please make a donation, sign up to be a volunteer, or view other ways to help. Together we can save the lives of our community cats!