Midtown Raleigh News

Alley Cats finds kitties good homes

Mission: Alley Cats and Angels is an all-volunteer nonprofit that connects stray cats throughout the Triangle with foster families and permanent homes.

The group also spays and neuters feral cats and returns them to their habitat or finds a better place for them if their environment is unsafe. It also offers vouchers for families who can’t afford to spay or neuter their cat

This year, Alley Cats and Angels has facilitated 265 cat adoptions, up from 227 last year, said Tia Hagnas, founder and president of the group.

Hagnas said she has always had a soft spot for homeless pets, probably handed down from her animal-loving parents. She volunteered for years at a local no-kill shelter for cats.

In 2007, Hagnas said, she discovered two colonies of feral cats in Apex, where she lived at the time. The area couldn’t support the 65 or so felines in the colonies, she said.

“My heart has always belonged to feral cats,” Hagnas said.

So she started Alley Cats and Angels, and now she devotes more than 60 hours a week to the program.

Hagnas is busy – she also works full time as a technical writer for an IT company in Raleigh.

Hagnas said she thinks Alley Cats and Angels has been so successful partly because the group never automatically rejects an application from a prospective cat owner.

The group talks to applicants and often finds that they’ll make good cat families, she said.

And when she finds a cat a good home?

“It makes me cry,” Hagnas said. “This is blood, sweat and tears.”

Donations needed: Money for medical program and spay and neuter surgeries; white clay litter; cat food (Iams Naturals and Iams Kittens); 42-inch and 48-inch dog crates.

Volunteers needed: Cat caregivers; adoption center cleaners; financial data entry; fundraising coordinator; adoption event volunteers; feral cat advocates; grant writers; special events coordinators; communications/public relations coordinator. Volunteers are also needed to help run errands and to assist with yard sales and community events.

Minimum volunteer time: Two hours per month.

$10 would buy: One round of vaccinations for one cat (distemper, feline leukemia and rabies vaccinations).

$20 would buy: Leukemia/feline HIV test kit for one cat, or microchip for one cat, or milk replacement formula for a litter of kittens for two weeks.

$50 would buy: Vet exam and one round of vaccinations for one cat or spay/neuter surgery for one cat.

Website: www.alleycatsandangels.org

Contact information: Tia Hagnas, 919-303-3500

P.O. Box 785

Apex, N.C. 27502