Feline Urgent Rescue & Rehab (FURR) is a local, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) that rescues and rehabilitates feral cats. Terry Schultz, President and founder of FURR, explains, “Most rescues are not able to handle feral cats or kittens, and that is our specialty. We take in feral cats and kittens that have never had any contact with humans. They appear to be “wild” animals to most people, but they are not! Cats are domestic animals and have been for many hundreds of years. If they are feral, they are just scared and have never been socialized or treated properly. We have to work hard to change their perspective of humans.“
Schultz was a CPA for years before retiring and creating FURR. She grew up with cats and horses. She always hated the way that “traditional” barn cats were treated, so she started catching them and socializing them until they became fit and happy. Now with a 1,500 square-foot facility in her own backyard, she has rehabilitated and adopted out about 4,000 cats since she opened. The NC Agricultural Extension Agency makes unannounced visits and inspections, and Schultz is proud to be the #1 cat rescue facility in eleven counties. She has three shifts of volunteers that rotate through the shelter to clean, feed, care, and socialize the cats. There are usually about twenty-five cats and kittens in the program, and Schultz carefully screens each adoptive family to make sure that it is the right fit for everybody.
This thorough vetting process for adoptive families means that it is not a spur-of-the-moment decision. “Sometimes our adoptions take a little longer than other rescues because we are patient in taming these feral and/or abused cats. Some have behavioral problems that we are determined to fix. We have no time limit for keeping a cat at our rescue. We put them up for adoption when they are ready, and not before. A rescued cat at FURR will live at the rescue facility on average of about six months. Each cat comes with a complete vetting: spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccine, FVRCP vaccines (distemper), several deworming treatments, several treatments for fleas and other parasites, microchip, and blood testing for feline AIDS, leukemia, and heart worms,” explains Schultz.
FURR is always looking for new adoptive families, volunteers, and donations. “Like most of the nonprofit rescues in the Charlotte and surrounding area, we stay full while low on funds and at capacity. We can only continue to take in rescued cats if we get the ones we have adopted! We also depend on the public for donations. We get no grants or government support. All of our funding comes from individuals that care about what we do. We have a wish list on our web site of needed items, but mostly we need money to pay for vet bills and surgeries! We always love to get gift cards, supplies, and other items that we have listed, but funding to pay for the vet bills and food is our number one priority wish! Also, I am very grateful for the volunteers that we have at FURR. I am one also. None of us are paid employees; we all help and work at the facility because we believe in what we do and we just love cats!”
FURR – Feline Urgent Rescue & Rehab 864-483-2444; www.catfurr.org