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Uh-huh. You turned into the community cats podcast ready. Let's cal. Hello. My name is Stacey lebaron, and I would like to welcome you to the community cats podcast. I'm starting this podcast to better help you help them any free, roaming and potentially stray cats in your neighborhood. This podcast is for anyone who cares about cats and wants to make a difference small or large community. Cats is also for people who were part of an organizational ready, helping cats we will be providing tips at all levels, who am I of course, I am first and foremost a cat lover. But Secondly, I've been involved with helping cats and various nonprofit organizations for over twenty years. I ran the Merrimack river feline rescue society in Salisbury Massachusetts for sixteen years and helped grow that organization from very small group that was helping a colony of three hundred cats to a large organization that now assists almost ten thousand cats year. I've pretty much done everything from operations to fund raising to board management. I grew up with one cat. She was grumpy cat. Her name was Duncan. But she lived to be twenty years old. And she and I grew to appreciate one another in our own way. I still have some scars on the back of my hands from our conversations, but she taught me to respect her space, and I had mine we also had times where she would like my fiction once I was trained properly after Dunkin passed away when I was thirteen we adopted another cat Mandrake. He was four years old and was at a local animal control officers home. We were told she took him in because he was too old and would most likely be put to sleep. I was like four years old. That's crazy. We just lost our cat at twenty. So I convinced my mom to take him in. He was one of those dog like cats. He slept on my bed every night. I could do anything to him. He was my pal. Unfortunately, he died. Suddenly the age of ten from heart failure. I naively believed and expected all cats to live to be twenty. I learned early on that anything could happen. I'd headed off to college and I decided to adopt. Another kitty against college rules. I saw an ad for cats and local paper by on profit rescue. And I went to the location and it turned out. It was a woman's house and the rescue was in her windowless basement. She had about fifteen to twenty cats caged in the basement, it was pretty bad looking when I look back at it. I asked her who had been with her the longest as I wanted to rescue the most needy cats she had an older cat about eight. But she didn't seem to want me to take that cat. So she introduced me to rusty. He was eighteen months old and had been with her for six months. She felt really bad for him the family who surrendered him wanted to adopt a golden retriever and they decided they didn't want a cat. She said eighteen months was really old for catnip shelter and his chances at adoption were slim. I was like I just heard this a few years ago about a four year old cat what's up with this ageism stuff? Eighteen months is pretty young to me. So I adopted rusty, and he was a wonderful friend to me for another twelve years after a few years rusty, and I moved to Newburgh. Report mass where my husband to be Bruce lived, we rescued a sweet, but boisterous kitten and newburyport named Steffi. My husband really saved our in convinced me that we needed to keep her. So that was the beginning of us. Having more cats in our home and many more cat stories to come as you. Listen to this podcast in nineteen ninety four I had stopped by local veterinarian's office in Salisbury mass, and I picked up a brochure about the Merrimack river feline rescue society. It turned out their new adoptions. Enter was above the veterinarians new practice. I noticed they needed food and supplies. So I went out and I bought some food and cat litter and mailed in check. And when I went into the adoption center, I found that they were overwhelmed with cats needing a lot of help in the small space that they had they were well over fifty cats in it. It was pretty overwhelming to me. I received a mailing asking for candidates to be there secretary. I figured I could take notes, and I could do office type work. I wasn't really sure if I wanted to be hands on with the cats or not so I send in. A letter of interest with my resume and several members of the board met with me and voted me on the board. And the next year. I was vice president in the year after that, I became president of the organization. So let's fast forward about twenty years. I have fostered hundreds of cats and kittens, and I have failed at being a foster home. I've run many many many fundraisers I've worked with the MR us board as well as other boards to help be more efficient run more effectively recruit new board members, I've been exhausted been overwhelmed, and I've been frustrated, but I've also been pleasantly surprised at amazed at the changes that we have made over the last twenty years for the last four years of had the privilege of running a mentoring program where have been able to work with over eighty different groups across the United States to help them garner. The tools that they need to be able to help more cats in their community. It's been honor and a privilege to run that program and been a highlight of my career. I would say the. Merrimack river feline rescue society went from helping three hundred cats to over ten thousand cats a year, and since nineteen ninety two we have helped over one hundred ten thousand cats, I believe that I can help your group grow too. And if you're just an individual, I believe I can help you help to cats in your neighborhood. But it all goes back to the fact that when I started out I started out wanting to help one cat and one cat at a time. And that's where many of you may be at this point. And I can help you to help many more. I want to win power you with the tools to be able to make a difference in your community for cats. I want your community to be a safe place for cats. This podcast will be published five days a week. It'll be a combination of thirty minute interviews with people who have started out helping one cat at a time. And hearing their story about how they got involved. And then there were also be some one on one tips from me, I'll keep these daily podcast brief c can listen to them while commuting to work or you have a few minutes to sit. Down or even while you're out. Feeding a colony of feral cat say or waiting to catch that hard to catch feral cat with the Trump set. I hope you find this podcast. Interesting feel free to join our Facebook page at community cats podcast and comment there or send us an Email at community cats podcast at g mail dot com. I'd love to hear from you. And I would love to have any suggestions, it's all together on this. And I want to thank you for listening to this podcast and on behalf of the cats. I wanna thank you also for helping them. Thanks for listening to the community has caused the more information other podcasts or to find out. How you support the show? Visit WWW community cats podcast dot com. And thanks.