Have You Ever Seen a 30A Cat?

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By Denise Boineau

Maybe you have and didn’t know what to do for it? This was the case for so many along NW FL’s 30A. But today because of a small army of volunteers, our community along 30A and Highway 98 in Walton County has more support.

The first trapping and the idea of starting 30ACats was born with one cat, the NextDoor app, and a shopping center. The experience was difficult to say the least. Due to the Florida heat – no one wants a cat to get stuck in a trap when it’s too hot – and the northern trapping techniques, the volunteers recognized the need for a coastal trapping strategy.
Each of the volunteers came from various backgrounds. They’ve discovered that rescue isn’t all “pets and purrs” as one volunteer so aptly put it. It’s hard work – “mentally, physically and financially and emotionally.”

Bridget Kornder started 30A Cats as a nonprofit in April 2021. She was living in the area and noticed the ever increasing population of stray and feral cats in Walton County. Unfortunately, Walton County doesn’t offer a low cost spay/neuter alternative. A lifelong animal lover, Bridget started the501(c) (3) so that the dollars raised would go directly to the nonprofit. Her volunteers at that time were only a small group that trapped and then drove the cats an hour to Bay County for the spay/ neuter services. Did you know that one female cat can produce offspring of over 5,000 within 7 years? Today 30ACats has TNR’d (Trap, Neuter, Return) over 1400 cats since its inception. Do the math! That’s an astounding number and the population has been dramatically reduced because of it.

When talking to the volunteers about their experiences, you learn that their dedication runs deep. There have been many emotions – both laughter and tears as they help this community of cats. Sometimes the cats get trapped in precarious conditions and the volunteers have to be creative in handling them. Quick minds and strong hearts are needed to provide for these animals. Now, over 170 homeless cats and kittens have been placed in their forever homes and those that are a bit more wild are released back into their original habitat where they help balance the snake and rat populations.

Our long term goals are varied. We want to make a positive impact on reducing the population. Importantly, we want to end overpopulation, homelessness and suffering.
How will we do this? Education on key concepts of colony management in the coastal towns of 30A for one, similar to the Walt Disney park protocol of managed feeding stations, shelters and TNR.

Also, we’d like to advocate for low cost spay/neuter access in Walton County.
We need to change Walton County laws to reflect the state of Florida which recognizes community cats contribute to keeping tourist areas free of rodents.

Our dream of a 30ACat Cafe would go far in continuing our education and fundraising, while jointly anchoring the cat culture of each of the unique communities along 30A. The venue could host 30A kittens for adoption while pairing the oceanside flavor of 30A with coffee or wine and a blend of local artwork, meditation or yoga classes, and sessions spent playing with kittens.

This cause landed in all of our backyards and we, as a community, can band together to make an impact.

Now you ask ~ how can I help? There are many ways! Our volunteers are fundraising with 30ACat T-shirts and stickers at events held at SunDog books and at the Watercolor Publix. In addition, several local restaurants are hosting 30ACats events. Mention 30ACats to your server on April 21 between 4-9 p.m. and Shades Bar and Grill will donate 10% of the proceeds of your meal to 30ACats.

If you’re a business owner you can help too. For starters, learn how to care for the community cats “near, behind or underneath” your business. Then, consider an annual donation in exchange for promotion as a sponsor, or allowing donation boxes for 30ACat stickers and t-shirt sales. Even better? Consider hosting 30ACats and donating a percentage of sales.

Lastly you can become a 30ACats volunteer! We’re always looking for new fosters for our kittens and people to donate their time to furthering this great cause. Together, we can move more kittens into homes and reduce the cat population.

30A cats is an independent local nonprofit organization, volunteer run and donation driven. We are not affiliated with any other welfare organization and welcome any forms of donations. You can find us at www.30Acats.org or on Facebook at 30ACats. Contact Division of Consumer Services for a full disclosure of records.

The post Have You Ever Seen a 30A Cat? appeared first on PCB Life | Panama City Beach News, Events and Community Information.


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