We are a 501(c)(3) Organization
Heartland Cats provides a safe and loving sanctuary for older cats regardless of age, illness or disability. Our no kill organization works to prevent needless euthanasia by offering long term care, hospice, and educational information.
The purpose of the Heartland Cats is to take in older cats that might otherwise be running out of options due to age, medical problems and/or loss of home. Our long term goals are:
- Maintain a true “no kill” for older cats
- Provide Heartland cats the same quality medical care that we want for our own pets.
- Partner with other community organizations to maximize lives saved.
- Educate on responsible pet ownership and the value of cats.
- Increase the number of adoptive homes through innovative placement strategies.
- Advise of affordable spay/neuter programs and services to eliminate feline overpopulation.
- Provide a safe haven for cats in need of long term and/or hospice care.
Today we can handle 35 cats at a given time. We are concentrate our efforts on the older cats as they are the least likely to be adopted and are often euthanized in our area shelters to free up space for younger animals. Our cats are typically not up for adoption due to their advanced age and/or medical needs.
Older cats that are in good health have been placed through our Senior Companion Program offered in the Omaha Metro area. This program was implemented to home an older cat with an older person that otherwise might not be able to afford a pet. Pets help lower blood pressure, fight depression and help seniors stick to a regular daily routine. Heartland cats provides the food, litter and veterinary care and the cat has a home and their owner a companion to fill a lonely day.
We typically do not take in kittens unless they are disabled or in immediate need of medical care. Additionally, we feel a pet should be considered a family member and not disposable property. We hope when a pet is adopted the guardian recognizes this to be a lifelong commitment that may exceed twenty years.
As space permits, we accept cats in our Oregon facility from those entering hospice care or the next level of health care where they cannot take their pet with them. Due to space constraints, we do not accept cats from people who are moving, have allergies, added another pet into the household, or for other situations where alternatives other than relinquishing their companion are available.
Statement of Need
It is estimated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the US that 70% of the cats entering shelters are euthanized with 90% of the older cats being euthanized. Some of these older cats are from military service personnel who have had to part from their pet due to overseas wartime deployment. Others are relinquished by senior citizens who can no longer care for or have a pet cat in their living situation. It is recognized that independently living seniors that have pets have better physical health and mental well-being, however, many seniors cannot afford the cost of caring for a pet. Tanya S. Liddy, owner and operator of the Feline Country Club in Omaha, NE, determined these issues needed to be addressed and in 2010, Heartland Cats (HC), a 501©3 organization was established. Ms. Liddy has been in business since 2005 and is currently serving as the President of the HC Board of Directors (BOD) and as Director of Operations for the organization. There are no paid employees at this time and all work is provided by volunteers.
The mission and purpose of HC is to provide sanctuary for older cats who may have run out of options due to their age, medical issues or their owner family circumstances. The HC BOD has established the following goals:1) No cat taken in, will ever be euthanized unless appropriate to prevent suffering for sick or injured animals; 2) Partnering with other organizations to maximize the number of cats saved from euthanasia; 3) To educate the public on responsible pet ownership and the intrinsic value of cats; 4) To utilize innovative placement strategies, particularly to improve the health and well-being of senior citizens; and 7) Develop HC as a model organization so that the mission and purpose can be replicated in other localities. The meeting of these goals will help reduce the likelihood that a loving cat will be euthanized.
Independently living seniors that have pets tend to have better physical health and mental well-being than those that do not. (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, May 1999)
Donations, both big and small are appreciated and welcomed.
Through your help, we can make a difference.