A year ago, things looked grim for Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue. The modest, no-kill cat shelter in west Denver was bleeding red ink and it looked like it may have only a few months of existence left.
But the volunteers and staff who run the place weren't ready to give up yet. Today, they're planning for an extended future.
Income is up. So are adoptions. The shelter has launched an agreement with Petco that is paying off. The group is planning its biggest-ever fundraiser.
"We pulled out of a black hole," said board president Kathryn Gamelin this week.. "And we're on track to do just as well next year."
It took hard work to turn things around, Gamelin said, praising both the volunteers and the community for responding to the crisis.
"We had to make more of an effort to get our name out there," she said. "We launched more fundraising efforts."
Established in 1982, Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue (formerly the Animal Rescue and Adoption Society) is a non-profit, no-kill, mostly cage-free shelter located at 2390 South Delaware Street.
The shelter cares for approximately 125 homeless, abandoned, abused and neglected cats and kittens. It is dependent on donations from the community and the proceeds from fundraising events.
Gamelin said the community responded in a big way when word of the group's plight went public last year. "Donations went through the roof," she said.
And then the volunteers and staff really went to work.
A weekly bingo game - a big fundraiser - was expanded to a second night a week (a third is envisioned). Other fundraising efforts were added to the calendar.
"Then we started working with Petco," Gamelin said. "They let us use a couple of cages in a store with cats for adoption. The cats can stay there two weeks, then we bring them back to shelter if they're not adopted."
The result? "We've had almost all of the cats adopted," she said. Adoptions have almost doubled over 2012.
"We work with a high percentage of kill shelters," Gamelin added. "We take cats off death row."
Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue is planning a major fundraising event Saturday, Oct. 26. The first-ever Catnip Ball will start at 7 p.m. at the Denver Downtown Aquarium, 700 Water St. There will be food, drinks and a DJ. Halloween costumes are welcomed. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Find the organization on Facebook or call the shelter at (303) 744-6076 to RSVP.
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