CRAFT is CLOSED - Please Read for the Continuing Mission.
Date: Jun 4, 2016
All of our assets have been sold or donated. Some items were donated to nonprofits, in particular the Humane Society of the Ochocos' thift shop in Prineville. This shelter was the first and now remains the only no-kill shelter in Central Oregon and beyond. They made this commitment years ago in spite of their struggle with inadequate facilities and with being out of the way, and do not benefit from all the free media attention and local support that the two big shelters in Deschutes County enjoy. These big, newer shelters are NOT no-kill but certainly could make this a no-kill community, with their assets, resources and community support, if their directors felt this was important enough. __________________________________________
What happened with CRAFT? Update.
For about nine years, CRAFT cared for almost 10,000 cats & kittens, about 90% of them stray or abandoned, and many of them from large colonies or hoarding situations that no one else would handle. The majority of them also had to be spayed/neutered, and many required a lot of vet care. We tried hard to place each and every one into the right homes.
We enjoyed the sanctuary property at minimal cost during that time, but the County decided that we were a 'business' (small, quiet rescue) with 'employees' (a few volunteers a day), with 'customers' (occasional adopters), and not allowed on small, residential acreage, even though the neighbors were supportive. We would have had to pay around $20,000 to try to get land use approval, which could not be guaranteed, and it may have taken many months. All that uncertainty negatively affected the volunteers and some sponsors and donors.
We tried for months to find another suitable location, which had to be zoned EFU (farmland) or light industrial, and where animals would be allowed. In this very difficult real estate market, we were not able to locate an appropriate property.
So our board had to make the very difficult decision that CRAFT had to close. This meant finding homes for our cats, many of which were senior or special needs. We were able to do so, although a lot of them ended up having to travel to western Oregon or Washington, since Deschutes County has no no-kill shelters.
We were especially impressed by Purrfect Pals in Washington, which is set up similarly to CRAFT (but with a lot more space and funding), where cats are not caged and enjoy indoor and outdoor (fenced) freedom, and where no cat is considered expendable; and by Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood and Pixie Pets in Portland. We appreciate them stepping up to help the special needs and senior cats.
The CRAFT nonprofit corporation will be dissolved before the end of the year. Remaining funds were be set in specific accounts with certain veterinarian clinics who have been supportive, to continue the mission for as long as the funding lasts. Some will be dedicated for special needs or very senior cats that were not adopted or placed with other rescues, but went home with volunteers. These cats will need ongoing vet care, meds and special food.
Some will be dedicated to one of the most important parts of our mission - spay/neuter of cats and kittens. This will be applied to feral cats, community cats, abandoned cats, and any others that need spay/neuter. The neglect of cats, and the ongoing killing of cats in shelters, will continue until the root of the overpopulation problem is addressed.
A few dedicated volunteers have vowed to continue trapping strays and assisting other cats as much as possible, because the need never seems to end. If you want more information about this ongoing mission, please call 541-598-5488. You can donate towards this cause, but it would not be tax-deductible under CRAFT. Perhaps eventually a new nonprofit will form to address this problem, as CRAFT has all these years. In the meantime, CAT in Sherwood has agreed to accept a small number of cats each month. But once the funds on deposit are gone, it will be difficult for volunteers to keep up their good work on their own.
Some are still collecting deposit cans and bottles, but it takes a lot of those to pay for vet care and food. Call 541 598 5488 or 389 8420 if you have cans/bottles to donate.
Please see other information on this site regarding no-kill shelters, low-cost spay/neuter services, and contacts for government agencies if you have a cat 'issue'.
We are grateful to everyone who has supported our mission, and those who have adopted cats from us. We are especially thankful for the wonderful volunteers who have helped with this very challenging but rewarding work.
The CRAFT board of directors.