About “Operation Hood”
To provide care and sanctuary for rescued cats within the Fence while working to find suitable homes. To educate and engage the community about “community cats”, and TNR (trap, neuter, return) while assisting with TNR efforts within our community.
The Hood was home to hundreds of cats that have either been born on the property or arrived as a result of local residents dumping unwanted cats for many years. Over the years, local and national cat welfare organizations have attempted to limit the growth of the colony. Three TNR efforts involving some 200 cats were performed in 2005, 2007, and 2012. Sadly however, there was never any follow-up, thus the remaining cats continued to reproduce. Additionally, cats in the colony were suffering and many died from neglect, exposure, starvation, and medical issues. Many residents felt sorry for the cats and often left food for them, which drew a large number of cats into public view. Sadly, this lead to some cats being killed by passing cars and/or harmed by people who either did not like cats or simply considered them a nuisance.
On January 2, 2016, a dozen cat welfare volunteers made a visit to the business property and were admitted onto the property by the caretaker of the cats. The purpose of the visit was to assess the severity of the situation. The place of business was occupied with trucks, cars, travel trailers, and hundreds of discarded PVC pipes. At the back of the property stood two sheds that were filled with blankets and old cat food bags. There were small openings at each end, which served as “shelter” to the hundreds of cats.
During the visit, we noticed there was not proper shelter, feeding stations or water bowls for the cats. While on site, numerous cats emerged from the sheds, PVC pipes, and wooded areas to eat. Many of the cats were filthy and caked in mud. Many of the cats were emaciated and in poor physical condition due to injury or illness. The volunteers on site realized that an emergency first response was needed. Turning this first response into a project demanded widespread fundraising and support from a network of cat welfare agencies. These were the first steps toward rehabilitation, saving lives, and improving the existing living conditions. Quickly, Operation Hood was formed to take over and implement these changes. Over 100 insulated shelters were placed on the property to provide clean, safe housing. Volunteers began feeding nutritious food daily, a trapping regiment was outlined, and veterinary care was being provided to the sickest cats.
Operation Hood has TNR’d many cats and kittens that have been permanently adopted, placed in foster homes or transferred to other rescues or sanctuaries. The remainder have been relocated to a new SAFE, CLEAN, and HEALTHY environment referred to as “The Fence”. The Fence is a parcel of land that has been provided for those semi-feral and feral cats taken from the colony who cannot easily be adopted. The Fence is surrounded by a ‘Purr-fect’ cat fence, and includes two 8’x12′ permanent, insulated sheds that provide shelter from the elements along with additional shelters and water and feeding stations. Caregivers attend to the cats daily; providing food, clean water, and litter box maintenance that ensures cleanliness for the cats and the surrounding environment. Operation Hood volunteers have rescued more than 240 cats and kittens from the property. When volunteers first began this effort, many wondered how they would deal with the heartbreak, neglect, and devastation that they saw at this location. The cats are always happy to see the feeders that come to The Fence and gather around in anticipation of being fed.
At present the colony on Hood Drive has been relocated. The current land owner has been cooperative in allowing Operation Hood volunteers to monitor the site until the land is sold. As of January 2018 our goals within Operation Hood have shifted to focusing on TNR (trap, neuter and return) Our mission is to work with in our community to educate others on the purpose of TNR (trap, neuter and return) and why it is important. Operation Hood is also working with local shelters to assist with issues within the community to help make a difference in our area.
Our desire to find homes for the cats that reside within The Fence has not ended. We continue to work to find homes for them even as we reach out to the community to assist with community TNR efforts. We are always in need of volunteer support. If you are interested in volunteering please go to operationhood.org and submit an volunteer application and we will contact you!