2013 Year-End Report and Donations

ICS has had a busy year, and we owe it all to our tireless volunteers and supporters! Without you, we would not be able to accomplish our goals for helping our organization – and of course – our cats. Thank you for all of your hard work and efforts on behalf of the kitties!

This year, a new Board of Directors and a new cadre of Committee Chairs took the reins to accomplish a number of challenging tasks. While not every item was easy to undertake, all were done in the best interest of the Independent Cat Society, and we are very proud of our hard-working volunteer leaders at all levels!

Our 2013 year-end report of accomplishments include:

  • Almost 200 cats adopted to good homes for the year, and over 3000 feral and community cats spayed/neutered throughout Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties through our TNR efforts.
  • Formal adoption of a Grants Committee, which has been very active this year in securing of several large grants for spay/neuter and helping families in the community, including a $2000 John W. Anderson Foundation grant, a $5000 Ryan Newman grant, a  $6000 Porter County Foundation grant, a $1675 Unity Foundation of LaPorte County grant, and two $2000 Bissell Foundation grants. We helped over 50 families and community members through these grants.
  • Introduction of a new event, Purrfectly Pampurred Day, and a whole year of successful fundraising events, including the Black Cat Boogie Fundraising Dinner and the Black Cat Strut 5K Walk/Run.
  • Additional signage and work to beautify our grounds, including the inclusion of new Disability parking signage and driveway signage thanks to the Dean family, and Ms. Stefanie Ford.
  • Completion of a formal training program for adoption counselors and a formal communication plan for ICS thanks to Ms. Stefanie Ford, a recent graduate of Purdue University Calumet’s master’s program in instructional technology.
  • Implementation of the ICS Speaker’s Bureau.
  • Development of a formal Organization Plan for ICS (see our website for details).
  • Expansion of the Cat Care Committee to the Health and Wellness Committee, including revision of the organization’s Cat Care protocols and development of guidelines for Medication Administration protocol
  • Implementation of the Godparent Program for ICS foster kittens.
  • Expansion of the Volunteer Program, including a full updating of the Volunteer manual
  • Revision of the ICS Employee  Manual
  • Painting of the Interior Main shelter walls
  • Implementation of the Room Moms (reporting to Health and Wellness) and Newsletter (reporting to Technology) subcommittees
  • Revision and implementation of the Tetanus vaccination protocol for Employees and Volunteers
  • Development and implementation of the Incident Reporting process
  • Adoption of a formal partnership with Allegius Credit Union, where members of ICS can easily join the Credit Union, and vice-versa.
  • Implementation of the Hills Science Diet food program for our cats the shelter.

Of course, our work does not end there! Next year, we hope to accomplish a number of additional goals, including:

  • Initiate a marketing group to increase ICS known presence in Northwest Indiana
  • Increase marketing to target surrounding counties and expand Volunteer numbers
  • Identify and contact potential area benefactors for financial support
  • Identify and contact potential groups for a variety of educational Speaker’s Bureau presentations, and develop formal programs for speakers to take into the community.
  • Initiate a marketing program to increase the number of Memorial Bricks and expand the Rainbow garden
  • Maintain and expand the TNR program to increase its already-excellent effectiveness in reducing the population of feral and unowned cats in the community
  • Revisit the Strategic Plan for ICS and develop goals through 2016
  • Identify and expand potential foundations, companies, and other grant-makers to secure additional grants for spay/neuter efforts, helping community members in need of support, and improving other shelter operations.
  • Initiate an aggressive building fund campaign for a new ICS shelter on existing grounds

We thank everyone for their tireless dedication to our cats and kittens, as well as the welfare of animals throughout our community. Please visit our website to review the list of 2013 Donors and 2013 Corporate Sponsors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

2014 Calendars are Here!

Cover of 2014 CalendarThat’s right, the awesome 2014 Calendar that you’ve been hearing about are here and ready for you to buy as gifts or to decorate your home with beautiful pet pictures all year long. You can pick one up at the shelter anytime, including at this weekend’s Holiday Open House!

Calendars are $15 each. You may purchase via check, cash, or credit card through PayPal or in person at our shelter during open weekend hours. Check us out or contact us at our website for more details or if you have questions! We have a very limited supply of calendars left, so order soon before they’re all gone!

A special thanks goes out to Candy Smith, our volunteer who made this calendar possible. It is really cool, and we have her to thank for all of it. She’s awesome!

ICS wishes all its volunteers, supporters, and friends a very happy holiday full of furry goodness and lots of purrs!

Help ICS by clicking your mouse!

No, not the cute and tasty kind of mouse – the mouse you use with the computer, of course!

That’s right, there are many cool ways to help ICS just by doing normal stuff you do every day, like shop and surf the Web. Check out some of these great services and be sure to say that you’re helping the Independent Cat Society of Westville, Indiana!

Goodsearch.com

Goodsearch

 

GoodSearch is a site where you can earn money for us every time you search the Web. It’s really that simple! GoodSearch also has a site called GoodShop where you can earn money when you shop at their partner online stores. It really can’t get much easier than that!

Amazon Smile

Amazon SmileYou might have noticed the little item at the bottom of this site about Amazon Smile. If you’re an Amazon shopper – and who isn’t? – you’re going to love this. Just use our link or tell Amazon you’re shopping for the Independent Cat Society and shop to your heart’s content! Amazon will donate .5% of every sale price on your behalf. Pretty neat, huh?

 

ShopForShelters

If you want to buy cool, animal-related items for your friends, loved ones, and of course, your animals, check our ShopForShelters! Just select Indiana -> Independent Cat Society at checkout to have a portion of the proceeds come to kitties like me for food and medical care.

Gr8NPGr8np.org

Share information and reviews of ICS at Gr8np.org – a place to share great nonprofits with others. You can learn about your community and post reviews and insights about other nonprofits here, too. It’s a really neat site where you can find out a lot more about your region and what’s happening there than you could have imagined!

eBayeBay

Maybe you noticed the eBay ticker at the bottom of our page here? Yes, that’s right, ICS sells crafts, housewares, antiques, and of course the most awesome cat toys and catnip around right in our eBay store. You’ve got to check us out – you will not be disappointed by the huge array of great items we have to share, and every dollar of your purchases will go directly to ICS thanks to Tom and Claudia, our intrepid and wonderful eBay Store owners and longtime ICS volunteers.

iGiveiGive

Raise money for the Independent Cat Society by shopping with iGive.com! There are dozens and dozens of partner stores associated with iGive, and many stores offer significant donations based on what you buy, all the way up to 10% of your sale in some cases! It’s a great opportunity to help raise some easy money for our shelter and all of us feline residents.

We’d really appreciate it if you could try some of these services and see what you can do to add a little giving to your regular computer operations. It’s so easy to use all of these services, and fun too. Try it and see!

Shop and win for ICS with Goodshop!

That’s right, GoodSearch.com is giving away $2000 to a lucky nonprofit. Do you use GoodSearch or GoodShop? You should! Anytime you use these services to shop or search or do other things online, you can earn money for ICS. Sign up at http://www.goodsearch.com today!

To learn about the contest, check out http://dailygoodblog.tumblr.com/private/66708195467/tumblr_mw46w14BSt1sue1eo for all of the details on this awesome contest, going on through this week and ending December 13!

Dr. Brooke Visits Shelter

Last week, Dr. Brooke came by to see everyone, make her rounds, and give us all SHOTS! Yuck! We did not like that part, even though she is a pretty decent sort. She sure is nice to take time out of her busy day at the clinic to come visit us.

Anyhow, the best part to watch was sometime around the middle of shot time… There was a net, which we all agree we don’t like, and Dr. Brooke had to use it to catch some of us to go under the dreaded needle. Now granted, we all know it only hurts for a minute. But jeez, it sure does look scary! And some of us just don’t like being poked – plain and simple. I mean come on, do YOU like being poked? Of course not!

But anyhow, so there was a ruckus, and someone decided to take a really good flying leap to get away. Do you know that amazing vet caught that kitty in midair with that net? Wow! It was really amazing. Something to see, for sure. It looked a little like this right before the net part…

Flying kitty

Committees – Volunteer to make a difference!

Picture of Lucy with ICS logo

Our Committees meet and perform duties as outlined in the bylaws and as assigned by the Board President and Director of the Board. We need your help to make these committees run more smoothly and to have a bigger impact on ICS and our community! Please consider volunteering TODAY to learn more. Email us at shelter@catsociety.org if you are interested and we’ll direct your question to the right person. You may also contact any of the chairpersons listed below for more insight on what it takes to volunteer within any of these committees.

Duties of all Committees:

  1. Determine, date, location and the number of regular meetings it will hold each year.
  2. Should be comprised of a minimum of three members
  3. Appointments expire on December 31st of the year in which the appointments were made, but chairs can be reappointed as often as they wish.
  4. The President assists in selecting each committee chair upon approval by the Board of Directors.
  5. Committees are required to submit minutes of all meeting proceedings and committee activities to the Board on a monthly basis – whether a meeting was held or not.

Committee Chairs:

1.   Shall not chair more than one committee.

2.   Select their committee members

3.   May be removed by a vote of five members from the Board of Directors

Available Committees:

Please contact the current chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors if you are interested in joining one of these committees, including serving as future committee chair.

  1. Admissions:  2014 Chair: Paulette G.; Makes decisions on what cats to admit into the shelter.  Responsible for:
    1. Evaluating new cats that are brought to the shelter by the public or by volunteers.
    2. Ensuring that veterinary records are obtained for all cats brought to the shelter, when available.
    3. Making the final decision on whether a cat brought to the shelter should be admitted into the population.
  2. Adoptions. 2014 Chair: Joan H.; Responsible for:
    1. Scheduling and training Adoption Counselors,
    2. Distributing all potential adopter applications to the Review Committee (a sub-committee of the Adoption  Committee),
    3. Handling the entire adoption process, working closely with Health and Wellness committee.
    4. Providing monthly adoption committee reports to the board of directors and other volunteers via email,
    5. Providing the yearly shelter adoption statistics and comparison reports in January of each year.
  3. Health & Wellness. 2014 Co-Chairs: Jen S. and Paulette G.; Responsible for the health and well being of all ICS cats from admission to adoption or end of life. Its duties are to:
    1. Ensure good quality of life for all ICS cats.
    2. See that all medical needs are met in a timely manner.
    3. Oversee an annual physical evaluation of ALL shelter cats by qualified personnel in spring of each year.
    4. Set up procedures on euthanasia.
    5. Meet regularly and submit a report to all other committees on a monthly basis
  4. Communications/Public Relations.  2014 Chair: Dorothy R.; Responsible for the publicity and advertising of this organization. Its duties are to:
    1. Communicate with media outlets concerning press releases and other advertisements for ICS services and events.
    2. Assist in maintaining social media and Web outlets owned by ICS.
    3. Meet regularly to devise new ideas for publicity of ICS services and events.
    4. Appoint ad hoc committees as needed based on new ideas that may come forward.
  5. Finance.  2014 Chair: Natalie Cebulski; Responsible for:
    1. Preparing an organizational budget,
    2. Processing payroll,
    3. Paying outstanding bills as authorized by the Board of Directors,
    4. Retaining control of the Post Office Box key,
    5. Submitting a monthly written financial report to the Treasurer,
    6. Coordinating annual audit.
  6. Foster Care. 2014 Chair:  TBD (contact Marti R. in the meantime); Responsible for:
    1. Evaluating foster homes and placing cats and kittens in them.
    2. Monitoring cats in permanent & special-needs foster situations.
    3. Maintaining the phone & address contact list of approved foster volunteers
  7. Fundraising.  2014 Chair: Staci T.; Responsible for planning and coordinating fundraising projects.
  8. Grant Writing:  2014 Chair: Roberta J.; Responsible for:
    1. Assessing the availability of monies for the Shelter
    2. Writing and submitting the grant in a timely manner
    3. Recording the results of the Granting institution
    4. Maintaining yearly records of grant writing results
    5. Submitting monthly reports to the Board
  9. Human Resources. 2014 Chair: Lori P.; Liaison between employees, supervisors, treasurer, and/or the board. Responsible for:
    1. Ensuring that employees are treated fairly and within the limits of the law at all time.
    2. Advising the board in matters related to hiring, managing, and terminating employees.
  10. Membership.  2014 Chair: Kathy N.; Responsible for:
    1. Sending out dues statements one month prior to expiration of membership,
    2. Issuing membership cards and keep a list of all members in good standing,
    3. Sending new members a letter of welcome and current membership materials,
    4. Conducting membership meetings,
    5. Conducting membership drives (coordinated with Communications/Public Relations Committee).
  11. Sponsor a Cat.  2014 Chair: Carol A.; Responsible for:
    1. Obtaining a photo and write a biography for every cat,
    2. Sending the biography, photo and envelopes to every new sponsor as soon as they enroll,
    3. Notifying the sponsor when their cat has been adopted or passes away, and offer a new cat for them, or let them choose
    4. Posting payments to a spreadsheet, and send reminders for non-payment,
    5. Sending birthday & holiday greetings throughout the year, and communicate with the sponsor as needed,
    6. Maintaining active and inactive lists,
    7. Writing profile articles for the Mewsletter.
  12. TNR.  2014 Chair: Connie S.; Responsible for:
    1. Spay and neuter activities with regard to strays, ferals, and community cats.
    2. Educating the public about the benefits of spaying and neutering.
  13. Technology Committee. 2014 Chair: Monica K.; Responsible for:
    1. Maintaining the shelter computer and its contents.
    2. Establish and maintain an internet website as an alternate means of providing necessary information to the membership and the public
    3. Monitor and maintain social media outlets with the help of Publicity and Marketing committee
  14. Volunteers. 2014 Chair: Judy D.; Responsible for
    1. Recruiting, scheduling, and supervising volunteers
    2. Coordinating with Fundraising and PR committee chairs and others as determined by need.

Meet Our New Staff

Cat working at computerWe’ve got many hard-working people at ICS, volunteers and employees alike! I just wanted to say welcome aboard to some of our newest staff members:

  • Melisa: Melisa joins us as an intern from Brown Mackie College (Michigan City). She is finishing up her degree as a Registered Vet Tech, and we hope to be seeing a lot more of her in the coming months. We have really enjoyed having her around – she’s very nice to all of the cats!
  • Ryan: Ryan is a heck of a guy, and a super cleaner and medicator. All of the cats like having him around because he’s so nice and gentle – it sure does make the medicine go down a little easier!
  • Pat: Pat is sweet as pie and really loves to spend time with those of us who need a little extra attention. We always like it when she adds a little extra love to the bowl for feeding time!

New Cleaning Supervisor

That’s right, Joan has retired! She sure has earned it – she works her tail off (and I would know, having a tail and all)! To take her place is Laureen, who’s been here as a cleaner for a while now. She’s got a lot of experience cleaning and supervising, and everyone seems to like her a lot. She’s got a lot of promise, even though she has some pretty big shoes to fill. Good luck, Laureen!

Rainbow Bridge Tribute to Desi

DesiIt with great sadness that I report that Desi has passed peacefully on to the Rainbow Bridge. Desi was with ICS almost his entire life – 15 years if you can believe it! I’ve known Desi for a long time, and I can definitely say that he was one cool cat. Always ready to say hi to visitors, always happy to hang out with his fellow cats and lend a little extra cuddly comfort when it was cold out. Yep, Desi was a really cool cat, and I’m very sorry he’s gone. The Sing-Sing room won’t be the same without you, Desi – you will truly be missed by all of us.

If you ever want to learn more about those who have passed along the Rainbow Bridge at our shelter, please visit http://www.catsociety.org/our-cats/rainbow-bridge. I know all of our kitties would love to have you spend a little on that page and give your respects.

Adoption Counselors at ICS

Adoption Counselors are hard-working folks. They help us find homes, because they work with the nice people who come to visit our shelter and help them meet the cat that will suit them and their family the best. They’ll spend as much time as you want in order to make sure you find the perfect cat – after all, we wouldn’t want anyone to be unhappy, would we? And we certainly wouldn’t want to see a kitty come back to the shelter because she wound up not being the best choice. I have seen that happen more than a few times, and while I always love seeing my friends again, I would rather see them in a truly Forever home.

Great links

Here is some stuff that might help you if you want to become an adoption counselor at ICS and help me and my friends get homes! You can also learn how you can Volunteer with Us if you aren’t a registered volunteer yet. We’d love to see you at the shelter soon!

How to be an excellent adoption counselor

Meet your new best friend today!

Welcome from the Coolest Cat Blogger in Indiana!

Well, I have joined the digital era and gotten a blog to share my musings about what goes on at my home, the Independent Cat Society – or what we affectionately call ICS. I have lots of friends here, both four-legged and two-legged, and it’s always fun to share the latest and greatest with the world. I don’t know why reporting is in my blood, but I sure do have a calling, and I’m proud of it!

Who am I? Why, I’m Little Orphan Annie, a longtime resident of ICS, which is a little privately-run shelter in Westville, Indiana, just off of Route 6 and County Line Road. You should come visit us sometime, or stop by our website at http://www.catsociety.org.


View Larger Map

We’ve got some really cool things happening here, and of course, we’ve got cats. Lots of ’em. I lose track of how many we have here, but it seems like new friends are coming in all the time, and old friends are going to their forever homes with adoptive families. I haven’t gotten a forever home, though – I have been here for almost my whole life. I was found running around outside as a kitten by a nice lady who kept me out of the cold and the rain by giving me a home here at ICS. Wow! That was almost 13 years ago!

I have to say, I’m pretty lucky to be in such good hands with all of these nice volunteers around to take care of me, but in my heart of hearts, I do wish I could be as lucky as those friends I’ve had to say goodbye to, who went off to forever homes without me. Sometimes, I think about Kit Kat, Trinka, Hazel, Shadow, and some of my other longtime buddies, and know that they are in truly good hands with their new families. So, until my forever family comes to see me, I am happy to wait here and report to you on what’s happening!