Throughout time young woman have given voice and action to support causes they believe in, Joan of Arc led an army to reclaim her homeland of France. Modern day voices of brave young women worldwide are voicing their concern about our worldwide situation; Malala, Emma, Greta…
FCA is so proud to tell the stories of a few young women who have dedicated momentous life marks as fund raising for FCA because they love Culebra & they love animals.
One Culebra animal loving girl devotes her Bat Mitzvah, another her Quincenara, another simply her passion for the animals of Culebra to help with the costs of the Spay A Thon!
FCA Salutes these fine young citizens for their selfless work and is proud and honored for their acts.
Alexandra shares “Culebra has always felt like a home away from home to me. The thought of it makes me feel warm and happy and puts a wide smile on my face right away. It is my go-to when I have a bad dream. I lull myself back to sleep with the memory of the never ending ripples of Tamarindo beach and the fierce yet embracing waves of Flamenco.
The animals on the island are also a big part of its feel. The roosters that wake you every morning, the cats that seem like strays and yet they come to the same house every day and hang around the people who are kind to them. They are all so important to the island’s character and I, as well as many others on the island, think it of utmost importance to keep them all safe and healthy.
This is why I decided to raise money for this small charity some 1,600 miles away. I am a Jewish girl from Brooklyn, New York and last year I had a Bat Mitzvah, a celebration for when a girl turns 12 years old. By Jewish tradition before becoming a bat mitzvah, a girl must complete a mitzvah, or good deed. My immediate choice was Friends of Culebra Animals. I knew that the contribution I could muster, would really make a change.
My friend Elizabeth and I formed a fundraiser page on a crowdfunding website, where we explained our cause. We shared the fundraiser on social media, and soon all of our friends had seen it and many donated. I thought that people were more likely to donate if they received something physical in return. So, we organized a fundraiser party.
The party was located on Manhattan Beach in Southern Brooklyn where many of our friends live. Many came out on the warm September afternoon to enjoy the sun, make crafts and support a good cause. We used old socks, fabric, and tennis balls, which my tennis coach donated, to make toys for cats and dogs. We made colorful signs to hold up for a group picture. And we ate sushi and drank lemonade. People took the toys we made for the pets in their lives.
It was very fun and, with the help of the online fundraiser, party and matches from companies, we managed to raise about $1,500 for Friends of Culebra Animals.”
Paola could have had a big, fancy dressed occasion for her Quinceañera, (Spanish for “15 years [feminine form]”) the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood, but she asked her parents to go to Puerto Rico & help the animals there by helping with the Spay A Thon.
Hanna is from an animal loving family so she has lots of experience working with cats and dogs and she helps at a shelter in her town. Hanna wanted to come to Culebra to help with a Spay A Thon, but the timing does not work out with school & activities so she decides to host a on line fundraiser in order to raise extra money to help defray costs for FCA associated with the Spay A Thon.
Salutations Dear Friend of Friends of Culebra Animals!
Hope that this Summer Solicitation finds you well and we want to share what we have been up to. The monthly visiting veterinary clinics continue successfully, some compelling statistics from our 2016 data is that we had 18 clinic days with 260 people using services, 548 pets & 106 ferals seen, 162 sterilizations of which 69 were Trap, Neuter & Return (TNR) ferals. We offered summertime special sterilizations that were half priced, underwrote 24 pet appointments, and loaned (with payback) 15 pet appointments.
Michelle Cintron of PR Alliance for Companion Animals has been working with Abbie’s school on humane & compassionate animal care, in January FCA joined in when Lucky Dog Rescue from Arlington VA came to talk about various careers in animal rescue and then again in February when folks from Helen Woodward Animal Center from San Diego CA visited to meet with FCA, and continue Abbie’s School participation of ‘Remember Me Thursday”, a global awareness campaign uniting individuals and pet adoption organizations.
The Annual Spring Auction was held in February at the Cancha (the basketball court behind El Batey), with lots of wonderful items donated & bid upon, delightful buffet, beautiful music, a great community event & a robust fundraiser for us.
With support of Will Keyworth the FCA webpage has a fresher look & a new domain; friendsofculebraanimals.org please check it out! We are also now on Instagram.
Our TNR mastermind, Jenny Stark devised a plan with Dr. Cruz to facilitate a more efficient feral cat sterilization routine. This work is arduous, it involves the Cruz van arriving from Fajardo on the dawn ferry to pick up trapped feral cats which our stealthy trappers have collected the evening prior, they are then brought to Cruz’s Fajardo clinic for sterilizing, check ups, vaccinations, and the cats are returned to Culebra the following dawn for placement in their original cat colony. This streamlines the whole process making it more cost effective for FCA. We also approached Mayor Ivan Solis for assistance in providing the municipality’s ferry space for the veterinary van, realizing the importance of this service he wholeheartedly agreed.
Since inception in February of this year, 7 TNR trip/clinics have taken place with 132 cats trapped to date. A formidable task choreographed elegantly by Jenny spotlighting various areas around the island needing attention, it is a noble beginning to help curb the feral cat population.
We are very proud to announce that we have a new partnership with North Shore Animal League America (NSALA)! NSALA is the world's largest no kill animal rescue & adoption organization, located in Port Washington, NY (Long Island). They will now begin to accept some of our Culebra animals that we cannot place into homes elsewhere.
FCA is very happy to have Nadeen DeCiccio’s Ford Ranger Truck, which she so generously donated. It sure makes trips around the island easier!
Spring brought lots of fresh kitties & puppies, which meant lots of fostering, many have been adopted, and we still have some available.
Our dream of having a building that could house these critters and provide local employment in caring for them, and even possibly house the visiting vets, is still just that, we are working on a business operations plan to hopefully turn it into a reality.
Our FCA volunteers are a dedicated, hardworking lot that has an attitude of gratitude for your financial assistance in allowing us to do what we can do to help the animals of Culebra; we hope to inspire you to allow us to continue our work here. Tax-deductible donations can be made by check sent to FCA, P.O.Box 527 Culebra, PR 00775 or via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With heartfelt thanks,
The Volunteers at FCA
“Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.” Albert Schweitzer
Nature is full of abundance.
Her fecundancy is bountiful, how else to provide for the future?
All beings have one imperative, and that is the biological one, to reproduce. Within that "special purpose" there is abundance in numbers.
When a Momma Kitty has her heat she mates as often as she can. in her litter she has insured her ability to procreate with many, often there is a little one that is called the "runt". it is not her choice, just nature.
Our Paper Bag kitties were so young & so small when first discovered. Even though we fed & pooped them diligently, they began to suckle upon each other, which is not a good thing as it leads to infection plus other problems. But very common. Despite all intervention the littlest one, always referred to as "little, little kittie" waned.
Our Dear Kitty Loving Friend took them to bed with her to attend to their needs, before dawn we were awoken to her sobs of finding Little Little Kitty's stiff body & spirit gone.
In the dark before light we buried her in the fruit grove & gave thanks for her spirit.
Amidst our cries & sobs, we all hugged in agreement that these kitties would carry on!
One lost, the rest of the litter survives.
This spring a fresh batch of kittens were discovered on the side of the road to Zoni, neatly secured in a paper bag, maybe about a week old, FCA was summoned to help.
Neonatal kittens need to be bottle fed every couple of hours, like any newborn. This is not only a transformative and extremely powerful experience it is also beautiful beyond description (when they are thriving & eagerly eating). The freshness of life and it's very intrinsic basic needs are so profoundly important & immediate that it drastically rearranges your priorities. While caring for these wee ones it also brings up emotions that invites much existential conversation amongst everyone you encounter.
In the second or so week of life the kitten's ears pop up! When they are suckling on the mother or bottle their ears wiggle back and forth, talk about a reward for diligence!
After nursing the mother cat stimulates her kittens by licking them to excrete their waste, with bottle fed kittens you do it by swabbing their genitals with a moistened cotton ball or towel, and viola! Such excitement & relief! Repeat every 2 hours!
Kittens are always looking to cuddle and suckle, sometimes they "nurse" on each other, which is not desirable as it can lead to infection. But you cannot separate them as they need the warmth, comfort and nest time with their siblings.
When one of the kittens became weak & lethargic due to suckling FCA resources were used to escort and transport these kitties to a main island veterinarian for examinations, overnight evaluations and medications. A clever configuration of little kitty collars controlled this behavior by our beloved Dr.Cruz!
photo credit: Sue Klumb
Certainly better than the sock skirts & kitty koosies we tried to fashion!
Fortunately FCA had many kind-hearted family, friends & folks who stepped up to help these kitties early on with round the clock care to get them through their critical first few weeks.
©2017 Friends of Culebra Animals, Inc.
PO Box 527
Culebra, PR 00775
PO Box 527
Culebra, PR 00775