Cat town - Founded in March 2011
Cat Town was founded by Ann Dunn while she was a volunteer at Oakland Animal Services, Oakland’s municipal shelter. Ann saw the challenges faced by the severely under resourced shelter to adequately care for the number of animals it receives each year, and the specific difficulties cats face in a shelter environment. Ann was quickly joined by other shelter volunteers to create an alternative to the shelter for the cats who are at greatest risk for euthanasia.
Part of what makes Cat Town unique is that several members of our core team are still volunteers at OAS and work closely with the cats there. This helps us identify the cats who most need our help. And, while we are fully independent of OAS, we work in close collaboration with shelter staff and consider supporting that shelter to be integral to our mission.
Starting with a foster-based program in 2011, we now have a network of approximately 50 foster homes in and around Oakland. We reserve the foster homes for the cats who most need a calm, quiet environment to thrive. Generally these are cats who are more sensitive to change, such as older cats, cats who don’t do well with other cats and/or cats with special needs. Potential adopters meet these cats in their foster home, where they are most relaxed and able to show their true personalities.
In 2014, we opened the Cat Town Cafe and Adoption Center. The Cafe allowed us to expand our mission to include cats who might make into adoption at the shelter, but may have to wait weeks or months for that opportunity. The primary goal of the Cafe is to empty as many shelter cages as possible. Since opening the Cafe, we our adoption rate has more than doubled, with nearly 300 adoptions in our first year!
Cat Town is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible. Our tax ID is 27-3838132.