Shirley’s Companion Animal Ministry in Southern Wake County helps homeless women and low-income families care for their pets.
“It’s my life’s work and settled on calling it an animal ministry because the name is non-threatening and comforting,” said Shirley Phillips, who created the group in 2004.
Shirley’s Animal Ministry helps people pay for pets’ basic needs, including spaying and neutering.
Last year, Phillips received donations and grant funding to provide an estimated $15,000 in pet food to families in Fuquay Varina and other southern parts of the county.
To qualify for help, pet owner must agree to have the dog or cat sterilized.
The non-profit has treated more than 500 cats and dogs, some of which were feral. Phillips estimates that more than 1,000 kitten and puppy litters have been prevented as a result of the ministry efforts.
Phillips and Edwards celebrated National Feral Cat day on Oct. 16. They provided free spay and neuter surgeries for cats that were brought in traps and carriers to the center.
Most of the cats were from downtown Fuquay Varina.
Through this effort, Phillips and Edwards aimed to raise awareness of the importance of the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) ordinance passed by the Wake County Commissioners in June. The rule calls for humanely trapping the cat, sterilizing it and then releasing it back to the location where it was found.
“While the cat is sedated, it receives a rabies vaccination and its left ear is clipped as a marker that it has been through the TNR process that recognizes cats can live in a colony with a caretaker,” said Edwards who thinks TNR method is preferable to euthanizing feral cats.
“Killing cats doesn’t work,: Phillips said. “It creates a vacuum effect; cats are out there and will come if the conditions of food, water and shelter are met. I want people to take care of the animals they have,” she added.
Phillips tries to place adoptable kittens from the feral cats with families through the SPCA, where she volunteers twice a week.
“Cat populations can be kept stable by TNR,” Phillips said. “Consider the benefits of cats, they can keep mice away and once a colony is established, other cats won’t join it.”
Published in the Cary News on November 7, 2012
Picture credit, Liza Weidle Shown picture, VetMobile worker Rebecca Griffin, Dr. Marty Edwards and Shirley Phillips, founder of Shirley’s Animal ministry working to treat a cat as part of a program on National Feral Cat Day.
Shirley’s Companion Animal Ministry is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. All donations are 100% tax deductible with 100% going toward the care of the animals. Make checks payable to Shirley’s Companion Animal Ministry and mailed to P.O. Box 1468, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526. Visit www.animal-ministry.org or contact Shirley Phillips at email@example.com or 919- 210-3096.
YouTube video from Shirley’s Animal Ministry filmed on National Feral Cat Day 2012: http://youtu.be/2sSX96ydqmQ
Dr. Marty Edwards can be reached at 919-607-5716. More Information at this link: www.vetmobiletriangle.com/.“There is a tendency that people with the most pets, have the least amount of money to care for them. Homeless people want pets as companions and for protection. In the winter, the pets provide heat. Shirley’s ministry makes a difference,” said Dr. Marty Edwards, owner of the VetMobile in Cary.
Liza is the Faith Filter columnist for the Cary News. Her stories of faith and lives changed by trusting in God are published about four times a year.