In its continuing efforts to curb the feral cat population on the South Fork and find homes for the kittens it produces, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) has teamed up with Café Max (85 Montauk Highway) in East Hampton for a special Hamptons cat adoption drive and promotion. For the month of October, anyone who adopts a black kitten or cat, or any adult cat (over the age of 1) from ARF will receive a $50 gift certificate to Café Max, while supplies last.
ARF’s Director of Marketing & Communications Jamie Berger said on Thursday that the month-long event was conceived after the organization helped Cafe Max owners Nancy and Max Weintraub adopt out a litter of feral kittens born at their restaurant last year. “They are supporters of ARF,” Berger said, noting that the Weintraubs received assistance through ARF’s “Operation Cat” program.
The program, which aims to humanely control local feral cat colonies by spaying and neutering adult feral cats and socializing and adopting their kittens. “We like to call them community cats,” she said.
It’s typically more difficult to find homes for cats than it is for dogs at ARF, Berger explained, but they hope to boost those numbers by raising awareness and offering this incentive in October. And they have no shortage of black cats!
Operation Cat services more than 1,000 feral colonies on the East End, which range in size from two to 30 cats. Volunteer caretakers provide food, water and shelter for this growing number of needlessly suffering, homeless, feral and stray cats. They also trap the animals and bring them to the ARF Adoption Center or a local veterinarian to be altered and vaccinated, and then released back to their colony. All cats that have been altered are returned to the wild with a small notch in one ear so they can be identified and not trapped again. Since the program’s inception in 1997, over 15,000 feral cats from Westhampton Beach to Montauk have been altered.
Residents who spot a potentially feral cat should look for a notched ear before reporting them. Anyone who spots a cat without a notched ear, that is not obviously domesticated, or who wants to volunteer or donate, can reach Operation Cat coordinator Rita Del Rey via email at email@example.com.
ARF is currently in urgent need of cat food donations for feral cats. Donations can be dropped off at the ARF Adoption Center (90 Daniels Hole Road) in Wainscott. Volunteers are also needed in Hampton Bays and Southampton to help trap, feed and bottle feed community cats.
Call 631-537-0400 or visit arfhamptons.org for more info about Hamptons cat adoption.