Volunteer with Friends of Feral Felines!
Giving Cats Their Best Chance
Some colonies include kittens who, with care in a foster home, may become adoptable.
Even some adults may be naturally more sociable and can be fostered and then adopted.
If the cats cannot return to their colony site (property owners may refuse to allow the cats back, or the site may be unsafe), or the situation involves only one or two cats, FoFF works to place the cats in barns, where they earn their keep as mousers and the barn owner serves as colony manager.
How You Can Help
The process of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) requires ongoing commitment from volunteers who feed, monitor, and manage colonies; transport cats to and from the veterinarian; foster cats during their recovery or before their adoption; and raise funds to support the need for food, litter, supplies, and veterinary services.
If you'd like to support FoFF's efforts through volunteering, please take a look at the various volunteer opportunities available below and fill out an application. We'll train you in your chosen volunteer job(s), assign you an ongoing mentor, and put you to work with a wonderful team for a great cause.
Thank you for offering your time as a volunteer for FoFF.
We look forward to working with you!
Volunteer Jobs — Something for Everyone!
Hands-On Cat Care: If you like to work directly with cats in the field, you might enjoy feeding or managing a feral colony, or even trapping or transporting cats for medical care.
Fundraising and Educating: If you like raising money, passion, and public awareness, you might like to attend our table at pet stores and craft fairs or write for our newsletter or website.
Organizational Leadership: If you like planning, organizing, and coordinating, you might like to lead a project or program, or even join our board of directors.
Once you decide what you might like to do, fill out a volunteer application, and we'll get you started!
Thank you for offering your time as a volunteer for FoFF. We look forward to working with you!
Trapping volunteers entice feral cats into a Havahart® Live Animal trap so that they can be given medical care. This involves setting the traps and monitoring them so that no cat remains in a trap unattended for very long.
Trappers may need to teach others to use the trap if a property owner is willing to help but doesn't know how to use the trap.
Once trapped, a feral cat needs to go to one of our participating
veterinarians for a medical checkup, neutering, shots, etc. After
medical care, the cat may need transport to our recuperation shed or
to a foster home, depending upon whether they need recovery time before
they return to the colony or are candidates for socialization and
A cat who is having surgery and then returning to a monitored colony may need a day before or after surgery in a recovery home. The cat would stay in a kennel that fits a small litter box, food, and a warm sleeping spot, and it would stay in
your home for up to three days. If you have other cats, you would need to have a separate
room for the cat's kennel. You might be asked to pick up the cat from the vet and later
return it to the colony.
Feral cats need very special foster homes with caregivers who can
be patient and build love and trust with cats who have been neglected and
fearful of humans for most of their lives. It is estimated that 82% of
feral kittens become satisfactory pets in time, with socialization
being easier the younger the cat is when trapped.
|Colony Managers or
All over southern Maine are feral cats that have been neutered
by FoFF and returned to their colony of origin. With neutering, the colony no longer grows in numbers, but it still needs care for the occasional fertile newcomer, injury, and
in some cases simply the provision of food. Often, the property owner who houses
the colony provides ongoing food and monitoring; in other cases, FoFF volunteers provide the feeding.
Along the Portland waterfront, a feeding team of about seven people feeds up to five
colonies each night. In other areas, where the colonies are fewer, a FoFF feeder may work
alone or with another volunteer.
|Food Suppliers |
Food Suppliers transport donated food to the various feeding sites, particularly to colonies that are being fed and monitored by dedicated caregivers on limited incomes.
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Fundraising and Educating
As much as FoFF needs volunteers for hands-on cat care, the organization simply couldn't keep going without cold, hard cash to meet the expenses of providing food, litter, and medical care.
A small cadre of dedicated and generous veterinarians throughout southern Maine provides FoFF
cats with significant discounts on their treatment, but the remaining fee still must be paid, and the need for food and litter is ongoing.
FoFF also does much to educate the public about the nature of feral cats and the value of Trap-Neuter-Release for controlling feral cat populations in our communities. We do this through publishing and mailing a newsletter, maintaining a website, and distributing brochures, which is costly.
Here are areas within fundraising where you could help to keep FoFF up and running:
| Salespeople or "Tablers" |
FoFF has an inventory of cat-related items (such as T-shirts, crafts, and cat toys) to sell at various fundraising sites (pet stores, craft fairs, country fairs, cat shows, and feed stores). Tablers attend these sites to sell items and educate interested people about the work that FoFF does.
|Fundraiser Collection and Sales |
Annual fundraising events throughout the year include the May Perennial
Sale, the June Book Sale, and the August Yard Sale. Collectors gather perennials
from friends and other donors whose gardens, libraries, and basements might need some thinning; salespeople sell these items at the fundraising events.
| Communications |
We publish a variety of communication materials including a newsletter, website, e-notices, posters, and brochures, and are always in need of people experienced in communications who can help out with the development of these materials.
Writers needed to prepare adoptable cat descriptions, newsletter articles, and website content.
Designers needed -- ideally those experienced with Adobe design and production software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver).
Photographers needed to shoot good, strong photographs of adoptable cats and volunteer activities. (Videographers are also needed for shooting and editing website content)
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Organizational Leadership (or "Herding Cats"!)
Like any vital organization, FoFF benefits from visionary and tactical leaders who are in a position to see the big picture, whether it be of one program or the whole operation, and to coordinate logistics and drive an effort toward its goal.
Let us know if you're interested in joining the Board of Directors or leading a project or program.
We're always happy to have new leaders who are ready to step up and take charge of a new project or step in to cover a leadership position that is being vacated.
Our bylaws establish a Board of Directors to provide overall direction for the organization, and we welcome cat lovers with administrative skills.
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