News coverage this week brought a PAWSOME animal advocacy group to our attention and we couldn’t be happier!
Introducing Shawn Simons, headmistress of Kitty Bunglaow Charm School for Wayward Cats in southern Los Angelas, CA.
Shawn’s feline journey began right in her very own new home…well actually a 100 year old craftsman she and her husband had just purchased. Her beautiful abode came complete with a feral cat community living in her shed!
As the cat world would have it, she quickly became entranced with these stray fur-babies. Jumping online, she began researching TNR (trap-neuter-release) and had her new family fixed. She helped other neighborhood feral felines as well. Shawn not only assisted in sterilizing these needy cats, she did everything she could to get them adopted whenever possible.
In 2009, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats officially received it’s status as a non-profit organization.
Their website adorably details their curriculum as follows:
Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats socializes feral kittens, taking hissy little babies and turning them into purring little lap cats. We believe in forced love and provide a cage-free environment and one-on-one attention to each feral kitten through physical exercises to earn trust, and delicious food bribes to earn their love.
With our teaching staff of over 30 weekly volunteers, we bring these scared kittens to the understanding that there is a wonderful human home waiting to give them the love and security they deserve. Upon graduation, these kittens continue to blossom in their new homes, growing into the most wonderful house cats a family could desire.
In 2010, they built the only 100% street cat socialization facility in California. Determined to change the face of the feral cats, they boast they are gladly “putting ourselves out of business one cat at a time”.
Not only does the team work on TNR, they’ve instituted a Working Cat Program. Cats from the Los Angeles City Shelter become “Trade Tech Graduates” that can help control vermin populations, safely and economically.
In exchange for basic care, these working cats provide 24 hour mice/rat population control. Validly, the organization also points out that these cats don’t have to be hunting the pests, wandering and spreading their scent around can be a great deterrent too!
The reviews are in and the felines are up for promotions! (Just kidding but they should be <3)
“This 45-acre winery had a gopher problem, a concern to grape growers because they eat the roots of the plants, killing them. Trying to find a safe and humane method to deal with the issue had been a challenge. The introduction of feral cats to the vineyard solved the nuisance. The winery now hosts 10 feral cats on its property and enjoys a pest-free vineyard.” – Saluti Cellars
In 2017 alone, Kitty Bungalow’s statistics were astounding!
- A staggering 12,630 volunteer hours were clocked!
- TNR was provided for 687 cats!
- The Working Cat Program placed 138 cats in jobs around the country!
- Added bonus here; the working mama cats came with 61 neonates that would have perished in the city shelter.
- 314 graduates from the Kitty Bungalow Charm School were placed into their fur-ever homes!
- Their Home School Program helping community members rescue and re-home 274 cats!
- Revamping their Kitty Cadet Program, they had over 750 hours of community service performed by high school students in the South LA area.
- Their adoption rate ended the year strong at 94.3%! In comparison, the city rate is at 81.3% but improving annually.
And it ameowzingly doesn’t stop there! Coming from an entertainment background, Shawn knew her strength was in raising money for the shelter; BONUS! Each year they put on a Catstravaganza!
This star studded event includes live bands and DJs, games, prizes, food and an open bar. Surely entertainment to rival any gala out there. An exciting lineup of animal loving celebrities join in the festivities. This years performers included Fred Willard from Modern Family, Emily Deschanel from Bones and MoShow, The Cat Rapper.
So if all that’s not enough, heartwarmingly, the cats from the original colony still live on the grounds of the bungalow. Big props to Mama cat, Target, Manilla, Phillip, Jekyll, Moby, Tina, Stubs, Evie, Yogi and Wally for choosing the PURRfect cat servant!