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Norwich Bulletin - 4/18/2010

Helping The Helpers

Helping Paws needs your help in order to continue helping people. The economy has hit all of us hard and extra money is hard to come by. But we still have cats that need to have new homes, feral cats that need to be altered and colonies that need to be maintained. When I come home from work I have ten to twenty phone calls per day from people who are losing their homes, lost their jobs and need help.

While I will not take cats into care, I want to be able to help them supply the vet care their pet needs and therefore, make it easier for them to find a new home for their pet. And I no longer have the ability to say, yes I can help. You all know Helping Paws is a 501c3 charitable organization, but tax exempt or not, people just donít have an extra $25 or $50 to donate.

Cold hard fact; we are out of money. Our donations went down sixty percent in 2009 and they are only going to continue to get worse for awhile. Although we work with great vets and TEAM, prices have had to increase as mediations, electricity, heat, and so on, continue to rise. Pet food and litter prices have increased and we canít even offer Frontline or Revolution anymore. We feel that our organization is no longer meeting the needs of the cats of their owners and we need help.

While money is at a premium, we are going to have a fundraiser in Ansonia, Connecticut. Why Ansonia, and not Norwich? Because there is nowhere in Norwich that will offer us a show hall at a price that we can afford; no Norwich hotels that will let our exhibitors have cats in their rooms, and in general, no one that really cares whatís happening to our animals. So we have found our way to an inexpensive venue in Ansonia, and we are going to put on a great show for a $3 admission fee.

We will have over two hundred cats from all over the world, and twelve judges from every part of the country and Canada. We are bringing in new vendors that will not only offer you every type of cat item you can think of from cat furniture of all sizes to little catnip mice, but also vendors that make personalized luggage tags and other items with your own animalís pictures and names.

We offer vendors that will tempt your taste buds with chocolate and other confectionary sweets. And if you are looking for a new friend, whether a domestic or pedigree kitten or cat, there will be adoptables and breeders there for you to meet with.

What do we ask in return? Well, first of all, we ask that you come. And while you are on your way, please stop and pick up some cat or dog food to donate for seniors and low income families. We will also have a human food drive for the local food bank. For very little money, you will be helping people who are worse off than you are. And we will be able to succeed if we can get enough spectators.

On April 23, 24 and 25, 2010, we will hold a pedigree and domestic cat show under the rules and regulations of The International Cat Association. It will be held at 119 Pulaski Highway (Warsaw Park) in Ansonia, Connecticut. Friday hours open to the general public will be from 5 pm until 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday hours will be from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

So many smaller Connecticut organizations have had to close their doors and we do not want to join them. But unless we can actually make a difference in the lives of people and their cats, we will not be able to continue. So even if you are having it rough, but you have food and a home and you are able to keep your beloved pets, please think about those who cannot do so, and come to our show.

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