The Ruffian Foundation

Ruffian-Foundation

There are countless charities and volunteers around the world working tirelessly to support and protect communities, families, people, and animals in need. And here at HomeoPet, we do what we can to help support those that support others.

At HomeoPet we donate to and support many worthy causes each and every year. The work these charitable organizations do is incredible, and we want to share with you a little bit about what they do and why we get involved…

The Ruffian Foundation

Based in Castle Hayne, North Carolina, the Ruffian Foundation was founded by UNCW Prof. Emeritus Dr. Kris Howell in 2004 to provide a safe, forever home for feral cats that have been threatened or otherwise displaced from their colonies due to economic development, construction or human cruelty and negative human interactions.

Dr. Howell, a long-time rescuer and foster for feral cats and kittens, had long dreamed of a safe place for feral cats that needed relocation. She donated 29 acres in rural Pender County and the start-up funds for the operation. Corning, Inc. donated the charity’s double wide which was retrofitted to provide for the special needs animals.

The sanctuary is under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture which ensures the welfare of the cats with ongoing site visits. In 2011 Friends of Felines stepped in to take over the day to day operations of the sanctuary at the request of Dr. Howell when she retired from UNCW. A residence was provided by Friends of Felines for the new caregiver, who lives on site to care for the cats and maintain the sanctuary. All incoming cats are fully vetted, spayed and neutered and vaccinated, and received lifelong medical care, food, and shelter.

The Ruffian Foundation is a no kill facility and all their cats live out their natural lives with these wonderful cat lovers. Since then the sanctuary has flourished under the leadership of Barbara Blandine, President and the Board of Directors.

When asked about why the charity chose to focus upon cats, Sharon from the sanctuary commented “Friendly cats and dogs have many charities that care for them, placing then in homes, and providing care for them. Feral cats are often hidden in the shadows, unloved, and uncared for at the fringes. Worse, they are actively prosecuted or worse, and left to scratch out a living that is often short and filled with hunger, disease and overpopulation. We work with local Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return feral cat groups to relocate feral cats that are endangered in their current colonies or cannot be returned.”

With dedicated volunteers and with help from other groups the Ruffian Foundation has been able to open their doors to many more feral cats. Sharon continued “As our sanctuary has been able to take in more cats, we have had resources given to us that we lacked before to help the cats, such as Food Lion Grocery Stores kindly provide us with food donations. This helps us free up more funds to help more cats medically as many feral cats need care. This is also why we were so happy to receive HomeoPet’s wonderful remedies! We strive to help the cats live their best healthy lives. HomeoPet’s wonderful homeopathic treatments will help us greatly to meet this important goal! Our greatest achievement is the number of happy healthy cats that call the sanctuary home!

Feral cats often come to us with ailments that require lifelong care to help them live their best healthy lives. HomeoPet’s generous and thoughtful gift of a huge amount of homeopathic support and care treatments are already being used to treat a wide range of aliments among our 169 resident cats. Particularly timely are the Stress Relief and Storm Relief remedies. With the profound impact of Hurricane Florence on the sanctuary and the cats that lasted for days we have greatly appreciated the ability to provide support for the cats with these medications. We believe the positive effect has been that the cats seem far less stressed and are eating well and seem unaffected by the storm. Thank you so much for giving us a way to help the cats!”

The charity’s volunteer base is fifteen dedicated people who come and do the actual hands on work. But they are supported by a network of local agencies that help secure food, litter, lower cost medical care, and maintenance of the grounds. The Ruffian Foundation has a President, VP, Secretary, and Board of Directors who are all volunteers. However, as an all-volunteer 501 (c)(3) charity, getting more hands on deck is The Ruffian Foundation’s biggest challenge – “If we had more volunteers, we could take in many more needy cats!”

Can you help them continue their fantastic work?

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