Our cats and kittens need your time and helping hand!Can you volunteer to help cats and kittens? We need dedicated and kind people who want to help the cats in our community! Island Cat Resources and Adoption (ICRA) is a feline welfare nonprofit dedicated to homeless cats. Through our trap-neuter-return (TNR) and adoption programs, ICRA is reducing the number of free-roaming cats in Alameda and Oakland.
Ways you can volunteer
There are many ways you can help! We provide training and support and ask that you commit to volunteering at least once a month for 6 months. Please check out our volunteer FAQ to learn more.
Adoption volunteers work primarily at ICRA’s week-end adoption site, at the Petco Store in the South Shore Center in Alameda. Volunteers work as a team, setting up the site, screening adoptive families, interacting with people who have questions about adoption and or about cats and their behavior, and breaking down and cleaning up the site at the end of the day. Adoption volunteers may also transport cats between their foster home and the adoption site.
Adoption volunteers are a key part of our organization: they interact with the public and potential adoptive families on ICRA’s behalf, and ensure that the cats and kittens in our care find good homes.
Many of the cats ICRA assists were formerly owned but became lost or were abandoned, or were born to free-roaming cats and came to us as kittens. ICRA does not house its cats and kittens in a shelter but with foster families. These foster homes are the backbone of our adoption program, providing food, love, socialization, play, and shelter until we can find a permanent home.
If you have room in your heart and home, please consider providing a temporary indoor-only foster home to one of the cats or kittens we have rescued. We will provide instructions and support, and connect you with other foster families who can answer questions. It is a very rewarding experience to help cats and kittens through their transition to a permanent home.
Do you hear the call of the outdoors? Do fresh air and cool breezes call your name? If so, we have the perfect job for you! Help us humanely trap and neuter free-roaming cats before they are returned to their original location.
Trap-neuter-return programs like ours reduce the numbers of unwanted kittens born every year, take friendly cats off the street and into foster or adoptive homes, and ultimately lower the number of free-roaming cats by creating stable colonies that grow smaller over time as the cats age.
We can provide humane traps and train you how to use them, arrange for appointments to spay or neuter any cats you trap, assist with transportation to those appointments if necessary, provide information and support on post-surgery recovery and release, and help in socializing any kittens you decide to foster. Be adventurous, be a trapper — it’s a vital, hands-on part of our work!
Fundraising volunteers are very, very important to ICRA. Nearly all of the money we raise is used in direct support of our trap-neuter-return and adoption programs, largely to defray the cost of spay-neuter surgeries and other medical care for the cats.
Our fundraising includes events and grant-writing, and we need help with both. We have three events a year — a holiday boutique, a summer jewelry sale, and a spring silent auction which is our major fundraising event. Volunteers help plan and work at these events, soliciting donations, decorating, cooking, serving food, and acting as cashiers, among other things.
We also need volunteers to help us identify and apply for grants that support the sort of work ICRA does — grants make up more than 25% of our annual budget. If you love cats, and have expertise and experience in grant-writing, we want to talk to you!
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in support of the administrative side of ICRA’s work. We have volunteers working at home on data entry, banking and bookkeeping, mailings, website updates, and articles for the ICRA newsletter, among other things. This is a great way to help if you have limited availability, or prefer not to have direct contact with the cats and kittens in our care.
Communications volunteers can help ICRA connect with the community and potential adopters in several ways, through social media, public relations, or community outreach and education. Tasks include posting photos and stories on social media, sharing special rescue stories with traditional media, or answering questions and providing resources to the community through email.
Skilled writers can contribute to ICRA’s grant applications, newsletter articles, and correspondence. Our newsletter is particularly important in keeping our adopters and other supporters aware of our good work and motivated to support it. Handy with words? Got a great cat story you’d like to write up? Get in touch!
There are many ways to use your creativity to support ICRA! Good photographs of our cats go a long way toward finding them homes, and event photos provide an important record of our support. We need graphic design help so our publications remain engaging and professional. If you are an artist or a craftsperson, we greatly appreciate donations of art work and handmade items for our holiday boutique and annual silent auction fundraiser.
Driving cats to spay/neuter clinics may not sound like a glorious task, but it is crucial for completing our mission. We have standing weekly spay/neuter appointments at several local clinics, and can always use volunteers to transport cats to and from them. This job is one that lends itself to a limited but consistent time commitment.
- Seeking donations from our wish list
- Posting our flyers in local businesses
- Spreading our message through public speaking or distributing our newsletter
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about joining ICRA.