The following is a feature on All Cats Rescue, the $4,000 Grand Prize winner of #FNBGiveFirst 2019
As a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, Ellen Bjordahl has delivered thousands of letters and packages and has driven in all conditions to make sure people get their mail. As she delivered to different areas of Sioux Falls, she noticed many stray, sick, and neglected cats along her route.
In 2007, she set out to give all cats and kittens a loving home by starting All Cats Rescue (ACR).
The mission of All Cats Rescue is to find loving, forever homes where cats and kittens will be treated as a member of the family for the rest of their lives. ACR does not have a building to shelter all the cats rescued through their efforts. Instead, the rescue uses a foster program to house cats and kittens until they are adopted.
The rescue relies solely on volunteers to care for and foster the cats they take in. ACR is also no-kill rescue, meaning that no matter what condition the cat is in when rescued, it will be cared for by ACR volunteer fosterers. This fostering network consists of about 20 foster homes in the Sioux Falls area, extending even to LeMars, Iowa.
ACR provides foster parents with food and litter until the cat (or cats) are rehomed. Prior to placing a cat or kitten in foster care, ACR pays for all necessary vet care, including spaying or neutering, along with any surgeries or immunizations needed. This often comes at a high price.
“This year we’ve had a couple of hefty emergency vet bills,” Bjordahl said. “We are a no-kill rescue. When I say no-kill, I mean no-kill. We take in three-legged ones, blind ones; we’ll do anything. Most of us believe that they did not ask to come to us, that’s not their fault.”
With costs of veterinary care, food, and other supplies, the price to fulfill their mission often exceeds the money the rescue brings in through fundraising. This no-strings-attached gift will help All Cats Rescue continue to provide loving homes to neglected, sick cats and kittens.
“We are very, very grateful to First National for this,” Bjordahl said. “That just doesn’t happen, we love it.”