Your vote saves feral cats across the country

Your votes have been counted, the tally is in, and all the hard work paid off! Best Friends has been chosen as one of the charities to receive $200,000 in funding from American ExpresTwo feral catss through its Members Project® program.

Best Friends chosen as charity to receive funding from American Express

For 12 weeks now, the public has been voting on TakePart.com to decide who among the 48 charities in five different categories would receive the funding. Not only did Best Friends win in its category, but the number of votes for Best Friends jumped dramatically every week as word of mouth got around.

That means every e-mail you sent to spread the news, every time you mentioned the voting on Facebook or Twitter and each call to a friend added up to an incredible win for the animals. Thank you one and all for your time and for your votes! (The animals are busy giving out high fives, otherwise they’d send thank-you cards personally.)

Feral cats are true winners

The true winners from this generous gift will be a particular group of animals who need a helping hand more than most: community cats (some people call them feral cats). Specific plans on how to make the most use of the funding are still in the works, but the bottom line is, community cats everywhere just received an early present for the holidays whether they realize it or not. And you also helped put the star atop the tree! Your votes helped bring the plight of homeless pets and the mission of Best Friends Animal Society to a broader audience - the first step to getting to No More Homeless Pets is awareness, and our win means even more people will get the importance of programs such as Trap/Neuter/Return and find easy ways to get involved.

Program encourages volunteering in community

Feral cat outside

A key detail about the Members Project® program is the push for volunteering. The program was built around a simple but powerful goal: to encourage people to head out into their communities and do some good. Hoping to provide incentive, American Express adds bonus points to a cardholder’s Membership Rewards when they volunteer. Though the voting for this round is over, volunteering for points continues. So if you’re planning a visit to Best Friends, be sure and redeem those points as an added benefit. Walking dogs and socializing cats could turn into free airfare to Hawaii. How’s that for a win/win?!

Whether you volunteer at Best Friends or any of the other hundreds of charities supported in the cause, or anywhere at all for that matter, there is no more precious gift to give than time. Such a gift will always remain in fashion, wherever you go.

From all the animals at Best Friends and community cats everywhere, thank you once again and Happy Holidays!

Photos by Best Friends staff

Learn more: From spending some quality time at Cat World here at the Sanctuary to helping with Trap/Neuter/Return in your area, and more, check out the amazing volunteer opportunities from Best Friends.