SWK/Hilltowns

Fundraiser to be held for abandoned cats

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Homeless Cat Project will be holding a tag sale later this month to pay for the healthcare of the felines currently in their care.
Following the discovery of dozens of cats, malnourished and ill, in Southwick earlier this month, Project Director Denise Sinico said the event will be held from Thursday May 29 to Saturday May 31 at 1124 East Mountain Road from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
“We’re looking for donations of tag-salable items and volunteers,” said Sinico. “Normally our tag sales raise around two grand, but we’re hoping to raise a little bit more than that.”
Sinico said that the project usually runs between two and four tag sales a year.
“If we have a specific cat or a big surgery we have to do, or a special situation, we’ll run a tag sale to raise money,” she said. “In the beginning, thats how we raised money. I cleaned up my house, got a bunch of friends to donate stuff, had a tag sale and raised $2,000.”
Sinico said she put the money raised by that initial sale toward fixing up a shed in her backyard for the project.
“It’s kind of our thing. Everybody loves our tag sales, because we have so many nice things that people donate,” she said. “People are always very kind and good to us, so we always have a lot of good items.”
That shed which was restored by the first tag sale is now currently about half-full of items for this upcoming sale, but Sinico believes that, now that spring has arrived, people will be looking to clean out their homes and donate.
The need for an influx of funding is greater now than ever before, as as the recent discovery of a large litter of cats which had been dumped in Southwick has swelled the WHCP ranks to over 30 animals, and Sinico said they are proving difficult to care for.
“We’re still struggling with the cats. We’re having to forcefeed some of them, give them appetite stimulants because some of them went way too long without food,” she said. “I have about 15 cats in foster homes, with a few more cats that have been seen out there that we’ve been trying to get. We have well over 30 cats (here).”
“We haven’t even begun testing them for diseases,” Sinico said. “When a cat goes without eating, their liver starts to fail, so I hope that isn’t happening to any of them.”
“I’m actually boiling chicken legs and feeding them that,” she said. “I went out and got them goat’s milk. We’re trying everything to get them to eat.”
Sinico said that the search for who dumped these cats is still ongoing but that they’re getting closer to uncovering the responsible parties.
“I have a friend who is a photographer, and she’s going to take some pictures of the cats, which we’re going to post to our Facebook page,” she said. “Our hope is that someone will come forward and say ‘I know who owned these cats.'”
Anyone looking to donate to or volunteer to help with the tag sale can contact Denise Sinico via email at [email protected]

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