Partners form cat rescue nonprofit

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Second Chance Cats of West Michigan is renovating a building at 1120 Knapp St. NE, Suite B, in Grand Rapids, which will house a cat shelter. Courtesy SCCWM

A pair of local women founded a cat rescue nonprofit in Grand Rapids that will shelter and adopt out injured, neglected and stray cats.

Laura Moody and Jody Newman said Wednesday that they created a nonprofit, Second Chance Cats of West Michigan (SCCWM), that is currently seeking 501(c)3 status and is renovating a building at 1120 Knapp St. NE, Suite B, in Grand Rapids, which will house a cat shelter.

They hope to open the shelter by July 1.

Moody said the driving force behind their idea to start a nonprofit came when a couple of local cat rescues recently closed their adoption programs, and she and Newman saw a need for an adoption center in the Grand Rapids area. Newman has been rescuing and rehabilitating cats for 42 years, while Moody has been working in cat rescue and medical care for the past eight years.

While construction is ongoing, the rescue’s group of volunteers has been helping take care of the cats, processing adoption applications or putting up drywall.

“We have a great community of people who do trap-neuter-return, or TNR,” Moody said. “It’s the practice for humane feline population control. Feral cats who haven’t had human contact typically get humanely trapped, brought to a vet to get spayed or neutered, then returned back to the colony to live their lives. This is the best option for them, as they won’t be happy in a home around humans.”

Sometimes though, Moody said friendly cats end up in these colonies. They don’t have the skills to live outdoors and often end up in rough condition. SCCWM steps in and takes the cats into its program. The rescue’s mission is to get the cats healthy and adopted into forever homes, giving them a second chance at life. SCCWM also works with the municipal shelter to intake cats that are at risk of euthanasia due to space or behavior.

“We’re willing to give these friendly cats who may have lost trust in humans the time and space needed to learn to trust again,” Moody said.

A list of its adoptable cats, as well as the rescue’s building progress, can be found on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Anyone interested in helping with the cats’ care and building construction can donate through Second Chance Cats’ GoFundMe page.

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