‘The Million Cat Challenge belongs to all of you!’

July 27, 2016

You joined us this spring in celebrating the half-million cats saved mark. Who is behind the success of the Million Cat Challenge? Here’s how our founders, Dr. Julie Levy and Dr. Kate Hurley, put it in our recent Million Cat Impact Report:

As co-founders of the Million Cat Challenge, you could say that it’s our creation. From Julie’s first shift at a TNR clinic and Kate’s first day as an animal control officer, we’ve dedicated our careers to helping cats and animal shelters.

Working with two of the world’s premier veterinary schools, we’ve published research, taught courses, written textbooks, consulted with shelters across the world, and helped found the specialty of shelter medicine.

Through it all, we saw how many shelters struggled to preserve the welfare and save the lives of cats, even as dramatic progress was made for dogs. We witnessed the frustration of workers who labored without the tools or resources to protect all the cats in their care. Along with shelter staff, our hearts broke for the lives lost to such seemingly simple causes. Upper respiratory infection. Ringworm. Time and space.

We also saw compassion, innovation, hard work, and transformations that took our breath away. We saw shelters achieve success beyond what we ever thought possible, by means that were more accessible than we ever would have imagined. We founded the Million Cat Challenge to bring those innovations and innovators together, to support transformative change for shelters and cats, and to share that life-saving success with the world. But although we founded it, the Million Cat Challenge is not ultimately our creation.

The Million Cat Challenge belongs to all of you: to the donors who make it possible; to the national supporting organizations that guide and inform us; to the hundreds of local groups
that have added their names in support of our cause; and most of all to the Challengers themselves, whose inspiration and perspiration have already saved so many lives.

We are honored and humbled to gather, guide, and celebrate all that has been achieved and all that is yet to come.

For the cats,

SignaturesAndPhotos

We invite you to view the entire report here — you can scroll through by clicking on the circles at the top left of the page. View it on a computer if you can — it’s hard to see its true glory on a smartphone, and we’re just that proud of it — and of all the shelters who created the impact with their dedication, hard work, and cat-ted determination!

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