HISTORY OF GOLDEN PAW SOCIETY
Golden Paw Society was created in the summer of 2012 by two women who were determined to make a difference in the plight of shelter cats on Long Island.
At that time, most of the Long Island rescue groups focused the majority of their cat rescue efforts on the stray and feral cat and kitten populations that exist across the Island. As a result, our local municipal animal shelters were most often loaded to the maximum with wonderful, domesticated, previously owned cats of all ages (mostly adults) and all conditions (many with health issues that had gone neglected first by their previous owners and then by the overcrowded shelter system) who were being overlooked. We set out to create a group dedicated solely to the shelter cats of Long Island so that they would no longer suffer lengthy shelter stays or end up dying due to lack of space or resources. We officially achieved status as a non-profit organization on August 24, 2012 and, to this date, we are the only rescue on Long Island that is 100% devoted to the shelter cats.
We first existed as a website and a page on Facebook, where we worked obsessively to develop a following of cat lovers and to spread the word that we wanted to save the lives of shelter cats. Our ultimate goal was to be able to have a cat adoption center; a place we could bring rescued shelter cats to so that potential adopters could come meet them and fall in love. At this point, though, we literally had a dollar and a dream and knew we had to raise money somehow to make it happen. Our first attempt at raising money was distributing donation jars throughout town. This did not bring us a lot of money but it brought us opportunities. One of the jars landed us a spot in a local pet store where they kindly allowed us to keep one cage on display for cat adoptions! Another secured us a spot in the lobby of a veterinarian’s office, and another in a dog grooming salon. Three spaces! We were on our way to being able to save some lives!
Shortly thereafter, we launched our first Shelter Run. A Shelter Run is where we tell our FB followers that we want to rescue some shelter cats, and ask for donations to support our intake. Neither of us had ever done anything like this before so it was scary to put ourselves out there and hope that people would respond. To our great surprise, our Shelter Run was a great success and on September 22rd 2012, we rescued 6 cats from a local municipal shelter and placed them up for adoption in each of our three cage locations. By the end of 2012, only 3 months later, we had rescued 53 cats and adopted out 35 of them.
We continued to raise funds and look for a more ideal setting for our adoption center and in April of 2013 we found it! A free-standing house in a commercially zoned area, on a main road in Huntington, with a landlord interested in selling in the future. This house is a cape with four rooms on the main floor, two rooms upstairs, and a full basement. We moved in on May 1st of 2013 and enjoyed making it a true home-away-from-home for our rescued shelter cats, with each room arranged for the comfort of the cats who reside there.
Over time we realized this was where we wanted to stay, and we saved enough to finally purchase the building on February 11th, 2015. In 2016, we were able to have central air conditioning installed and we look forward to making other improvements over time as we raise and save more money to do so.
At any given time we usually have between 40 and 50 cats at our Adoption Center. As they get adopted, we can then rescue more. We try to do a monthly Shelter Run but often end up rescuing individual shelter cats in-between official Runs. There are often new cats to meet and fall in love with.
In August of 2013, we were asked to partner with Petsmart in Commack where we remain and, between our two locations, we have just over 100 volunteers. We will continue to grow and find more ways to be successful in our mission. The goal, always, is to be able to rescue more shelter cats in need and we look forward to helping so many more in the years to come. Thank you for joining us on this mission!
- Rescued Adopted
- 2012 53 35
- 2013 155 127
- 2014 201 150
- 2015 161 164
- 2016 187 177
- 2017 189 197
- 2018 341 280
- 2019 441 423
- 2020 442 517
- Totals: 2170 2070