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In Queens, Giving Strays a New Life

By Adel Manoukian • Mar 27th, 2012 • Category: Features

Cats in the Cradle Rescue, a young organization situated in Forest Hills, is dedicated to saving cats and finding them good homes.

This rescue organization was created in June 2011 after founder and president Janet Denaro had volunteered at Bobbi and the Strays, a shelter in Glendale, Queens that houses stray cats and dogs.

“All of [the other volunteers] at Bobbi’s started to feel that the cats weren’t getting treated the same as the dogs and they don’t get as many breaks,” says Denaro. “When we left we felt we just couldn’t stop and do no more for saving and rescuing cats and kittens so we formed a little group.”

Denaro, along with three other former volunteers — Deborah Kostner, Patricia Cinelli, and Rose Travers — soon began the legal process, hiring a lawyer who specializes in non-profit rescue organizations. Now these women foster cats in their homes.

The organization rescues felines from the Animal Care and Control centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which some refer to as “kill shelters.” At those centers, when a home is not found for an animal in a certain amount of time, it is euthanized. Cats in the Cradle Rescue also takes cats that are surrendered by their owners and strays that are “too friendly to live on the streets,” according to Denaro.

“Way too many cats are being killed in our city shelters every single day due to overpopulation,” says Denaro, who also advises on spaying and neutering pets.

Breaking off from a larger shelter that has established two locations, the other being in Freeport, has been beneficial to the organization, she adds.

“We all got a very good experience from Bobbi and the Strays,” Denaro says. “We all had different assets to bring to our new organization.”

The organization had its first fundraiser on February 3rd, at Farmingdale Lanes in Farmingdale, Long Island. Eighty people attended, raising about $1,600. About 35 cats and kittens have already been adopted into homes.

The team shows their cats at a Petco on Old Country Road in Carle Place, Long Island, as well as at Skillman Pets, a dog-grooming shop in Woodside on weekends. They are currently looking for a place to display their adoptable animals in Brooklyn. And though its P.O box is in Forest Hills, the organization also reaches out to the Queens towns of Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park, and Ridgewood.

“Any way a person can help an animal is good,” says Denaro. “What you’re essentially doing is saving an innocent cat’s life.”

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