The Asheville Cat Weirdos
Getting to Know Your Local Rescues
With a name like Cat Weirdos, one might think of a pop cult movement. Stereotypical little old ladies in houses filled with way too many cats and with eclectic tastes in just about everything. Make no mistake, that is certainly not the case here.
The Asheville Cat Weirdos---or ACW as they are collectively called—is a unique band of people who came together for a common love of cats, and in the process have created a specialized niche for particular needs in the community. There are many groups in the area who provide cat rescue, but the ACW does something different that sets them apart.
Their beginnings started in March 2016, when founder Victoria Colt just wanted to form an online group to share kitty photos, laughs, and support. Since that time, they have grown into a powerful online community. What sets ACW apart is the Asheville Cat Weirdos Non-profit Emergency Fund. This is a 100% donation-based community program. The group is classified by the IRS as 501(C)(3) and donations are tax-deductible.
The funds help cat owners with unexpected and life-threatening veterinary costs, and cover non-routine events such as hit by cars/ amputations, blockages, skin infections, Etc.… There is also a food pantry, which offers cat food and litter to those in need. There are online forms to fill out and submit a request for either veterinary assistance or food pantry items of food and litter, each specific to one’s situation and needs.
The sales of calendars, stickers, car decals, and clothing with the ACW logo are offered on the emergency fund’s website, and this goes to fund veterinary assistance and food pantry items. Local retail partners who carry merchandise in their stores include Patten Ave Pet Co., Asheville Pet Supply, West Side Shears, and Mountain Pet Rescue. Secure online donations can also be made on the fund’s website via PayPal or credit card. Amazon Smile is additionally a source of funding.
The ACW do not offer adoptions, instead they focus on current pet retention They have a spay/neuter piece of the emergency fund which is the only grant-supported aspect to the emergency fund. Because the spay/neuter is grant-provided, there are criteria that must be met.
Education is the driving force with the group. They want people to be the best cat-parents as possible, help keep cats retained in their homes, provide the services and supplies as needed and still share cute cat pics, laughs, and support.
The ACW Facebook group page, which features cute kitties and sappy stories, can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AshevilleCatWeirdos/ There is a direct link from there to the non-profit Emergency Fund website or it can be accessed via Facebook @ACWEF or directly at www.ashevillecatweirdos.org
Ryan Jo Summers is a local author and an animal advocate. She has worked in the professional pet care industry for more than thirty years in both business and non-profit sectors. Her home is a haven to a menagerie of rescued animals of various species. To find out more about Ryan’s writing and her pets. visit her website at www.ryanjosummers.com or her Facebook pages www.Facebook.com/RyanJoSummersAuthor and www.facebook.com/ryanjosummers
“Getting to Know your Local Rescues” is an on-going series highlighting WNC animal rescue groups. Any organization interested in being featured is invited to contact Ryan Jo at www.ryanjosummers.com and use the ‘Contact’ tab.