Before the pandemic, Darby volunteered in the cat room of the local animal shelter in Peterborough. When COVID-19 hit, cats and dogs were adopted in huge number and any still waiting for their “furever” home were placed with temporary fosters. A big animal lover, Darby wanted to continue helping cats in need but wasn’t sure how.
After brainstorming with intervenor Rachel and mother Anne, Darby decided to put her artistic talent to good use. For months, Darby worked extra hard creating cat-themed buttons and refrigerator magnets to sell at Modern Makers Market, with the goal of donating the proceeds to a local animal welfare charity.
When looking for an animal welfare charity to support, Darby turned her attention to an ongoing issue in her community: feral and abandoned cats. Often overlooked, agencies that help feral and abandoned cats do so with minimal resources, relying heavily on donations and dedicated volunteers.
Operation Catnip is a grassroots trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for feral and abandoned cats. Darby reached out to Operation Catnip (OC) to see if they were interested in partnering in a Christmastime charitable initiative. Kristen, OC’s fundraising coordinator, loved Darby’s cat designs and suggested they be paired with their handmade catnip toys to make Christmas bundles. With the help of intervenors Rachel and Natasha, Darby assembled 100 Christmas Kitty Bundles to sell at Modern Makers Market.
The perfect stocking stuffers, Darby’s kitty bundles are already flying off the shelves! She sold 35 bundles in less than one week!
Darby’s family, friends, intervenors and intervenor services coordinator Tyler are so proud of her dedication to helping the community.
“Way to go Darby!” Rachel said.
Stay tuned for more updates about the success of her initiative.
If you are interested in purchasing a kitty bundle to support a great cause, please follow the link: https://modernmakersmarket.ca/products/operation-catnip-kitty-bundle
For Christmas cards: https://modernmakersmarket.ca/products/christmas-cards
If you are interested in learning more about Operation Catnip, you can reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check their website: www.operationcatnip.ca. They are also on Facebook and Instagram.
As of September 2021, Operation Catnip has helped more than 1,500 cats in over 375 colonies across Peterborough and the surrounding areas. After spay/neuter surgeries and a check-up from the vet, cats that are truly feral are released back into their colonies. Kind people in the community, “colony caregivers”, are dedicated to feeding and helping these cats. With the help of rescue partners, friendly and abandoned cats and kittens are placed up for adoption so they can have happy forever homes.