Annual Report 2021


Support from all sides

Friends & family

Happy Cats Haven loves supporting cat relationships, as our logo has showed for over a decade now! Maus and Tiger helped us renew that commitment in 2021.

They were living happily with their elderly guardian when she took a turn for the worse. By the time our friends at Harley’s Hope were asked to help, they had lost her and needed a new home.

These two ginger brothers were like the original Odd Couple. Delicate, wide-eyed Maus was anxious and wary while brawny Tiger was easygoing and unperturbed.

Cats are not hardwired to make friends easily, so our bonded pairs stay together unless they tell us they’d rather live apart.

But even our cozy shelter isn’t always the best place for the kind of relaxed cuddling and mutual grooming that bonded pairs show. Maus tended to hide up high on the catwalk, while Tiger stayed down where he could interact with people.

The weeks rolled by and yet no one came to adopt these two loving boys. It can be harder to find just the right home for a pair, especially with differing personalities.

We worried about holding back Tiger, but Harley’s Hope confirmed they were often found cuddling and purring together in their quieter environment. So of course we gave them more time.

Judy and Mark already had a bonded pair and were looking for another. Tiger and Maus fit the bill perfectly.

Judy tells us, “We have had many pairs over the years that we were told were bonded but none like these 2 brothers. They are often seen sleeping together and in fact sleep between our pillows and love sitting on my lap together.”

Tiger and Maus were two of 373 kitties in bonded pairs and triplets adopted together under our Friends & Family program, over 55% of all our adoptions.

In times that feel like all our relationships are fragile, we treasure the love and connection our cats bring to each other—as well as us. Our adopters confirm they are kitty therapy at its best!

They are an absolute joy and we love spoiling and cuddling with them! We couldn’t be more happy with our new family members.

Luke & Leia’s adopters

Findlay and Maisy were the best Christmas present…that keeps on giving every single day. Thank you for the best adoption EVER!

Findlay & Maisy’s adopter

I have two little TV watchin’ buddies now. She is exactly what I wanted and needed!

Samantha’s adopter

I have had a friend say if all cats were like Aspen she would have a cat. I always mention Happy Cats as a great place to adopt a cat or kitten.

Aspen’s adopters

He greets me when I come home from work. He is very open with people that come to my house and everyone loves him. I’m so glad I got him!

Mittens’ adopter

Trauma Recovery

Given the continual challenges of these pandemic years, we were happy to hold the line in 2021 with 671 adoptions. The numbers of more fragile cats like Maus increased in 2021 to 11% of our intakes, so this was the year we focused on them. We made sure they got an equal chance at finding their new families as more people-centered cats like Tiger.

 

With the help of feline behavior consultant Carole Galloway of Colorado Cats Boarding, we created a team to help with these shy cats and catolescents. Our OnSite Behavior team spent countless hours using our shy cat handling techniques to calm, reassure, play, build confidence and of course, love. Because of this love and commitment, most of our OSB cats had found their families by 2022.

No cat left behind


It’s hard to believe anyone could resist a sweet face like this, but when kitten season hits, all adult cats are even more at risk of homelessness or worse, with adult pairs being the greatest challenge to find their families.

In 2021, adults and seniors made up 48% of all our adoptions. We love our kittens of course but work even harder to make sure that cats like Maus and Tiger find their forever families too.

9 Lives Safety Net

The numbers of people who had to surrender their cats because of hardships like lack of feline-friendly housing and access to veterinary care continued to climb, with an increase of 25% in 2021.

Many of those included returns, which were up to almost 14%. Unlike conventional shelters that limit the definition of returns to those cats brought back within 30 days, our definition includes all cats returned to us, no matter how long it’s been.

Why do we track this? Because every detail of their lives gives us a better look at who they are and helps us match them with their best families.

Over 40% of those returns were cats who had been adopted over 8 months, with an average of 2 years in the home, like Taro above. Knowing who they were when they left and adding to that picture helped us find them new homes when the time came.

TNRCares

For over a decade, our local Humane Society and our locally funded Animal Law Enforcement have used trap-neuter-return (TNR) to manage feline overpopulation in outside cats, like most larger US cities.

Our TNRCares program supports that mission by assisting with the hundreds of calls we get from outside their targeted zip codes of 80909, 80910 and 80916, and outside the city limits.

We are still feeling the aftershocks of the veterinary community’s decision to suspend spays and neuters for all cats in 2020. Those cats born outside who survived went on to have litter after litter last year.

Our TNR Coordinator Barb Jones and her team did their best to catch up with the explosion in numbers from that reduced access to surgeries, with a 58% increase in community cats trapped, fixed and returned to their colonies last year.

Those 388 spay/neuter surgeries added to the 506 we did for adoptable cats meant we contributed 894 fixed cats to our Pikes Peak region, leaving thousands fewer cats to suffer and die on the streets. That also gave us the opportunity to rescue hundreds of kittens—and their momcats–to give them the lives they deserve.

Community Outreach

We managed to safely return to some of our friendraising programs in 2021, like our Purr & Play for Seniors kitten therapy event at MacKenzie Place, our Meowmaste Yoga and Purr Me a Story. Our little ones brought lots of joy and happiness to everyone they met!

 

Happy cat people

For every Happy Cat in their new family, there are dozens of happy volunteers who supported them. Our volunteers keep the Haven sparkling, the kitties purring, our foster kittens & cats socialized and our events lively and fun. As a small non-profit, we depend on our amazing, committed volunteers to help us with the cats from start to happy home, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lovingly donated hours spent with the kitties.

Our talented staff is even more committed to the cats and kittens as our volunteers are. At a time when 87% of all shelters are having staffing issues, our staff members have been with Happy Cats for an average of 5 years each, most starting as volunteers.

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful people who look out for our kitties–and our volunteers–every single day. Our staff often give extra time by fostering, helping with behavior, transporting to clinics , staffing events and many other ways to make sure Happy Cats Haven runs smoothly.

Purrs to you!

Our extended Happy Cats family deserves all the credit for making us such a successful shelter, backed by passionate people committed to finding the happiest solution for every Colorado cat. We have always been supported by our individual donors, from children who donate food and toys for their birthdays to local businesses who help us feed our community’s cats to our benefactors who support entire programs. Because of you, those numbers are in the thousands and our financial support increased another 21% overall from 2020!

Our two big 2021 events, our online Acatemy Awards and our in-person Black Cat Masquerade, let us celebrate all things cat with all our friends! We were so excited to welcome Tabitha Kucera, our headliner for Black Cat and a rising star in the feline behavior world.

Cat nerds that we are, we had a blast immersed in issues of feline behavior for the whole weekend. We were delighted when her workshops sold out and were replicated by organizations all over the state. Happy Cats Haven continues to make a big difference in the lives of all Colorado cats by spreading the word about species-appropriate handling and stress reduction.

We continued that momentum with over 250 passionate supporters making our most successful Indy Give! campaign yet, with almost $60,000 raised in the last two months of 2021. Membership to our Guardian Angels program through Colorado Gives also increased by 18%, allowing us to continue to fund our backbone expenses like food, equipment and medical costs.

In addition to all these gifts, we qualified for several generous grants from the following organizations and foundations: Rescued Hearts Unique Boutique, St Paws Thrift Store, Summerlee Foundation, PetcoLove Foundation, Wolf Foundation, Parks Foundation, PetSmart Charities, Jenkins Foundation, Petfinder Foundation and the Manitou Springs Garden Club. These gifts have funded everything from medical care for our senior cats to spay/neuter surgeries to one of our garden trees!

Most of these gifts were from recurring donors who believe in our mission and celebrate our successes. As we begin our second decade in operation, we couldn’t be more grateful for your continued support over the years!

Thank your vet

The pandemic continued to stress veterinarians worldwide and our partner veterinarians were no exception. Under severe personnel shortages in the veterinary medicine world that have translated to staffing shortages everywhere, everyone in the field is working their hardest to meet the growing needs of pet guardians.

We are so grateful to our partner clinics like Dr. Staus with Furry Friends who do so much for our cats and kittens, every single day. Please take the time to appreciate your own veterinarians and everything they do for your pets too!

Keep on helping!

Our main event for 2022 will be our 7th Acatemy Awards: Catflix & Chill. We will be having fun with cat videos and another cat-centric silent auction, all of which will be online for your safety. Please plan on joining us on April 9th for a fun time helping out the kitties!

Until then the easiest way to support the kitties is to sign up for the King Sooper Community Rewards Program and designate us as your charity of choice. Every time you shop, a percentage of your purchases comes back for the kitties. You still earn gas rewards and store discounts as usual. Tap here for an easy how-to.

If you shop online through Amazon, your Amazon Smile membership also helps the kitties with every single purchase. It’s easy to do on mobile or laptop and we have instructions here too. 

The Colorado Tax Refund is another easy way to support our happy cats and kittens. All you have to do is note our ReFUND CO # 20143029149 on your tax form when submitting it.

Huge purrs and headbonks to our extended Happy Cats Family for your support!

2021 by the numbers:

671 cats & kittens found their forever homes, including 48% adults & seniors

751 total cats & kittens found safe haven at HCH in 2021, including 80 cats in care on 12/31

11% of those cats received extra behavioral care from our volunteer Onsite Behavior Team

281 of cats & kittens were surrendered due to financial or housing hardships, up 25% from 2020

526 cats & kittens were fostered by our loving foster families

373 bonded cat friends & siblings were adopted together, 55% of all adoptions

12% of all adopted shelter cats in the Pikes Peak Region found their homes through us

506 adopted cats & kittens and 388 community cats were fixed in 2020, for a total of 894 spays and neuters… preventing thousands of needless cat & kitten deaths

Total food & litter costs in 2020: $33,311, up 24%

1,800+ followup emails and phone calls were made to help keep cats home

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Our Staff
Genesis Reyes-Martin, Cat Care Manager
Charleen Bader, Operations Manager
Katherine Luce, Foster Manager
Andrea Jones, Adoption Manager
Amber Hagen, Volunteer Manager
Ben Van Til, Medical Assistant
Thomas Paulus, Lead Colony Technician
Maria Williams, Development & Events Coordinator

Our Veterinary Partners
Furry Friends Mobile Veterinary Clinic
Bijou Animal Hospital
Healing Path Animal Wellness
High Country Veterinary Hospital
Fox Run Veterinary Hospital
HSPPR Surgery Center
Village Center Veterinary Care
Animal Clinic of Woodland Park
Our Family Vet
Claremont Ranch Animal Hospital
Compassionate Care Veterinary Support

Our IndyGive! Matching Donors
Charles and Frances Amos
Happy Cats Board
Joan & John Leach
Betsy & Chris Miller
Janice & Alan Obye
Lisa & Jerry Pibal
Sarah Roach
Vickie & Gaylord Smith
St. Paws Thrift Store

Our Grantors
Rescued Hearts Unique Boutique
St Paws Thrift Store
Summerlee Foundation
PetcoLove Foundation
Wolf Foundation
Parks Foundation
PetSmart Charities
Jenkins Foundation
Petfinder Foundation
Manitou Springs Garden Club

Our Happy Cats Board
Bill Daughton
Pam Fickes-Miller
Gaye Bosley-Mitchell
Lindsay Weatherford
Laura Ettinger-Harwell
Janet Fritz
Barb Jones
Ray Ferguson
Susi Holmes
Carole Galloway
Sara Ferguson