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Furball Farm starting spay/neuter program, holding weekend fundraiser

Faribault Daily News
Faribault Daily News
 2022-12-07

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Gabrielle, or “Gabby” for short, is a timid, black cat that lived near Carbone’s Pizza and Sports Bar in Faribault. David Craig caught Gabby and brought her into the Furball Farm Pet Sanctuary in Faribault on Tuesday.

“I didn’t want to (cage her), but it was hurting me seeing her outside,” Craig said. “She was freezing.”

“She will never be hungry or cold again, ever,” assured Janis Goehner, a volunteer at the Furball Farm Pet Sanctuary.

Gabby was one of many feral cats living in Faribault without a steady supply of food, clean water, medicine or shelter. While Craig did the right thing, according to Goehner, not all cats have someone looking out for them, like Gabby.

“We’re just trying to be part of the solution,” Goehner said. “We want the public to see what we do and help spay and neuter. Please, please, please. That’s our goal. I mean, I wish I didn’t have to do it. But there’s kittens being born outside and they freeze to death within an hour.”

An open house fundraiser this weekend will help the sanctuary with a new effort to reduce the local feral cat population.

Furball Farm is starting the Dr. Beverly Stephenson Spay/Neuter Program in partnership with Faribault Vet Clinic.

The program will allow citizens to bring feral cats in to be neutered/spayed and vaccinated at a reduced cost. Before the program, the closest place of its kind was in Minneapolis.

The volunteers at Furball Farm are all unpaid and the farm runs entirely off of donations.

Among the supporting the shelter’s usual needs like food and litter, the volunteers hope this weekend’s event will raise funds and attract volunteers to help with the new clinic program.

Volunteering at Furball Farm isn’t always the happiest work. On Monday, the group was forced to put a cat down after it arrived frozen and unable to move.

“We’re trying to help people understand that the strays are not yours,” Goehner said. “They’re ours. They’re community cats. … Let’s spay and neuter them and you can have them back. We’ll just end the cycle, so two cats doesn’t become six. And six doesn’t become 20.”

When a cat first arrives at Furball Farm, they’re given dewormer and treatment for ear mites and fleas. Then, they’re put into quarantine and treated by a vet.

Gabby came to sanctuary the scared, shaking and malnourished. Although some of the cats are adopted, the majority of the cats live out the remainder of their lives at the sanctuary. It currently is providing a home for over 300 cats.

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