Member Directory

Cat's Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley, Inc.

Address P.O. Box 2128
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
Phone (540) 255-3377
Website http://catscradleva.org
Primary Contact Jennifer Kirkland
Primary Email kirklandje@Hotmail.com
Executive Director NONE at present
Primary Focus Area Animal Service
Service Areas
  • Augusta
  • Rockingham
  • Page

Mission Statement

Cat’s Cradle’s mission is to ensure and maintain and safe, compassionate community for cats in the Shenandoah Valley.
We do this by facilitating and promoting spay/neuter and Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR), conducting foster-based rescue and adoption from local shelters, and providing pet retention and rehoming programs. Our intent is to steadily decrease the intake of cats and kittens at local shelters and to ultimately end the euthanasia of healthy adoptable pets in the communities we serve.


Cat’s Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley was founded in 1998 and has grown from a small group of women dedicated to spay/neuter into an organization with two full-time employees, eight part-time employees, and a volunteer network of about 125 volunteers, with an annual budget of over $525,000. We are proud that we spend the vast majority of our annual expenses on our lifesaving program services – since 2015, between 87-90% of donations and program income each year are spent on program services, with only minor percentages of expenses for fundraising and non-program administrative costs. The organization has always provided direct rescue, TNR (trap/neuter/return) of feral cats, spay neuter assistance for owned cats, and adoptions within our community. In the past several years, we have expanded our programs to offer pet retention counseling, pet rehoming help, veterinary expense assistance to low income owners and caretakers, and transport of cats and kittens to no-kill adoption partners outside our region. Our mission is to reduce the number of cats and kittens taken into area shelters and work toward eliminating needless euthanasia of healthy adoptable cats in our community. Our service area includes three rural counties and the encompassed independent cities.
Since the founding of the area’s first low/cost spay/neuter clinic in 2005, Cat’s Cradle has concentrated on aggressive, geographically targeted spay/neuter and TNR, to more effectively and quickly bring down animal intake at local shelters. We have worked pro-actively in rescuing and transporting adoptable cats and kittens from our area kill shelters to North Shore Animal League (a large, no-kill shelter in New York state), the Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area) SPCA, and the Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania SPCA (both of those SPCAs are no-kill partners). Cat’s Cradle has developed a great network with our animal control officers and shelter staffs, so that they can help us identify families in need of our assistance, and we also partner with other small rescues to promote adoptions and spay/neuter. We field over 4,000 assistance request calls each year and that number continues to grow. Our constituency is broad-based, with low to middle-income families using the spay/neuter and medical assistance programs, but all demographics benefiting from our adoption and rehoming programs.

Key Programs

Program 1
Description:Spay/Neuter has been Cat’s Cradle’s primary mission and focus because we believe it is vital to long-term reduction of the domestic cat overpopulation crisis and thus directly tied to reduction of shelter intake and euthanasia. We have grown our restricted funding and grants for spay/neuter and have done a great deal of community outreach to publicize our spay/neuter financial assistance program. We provide traps and trapping/transport assistance when needed to facilitate spay/neuter. We now facilitate over 2,500 spay/neuter surgeries each year, assisting with some or all of the cost depending on an owner’s ability to make a financial copay. The average per cat cost to Cat’s Cradle after owner copay is $60. We work with several low-cost spay/neuter clinics in our region - the August Regional SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic, Angels of Assisi, the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA Clinic, and Anicira Veterinary Center. We also partner with several additional veterinary practices offering discounted rescue rates, including Harrisonburg Animal Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA, and Woodworth Animal Hospital in Waynesboro, VA. We have a reputation throughout our region as a resource for assistance, so our phones ring off the hook - -this is not a program we need to advertise, though we do use flyers and door hangers to publicize efforts when we target particular neighborhoods.
Program 2
Description:Our adoption program takes very few owner surrenders - - we have chosen instead to pull adoptable cats and kittens from kill shelters in our rural service area and to try and counsel owners and good Samaritan cat finders on pet retention options so that we can save more animals. We use foster homes, as we have no intake/shelter facility. We have capacity to house approximately 150 cats. We rent a small commercial storefront for showing a small number of our adoptable animals and for educational and volunteer programs. We house between six and twelve of our adoptable cats and kittens at one of our area PetSmart stores. In addition, we hold weekly adoption events at other regional PetSmart stores. We microchip all animals prior to adoption. We are pulling anywhere from 600-800 cats and kittens each year, primarily from our two partner shelters, Augusta County and Page County. We are either adopting out these animals locally, or transporting them, when invited to do so, to North Shore Animal League in New York, the Philadelphia-area Pennsylvania SPCA, and the Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania SPCA. Our adoption program is growing, but so are its expenses. We often pull cats and kittens that have treatable medical conditions, sometimes even severe, but we are determined (when it is feasible) to give these cats and kittens a chance at a forever home. This means we often run special campaigns on our Facebook page, or otherwise seek special funding to pay for medical procedures over and above normal medical costs. But it also means that we can give more cats a chance at a good life, and we can make more space at the shelters for healthy cats to have a chance at shelter adoption.
Program 3
Title:Pet Retention (including Medical Assistance) and Pet Rehoming
Description:Pet retention programming is an expanding area of focus for us, and we realize it has a direct tie to reducing intake at area shelters by keeping owned animals with their families, benefiting everyone. We have an ongoing pet retention program, which helps low-income, homebound, disabled, elderly, and other vulnerable individuals among our constituents care for and retain their pets, thereby reducing surrender of owned cats and kittens to our area kill shelters. We do this by providing behavioral counseling, financial assistance for short-term boarding in emergency circumstances, and (most frequently) financial assistance for basic/preventive/emergency care. This program also assists good Samaritans who find abandoned or stray cats and kittens to keep them short-term and get them needed veterinary assistance and provide them the care needed while Cat’s Cradle helps the individual to find them homes.
Our primary clinic partners for pet retention medical assistance are Harrisonburg Animal Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA, Westwood Animal Hospital in Staunton, VA, Woodworth Animal Hospital in Waynesboro, VA, and Anicira Veterinary Center in Harrisonburg, VA. We also work from time to time with Helping Hands in Richmond, VA and Virginia Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville, VA. Emergency services are periodically provided by Veterinary Emergency Services in Verona, VA. All these partner organizations provide some form of discount or donation of goods/services in kind to our medical assistance clients (and to our organization when our foster cats receive medical treatment), whether through rescue pricing, or donation of medications, etc.
We do not require that medical assistance clients apply for Care Credit, as many of them would not qualify, but we encourage them to do so where their circumstances make that realistic to provide partial payment. We require some client copay for services, absent true hardship. The average cost of treatment for a medical assistance client is $150.00. We require animals to be spayed/neutered either before treatment or in connection with treatment.
When pet retention is not feasible, we offer pet rehoming assistance. All cats and kittens must be spayed or neutered before Cat’s Cradle will assist with rehoming. We promote cats and kittens available for homes through our website and our WOOF & PURR Rehoming Network, which features photos and bios of the cats and kittens and links their owners/finders with potential adopters directly.

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