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RESCUE SPOTLIGHT: Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue

Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue is a volunteer rescue group dedicated to helping ease the plight of abandoned cats and kittens living on the streets of the Manhattan Valley neighborhood (100th Street to 110th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Central Park West) in New York City. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue focuses on adoption, anti-cruelty and rescue efforts, education, and advocacy.

Photo Credit: Brian A. Jackson

The rescue group began when residents of Manhattan Valley grew tired of watching the abandoned cat problem in their neighborhood get worse and worse over time. These dedicated residents witnessed many outdoor cats die a sad and painful death from disease, traffic accidents, weather, abuse, and starvation and they decided to take action. These volunteers knew that the life expectancy of a street cat is approximately three years compared to the 15 years an indoor cat might live, so they began working to save these neighborhood felines.

Thanks to the generosity of Rev. Laura Jervis of Westside Federation for Senior Housing, Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue has built a temporary shelter for abandoned cats. They rely completely on donations to get the cats treated by a veterinarian, fed, and sterilized. Between 1996 and 2006 Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue saved more than 400 cats in Manhattan!

Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue knows there is more to do beyond rescuing cats in need, so they are starting an educational campaign to get local residents and businesses involved. They plan to focus on the importance of spaying and neutering and hope that their tireless efforts will one day end the abandoned cat problem that has persisted in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood for much too long.

One un-spayed female cat and her offspring can produce 2,072,514 kittens in just eight years! Most of these kittens are left on the street to fend for themselves and eventually die from disease, predators, or being run over by cars. Many cats and kittens end up in municipal animal shelters where space is extremely limited and time for these helpless animals is often short. In many government-run shelters, cats and kittens are simply euthanized when space and time run out.

Rescue groups like Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue often attempt to rescue as many of these cats and kittens as possible, but the costs are high. A litter of kittens and the mama cat require food, kennel space, and veterinary care that can cost close to $1,000, which can be difficult for a rescue group funded solely by adoption fees and donations to afford.

In July 2020, SPCA International was proud to support Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue on the Broadway Barks Across America virtual adopt-a-thon and they hope to participate again next year! For more information, please visit the Broadway Barks website.

And be sure to check out Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue on Facebook!

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