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Adoption Policies & Fees

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Thinking about adopting a new best friend? When you adopt your new pet from SAFE/WECR, you're not only getting a great pal but you're also giving that special animal companion a second chance at life.

Animal Availability

We always have more animals available than we can picture on our Web site, so please send an e-mail to info@westendcatrescue.com to inquire about a particular type or breed of cat.

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Health of Rescued Animals

The shelter environment, transportation to and from adoption events, changes and irregularities in feeding - all can be very stressful for the animals we rescue. Although we make sure that they get the medical attention they need and do our very best to ensure that they are healthy, sometimes unforeseen medical events arise. If this happens, please contact us so that we may be able to give you the proper information and guidance.

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Adoption Criteria

The following criteria apply to all SAFE/WECR adoptions. The adopting party must

  • Be 21 years of age and be an American citizen.
  • Have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household
  • Have a valid ID with current address
  • Understand that the completion of an application does not guarantee adoption.
  • Understand that no adoptions are done as "gifts" for others.

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Adoption Applications

If you are interested in adopting an animal and you live in the Tri-City areas, please download the SAFE/WECR application.

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Kitten Adoption Policy

We require potential adopters to complete an adoption application and be interviewed to assure that our cats and kittens find good, loving, permanent homes. Please see the links below and download the appropriate form.

Kittens must be at least eight weeks old before they can be adopted so they can receive their first Distemper Series vaccine and be tested for FeLV/FIV. Depending upon age and when they were received, they may also already have received their second and third distemper shots, rabies vaccination, and be spayed or neutered (as required by law).

We require an adoption fee to help defray the costs for vaccination and spay/neuter expenses. This adoption fee must be paid in full at the time of adoption. Because cats do better in pairs, there may be some flexibility in the cost for the second adopted cat if adopted within 30 days of the first.

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Adoption Fees

The adoption fee includes worming, spay or neuter (or a certificate towards the spay/neuter), first vaccination, rabies (age appropriate), a heartworm test for dogs (1 yoa +), a feline leukemia / feline aids test for cats, and an application of flea control. Coupons for savings on pet food, toys, and treats are also usually available.

The adoption fee helps to partially defray the cost incurred in caring for the animals we rescue.

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Helping at adoption stands

This involves any number of things. SAFE/WECR runs adoption stands most Saturdays at the Short Pump Petsmart. We need people to help take care of the animals up for adoption, set up and take down cages, make sure food and water is available, talk to potential adopters, and learn about the procedure an adopter must go through to adopt an animal. Although the hours vary, you can choose to come for just a couple of hours or just once/month. Contact us today at info@westendcatrescue.com with questions or complete a volunteer form and send it to us at that address.

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Fostering in your home

Foster homes are important because they provide a better environment for socializing the animal than a kennel or shelter would. In a foster home, the animals are exposed to all of the experiences they are likely to encounter in an adopter's home. We are always in need of more foster homes to help us smooth the transition from abandoned, unwanted animal to well-adjusted companion.

If this is something you might be interested in, we would welcome your application to be a foster parent. You can send the completed application to info@westendcatrescue.com and we will get back to you to get your new career as foster parent under way.

Are foster homes important to rescue groups?
Foster homes are the backbone of any rescue organization and the number of animals a rescue can help is completely dependent upon the number of good foster homes available.

What can you expect if you become a foster parent for SAFE/WECR?
Once you complete a volunteer application, you will talk with one of our volunteer coordinators to discuss how you want to help and how to get started. Depending on how you'd like to help, here are some of the things we may discuss with you, along with any questions you may have:

  1. How long you wish to foster. Sometimes adoptions happen within weeks, sometimes it takes longer, so we'll want to be sure you understand what this may mean.

  2. Home environment. Our goal is for our foster homes to provide the type of environment that will create a positive, good-tempered companion animal. We can discuss ways of doing that.

  3. Medical treatment. SAFE/WECR will pay for the medical care of the foster animal during the time it is being fostered, to include routine check-ups, vaccinations and treatment of emergencies should they arise. In order to control our expenses, however, foster parents can only use a veterinarian pre-approved by SAFE/WECR and will notify appropriate board members prior to any medical treatment for the pet to ensure finances and treatment options are appropriately aligned.

  4. Food supplies. SAFE/WECR will provide or pay for food for your foster during the period of fostering as well. Fosters should work with appropriate SAFE/WECR personnel to secure pet food.

  5. Adoption events. SAFE/WECR will have events and other activities which promote the adoption of your animal. These may include adoption days where pets are brought out for public viewing, displays on Web sites, fund raisers, etc. It really helps if foster parents are available to have the pet at such events, provide the appropriate information for Web sites, including pictures and descriptions or any other activities designed to promote the adoption of the animal.

  6. The adoption process. We regularly receive applications on animals in our foster homes, so we will discuss how much or how little you'd like to be involved in the whole process.

What benefits does a foster parent get?
We hope that you are looking for no other benefit than the personal satisfaction that results from helping an animal in need. By being a foster parent and spending your time with these animals, you know that you are directly helping to save a life, or two, or more. Every foster home equals an animal that would likely be fated to die in a shelter. As the vast majority of our rescues are pulled from kill shelters, each foster home offers the possibility for an animal to wind up in a lifelong home with a caring family. For our foster parents, that's worth more than money.

Will I get attached?
You probably will get attached and in fact, you should. That's the sign of good ownership. We've had many fosters in the past that actually ended up adopting their foster and that's certainly a happy ending that we would welcome. Fosters should take comfort knowing that for each animal they foster and find a good home for, another cat gets a chance to be rescued from a bad circumstance. So, yes, you're going to get attached and that's ok. Just remember, there's nothing but upside to a foster animal finding a permanent home, and that should take a lot of the sting of the loss away. And that's what it will feel like at first: a loss. That means you've done the best job possible.

What are you looking for in a foster parent?
Our foster parents come in all forms and types. We're looking for someone who is responsible, mature, and dependable. We need people who love animals and have the patience to deal with situations that may arise, the willingness to work to find their foster a home, the responsibility to support the adoption process and the heart and compassion to provide the best possible home to an animal that may only be in their life temporarily. We generally want people who are over 21 years old and who have experience with animals.

What do I do if I am interested?
If you feel like you want to be a foster parent for SAFE/WECR, please complete the foster application and e-mail it to us at info@westendcatrescue.com. Once we receive it, we will review it and be in touch for next steps in the foster application process. The process will include a phone interview and a home visit, at a minimum.

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Mousie's Story


This is Mousie. He is a neutered male, about 2-3 yrs old. His owner died and left him along with 2 dogs with his roommate. The roommate turned Mousie and one dog into the pound because he was getting evicted. He turned the 2nd dog in a week later. We have since adopted both dogs out. He however had a medical issue. This roommate had taken him to the vet for an injured leg. He got antibiotics and got it x-rayed but didn’t do anything else. We took him to the vet. The bones in his left front leg were shattered and he was in extreme pain. The vet said it was either euthanize or amputate. We chose to amputate. This roommate had him for 3 months like that. He was in pain all that time. He is doing very well in a foster home. The incisions area did become infected and he has been on antibiotics and the incision is flushed twice a day. He will need to go to a very special home.


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When Paula H adopted two of our rescue kittens, her co-workers threw her a surprise kitten baby shower to celebrate.

From Yucky to Lucky

Paula adopted Ralph (renamed to Yoda) and Heidi, who were found wandering around Hopewell lost, dirty, and starving. After they were rescued them from the pound, we discovered that Ralph had ringworm, causing him to lose the fur on his back feet and ears. Heidi had the dirtiest ears ever seen. It almost looked like she had tar in her ears. After they both had baths, they were taken to the vet. They tested negative for mites, but Ralph had to undergo a stinky ringworm dip and Heidi got her ears washed and cleaned for days until they were clean.

Ralph's hair was starting to grow back when he was adopted. Heidi's sweetness and loud purr plus Ralph's curious personality won Paula's heart, and she had to have them both. The kittens love each other, so it was a match made in heaven.

Besides the realistic kitty litter cake filled with Tootsie Rolls, Paula's co-workers brought her lots of nice kitten gifts and good wishes. Paula remarked that the shower was so sweet—especially since she has no children of her own, these kitties ARE her children. They already have brought her great joy.

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Our rescue group spans a wide area throughout central Virginia. Depending on where you live, you can find a convenient location for adopting a companion animal.

SAFE/WECR is a non-profit rescue group working in the Tri-City area to save cats from local pounds. We have been working to rescue animals since 2002, and we can always use more help.

SAFE/WECR holds adoption events most Saturdays at the Short Pump PetSmart 12:00pm-4:00pm.

We are a 501 (c)(3) charity, which means that the IRS recognizes us as a charitable organization and that donations are tax-deductible. We will be happy to send you a receipt for tax purposes for any donation you would care to make.

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Here are links to information and sites you may find helpful.

westendcatrescue.com - provides information on The West End Cat rescue group plus news and events.

AnimalLaw.com - provides access to legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of animals by state. For instance, did you know that it is actually illegal in Virginia to separate kittens or puppies from their mother before they are 7 weeks old?

Declawing: The real deal [PDF]

Ten Commandments for Pet Owners [PDF] by Stan Rawlinson

Operation Catnip - Learn about Richmond's non-profit, all volunteer organization committed to humanely reducing feral and stray cat overpopulation through trap-neuter-return (TNR). TNR is a positive, life-affirming, and preventive approach to solving overpopulation among homeless cats.

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Like most small, all-volunteer animal rescue groups, we are always in need of cash to cover vet bills, buy food, and purchase all the supplies one needs for taking care of our four-legged friends.

Did you know that donations to our rescue group are tax deductible? That's right. We're a 501c3 charitable organization, recognized by the IRS. You can make checks out just to SAFE/WECR.

Donations are welcome in any amount. If you'd like to send a check or money order to us, please send it to
S.A.F.E.
P.O. Box 29662
Henrico, VA. 23242

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This is a secure transaction through PayPal and does not require you to have a PayPal account.

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