Concert Planned to Help with Seized Cats’ Care Costs

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A Tucson, Arizona community “bands” together to help a group of cats rescued from a hazardous living situation.

Cats and Jammers! The Concert for Cats hopes to help the 40 seized felines find much-needed health care and new homes.

“I received a call to help this woman to relocate some of her cats, but when we got there we realized it was a hoarding situation,” said Barbara Crummitt (pictured above, on the right), a nurse and member of the local animal-rescue community.

“We thought there were about 15 … and we weren’t really prepared to take in what ended up being 40 cats, but no one really knew how many were in there.”

The cats were living in overcrowded, unsanitary, hazardous conditions and many were malnourished or ill, she said. Crummitt and another rescuer, Karen Wood (pictured above, on the left), had to wear masks to enter the home and assist Pima Animal Care Center with the removal of the cats. The felines are now in Crummitt’s home, where they are now housed in four “catteries.”

The catteries are outdoor enclosures, in which cats are grouped together based on behavior and needs. The cats have toys and towers of shelves on which to jump and sleep. All cats have been examined by veterinarians, vaccinated, neutered or spayed and tested for diseases. Some are awaiting dental surgery or other procedures.

“This has really been a community effort. Often, people think of animal rescue as a person or group, but this is so much bigger than that,” Crummitt said.

With the help of Wood’s husband, Steve Larson, they start the daily routine at 6 a.m. with feeding, changing kitty litter, and then cleaning, combing and socializing with rescuees.

The cats range in age from 3 to 15, and are large, mixed breeds. They include Persian and Siamese mixes as well as Lynx and Maine Coon mixes. Twenty-five are now ready for adoption; the remainder should be by the end of June.

“It took weeks for some of them to get comfortable with us. We had to trap many to get them out of the house, but now they let us pet them and comb them,” Crummitt said.

Crummitt herself shares her home with six senior cats and lives by Mahatma Gandhi’s philospohy. “It is a modification of his statement that ‘society is known by the way it cares for its most vulnerable,’ and that means people, but it can also mean animals. We are connected to all of creation. We are not superior or inferior, but we all share this planet and we should care for the animals that live here with us,” she said.

If you live in the Tucson area, here are the details for the concert:

• What: Cats and Jammers! The Concert for Cats

• When: 5 p.m. June 26

• Where: Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave.

• Cost: $10 suggested donation

• The concert will feature The Kevin Schramm Experience with Lisa McCallion, Cowboy Mike Joyal and Neil McCallion at 5 p.m., followed by the Cochise County All Stars with special guest Heather Hardy at 6 p.m.; then Chuck Wagon and the Wheelchairs with special guests Al Perry, Loren Dircks, Zo Carroll, Gary Love and Anna Warr will perform from 7:15 to 10:30 p.m.

The Range Rider’s Grill will donate $1 from every food order during the event to the cause. Donations are tax-deductible and will provide food, health care and more for the rescued cats through The Last Resort, an animal foster care network. If you can’t make the concert, but would like more information about adopting a cat, call 888-8856. Contributions can be sent to: Last Resort, c/o Karen Wood, 340 E. Hillcrest Place, Tucson, AZ 85704. A tax-deductible receipt will be mailed to you.

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