People Were Throwing Cats Off The Bridge, So This Oregon City Decided To Do Something About It…
In Gold Beach, Oregon, feral cats were becoming a growing problem. A local resident named Ursula Elliot noticed many stray cats hiding between jetty rocks, attempting to stay out of the cold. The felines had no shelter, food, or water and had to suffer through windy, rainy winters.
Some of these cats had been abandoned by their owners, while others faced a worse fate – being thrown off the nearby Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge which covers the Rogue River. Ursula Elliot decided to do something for the feral cats.
Other local residents began feeding the unwanted cats, and Ursula joined in, but she wanted to do more. She began The North Jetty Cats Plus program in 1992, with her own donation of $100 for cat food and other essentials. Others began to contribute as well.
Volunteers began constructing jetty cat homes that would withstand strong costal storms. Veterinarians joined forces to spay and neuter the cats, free of charge.
Many other residents helped by feeding the cats, rescuing them from trash bins and abandoned houses, and saving sacks of kittens being thrown over the bridge into the river.
“This venture involves many people with generous loving hearts which helps to counteract some of the cruel situations to which people expose their pets,” says Charles Heuser, a fellow contributor.
Ursula Elliot, who was also known as the “Cat Lady” helped nurse kittens back to health so they could become adopted. Around 3,000 felines have been helped by the Cats Plus Program. “The cats are screened for leukemia,” Ursula says. “Adults may be spayed or neutered. Kittens receive baby shots, and are nurtured until they complete their adult shots. They are then adopted out. The medical charges are formidable. Town and Country Animal Clinic maintains a special account for the North Jetty cats.”
Today, the community of Gold Beach continues to support the jetty cats, even though founders such as Ursula Elliot have passed away. Many of the rehabilitated cats have been adopted into forever homes, and the remaining ones are given food and water in their little homes daily.
These two cats are enjoying a picturesque view of the Rogue River and the little town of Gold Beach that has opened its hearts to them.
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