Community-based, all-volunteer organization rescues neglected, abandoned and unwanted cats, featuring an aggressive adoption program complemented by humane education to end pet overpopulation. 703-715-6369
How do you help people in my community?
We are a local animal rescue organization. Most of our cats are rescued from neighborhoods in the Metro DC area. Most of the people who adopt our cats live in Virginia, DC or Maryland. Our cats can be seen for adoption at six Petco stores in Northern Virgina: Alexandria, Arlington, Burke, Chantilly, Fairfax, and Tysons Corner. The majority of the shelters that we work with are local to the DC area. We do also rescue cats from more rural areas of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia where the overpopulation of domestic animals is epidemic and adoptions from shelters are very low. 4Paws volunteers also work hard to educate the public about the need to spay or neuter their pets. The only way to truly end the suffering and needless deaths of homeless cats and dogs is to stop the overpopulation problem through spaying and neutering. Many adopters are first time pet owners. Consequently, volunteers spend significant time explaining the care that their new pets will require. Volunteer groups also visit local elementary schools and talk to the students about general pet care.
Why do you need my support?
4Paws is run entirely by a volunteer workforce consisting of more than 100 volunteers. Ninety-two cents (92 cents) of every dollar donated to 4Paws is used to directly benefit our cats through the purchase of medical supplies, cat food and litter and veterinary services. Rescued cats are all housed in foster homes and then shown for adoption in space donated by local Petco stores so none of your donation would be spent on rent for a facility either. No donation is too small. It is the aggregate of many small donations that has sustained the organization since inception in 1995. We are an organization run by many dedicated individuals. We know that we cannot save all of the homeless cats in the DC Metro area, but what keeps us going is the confirmation with each rescue that we do make a tremendous difference in the lives of those cats that we are able to touch… and the lives of the people who choose to share their homes with our cats. In addition to giving the cats that we have rescued an opportunity for a better life, we also work toward solving the bigger problem—pet overpopulation. Currently, the major effort toward this end is public education about the importance of spaying and neutering. The long term goal is to purchase a mobile spay/neuter van that can go out to more rural areas where pet overpopulation is rampant.
How can I be sure that you will use my money wisely and won't waste it?
4Paws operates very efficiently. With no rent or salaries to pay, more than 90% of all donations are used to directly benefit the cats. 4Paws is managed by an active board of directors that includes two certified public accountants. Each year a financial audit is performed by an independent accounting firm.
Can I Volunteer? How?
4Paws’ most urgent volunteer need is for foster homes. Foster volunteers provide a temporary home for homeless cats and kittens. 4Paws is only able to rescue as many cats as we have foster homes to care for them. The length of fostering can vary from a few weeks to several months depending on your availability.
4Paws pays for pre-authorized vet care at one of our participating vets. Before going into foster care, every cat is examined by a vet, vaccinated and tested for feline leukemia and FIV. 4Paws provides for wellness and illness care for the duration of your foster’s visit. Your only financial responsibility will be to provide daily care—food, litter, toys, etc. It’s your non-monetary gifts that will be most important, though—love, shelter, and security.
All you need to foster a cat, litter of kittens, or nursing mother cat is a spare room—guest bedroom, home office, or finished basement. We highly recommend that you keep your new foster in a room of her own for the duration of her stay. This smaller, contained space away from other pets will make her feel safe, helping her to acclimate more easily to the new environment. Separating the foster cat in her own room will also help reduce any stress for resident pets.
Fostering can be challenging but also a very rewarding experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the responsibility of caring for a pet. Foster volunteers provide cats and kittens with opportunities not otherwise available to them. In your home, with your care and nurturing, your foster cat will have a chance to grow, getting healthier every day, both physically and emotionally. With the opportunity you provide, your foster will be ready to embrace her new home when the right person comes along.
4Paws can only save a feline life if there is a foster home available to care for her. Your generosity of opening your home to a stray or abandoned cat will directly result in a life being saved. Please put your spare room to good use by fostering a cat.