Haircuts for cat rescue

Andrew Wagstaff
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Cut-a-thon raises funds for local CA-R-MA group

AMHERST – With every snip of the scissors, the local homeless cat problem received some aid here on Saturday, April 5.

Brenda Chapman cuts the hair of Melissa Proctor on Saturday, April 5, during the cut-a-thon fundraiser for the local chapter of Cat Rescue Maritimes (CA-R-MA) hosted by Changes School of Hair Design.

AMHERST – Changes School of Hair Design hosted a “cut-a-thon” fundraiser in support of the local chapter of Cat Rescue Maritimes (CA-R-MA), an organization dedicated to assisting the community cat population through programs such as trap-neuter-return (TRN).

Michelle Hicks, president of the local CA-R-MA chapter, said she was thrilled by the response to the first-time event.

“It’s amazing to see how many people care,” she said. “Not everybody can go out and trap or care for colonies, but people are willing to help. They are willing to come forward, because they are realizing how desperate the situation is.”

Formed last July, the CA-R-MA volunteers visit areas of the community where there are large colonies of homeless cats, humanely trap a number of the animals, and then hold a “spay day” in co-operation with the Amherst Veterinary Clinic. Up to 25 cats are spayed or neutered on that day, and then returned to their colonies.

The result is a reduction in the population of homeless cats, an improved quality of life due to the reduction in fighting and spread of disease, and an eased burden on the people who often find themselves looking after these colonies.

The cut-a-thon at Changes came about through staff member Marion Lewis, who volunteers with CA-R-MA. She approached the owners, Brenda and Warren Chapman, who happen to be cat lovers and were all too happy to support the cause.

“Animal control is a very important part of the community, and the cat population is just skyrocketing, and needs to be controlled,” said Mr. Chapman. “One of our people is quite involved with this organization, and we’re just very happy to support it.”

A steady stream of customers were lining up for haircuts during the event, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the local CA-R-MA chapter. Five hair design students and other staff members were volunteering their time, while CA-R-MA volunteers were also on hand to help with sweeping, registration and providing any other assistance they could.

The funds raised will go directly to the spay-neuter program, according to Hicks, who said they plan to hold six spay days before autumn of this year.

Other upcoming fundraisers will include a yard sale next month, but the cut-a-thon was looking like it would be a major boost for the cause.

The CA-R-MA group also helps provide food to the colonies, particularly during the winter months.

“The real root of the problem is people are not spaying or neutering, so that’s what we’re doing,” said Hicks. “In the long run, we’re reducing the population and will reduce the demand on the (L.A. Animal) Shelter. Our primary objective is to give a voice to the homeless animals in our community.”

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: School of Hair Design, Amherst Veterinary Clinic

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Recent comments

  • Glenda Hollis
    April 07, 2014 - 10:24

    Kudos to all who participated in this great cause!! You're all to be commended along with those who took time to come and support you by getting their hair cut!! From the proud Mom of one of your local Veterinarians, Dr. Carolyn Hollis!!! :) :)

  • Nancy Richard
    April 05, 2014 - 17:24

    Kudos to Brenda and the staff of Changes who volunteered their time. A big thank you to Michelle and all the volunteers of CARMA for their hard work and huge hearts. JOB WELL DONE !!!!!!!!