Hello, my name is MeLinda Hughes, and I am the director of Merlin’s Hope Ragdoll and Maine Coon Rescue. We are one of the only dedicated Ragdoll rescues in Texas. We are quite possibly the largest Ragdoll rescue in the state of Texas at this time.
Right now, we have about 20 purebred Ragdolls and Ragdoll mixes in our program in North Texas, and we have shelters around the state of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma begging us to help. Refusing to take cats because we just don’t have the funds, the transportation, or even the room is heartbreaking.
Jenny tells me that there are over “11,000 visitors to this site a month and over 65,000 to her blog feed. Even $5 from 200 of you would be helpful. But more importantly, finding wonderful homes for these kitties would be ideal.”
We absolutely have no means for transport of cats to homes outside of these areas and adopters MUST be willing to come pick up the cat in Ennis. Many of our cats (and please see their write-ups on Floppycats or at www.merlinshope.petfinder.com) have been traumatized by their change in circumstances and need adopters willing to give them time, energy, and TLC. We have several special needs cats that need special homes due to minor health or socialization issues (please see them here on FloppyCats).
Permanent homes for our cats in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
Foster homes in the DFW/Ennis/Waxahachie/Waco area to help prevent the current overload of cats in our few remaining foster homes. We could take in SO many more cats if people could just foster one or two cats.
Volunteers/Cleaners: We need volunteers to help with the overwhelming amount of daily/weekly cleaning we do just to keep our main facility clean and sanitary. Unlike larger rescues, we just do not have the resources to hire a kennel worker.
Adoption day/Adoption counselors: We need people willing to come on Saturdays or even Sundays to our main facility in Ennis to help with our weekly weekend adoptions and to help counsel our adopters.
Oh my gosh, I could go on about how much paperwork a rescue generates, but this whole letter would be devoted to it. We need someone to set up a bookkeeping program for funds in and expenses.
Website: We would love to have our own professional website (Jenny has some great ideas for how to open one), but we just don’t have the time or the technical knowledge to start and maintain such a site.
Photographers: Again, we need people willing to come out weekly and help us get good pictures of our cats and post them to Petfinder. We also would love to have a volunteer who would focus on just updating our Petfinder, and 1-800-SaveAPet sites.
Shelter walkers/Adoptability evaluators: Do you live in a town with a shelter? We might work with the shelter. If not, maybe we need to, BUT we need people willing to visit these shelters and take pictures of the cats, provide adoptability evaluations, and to coordinate transport from the shelter to foster homes. This is a hard and often hearbreaking job, but it is an IMPORTANT one.
Transporters throughout the Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and even Arkansas
area are needed to help us transport these cats. Currently, we pull as many as seven to fifteen cats a month from Austin and Houston area shelters. Most of the time, I am forced to make most, if not the entire trip, to pick up these cats before they are euthanized.
Funds are always needed. As a private funded rescue, not 501c3 as a deliberate choice, we receive absolutely no government nor corporate help nor grants. We chose that deliberately as we want NO one telling us how to run our rescue and who we have to adopt to. Our adoption requirements are stringent, and we intend to keep them that way. So, we need funds. What do we need? The types of donations we most need are the following:
1. Food: Ragdolls, as many of you know, are highly susceptible to food allergies, so we feed only Innova EVO and Felidae Grain-Free (both dry and canned). These are extremely expensive foods and our food bill is never less than $400 a month. You could donate food by purchasing it through PetFooddirect at www.petfooddirect.com (they often have specials including free shipping and 15-20% off) and having it sent directly to our main facility (c/o MeLinda Hughes, Merlin’s Hope, 615 Newman Road, Ennis, Texas). This would allow us to reroute that money to our vet bills.
This is what we need most:
2. Litter: Again, we use a mix of premium (Swheat Scoop) and less expensive (Tidy Cats Clumping) to help keep our litter boxes sanitary and keep our cats happy. Again, you can order it from any online pet store and have it delivered to:
c/o MeLinda Hughes
615 Newman Road
3. Veterinary costs: We currently owe over $500 to our vet in Ennis, Texas, which is Ennis Veterinary Clinic. We have to pay a good portion of this bill (brought about by several major health emergencies this summer) before we can take more cats to the clinic. Please consider calling in a donation at (972) 875-2647 Ask for Cathy or Annette and tell them you want to donate in the name of Merlin’s Hope Cat Rescue. Or send them a check to (be sure to put “Merlin’s Hope Cat Rescue” in the Memo area of your check):
Ennis Veterinary Clinic
Attn: Cathy and Annette
3101 N Kaufman St
4. Spays/neuters/FIV & FeLV tests/vaccinations:
For our spays and neuters, we use a wonderful low cost called the Animal Birth Control Clinic at (254) 776-7303 on 3238 Clay Ave, Waco, TX 76711. Tell them you want to make a donation for MeLinda Hughes/Merlin’s Hope Cat Rescue. Believe me, they know who we are.
5. Consider sponsoring one cat. Few non-rescue people realize how expensive it is to just vet every cat that comes in (this doesn’t include food, litter, transport, etc.; these are just the very basic veterinary care we must do). Here is a general breakdown of how much it costs to vet EACH cat that comes into rescue:
FIV/FeLV test: $25-$50
Rabies vaccination: $10-$15
FVRCPC shots: $10+
Flea treatment: $5-10
Deworming treatment: $10-25 (depending on the severity)
Coccidia treatment (Ponazural): $15-$20
Ivermectin (earmites, general dewormer): $5-10
Minimum cost for treatment of one cat: $105
If you can’t adopt, would you at least consider sponsoring a cat for us? $100 makes certain that cat receives the absolute minimum of veterinary care.
6. Paypal help: We do take direct donations to firstname.lastname@example.org (our business paypal account). We always need funds through Paypal to help with veterinary costs, food, litter, and to purchase needed supplies (flea treatments, dewormers, over-the-counter medications, etc.)
If you are on this site, we must assume you are Ragdoll lovers and most of you probably have your own magnificent Ragdolls. Imagine if something happened to you; wouldn’t you want to make sure your cat was in a safe rescue where the adoption requirements are stringent to make sure it gets the best possible home? Well, that is what we are trying to do. Please help us help the Ragdolls.