Welcome to CCNYC! We are Cat Castle, a new non-profit feline rescue group based in Upper Manhattan. Founded in 2018 by two cat lovers (me, Holland, hi, and my husband Max), CCNYC has already helped save over 100 cats and has facilitated over 70 adoptions!!
Here are a couple really important things to know about us, and what makes the Cat Castle different from other NYC rescue groups.
Max and I began volunteering with a few other local rescue groups in January of 2018. While we loved getting to foster cats, we quickly noticed some alarming trends in these groups, as well as in similar sites on social media. From racially coded phrases such as, “The dark and dangerous streets of Harlem,” to the head of one of these groups blatantly telling an adopter, “We don’t adopt to people who don’t speak English,” the discrimination we saw in the world of rescue was shocking, and even sickening.
I began asking, “Why do so many people have such strong biases for what makes a capable adopter?” What we theorize is that people involved in cat rescue really, really do want what is best for the adoptable cats and kittens. Most reputable groups do an interview, application, reference calls, and a home visit, but there’s only so much you can find out about a family or home in the short amount of time it often takes to do an adoption.
Thus, to make these judgment calls about the character and capability of adopters, people fall back on their preconceived notions of what a “good” person is. And, more often than not, those notions show racial and economic discrimination against people of color. (If you want to read about why, this article is helpful!)
While we understand this phenomenon, we refuse to participate with or condone any organization, no matter how well-meaning, that propagates racism in our local communities. So, Holland and Max set out on their own to found a social justice-focused cat rescue non-profit, and show that there is a way to give both animal welfare and human welfare equal respect. Some of the policies we have already enacted include an adoption discount for anyone relieving public assistance or living in public or supported housing, as well as cost-free medical follow up services for adopters who need it.