A dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers looks after the feral cat population in this community with the hope of finding homes for many of the once-wild felines.
Their mission is to help stop the overpopulation of unwanted cats and kittens through initiatives such as the trap-neuter-return program which effectively and humanely controls the homeless cat population. Once spayed or neutered, many feral cats can become effective barn cats controlling the rodent population or loving household pets.
Fallon Animal Welfare Group, for FAWG, saw 615 cats go through their donated and self-built cat shack next to Fallon Floors on the Reno Highway in 2021. Once trapped, cats are fostered by volunteers who socialize them in their own homes before transferring them to the cat shack where the public can come and meet them when considering adoption.
FAWG is completely reliant on the Fallon community for donations and support, according to Brenda Utterback, head volunteer, and the community has come through for them with donations of cat food, litter, financial support and to serve as foster parents for these cats and kittens.
“This community has been wonderful in their donations to FAWG,” she said. “Whenever we put out a call for food or litter, the donations come in and we are so grateful.”
Utterback says the FAWG is greatly in debt to Fallon Floors who has given them the land, power, water, and some office services with which to operate. Other donations from the community including Louie’s Ace, Chugach (former NAS Fallon base operating support contractor), and many volunteers who have donated their time and talent as needed.
But even with donations of food and litter, funding is still needed to transport cats to the Nevada Humane Society or the SPCA in Reno where they are spayed and neutered or to pay local veterinary bills for treating illnesses. Churchill County’s recent donation of $3,000 went to clearing the backlog of cats waiting to be spayed and neutered.
Flea markets for fundraising
To help its own cause with raising funds, FAWG holds monthly flea markets in front of the cat shack in the Fallon Floors parking lot. Cats and kittens ready for adoption are available for viewing during flea market dates or by appointment.
Dates for the 2022 flea markets are: Feb. 4-5, March 4-5, April 1-2, May 6-7, June 3-4, July 1-2, August 5-6, Sept. 3-4, Oct. 7-8, Nov. 4-5 and Dec. 2-3.
In addition to a steady stream of food and litter donations, FAWG also needs financial support in terms of monetary donations and folks who are willing to take the time and effort to foster cats and kittens in their home to prepare them for adoption.
Donations of food and litter may be dropped off on the blue table in front of the cat shack at any time. Monetary donations may be made to FAWG and mailed to 2040 Reno Highway, PMB 377, Fallon, NV 89406.
The services and talents of a grant writer would also be welcomed by the group as they seek out additional funding sources.
FAWG’s phone numbers are (775)217-4745 or (775)294-1887. Volunteers are at the cat shack every morning between 7-9 a.m.
Photo: Murphy was trapped, socialized and adopted out last fall. He has a loving home now and enjoys the company of Lucy, another FAWG cat who lives with him.