Cat’s Cradle’s mission is to ensure and maintain and safe, compassionate community for cats in the Shenandoah Valley.  

We do this by facilitating and promoting spay/neuter and Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR), conducting foster-based rescue and adoption from local shelters, and providing pet retention and rehoming programs.  Our intent is to steadily decrease the intake of cats and kittens at local shelters and to ultimately end the euthanasia of healthy adoptable pets in the communities we serve.


Our service area includes the following three counties in Virginia: Augusta, Page, and Rockingham, and the cities within (Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro).

We provide the following services for cats and kittens:

  • Spay/Neuter assistance for low-income citizens
  • TNR (Trap, Neuter Return) assistance for feral cat colony care-takers
  • Intake from partnering shelters for foster and adoption
  • Pet retention and rehoming assistance


We invite you to learn more about us as we continue our mission. Our EIN is 20-3269224 and we are listed in Guidestar, where you can view our IRS Tax Filings (Form990) from the past several years. Our Financial Statements are always available upon request.

You can view the intake and outcome statistics for Cat’s Cradle for the past few years on our website. You can also search intake and outcome statistics for Cat’s Cradle for other years and compare animal intake and outcome of various agencies across Virginia at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). This agency posts information from animal shelters and rescues all across the state by year. You may search for an individual agency and a particular year here.



Cat’s Cradle was founded in 1998 by Pat Rossi, a woman determined to provide no-kill alternatives for stray cats. Her idea was simple, but powerful. She worked with a few generous local veterinarians to provide sterilization and vaccines at a reduced price to anyone who had found a stray cat and was willing to keep it.
It wasn’t long before the organization found itself fostering some cats and kittens and finding homes for them. Word of a no-kill organization spread quickly, and people began flocking to Cat’s Cradle when they had cats or batches of unwanted kittens they had to give up. While rescue and adoption were not the main focus, the organization responded to the need. Cat’s Cradle volunteers became adept at rescuing neglected and abandoned cats and kittens, getting them the veterinary care they needed, and finding homes for them through outlets like PETCO and PETsMART, as well as through the Internet.
Despite Cat’s Cradle’s considerable contribution in foster and adoption, just as many cats that could not find homes quickly were being put down in local shelters. Furthermore, colonies of free-roaming cats, most of which are feral and un-adoptable, were being put down en masse when merchants or citizens called Animal Control with complaints. Intake at our local shelters was increasing each year.
In 2001, Cat’s Cradle board members devoted two days to defining our vision for the Shenandoah Valley. We realized we needed to focus on spay/neuter and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts. It was the most effective way to address overpopulation, and no one else in the community was doing this.
Cat’s Cradle volunteers began trapping colonies of cats, working with cat colony caretakers, and caring for some colonies on an on-going basis themselves. Still, it wasn’t enough. A program using local veterinarians did not furnish enough appointments to bring down the population of unwanted cats. A local high-volume spay/neuter solution was needed.
While continuing to help the public directly, Cat’s Cradle spearheaded the opening of a free-standing Spay/Neuter Clinic in Harrisonburg, VA by raising over $30,000 locally and putting in much sweat equity. With a generous grant from the Bosack and Kruger Foundation, the Anicira Veterinary Center (formerly the Shenandoah Spay-Neuter Clinic) was born. Anicira offers low-cost sterilization for both cats and dogs, and has the capacity to perform over 10,000 surgeries a year.
Cat’s Cradle has grown considerably since 1998. Our dedicated volunteers are assisted by a small staff, including an Intake and Foster Coordinator (a licensed vet tech), an Adoption and Outreach Coordinator, a Volunteer and Community Services Coordinator, an Animal Care and Cleaning Coordinator, a Trap/Neuter/Return Coordinator, and a Publicity/Marketing Coordinator. Our network of foster homes achieves over 600 high-quality adoptions per year and partners with no-kill shelter partners outside Virginia to transport over 200 cats and kittens to shelters in need of adoptable animals each year. Through our spay/neuter and TNR programs we assist the public with about 2,000 sterilizations per year. Our pet retention program provides behavioral counseling, short-term pet food assistance, and financial assistance with veterinary and short-term boarding fees to help prevent owner surrender of pets to area shelters. And our pet rehoming program offers assistance to cat owners or finders who cannot keep their pet despite all efforts, so that we can help to rehome cats without having them surrendered to area shelters.


Sheltered animals have a right to live.
Feral cats have a right to their lives and to be treated humanely.
Animal shelters in each community have the obligation to create and ensure a safe community for animals.
Citizens have a right to full disclosure about how animal shelters and animal welfare organizations operate, including accurate and timely information about the number of animals killed.
Spay/Neuter is the most important long-term solution to pet overpopulation.
Pet Retention and Pet Rehoming are vital programs in reducing shelter intake and euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals.

We WILL end pet overpopulation in Shenandoah Valley – we invite you to join in this exciting venture!