Mission Statement

Cat’s Cradle’s mission is to ensure and maintain a safe, compassionate community for cats and dogs.


Our service area includes the following four counties in Virginia: Augusta, Page, Rockingham, and Shenandoah. We provide:

  • Spay/Neuter assistance for low-income citizens (cats only)
  • TNR (Trap, Neuter Return) assistance for feral cat colony care-takers
  • Foster and adoption (cats only)
  • Pet retention and rehoming assistance

Scope & Transparency

We invite you to learn more about us as we continue our mission. Our EIN is 20-3269224 and we are listed in Guidestar. You may view our IRS Tax Form 990 if you wish.  You may also review our 2014 Financial Statement here.

You may view the intake and outcome statistics for Cat’s Cradle here. Also, you can 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.

Beliefs and Principles

Sheltered animals have a right to live.

Feral cats have a right to their lives

Major 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.

Cat’s Cradle’s History

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, 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.

In 2005, the Board of Cat’s Cradle added eliminating dog overpopulation in the Shenandoah Valley to its mission. While we do not offer dog foster or adoption services, we do help low-income citizens spay or neuter their dogs.

Cat’s Cradle has grown considerably since 1998. Our dedicated volunteers are assisted by our staff Adoption Coordinator and a Spay/Neuter Coordinator. Our network of foster homes achieves over 400 high-quality adoptions per year, and our spay/neuter and TNR teams assist the public with about 2,000 sterilizations per year and growing.

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