R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Rescue. Educate. Adopt. Love.

aka REAL Cruzan Cats   |   Lexington, MA   |  http://www.realcruzancats.org

Mission

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats on St. Croix through Rescue Education Adoption and Love.

We are committed to a single goal - to improve the lives of cats living on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Explore our website to learn more about everything that we are doing to evoke a change. We are a private, non-profit organization dedicated to working with devoted volunteers and concerned individuals to help these cats in need to get neutered/spayed, vaccinated, and ultimately off the streets and into loving homes!

Ruling year info

2016

CEO, President

Christine Southworth

Vice President

Lana Homnick-Lee

Main address

65 Turning Mill Rd

Lexington, MA 02420 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-4059184

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats is a 501c3 animal rescue organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Founded in 2016, over the past 5 years we have placed over 700 cats and kittens (and several dozen dogs as well) into loving homes; we've also TNVRed (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return) over 3000 feral cats. In early 2021, we began supplying free cat food island-wide to members of the community who feed feral cats but cannot afford to purchase supplies. And in late 2021, a game-changer, we acquired a 5-acre property in Christiansted and began making plans to build a major cat sanctuary. This means a much needed safe haven for potentially hundreds of homeless cats on island.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cat Rescue and Care

Our primary objective is to rescue cats in need. St. Croix is a tropical island, so the breeding season never ends. Working with other organizations and TVNR (Trap Vaccinate Neuter Return) programs, we aim to control the overpopulation on the island, while taking in adoptable cats and kittens and working with no-kill shelters and rescue groups on the mainland to find loving forever homes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The goal is to teach as many people as we can to value and respect the lives of all animals. Our focus is to train individuals or groups of people how to trap cats, proper feral cat colony management, bottle feeding and raising kittens who have lost their mothers, animal introductions so that our fosters and adoptions are successful, and how to foster cats and kittens.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Ultimately we want all domestic cats in great forever homes! We work to find wonderful adopters for the felines that we rescue, both on the island of St. Croix and on the mainland. Our screening process assures that every animal is placed in a compassionate home. We support our adopters every step of the way, giving advice to make the transition for the felines and their new families is a smooth one.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animal adoptions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families

Related Program

Cat Adoption

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017, we took in an additional 53 cats from St. Croix and St. Thomas that had been affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goal of Phase 1 is simply creating a clean and safe habitat for approximately 100 cats. This means landscaping, constructing fences, building feeding stations and shelters, and creating the medical infrastructure to keep the cats healthy.

Landscaping will be done mindfully in consultation with the USVI Department of Planning & Natural Resources division of Fish and Wildlife and St. George Village Botanical Garden. Fencing the upper portion of the property will require approximately 1730 linear feet of 10-foot high coated welded steel fencing on bent steel posts (to keep cats in and predators out!). Feeding Stations and Shelters for feral cats will ensure proper nourishment and give cats shelter from the sun and rain. The first 100 cats will come from nearby overcrowded colonies: they'll be moved to the Sanctuary after being combo tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia (FeLV), microchipped, and spayed/neutered as needed. This will give us the basis of an ongoing database to keep track of all of the cats and keep them up to date with flea preventatives and vaccines.

Additionally, we will build safe enclosures for FeLV+ cats so they can live happy lives and be cared for, without any risk to the rest of the cats. Intake areas will be constructed to screen new animals and triage senior and at-risk kitties who need extra medical attention. We are partnering with the veterinary teams at St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, Progressive Veterinary Hospital and Sugar Mill Veterinary Center.

This is an ambitious undertaking, one that will fundamentally change the feline situation on the island. But it's just the beginning of what we'd like to do. Looking forward to Phases 2 & 3, we hope to build a Residence for a caretaker and volunteers, a small Veterinary Clinic to take care of animals on the premises, and a Visitor Center. The property as a whole will be accessible and multi-use: the upper Sanctuary itself will welcome visitors and potential adopters, while the lower Seaside and Lagoon will be open to the public, to be used for fishing, hiking and enjoying nature, with facilities for a small fish stand where local fisherman can sell their daily catch, and boardwalks through the mangroves for the public to enjoy nature walks around the sanctuary. The Seaside and Lagoon are currently used daily by locals, and we will not restrict access to the public in the lower portion of the property, but rather make that portion of the property more accessible. Cat5 Builders, LLC will be helping us with planning and building, donating labor and materials at cost to help us with the actual physical construction.

We estimate the cost of Phase 1 - obtaining permits, clearing the land, cat fencing, bringing water and electricity into the property, and building feeding structures and shelter for the cats throughout the property - to be approximately $115,000. In our first year of operation of the sanctuary, we estimate the direct cost of care for the cats to be approximately $30,000 for food, water filtration, combo testing, vaccination, preventatives, spay/neuter when necessary and microchipping. On top of that we estimate about $15,000 in miscellaneous veterinary costs and medications. In total our goal is to raise $160,000 to establish the sanctuary and support these cats through the first year of operation.

Aside from raising funds, we plan to start a "Voluntourism" program to bring volunteers - everyone from cat lovers, carpenters, welders, landscapers, veterinary students and veterinarians - to St. Croix to help build and operate the Sanctuary. To make this program successful, REAL Cruzan Cats will solicit St. Croix homeowners to donate a 7-day, 6-night stay at their home, condo or villa, as a charitable donation that will directly support the programs of the Sanctuary. The Volunteers will be responsible for getting to St. Croix, but in addition to housing, REAL Cruzan Cats will also engage other local companies such as rental car agencies, restaurants, sightseeing and sporting activities, etc. to offer special deals and discounts to volunteers. These donations will be used to offset costs and allow REAL Cruzan Cats to generate more proceeds that will be used to cover operational costs.

Financials

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Board of directors
as of 1/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Christine Southworth

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Term: 2016 - 2026


Board co-chair

Lana Homnick-Lee

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Term: 2021 - 2026

Marcia Brisbois

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Lea Knapik

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Evan Ziporyn

R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability