Our Mission
Our mission is to spay/neuter, vaccinate, and provide
shelter and food for stray and feral cats.  
Once Upon A Feral will accomplish this by providing
spay/neuter surgical fee assistance through partnerships
with private practice veterinarians, San Mateo County
voucher progam,  low-cost clinics, collaborating with other
animal rescue groups, and promoting humane education.
A feral cat is not socialized to humans.
Either she was born outside and never lived with humans, or she is a companion cat who has strayed
from home and over time has become unsocialized to humans.

Feral cats should not be taken to animal control pounds and shelters.
Feral cats’ needs are not met by the current animal control and shelter system. Feral cats live outside,
but are killed in shelters. Even no-kill shelters are not able to place feral cats in homes.

Feral kittens can be adopted.
Feral kittens can often be adopted into homes, but they must be socialized at an early age. This is a
critical window, and if they aren’t handled in time, they will remain feral and therefore unadoptable.

Feral cats can have the same lifespan as companion cats.
And they are just as healthy, too. The incidence of disease in feral cats is just as low as in companion
cats. They live healthy, natural lives on their own, content in their outdoor home.

Humans are the cause of wildlife depletion.
Studies show that the overwhelming cause of wildlife depletion is destruction of natural habitat due to
man-made structures, chemical pollution, pesticides, and drought — not feral cats. “Catch and kill” does
not work.
It is an endless, cruel cycle and is extremely costly to taxpayers. Cats choose to reside in locations for a
reason: there is a food source (intended or not) and shelter. When cats are removed from a location,
survivors breed to capacity or new cats move in. This “vacuum effect” is well documented.

Trap-Neuter-Return does work.
No more kittens. Their numbers gradually go down and their lives are improved. The behaviors and
stresses associated with mating, such as yowling or fighting, stop. The cats are also vaccinated. This
program creates a safety net for both the cats and the community. .

The Difference between Euthanasia and Killing

Millions of cats die in U.S. animal control pounds and shelters every year. The pounds and shelters say
these animals are “euthanized.” But they’re not—they are killed. An animal is only euthanized when she is
terminally ill or untreatably injured.

Euthanasia -  The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or
an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. The
American Heritage Dictionary

Genuine euthanasia is a medical decision and is always done in an individual animal’s best interest. It can
be an important part of end-of-life care. But most animals who die in pounds and shelters are killed for
very different reasons. Facilities kill animals to make room for new ones, to manage disease, or to
compensate for inadequate staff or funding. Decisions to kill reflect the operating interests of facilities,
not the best interests of animals.

Using the word “euthanasia” masks what really happens to cats in pounds and shelters—they
are killed.
Once Upon A Feral
Once Upon A Feral *1025 Alameda de las Pulgas #436 *  Belmont * CA  * 94002