“When my cat, Bingo, passed away,” says Eleanor Shaknitz. “I was devastated. I had picked her up at an SPCA when she was five months old and didn’t have much longer before they would put her down. I wanted to do something to remember her.”
Initially Eleanor started Bingo’s Foundation as a foster home to give as many cats as she could a chance at a good life. “It’s so sad for cats,” she says. “People just move and leave them behind, kick them out when they get tired of them, or believe that cats want to be outside.” As time went on, Eleanor was able to get a small store to use as a shelter, then a larger store enabling them to bring in more cats to help.
Finally, they moved into their present location in Levittown. “This space allows us to provide shelter, medical care, food, love, and socialization to the homeless and abandoned cats of Bucks County and the surrounding area.”
Bingo’s Foundation is now a non-profit cat rescue, adoption, and sanctuary organization run entirely by volunteers that is cage free and No-Kill. “We house anywhere between 40 and 50 cats at one time,” says Eleanor. “One of our goals is to adopt our cats to loving homes. But we also have cats at our shelter that will likely never be adopted due to behavioral or health issues. We refer to these as our Sanctuary cats. They’re all cared for by a group of dedicated, cat-loving volunteers.”
The story of one cat, Matilda, who was finally adopted from the sanctuary last December serves to illustrate the misery homeless cats often suffer. Matilda was an outside cat for many years and had multiple litters. A volunteer, Carissa, was able to trap her and have her fixed. Matilda was always a nice cat but shy around people.
Carissa couldn’t stand the thought of putting Matilda back outside in the bitter cold, so all agreed she would become one of their sanctuary cats. Gradually Matilda began to trust and accept the humans who wanted to help her.
When she was diagnosed with an inner ear infection, she was a good sport through two months of pills down her throat and drops in her ears. All the group at Bingo’s hoped to get her adopted.
Then one day, Gerri another volunteer decided Matilda would be her cat and brought her home. At Gerri’s, Matilda at long last has her three favorite things: a window to look out, treats, and most important of all, the love and attention she missed in the beginning. “A very happy ending to a tough life,” Eleanor calls it.
Anyone willing to spend time with grateful cats would be most welcome. “Just a few hours of your time each week will help a homeless cat blossom into a playful, loving, beautiful, adoptable pet. If hands-on experience isn’t your thing, please consider volunteering for other positions within our organization. We are always in need of help fundraising, grant writing, staffing educational tables, marketing, taking our cats to the vet, making reference calls for adoptions, trapping, and more.”
As a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, Bingo’s Foundation relies on the generosity of their friends and neighbors to keep them going. Any amount is appreciated. Donations can be made online or mailed to Bingo’s Foundation Ltd, PO Box 7130, Penndel, PA 19047.
Two of the biggest needs right now are for Friskies cans and IAM Chow, as well as Tidy Cat Clumping Litter.
This year, Bingo’s Foundation is sponsoring four Bingo events to be held at the Bensalem Senior Center, 1850 Byberry Road in Bensalem: March 11th Luck of the Irish; June 9th Beach Blanket Bingo; September 8th Fall Foliage; December 15th Happy Holidays.
More information can be found on the website or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO CAP: Stripe is currently available for adoption from Bingo’s Foundation