Terry Solano is a Board Member and Volunteer & Sanctuary Coordinator for Save the Cats Arizona and has been with the rescue for five and a half years. Founded in 2006 by Donald Bloom, the 501(c)3 sanctuary is based in Gilbert, AZ. The rescue has taken cats in from all over the Phoenix Valley, but they normally rescue cats within the Gilbert/Mesa area.
Save the Cats Arizona Mission Statement
Save the Cats Arizona is a no-kill cat rescue and cage-free sanctuary. Our mission is to provide hope to cats who are at risk from an unhealthy environment or harm at the hand of humans. 40+ volunteers care for around 75 to 100 felines at any given time in our sanctuary, foster homes, and adoption center. Our less adoptable cats are guaranteed a home in our Sanctuary for the remainder of their life.
As individuals and as a collective organization, we strongly believe that cats are sentient, feeling beings deserving our respect and kindness. We believe these innocent felines – who, through no fault of their own, face a life of suffering and hardship – deserve a second chance at a happy life.
We provide these programs:
- Medical Care (spay/neuter, wellness, and critical care) for cats admitted into our programs.
- Long-term care in a safe and fulfilling environment to cats who are less adoptable due to behavioral or health issues.
- Socialization to rebuild feline trust and confidence in people, thereby increasing the chance for adoption.
- Assistance in urgent, at risk cat situations by providing information, resources, and referrals to other organizations with services complementary to ours.
- Education on pet abandonment, the importance of spaying/neutering, and creating a healthy and enriching environment for companion cats.
A conversation with Terry
Why did you join the rescue?
All I ever wanted to do was help and rescue animals. That was my mission in life and when I came across STCAZ, I saw that they needed help. I wanted to be part of the solution and wanted to change the lives of the cats that have been neglected, abandoned and abused. Every cat deserves an opportunity to live a better life, whether that’s in a forever home or a life in the sanctuary, they are safe and they are loved. This is all thanks to the amazing group of dedicated and devoted Volunteers we have.
About how many cats do you adopt out?
We adopt out approximately 70 cats a year.
What is the hardest part of running an animal rescue?
The emotional toll; having to say no, constantly raising funds, etc.
What is the best part of running an animal rescue?
Changing a life from one of hardship and suffering, to one of safety and lovingly cared for. Being part of the solution to help cats in need and all the kitty love I get from our rescue.
What would you say is the most common misconception about running a rescue?
The public expects you to take on new rescues with no help of financing and no regard to if we have space or not.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a rescue?
Plan the basic operation (processes, structure, roles, and philosophy) before beginning to accept rescued animals.
In your experience, what has been the best way to collect donations?
Build a donor/support base, fundraising special events, community events, social media posts, e-mails blasts, and our volunteers spreading the word.
What types of fundraising events do you have?
We hold garage sale events, litter drives, food drives, t-shirt boosters, restaurant fundraisers, and other yearly calendar events.
When are your adoption events.
Is your rescue currently looking for volunteers or foster parents?
Yes, we always have a need for both fosters and volunteers.