Our Mission

In early 2017, two founding board members heard about a gentleman that had more cats than he could care for, mostly feral.  We knew we could help!  Borrowing a couple of traps and working with a local clinic, within two months, a total of 24 cats and kittens were spayed/neutered and vaccinated.  Two adults and nine kittens found new indoor homes; nine feral cats found new barn homes; and four adults were returned to the owner after surgery.  Before this project was complete, another gentleman with too many cats contacted us.   He had a total of 21.  We knew we could help again!  Nine kittens were adopted out and twelve were spayed/neutered and returned.

To continue helping people and pets, donations and grants were desperately needed.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any type of non-profit animal welfare organization in our county.  In May 2017, Hamilton County Animal AdvoCATes organized and incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit.  The State of Iowa requires anyone rehoming animals to be licensed through the Iowa Department of Agriculture.  HamCoCATs is licensed and inspected annually.  In 2017, 88 cats were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and returned or adopted.    By 2021, that number more than tripled to 274!

Cats and kittens continue to far outpace available homes.  Shelters everywhere are overwhelmed.  Community cats and barn cats are a big source of homeless kittens.  Many street kittens aren’t rescued, and many don’t survive.  The ones that do survive end up repopulating their neighborhoods.  Kittens can go into heat as young as four months old and cats can have up to three litters a year.  It’s a vicious cycle.  A growing number of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs are being implemented in communities across Iowa to reduce the homeless cat population.  Rescuing kittens from TNR locations and adopting them out is an added benefit, for the cats and their communities.