Hampton Roads is blessed with wonderful animal shelters for the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and the like throughout the area. These shelters are well funded 501 C 3’s together with the community, business, and the hard work of rescuers, the “city cats” as I call them, have a great support system to help these deserving animals find wonderful homes. All are doing “G-d’s work” for our four-legged friends.
Kitty Kingdom is a social enterprise that showcases healthy cats and kittens from animal shelters and exclusive cat rescues in a non-institutionalized setting. It’s comfortable, clean and the felines interact with each other and with people in an aesthetic, peaceful setting. We charge an interaction fee for the public, but the supporting shelters get all of the adoption fees. All the shelters need to provide for us is food, litter, and misc. needs for the kitties. They are all up to date on shots, spayed or neutered, dewormed, and microchipped upon arrival.
At first, we partnered with a local shelter with exclusivity. They agreed to supply us with felines that were showcased at our Cedar Road location, however, in winter, the city shelters they were pulling from, did not have an ample supply of felines for us to showcase. We then concluded, we needed shelters that didn’t mind sharing Kitty Kingdom’s 1500 sq/ft of cat space with other shelters, however, the city shelters were unwilling to concede on having an exclusive contract. I totally understand their reasoning for wanting exclusivity, yet we learned we can’t charge for interaction with only three cats in the shop. So, a few country shelters came on board.
The problem that has come to our attention is the inability of our country's shelters to come down on the adoption fees for the kittens and cats that are in our care. They are not corporately funded, and they have few outside resources to champion their cause. With Kitty Kingdom in the heart of Chesapeake, our little rural shelters are competing with better-funded or seasonally corporate-sponsored shelters that can substantially reduce the cost of adoption to the public. Just recently, Kitty Kingdom’s adoption rate dropped significantly during a charitable cause of “Clear the Shelters”. Again, these people are doing tremendous good for the animal population, but we saw 8 applications for our beautiful kittens fall through in one week. The applicants visited Kitty Kingdom to adopt but found a better deal elsewhere with a corporate-sponsored shelter, who was able to adopt their felines for $100.00 less than what our rural shelters have to charge.
Our little social enterprise needs a corporate hand, not for the sake of Kitty Kingdom, but for the boost to our rural shelters. We would like to be a part of a triangle that connects a sponsor with one of our rural shelters. The corporation of course will put money directly into a 501C3 shelter, so the shelter would be able to reduce the cost of adoption. This is a newsworthy event for our local stations to broadcast, and Kitty Kingdom would share advertising with any other business willing to help.
So now you know why a local business is asking for corporation support. If your business wants more information please contact Julie Easterbrooks, owner of Kitty Kingdom at email@example.com.