Leelanau Co. Nonprofit Vows To Help Feral Cats, Community

“We’re helping the less fortunate. This is our job.”

To Andrea Slater, they are the less-fortunate in the animal world.

One local woman has taken it upon herself to save feral cats, while helping her community battle an ongoing problem.

An out-of-the-ordinary idea sparked when Slater rescued a group of stray kittens and their mother from an old barn.

She dubbed them her “Munchkins” — and “The Munchkins’ Mission” was born.

Slater and her group are now helping soothe an over-population problem.

“One plus one does not equal two when cats are involved,” Slater says.

Andrea Slater is never too far away from a cat, including at her job at Hillside Feed and Supply in Suttons Bay.

It’s more than just a passion.

“Vivian (the cat) and her brood started showing up in the tall grass behind the store and I had talked to our landlord,” Slater says. “I’m like let me help you spay her. I will help you cover the cost. I know it’s pricey, let me help.”

So, Andrea started raising money using a Go Fund Me page.

“I raised $2,500, shy of that because of the fees, but I was able to make an effort to pay my vet,” Slater says. “We’ve helped about 100.”

Out in Slater’s cattery, she has about a dozen cats up for adoption — all rescued.

With the help of donations, the goal was and still is spay, neuter, and save them all.

“They are a second-class citizen. There are no laws protecting them like dog laws,” Slater says. “For every spay, you save at least 40 kittens that year because by the time mom is done having, she can potentially have three litters a year.”

“[There are] huge emotional rewards for me,” says Rachel Peplinski, board member who also adopted from Slater before. “I get to interact with kitties and see them go to homes that are perfectly placed and have hands-on fostering care for some of them.”

Fellow adopters like Peplinski say with each rescue, a difference is made for the community and for each and every four-legged friend involved.

“I like to think that every life you come in contact with, you know have a responsibility,” Peplinski says.

“Their lives matter and if they want to stop having run-of-the-muck cats, they need to spay and neuter, so contact me,” Slater says. “I will help you with that.”

If you want to help or to find out more about adopting, you can get in touch with Andrea Slater at Hillside Feed and Supply by calling (231) 271-4988.

You can also find out more by visiting the program’s website.