Brooklyn Cat Cafe gets $10K grant from nonprofit

Ceremony to take place at Industry City

June 15, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (BBAWC), which operates Brooklyn Cat Café on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, is set to receive a $10,000 grant from Petco Love, a national nonprofit.

The ceremony will take place at Industry City Petco at 241 W. 37th St., Brooklyn, on Thursday, June 16.

Brooklyn Cat Café, founded in 2016, is a place where people looking to adopt a cat can come, relax, have coffee or tea, play with the cats and make their decisions about adoption. Since it opened, over 70,000 people have visited, and hundreds have attended the organization’s private events and classes.

This grant funding will support BBAWC’s direct cat rescue efforts, adoption and foster programs, as well as allow BBAWC to provide crucial low-cost services, such as low-cost veterinary care and spay/neuter, to cat rescuers and low-income cat owners.

Cats rest on the bar and on bar stools at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe. Photo by Alexandra Steedman

Petco Love also gave $35,000 to Brooklyn Cat Café in December 2021 as part of its Petco Love Stories campaign. One of the winning stories was submitted by Debbie Zhang, a hospital worker who was overwhelmed by her job during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but whose spirits were uplifted after she adopted Hotaru, a feline, from the Brooklyn Cat Café.

Small rescue groups and individual rescuers are significant players in addressing homeless animal issues in New York City, according to Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition.  Traditional large shelters rarely rescue stray cats directly from the streets, leaving that work to independent rescuers who nationwide saw their intakes increase by 14 percent from 2019 to 2021. 

With hundreds of thousands of cats estimated to be homeless in New York City and skyrocketing veterinary costs, independent rescues face overwhelming hurdles and yet they rarely receive institutional funding and often pay for their lifesaving work out of pocket.

“We are extremely grateful to Petco Love for supporting independent rescue groups like ours. We also thank every Petco customer who makes a donation in Petco stores—those donations are directly saving lives,” said Anne Levin, executive director of Brooklyn Cat Cafe and Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. “With this funding we will save more cats’ lives and help ease the financial burdens on other independent rescuers doing the same.”

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, the parent body of Brooklyn Cat Cafe is a woman-run, volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehoming homeless cats and addressing the root causes of homeless cat overpopulation. BBAWC was created in 2007 as a cooperative to provide individual animal rescuers with medical, foster and adoptive support such as was otherwise found only in traditional shelters. 

Brooklyn Cat Café’s original home was in a storefront on Atlantic Avenue. In 2018, it moved to its current home at 76 Montague St. 

Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. It is connected to the Petco pet food and supply chain of stores.

“Our investment in Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition is part of more than $15M in investments recently announced by Petco Love to power local organizations across the country as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love.

In addition to the Cat Café, in the fall of 2021, BBAWC opened a discounted spay/neuter and surgery clinic for cat rescuers and low-income cat owners.

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