Mews Briefs

Nine Lives Foundation loses lease — must relocate 200 cats by end of May; Give Me Shelter cat rescue fundraiser; Wonder Dog Rescue seeks fosters/adopters for Frenchies, Bostons

Smurf, the kitten who made national headlines for being dyed blue, with his best friend, a blind kitten named Wanda.


The story of Smurf (the 8-week-old kitten dyed blue and used as a chew toy) made national news, but the organization that saved Smurf is now in dire straits themselves. Nine Lives Foundation, a beloved community nonprofit dedicated to cat rescue and located in Redwood City for the past 11 years, has lost its lease. The story is an all-too-familiar one in the Bay Area: The building’s owners don’t want to renew the lease, likely because they feel they can get more money from a tech company (the property is prime Peninsula real estate, close to the epicenter of the Silicon Valley). Now, Nine Lives must find foster or permanent homes for nearly 200 cats by the end of May. To add to the pressure, it’s kitten season.

Founder Dr. Monica Rudiger and her devoted team have provided thousands of at-risk cats and kittens with food, water, medical care, and a safe environment, nurturing many back to health while seeking loving forever homes.

Rudiger started Nine Lives in 2004 while working at a local animal shelter, where she learned firsthand the fate of most animals entering city shelters. Because of the overwhelming number of unaltered cats, a constant influx of animals forces shelters to make difficult decisions, meaning cats and kittens with medical or perceived behavioral issues are killed first, followed by underweight and elderly or injured animals. The majority of these cats and kittens could be adoptable, but most city shelters don’t have the staff, the space, or the time to deal with it. Nine Lives Foundation was established to provide a safe haven for these high-risk cats. They also provide low-cost spay and neuter and vaccination services to the community and to local rescue groups.

In a statement on their website, Rudiger says the group is actively searching for a new facility to relocate the shelter and, in a bit of good news, they will open a new spay and neuter clinic next month to “protect the welfare of cats through affordable spay and neuter, vaccinations, and educational services.” But the foundation urgently needs to find safe permanent and foster homes for every cat at the current shelter by the end of this month. They also need funds and donations to maintain the existing facility through June, fund the search for a new shelter, and to run the Nine Lives Spay and Neuter Clinic.

In her message, Rudiger ends with one “last but not least” request to spread the word on the importance of spay and neuter: “It is the only way to stabilize the feline population and protect them from the senseless cruelty suffered as a result of being homeless or euthanized.”

To foster or adopt: please visit the shelter at 3016 Rolison Road in Redwood City, or call 650-368-1365. You can also view available cats on the foundation’s website,

To donate: Nine Lives Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 20-2150714) and doesn’t receive funding from any city, state, or government agencies. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit

You can also mail donations to: Nine Lives Foundation, 3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City, CA 94063.


Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue ( will have cats available for adoption at a fundraiser thrown by Pet Camp Cat Safari. Enjoy libations and treats while you stroll around the Safari Solarium and maybe meet a new feline family member. All funds raised from this event will go to Give Me Shelter. Feline FUN(draiser): Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pet Camp Cat Safari, 3233 Sacramento Street, San Francisco.


I can’t tell you how many people I meet who express an interest in French bulldogs, or “Frenchies.” The little bully with the big bat ears is now the third most popular dog breed in America, after Labrador and golden retrievers. Unfortunately, since 2003 a large majority of French (and English) bulldog puppies have been imported from foreign puppy mills located primarily in Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine (for more information, visit Horror stories abound of puppies that became ill or even died shortly after they were brought home by their new owners.

Another bully breed escalating in popularity is the Boston terrier. Because they’re terriers (tenacious, tough, energetic), it takes an experienced owner to understand Bostons (they were originally used as fighting dogs in the backs of bars in Boston). Between perceived behavioral issues and medical problems, an increasing number of Bostons and Frenchies are winding up in shelters and at rescues.

Wonder Dog Rescue ( is well known for their efforts with both of these little bully breeds, and right now they urgently need foster or permanent homes for them.

To foster or adopt: e-mail foster@ or call 415-621-3647.You can also check out their adoption event on May 14 (Alley Cat Books, 3036 24th Street, 12 to 3 p.m.) or visit the Wonder Dog booth at Carnaval (corner of 24th Street and Harrison in the Mission District) May 28 and 29.

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