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Rescue helps cats find happy endings

Jennifer Brody of Emmitsburg is a foster mom for the nonprofit rescue group Cat Tails, which helps take care of unwanted cats throughout the state. Above, she administers antibiotics to Scaredy Cat as Storm eats his dinner. The two are among the dozens of cats Brody has helped in the last several months.

As a foster mom for the nonprofit rescue group CatTails, Jennifer Brody of Emmitsburg is responsible for providing temporary housing for some of the cats that come through the organization.

Her daily activities include feeding and watering the cats and medicating the ones that are sick; she also must take the cats to the veterinarian for shots and checkups.

Brody, who started fostering after she adopted a cat, Storm, from the rescue, said she volunteers her time and money to the rescue because she hates to think of the alternative.

The cats the group helps may not survive in animal shelters or on the streets or ‘‘may not live a complete life," she said.

‘‘We can’t watch these kittens get sick and feel unwanted," she said.

Started by Joy Purnello of Crofton more than 15 years ago, the rescue group — with foster homes in Baltimore; Washington, D.C., and Frederick County — has found homes for more than 700 cats. CatTails aims to provide loving homes to cats and nourish them back to health.

Many of the kittens have diseases such as feline distemper. The disease is the most common disease among both stray cats and barn cats because they haven’t been inoculated or are too young to receive a vaccination; the earliest age a vaccine can be given is eight weeks.

Upper respiratory problems are also very common among cats the group takes in.

‘‘We use our own personal money to pay expenses for these cats. We supply the cat litter, food, toys and gas," Brody said.

Since her start as a foster mom about six months ago, Brody has fostered more than 50 cats and currently houses three.

CatTails rescues stray cats and those from animal shelters but does not take cats from the public. To adopt a cat or become a foster parent, call CatTails at 410-523-2626 and leave a message.

The organization takes cats that are slated to be euthanized at shelters first.

Because the organization has limited space in foster care, the rescue gives priorities to shelters, rather than taking from people who want to give up their cats.

CatTails asks families adopting a cat to pay $90. This covers all the cat’s medical needs including a veterinarian visit to de-flea, de-worm, de-claw, check for mites and give the cat its first round of shots.

Depending on the age and health of the cats, they are also spayed or neutered.

‘‘If someone buys a cat before they have been spayed or neutered, they must agree to have the kitten fixed, and proof must be sent to our organization," Brody said.

CatTails publishes ads in area newspapers regularly. A Web site is in the works, but the main organizers don’t yet have computers.

Brian Marzuello of Frederick adopted a black, short-haired cat from CatTails after seeing one of the rescue’s ads.

‘‘They make sure to spay or neuter the cats and make sure they are very healthy," he said. ‘‘They’re a really good organization. I’m very happy with them."