Everyday Heroes: Meow Village
BANKS, Ore. —
Leann Garrison was never much of a cat person until she got involved with Meow Village.
Leann has a home out in the country, off a gravel road in Banks. One day she found a mouse in her bathroom, and sought help from Meow Village’s Barn Cat Relocation program.
Meow Village brought her feral cats to catch the mice that plagued her property. She was so smitten with them that she decided to help the nonprofit trap and relocate other feral cats.
“Cats that probably never would have survived in the wild are having good lives,” Leann said of Meow Villages efforts.
Since 2010, Meow Village has helped rescue and relocate more than 3,500 feral cats.
Once trapped, the cats are spayed/neutered, then taken, depending on their demeanor, to live in feral colonies, in barns, or as house cats.
Leann remembers one cat, Mystery, in particular.
“A little cat [named Mystery] was found wandering by the side of the road recently,” Leann said. “She was picked up and brought to Meow Village.
“She had a disease that was causing pressure in her eyes, and she was in terrible pain. Eventually, she had her eyes removed. Two weeks ago somebody flew down from Coeur d’Alene to claim her.”
Leann says pictures from Mystery’s new home show how happy Mystery is now as a house cat.
Meow Village is completely run by volunteers, all of whom, save Leann, are in Portland or farther down the Willamette Valley.
“I call myself Meow Village West,” Leann said. “There are plenty of job opportunities out here.”
Leann added that trapping, caring for and delivering cats has taken her and her Prius all over the Northwest, from Issaquah, Washington down to Dundee.
But she’s not concerned about the mileage or the gas money.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” she said. “I’ve finally found something that I thrive to do every morning when I get up.”
Leann said Meow Village needs more help finding homes for feral cats, most recently a few dozen in Oakland, Oregon, that are in danger of dying.
If you’d like to help, you can visit its website here.