We are well known in the veterinary community in the Northwest Arkansas/Southern Missouri area. As a result, we sometimes get the chance to save the life of a cat or kitten who has found their way into a local vet's office. When this happens, we have to use any (sometimes all) the money available in our General Fund to provide life saving care. Our General Fund gets it's money from donations that are not earmarked - like for food - for specific items.
Any donations that we receive from the general public all goes into our General Fund, and we use this to purchase food, flea/tick medicine, medications, and vet care. We try and keep at least $500 in this fund, for situations like the life threatening emergency that was Sonic. He is not the first, and unfortunately will not be the last, cat/kitten that required veterinary care prior to intake to save his life. Sonic's vet care (the day we got the call to come get him) cost right around $400. And it was money well spent! We were able to save his life, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, and the dedication of our volunteers.
This is the primary reason the General Fund exists, to help the little abandoned ones, who did not choose a life of starvation or neglect. Every dime that is donated to Cat Haven Ranch is used 100% in support of our cats. We do not have paid staff, and we do not pay our volunteers.
Another use we put our General Fund donations to is for intake of non sponsored cats. Usually, when we intake a cat, we require payment to the vet at the time of the appointment. This is paid for by the animal lover that is relocating the cat to our sanctuary. This is typically an individual, another rescue, or a government shelter. This helps defray the cost to us for the initial vet care that we require.
This is what we call "intake sponsorship". There are times when we have a good Samaritan who has found a stray cat, or who knows of a free roaming cat who needs relocation for various reason. Most often these fellow animal supporters will pay the initial vet cost, but there are times when that simply cannot happen due to their own finances. We try very hard to not decline any request for intake, so there are times when we have to pay for the initial vet care ourselves out of the General Fund.
In some cases, such as the "LBK Crew", our volunteers will stumble upon a situation that requires our immediate intervention. In the LBK Crew case, these abandoned kittens that were in danger were picked up and taken to the vet the next day. These were found by our volunteers, and the General Fund was used to provide them much needed vet care, outside of the normal intake vet services. These kittens were severely anemic due to fleas, infested with internal parasites, and very emaciated. The vet visit was paid for out of the General Fund, their lives were saved, and they are residents of the Kitten Cabin for the 2013-2014 winter. This was made possible because fellow pet lovers decided to donate to our General Fund.