Our History

Jacci and her Z’s. Click the photo to read Jacci’s Bio.

Jacci Moss was the owner, founder, and director of Friends of Felines’ Rescue Center. The following is in her words until her retirement in January 2022.

The beginning of FFRC was 9/1/1999. My daughter, Dawn, and I knew we would love to run a feline rescue center. Our first room was known as Kitty Campus Room. We immediately took in 12 cats. I was overwhelmed with the thought of having to find homes for so many! Little did I know where all this was eventually going to lead. I remember our very first adoption–it was a joyous occasion! The kittens name was Nugget. At this time, we did not have the “spay/neuter before they go” policy in place. If a cat or kitten was adopted before she was spayed or neutered, the owner had to sign that this surgery would be done.

Dawn and I quickly realized how much a no-kill cat rescue was needed. The phone calls came in, cats and kittens came flooding in, volunteers started arriving and we decided this – if we were going to run a cat rescue center, we were going to do it to the best of our ability and set the standards high. We contacted Dr. Pettigrew’s office and talked at great length with him. He helped us set our protocols. At first, it was all so overwhelming. Where were we going to get money to do this great desire that we had? People soon realized that we were sincere in operating FFRC with high standards. People liked that and started supporting us.

In 2001, the second full year, another room was built. This was called June’s Room. We thought how wonderful–we now have 2 rooms! Little did we know what was about to happen. Dawn and I also ran a dog boarding facility at the same time. We loved doing this, but felt the passion of the rescue center. We decreased our numbers for the dog boarding in the large main area to make more room for cat rescue work. This allowed us to take in more cats and do more adoptions. Cat’s Cove also became a reality. The Cove is a building used for cats that were given to us but have long standing litter box issues. Cat’s Cove is large, comfy, and fun for the cats.

In 2002, the third year, things changed again. Dawn felt the need to enter school to become a nurse. With Dawn gone, I drastically decreased the dog boarding. Another room was built called the Cat’s Corner Room. Our policy also changed on neutering. I felt very strongly that we needed to present to the public our opinion of how important it is to spay and neuter. No longer would any cat or kitten be adopted unless he/she was neutered/spayed first. This is a standard I feel all shelters and rescues should have. As cats that needed homes continued to arrive, our adoption rate went up. People were responding to and supporting the rescue center. Kitty City was also built. It is a large building that is located right behind the main rescue center. The purpose is to hold the overflow from the main area. Kitty City also houses the Cat’s Cove gang for the 4 cold winter months.

In 2003, the fourth year, we continued to grow. Our volunteer numbers went up. We came up with a wonderful, updated protocol on vaccinations, worming, etc. New health records were devised and were well received by the adoption families. Much of these same protocols still exist today.

In 2004, the fifth year, several things happened. We opened our own spay/neuter clinic called Earth Angels. The clinic was open to the public and did all of FFRC’s spays/neuters. With Earth Angels on our own property, it was so easy to walk out the back door with an unneutered/unspayed cat and several hours later walk back in with the surgery done! This also meant that we had a vet on the property 3 days a week and this was wonderful for us! We also added the 4th Rescue Room, called the Mewcomer’s Room. This was the beginning of taking in anywhere from 230 to 270 cats in a year. This was a busy time, a fun time and a growing time.

In 2005, the sixth year, things continued on. Our volunteer numbers continued to rise. This is the year we had a catastrophe. ALL cats were tested for leukemia upon arrival. One day, I noticed a cat that had been here for 5-6 weeks was not feeling well. I decided to do a second leukemia test. The horrible result was a positive reading. This event made us aware of the fact that a one-time leukemia test was not enough. If a cat had just contacted leukemia shortly before arrival to FFRC, the antibodies may not be strong enough yet to show on a test. That day we tested every single cat in the rescue center–some 80 felines. It was a big job, and necessary. We had 3 other cats come up positive. They were quarantined, were still positive on their third test, and were euthanized. This was a very sad day–a day of mourning. It also made us set our health protocol even higher yet. We decided every cat here would be retested again in 4 weeks for leukemia. It was expensive testing, but we wanted to be known for adopting out healthy cats. A cement floor was added to Kitty City. A new window was added to Kitty Campus Room.

In 2006, the seventh year, another change in health protocol came about. In addition to our leukemia tests, we now decided all incoming cats would have a leukemia/FIV test. We would still repeat the leukemia/FIV test in 4 weeks. We took in a record 270 cats for this year and spayed/neutered 244 . We sponsored a huge Adopt-A-Thon here on the property.

In 2007, the eighth year, things stayed calm and smooth.  Two volunteers built an outdoor enclosure, which was added to the front side of the office. By opening a window or a cat flap door (floor level) the cats can go in and out as they choose during nice weather. Cat’s Corner Room had a large vertical window added. We also purchased a new shed to store our dry food supply.

In 2008, the ninth year, we had a wonderful thing happen. We won The Animal Planet Cat Hero of the Year award. What an honor! I was humbled beyond belief. We held a huge party of celebration and had about 400 people come! All very old and tired furniture was removed from Cat’s Cove and 3 new big pieces were added.

In 2009, the 10th year, we became a part of the Ustream world.  Towards the end of this year is when the Ustream cam started in the Rescue Center! A metal awning was added over one of the door entrances to help keep our visitors dry.

In 2010, the 11th year, our incoming numbers continued to climb. Our Ustream cam was having a positive effect for the rescue center. In the past we used several window a/c units to cool the rescue center. In the winter, we used a gas heater on the wall. This all changed when we had a REAL a/c and furnace put in! We also applied white fiberboard to all the walls-a huge improvement. A long window was put in the front office overlooking the outdoor porch.

In 2011, the 12th year, we had a major change. Three new rooms were added to the backside of the rescue center: Thumper’s Room (a quarantine area), a bathroom (we love having this) and a Welcome Room/Office. The Welcome Room became our main entrance. Audio was also added to the webcam. We have truly made webcam friends all over the world.  After having Earth Angels open in 2004 and doing over 11,000 spays and neuters, we had to close the doors. Our vet was offered a full time job elsewhere. We still do the majority of our spays/neuters here at the rescue center. We have our veterinarians who is willing to come in, give physicals, do the surgeries, and give medical advice. Kitty City also saw a big improvement. A heavy winter door was put on, insulated windows were installed, insulation was applied in the walls followed by fiberboard walls, all of this made the building so much warmer.

2012, our 13th year, was another year of growth. At this point, we had reached over 2.3 million views on the webcam! We also saw a new epoxy floor put down in the rescue center. We love it. It’s so easy to clean. And to think this all started in a 3 car working mechanic garage! This is the year Derecho arrived! Derecho in his own way, changed the history of FFRC. Our addition to FFRC in this year was our wonderful Storage Room. No more stuffing items here and there! Now everything has its own place. We also added a metal roof from the Rescue Center to the Little House, and over the sidewalk.

The year 2013 was our 14th year. This was a big year in improvements. Kitty Kabana was added to the front of FFRC-such a bright yellow and orange room-full of big windows, with bird feeders for the cats’ entertainment. We now have a sidewalk that leads to Albert’s Garden and a sidewalk to Cats’ Cove. We reached 9 million total views on our webcam.

2013 was the founding year of the FFRC Nation-signifying friends all over the world. We added a much needed Back Thumper’s Room, which is an extended quarantine room. This also gave us the ability to do surgeries in this room. We also added the Mail Room where the FFRC store is and where we process all the outgoing mail. We had a wonderful Christmas surprise from the viewers. A U-Haul truck arrived with 206 boxes for FFRC!. This is also the year that our dear friend Paul passed away. He will always be remembered.This is the year that Zelda Belda Girl became a Moss! We also made the commitment to take care of more CH (cerebellar hypoplasia) cats. Derecho has been guiding us! We reached over 9 million total views on the kitty cam! On the property, a wonderful Gazebo was built. It’s nice to have this place to visit, sit and talk with visitors and to relax while overlooking the farmyard.

2014–what a great year! This was our 15th year. Jenna Radar is fully in and operational. We have used it twice for short periods. In the Main Area, the new white cabinets and cupboards went in! This gives us about 3 more feet of countertop! On 3/3/14, we reached 10,000,000 views on the cam. April brought the completion of the sewer lines–finally…..it’s done! That was a big project. The 25 x 35 Memorial Shelter House was also completed in the spring and used for our outdoor events and for many lunches and relaxing times with our visitors. May 5 was the day our dear Putter passed away. He will always be thought of with much love. May 27 our Magenta passed away–another loss of a great cat. We adopted 2 cats with CH this year—Freemont and Wrigley. Another great triple events happened—Catathon, Catstock and Can-ival. We added a wall to the Store/Mail room to make 2 separate rooms. By the end of the year, we were over 12 1/2 million views on the cam. No where else could there be such a wonderful, supportive group as our FFRC Nation. You are all so very much appreciated! We continue to take in and adopt out as many cats and kittens as we are able.

2015–our 16th year! The Covies received a big make-over. No longer will they go to Kitty City for the 4 winter months–it was a bit cramped in there for this many cats. A wonderful big building–16 x 24 was built for them. It’s called The House that Jonah Built (THTJB). We have 2 heaters in there for the winter. In the warm summer, we have 2 big fans. Surprisingly, even in the heat, it stays very comfortable with just the fans. We also have hot water in this building which helps us all with the cleaning! It’s full of Kuranda Towers and shelves to climb. All the Covie cats can fit very comfortably in this building. We also have a Covie Haven which is beside THTJB. It too has a heater and fan to keep them comfortable. The Haven is only 8 x 12 but gives additional space for when a cat wants to get away from the others. Both of these buildings have a cat door for going in and out whenever they please–all 4 seasons! For 3 seasons (not witner) their beloved Cove building is still being used. Surrounding these 3 buildings is almost 500 feet of Purrfect fencing. So, the cats can go in and out as they please to their playground area. We also built an outdoor big jungle gym for them to climb high. In the playground area are picnic tables for visitors, cat barnhouses to sleep in, and all kinds of fun outdoor things. We are grateful to our FFRC Nation for helping this to be possible.

2016–our 17th year! Wow, we have done so much in these 17 years. The whole goal is all about the cats and how we can help them. After all, every cat matters. We have taken on a goal of low cost spaying/neutering for as many cats as we can. That is the key, the answer, to the overpopulation problem of cats. We started this in January. For 2016, we spayed 335 females and 228 males, making a total of 563. We have three options to accomplish this—Transport Day with HumaneOhio, our Voucher Program with HumaneOhio, and also performing some public spaying/neutering here at FFRC.

We have other “rough” numbers to give you. We have taken in about 210 kittens and cats for 2016. This number reflects some cats and kittens that never came into the Main Area. Maybe because some were rehomed immediately, or some cats went out to our farmyard or went to a friend’s farmyard due to their feral state, or perhaps were scooped up by volunteers immediately. There are many reasons.

We have 24 residents that are in the Main Area of FFRC–our permanent cats. We also take care of many cats out on the farmyard: 17 Covies, 11 Porchies, 5 grey barn cats, 5 red barn cats, and 11 Firecats. That number changes all the time. Sometimes Barnies migrate to be Firecats, sometimes a Firecat decides to be a Porchie. All of these cats are cared for, vaccinated, tested, have monthly flea prevention (or as many as we can do!) and most importantly spayed/neutered. And then of course, we have our “main cats”—the kittens and cats that are in the Rescue Center awaiting adoptions!

We also currently house 16 CH (cerebellar hypoplasia) cats. Some are permanent residents and some are available for adoption—each CH cat is evaluated for adoptability. We also love our special needs cats. We may have blind cats, one-eyed cats, no-tail cats, three-legged and two-legged cats, or deaf cats. Some just have “emotional issues.” We try our best to find homes for these special needs cats–but they must be healthy enough and emotionally stable to be adopted. And of course, these special needs cats are intertwined in the daily living amongst the resident cats and all the kittens and cats that are also adoptable. It’s one big happy family! We hope to reach out to our community and everywhere with the message that all cats, the “normal” ones and the special needs cats, are important—each cat truly does matter.

We have accomplished much in way of improvements this year. Some of the goals reached are:
● permanent electric line for the FireHouse
● permanent heating system for THTJB
● replacement window for Kitty Campus room and the little window
● new shed for FFRC
● new picnic table, a new heavy duty wagon, and a Kuranda Tower (for Bella’s Place)
● freezer for the storage room
● load of stones around Shelter House/gazebo/stone lane
● cement slab in Bella’s Place
● new sign–we love it and are proud to have it!

As always, we are super appreciative of our volunteers, our supporters, mods, admins, chatters, lurkers and all that are connected to our FFRC Nation.

2017–our 18th year for FFRC!! I look back and think how very blessed we are for these 18 years of cat rescue work. So many wonderful things have happened. We have grown so much and each year holds new adventures.

We have made more improvements. The walkway from the main door to the sunporch can now be lit up! It’s wonderful as we do a lot of work in the evening and early morning hours when it’s still dark. Our dog/Camvi/small storage room now has a window that looks out onto the parking lot. It’s low enough for the cats to look out of. The porch that goes to the Welcome Room is now screened in. That’s been a bonus to us. It gives another area where the Porchies can spend time and it’s better protected from the weather.

Another goal we accomplished was putting up a fence out on the farmyard. It goes along the stone lane that goes down to the big red barn. We often put the horses in the big front farm yard. We have a lot of visitors that like to go out to the farmyard. This fence keeps the horses separate from the visitors which gives us all a sense of peace as one of the horses is blind.

The Covies also had a big cement slab poured under their jungle gym. Plus the Firehouse has a cement slab poured for the floor. This is good as this floor keeps the cats clean. No more mud!

We have worked hard on increasing our spays and neuters. It’s not enough to just adopt, we have to take that big step in spaying and neutering as many as possible. Last year we had a total of 563. This year we did 914 spays/neuters. This is through our FFRC surgery days, HumaneOhio transport events, and the voucher program we offer. Our new goal is to go over 1,000!

We have been extra busy with intakes and adoptions. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer rescues and shelters and so we are being asked to take on more and more. We are trying our best to help as many as possible.

We continue to stream our kitty cam 24/7, now on both Ustream and on YouTube. We have had 20,677,580 total views since we started the cam, and have had visits from 177 different countries. In addition to the main cam, we have a cam in Kitty Kabana, one in Bella’s place (the dog’s outside area), one on the “far side” of the Main Area, and another in the back Thumper’s Room. These are changed periodically to view the cats and kittens. Our FFRCNation is also very important to FFRC. We enjoy the friendships we have made with so many around the world and are also so appreciative of the support given to FFRC.

2018–our 19th year for FFRC! Our most rewarding goal we reached this year was accomplishing our 1,000 spay/neuter goal for Defiance and area communities!  It actually came to 1,019.  These were done thru our HumaneOhio Transport program, our HumaneOhio voucher program and here at FFRC’s surgery events.

We also put in a new sidewalk from the farm lane to the grey barn.  We feed cats in the grey barn and this enabled our volunteers to walk to this barn without getting in all the mud.

We also enlarged the parking lot. This has been a huge help—it was just too narrow. With a check on our property lines, we realized we could broaden the parking lot in places 9 to 15 feet! Makes it much safer and easier to back up.

Unfortunately, we also had to remove 10 of our beautiful cottonwood trees in the grove of trees—all for safety.  These trees were 100 feet tall or more and many were dead or dying.  Because of the number of visitors on the farm yard and how many buildings would certainly have been crushed if/when these trees fell due to a storm, it was decided to remove them.  This though, was an expense for Jacci and Steve, not FFRC. Now, we are safer!

We also had many little goals that were met, some of which were: loads of stones placed in places to keep the mud down and feet dry, maintenance check up on the generator, help for our Feliz Navidad Fund, and new polywood table and chairs for visitors to sit and relax.

We have moved our live stream to YouTube and removed ourselves from Ustream. Ustream had wanted to charge FFRC to stay on board. Changes are sometimes hard, but this move to YouTube has turned out to be a healthy choice for FFRC.  I thank everyone for your patience during our learning process!

We had extra lights installed under the Shelter House. This helps especially when we do HumaneOhio surgery check-ins, as many months it’s dark at 5:30-6:00 am.

Our FireHouse for the FireCats was insulated. Another building now warm and toasty for the outside cats!

Kitty City needed some help. The wood around the 3 very large windows became rotted and so the windows slipped.  All 3 were replaced and new window frames too. We use this building for so many different uses for FFRC.

We will continue on improving the lives of the kittens and cats in our care. Spaying/neutering is, of course, high on our priority list. Also to continue is fine-tuning our treatment program for all of FFRC cats. This is of course, thru the help of our vet. We strive to give the best medical care we can, knowing too that lots of TLC is so important!

2019–This was a very special year for FFRC–we have been rescuing cats and kittens for 20 years now. We’ve grown from one rescue room to many rescue rooms, PawMart, surgery room, a welcome room, and a quarantine room.

In celebration of our 20th year, we did a major remodel in the Main Area. Gone is Cat’s Corner Room. This was replaced by Paddy’s Place. Also another room was created, now known as the Stuff Room. Kitty Campus room was enlarged also. The design of the Main Area is wonderful now–a wide open space! This renovation was made possible by our viewer friends.

A few smaller goals were met also: a replacement of one of the heavy-duty wagons we use to haul supplies, load of stones where people traffic is heavy, the annual maintenance on the generator, parking lines painted on the concrete, and all FFRC sheds were repainted to maintain them.

We also had a lot of repairs that were necessary. It’s important to keep up on these things so we stay in top working order.

A new goal was reached for 2019 for spays and neuters that were done with the involvement of FFRC. We raise the goal each year–for 2019 it was 1,200. We did it with 2 to spare–1,202 spays and neuters were done!

As usual, we had our Catathon, Catstock, Fiver Friday, and Kitty Christmas. This year we added a Bingo Event which was a lot of fun.

We had a successful year of adoptions. The cats, for the most part, maintained a healthy bunch. This was the year that our Elsie was adopted–she was our amazing blind kitty. She went into an awesome home!

We continue to enjoy our YouTube cam with the Rescue Center and our friends from around the world. In 2019 alone, we had 3,804,170 total views!

We still believe that every cat matters!

2020–Our 21st year of cat rescue. This has been a year like no other. Covid 19 hit the USA and the world with a vengeance. Many places went out of business. Many rescues and shelters as well. FFRC closed the doors to visitors to protect our many volunteers in March. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as we love our visitors. But the need to protect our volunteers is very important. We are still closed to the public’s visits, as the virus is not yet done.

But hope and determination is awesome. We figured out ways to help keep our volunteers safe by wearing masks and keeping distance as much as possible. We figured out ways for FFRC to still show the cats and kittens for adoptions! Our adoptions have been good for all of 2020. We’ve figured out ways around many restrictions and it’s worked! FFRC is still going strong.

Another worry due to Covid was finances. How were we going to get our bills paid? People have been hurt by this virus in many ways, including financially. But…..our FFRCNation pitched in!! Catathon, our largest fundraiser of the year, was cancelled, but we pulled together a safe event called Checks, Cash, Coins, PayPal for Cats—all online! Our Viewers once again came forward and donated to the cause! Our bills were paid! It’s been a humbling year, to know that we have survived 2020 through the support and love of our FFRCNation. These folks are the kindest people ever.

This also changed how we did our major events……Catstock was done differently. Instead of visitors being here all weekend, we did an all-day fun day on the cam! Every hour, we had a “thing” of entertainment! It was our way of letting the viewers know we appreciate them.

Kitty Christmas was also very different. Instead of a semi coming with all the gifts provided, they came weekly by pickup loads. Even during this rough time, the supplies kept coming! And on the actual day of what was Kitty Christmas, we did another fun day of hourly events in appreciation for the viewers. Santa Claus even came for a visit and brought in a huge gold castle for the cats to play with!

We even figured out ways to continue our low cost spay/neuter program with the public. HumaneOhio had to shut down for 6 weeks during this year. But, with changes and patience, we were able to continue this service for the public once HO reopened. We encouraged masks, we asked folks to stand on the bright orange X’s we had every 6 feet. We frequently washed the tables…anything to keep us going. We ended up doing 1,114 spays and neuters for 2020. This came to 668 female cats, 446 male cats, and 2 dogs!

We’ve learned to be flexible. While we all very much miss our visitors far and near, we understand the need of caution. Keeping the volunteers healthy is of utmost concern.

Life goes on and so does FFRC. We will weather this storm and continue to be strong.

2021–our 22nd year of cat rescue. Covid has continued to play a part in the world and that includes the Rescue Center. Parts of the year, Covid was very high. During this time, we had no choice but to close the doors to visitors and to our big events. This makes the second year of doing such actions. But, part of the year, Covid was in the mild numbers and we could again open the doors to visitors. It’s been a whole different world in many ways. We figured ways to keep the volunteers safe. All temps were taken at the door, hand washing became even more important as wearing a mask. We have become pro Covid preventers!

The outside cats have done well this year. The numbers for the Covies, Firehouse cats, Barnies, and the Porchies remain between 45-50. They are all well cared for. Each receives a physical from our vet annually. About ever 5-6 weeks, they get their nails trimmed, fur brushed, and periodically, their weights taken.

The inside residents are doing great. We have 16 residents–Alma, Asha, Camvie, Coralie, Derecho, Hensley, Kiara, Lena, Lucie, Magic, Marilyn, Nyota, Pania, Ramsay, Spiker, and Vernon. They are all in good health, with a few that need extra watchings.

We have also continued with our low-cost spay/neuter HumaneOhio program–doing transports twice a month. Covid tried to knock this down too, but HumaneOhio prevailed. They did have to decrease their numbers of surgeries, which reflected on our numbers, but we still sent 946 cats for their spays/neuters for 2021.

Catathon also was not held as it’s usual event due to Covid. But….there was a big help given to us in replacement! The chatters stepped up to create the We Care event which was held in July. The wonderful news is that the donations brought in from this event almost exactly matched what we normally hoped the Catathon would raise! Another awesome support system.

Adoptions also continued. We are a determined bunch of people and so ways were figured out how to continue with adoptions, yet keep the volunteers healthy! By Christmas time, almost all of the 2021 kittens were adopted into loving homes!

One day after a heavy downpour of rain, we noticed our ceiling was dripping. Sure enough, there was quite a bit of water in the attic–the roof was deteriorating quickly. This was a big expense but necessary. The main area, purple office, kabana and welcome room areas all have a new roof–no more rain drops falling on us!

In trying to be environmentally friendly and to help reduce our very high electric bills, it was decided to put in solar panels. This was a major project but our supporters came through! The goal is a 40% reduction of our electric bills. So far, it’s proving very beneficial!

Our volunteer force has remained strong for 2021. I give high regards to our volunteers for helping us get through another rough year of health concerns. They truly are the best of the best!

FFRC continues on in this world of changes….we are flexible and pursue that thought of “every cat matters.”

In January 2022, Megan Fischer became the owner and director of Friends of Felines’ Rescue Center.

Friends of Felines' Rescue Center is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program
designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.