Friends of Jefferson Animals
It's All About the Animals
Friends of Jefferson Animals is a 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to animal rescue in Jefferson, Texas. Formed in response to a local crisis, we are working toward sensible, compassionate solutions for the dogs, cats, and other pets in our community. We are committed to fundraising, homing, and accountability.
Available animals are posted on our Facebook page, group, and on PetFinder. Please complete this adoption application and email it to us. One of our volunteers will get in touch with you to schedule a meet and greet. If approved as an adopter, your new family member can go home with you and will proudly wear a collar and ID tag. All pets are spayed or neutered as soon as they are old enough. Animals too young for sterilization are adopted only locally, and the adoption is conditional until the spay or neuter surgery takes place.
The usual adoption fee is $65 for cats/kittens and $100 for dogs/puppies. This fee generally covers a portion of our fees for basic veterinary services including the spay or neuter surgery and rabies and disease inoculations, worming, and first parasite preventions. All animals are given other medical attention as needed while in FOJA care. In the case of larger dogs or animals that came to us in rough shape, the fee may be higher due to greater costs.
An adopter must be at least 18 years old, and be willing and able to provide a safe, loving home for the animal and necessary veterinarian care through the pet's life.
All adopters agree never to sell or give away a pet, but to return the animal to FOJA, or to call and discuss the situation and alternatives with FOJA.
There are no refunds of adoption fees except as stated in the Adoption Paperwork.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
The best way to help stray and unwanted pets is to help find fosters and permanent homes. Without an animal shelter, this job falls entirely on volunteers. Part of FOJA's work is to act as a "match-making service" for animals in need of homes, temporary or permanent, but we are not financially or legally responsible for every stray or unwanted animal in Jefferson or Marion County. At this time, our intake is closed and we are not able to accept any more animals under our umbrella.
What we can do is continue to facilitate matches between found animals and willing individuals.
Finders are welcome to send information to FOJA via the Facebook page or via email. Please include the type of animal, sex, approximate age, best guess as to breed, general location, and any observable health issues. Please also include photographs. If you are housing this animal temporarily, in your garage or shed, for example, please include that information. If this is a free-ranging animal, please know that these are more challenging to find a foster or permanent match for and FOJA cannot come and catch animals.
Example: "A black female dog, about a year old, looks like some kind of lab mix, in the River Oaks subdivision. Looks healthy, just skinny. Skittish, not aggressive. It's in my backyard for now and I can take care of it for a couple of weeks." With a clear picture attached of the dog, full body if possible.
FOJA will post this animal on our social media with the details you provide, minus your personal contact information. As individuals contact us, we will pass their contact info to you. Screening potential fosters or adopters for any animal you have found is the responsibility of the finder and an essential step! Please ask questions about number and types of animals already in the home and make a home visit, require and check vet references, and ask about financial ability to care for current pets and the pet they are interested in. You should also be clear about your expectations for what they will do with the animal if it is not a good fit for their family. Get all of this in writing!
Those seeking a new companion animal as a pet or foster are welcome to contact our page to be put in touch with finders about available animals. We will pass your info along to the finder and they may choose to contact you. If you and the finder agree that the animal is a good match for your home and wish to take it in temporarily or permanently, that is between you and the finder. FOJA makes no representations or guarantees about the animal's history, health, general disposition, behavior with other animals, children, or any other person. FOJA also cannot provide any veterinary care or other services at this time for animals not under our umbrella.
When we are able to take in new animals, there are several steps that must be followed before that animal is accepted under our umbrella and before that animal can be placed.
Be screened by a board member or designee of the board;
Be evaluated by a veterinarian;
Be approved by the board for acceptance into our program.
Have attended an approved foster training program;
Have completed all necessary paperwork and evaluations.
To begin the application process, please complete this application.
The key to working with colonies is the caretaker - i.e. the person who cares for them. FOJA does not start the colonies or pods. A caretaker is the person already working with the colony and usually, will be the person who contacts us for help. Sometimes, a concerned neighbor may be the initial contact. The caretaker is not necessarily a FOJA volunteer, but it can be. When we are contacted, we will assist as we have volunteers and funds with TNR. FOJA does not, as a rule, furnish food for colonies. If we have donated food that is not committed to one of our foster animals, we can share it, but we do not buy it for the colonies. That is the responsibility of the caregiver. FOJA does not provide veterinary care for cats in the colony who are ill or injured, and/or that have been taken into an individual's home to coalesce due to illness or injury. That is the responsibility of the caregiver or individuals who wish to do so.
Trapping can begin in the cooler Fall months. Caregivers who need assistance should get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will need to make a site visit to observe the cats and plan our trap placement. We ask that caregivers NOT provide food the evening before the trapping event. Volunteers with appropriate traps will arrive at the site on the scheduled date around dusk, set the traps, and stay on-site until animals are trapped or it is clear there will be no more "customers" that evening. The cats will then go home with approved volunteers and will be transported to Animal Protection League the following morning for needed services. After their surgeries, volunteers will keep the animals overnight before returning them to the colony the next day. It may take several appointments to trap all of the animals - caregivers must understand that this is a process. Herding cats is like, well, herding cats. Questions? Want to help? Please, get in touch!
"TNR" stands for Trap-Neuter-Return, a program designed for the humane treatment of feral cats.
Feral cats congregate where there is food, water, and shelter. They help to control vermin, and when properly managed, can co-exist peacefully with humans. There are a number of feral cat colonies in and around Jefferson and a number of kind-hearted cat-loving individuals who have been taking care of them for years.
FOJA plans to work with these and other cat colony caretakers to trap, neuter (or spay), and then return the feral cats to their original location. TNR does not mean the cats are released in another area - the woods or someone's farm, for example!!! FOJA does NOT move colonies except in the most extreme of circumstances.
Over time as animals are not able to reproduce, the colony numbers will diminish naturally. An established colony does not typically accept a cat outside of their original family group, so newcomers will have to move on to another food/water/shelter source.
The FOJA TNR program is for feral colonies only and is not a foster-to-adopt program. If caregivers or individuals wish to take in cats or kittens and try to prepare them for homes, that is their decision and responsibility. Colonies are not the responsibility of FOJA, but we can and do assist colony managers/owners as we are able.
Generally, we follow the guidelines created by Alley Cat Allies. Learn more about them here, or at one of our upcoming events.
Board of Directors
Friends of Jefferson Animals Board of Directors
Sharon Goolsby, Secretary-Treasurer
The board of directors are the only persons who can make commitments on behalf of FOJA, financial or otherwise, and only those commitments approved by a majority vote of the board.
Read our president's letter to City Council following the last meeting at which animal control was discussed here.
Your Donations Really Do Matter!
We run entirely on donations from private individuals and groups. Our overhead is low - we have no paid employees or contractors. Even our website hosting and design is donated.
We have just one Dixie dogs still in our care. She may need additional vet care (animals often do!), and we are committed to caring for HER until they have found loving, permanent homes. Here is one of our Dixie survivors having a good time with her brother - also a Dixie rescue!
Help us get our Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cat colonies off to a good start. We have purchased a number of traps, but need more in addition to funding for spay/neuter services which are $35-45 per animal (if there are no complications).
Helping our neighbors pay for spay/neuter surgeries is an essential part of our mission. The best way to alleviate the suffering of unwanted and stray animals is to have fewer unwanted and stray animals in the first place! Spay and neuter surgeries typically cost $65-70 per dog and $35-45 per cat.
Our fostering program intake is currently closed. To re-open and expand, we need funds! Basic expenses for the required initial vetting of a healthy dog are $195+; for a healthy cat, $160+. This does not include any veterinary services beyond the most basic - no treatment for injuries or infections or the like. It also does not cover food and other care supplies. Those items are currently donated, often by the good people caring for the animals while they wait for their forever homes.
Donating Food and Supplies
To donate food and care supplies, you can take items to Made in the Shade, The Outpost, Embear's Vintage Charm, or Brayden & Company all in downtown Jefferson. Please only donate new items and unopened food for the health and safety of the animals. We especially need dog food, cat food, crates, and carriers.
We operate entirely on donations from private individuals and groups. Our overhead is low - we have no physical building to maintain or rent and we have no employees or contractors. Even our website hosting and design is donated. To view our 501c3 determination letter, click here. To do your own search for our organization, or any other nonprofit organization, visit https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/. All expenses must be pre-approved by the board and we do not allow cash withdrawals and require two authorized signatures on every check. View our check register here.
In December of 2018, 51 animals were transferred from the Humane Society of Marion County/Dixie Humane Society to the Marshall Animal Hospital. Over 78 animals had been living in deplorable conditions for some time and were rescued from the rescue by a massive community-wide effort. The HSMC/DHS board could only commit $10,000.00 to their care and many were loudly skeptical that our small group of volunteers could raise the balance for what would certainly be a substantial veterinary bill. All of these animals - plus others that had already been released to individuals without proper vetting - needed veterinary care: wellness exams, spaying/neutering, worming, vaccinations, and many other services.
FOJA put out a general appeal for funds via local media outlets, print, radio, and television and we are eternally grateful to those journalists who covered the animals' plight. It was no surprise to us when the funds and supplies came rolling in, not just from folks in Jefferson and Marion County, but from all over Texas, the nation, and the world.
Every single one of those 51 dogs was treated including several that required other surgeries for injuries, medication for serious infections and more. Dogs that had been released prematurely were brought to the hospital and received treatment as well. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Marshall Animal Hospital, we were not charged boarding fees, but even with this wonderful gift, when it was all said and done, vetting expenses were still substantial.
Despite the doubters, nearly $17,000.00 was raised for these animals and all bills are paid in full. Much of it was donated directly to the hospital and we have carefully managed the donations given to FOJA on these animals' behalf and continue to do so today. Just 5 of the original 51 released to the hospital are still in need of permanent homes; all have been with fosters since March 6. We are committed to their care for as long as it takes - FOJA doesn't give up.
Now we are faced with another substantial challenge. Our county still has no proper facility for stray and unwanted animals. As one of the poorest counties in Texas, many of our neighbors cannot afford to properly care for their companion animals and we are overrun. This problem is heartbreaking and overwhelming, but we have plans to help.
But we need you to make it happen. Whether it is $2 or $2,000 - your donations make all the difference. We can cover a rabies vaccine with $10 - and we can stretch $2,000 for a long, long, long time. Basic expenses for the initial vetting of a reasonably healthy dog are $195+; for a reasonably healthy cat, $160+. We also need to purchase food and other care supplies. Those items are currently donated, often by the good people caring for the animals while they wait for their forever homes.
Donate via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your contribution to the address below.