Pre-Launch: Emergency Response Fund #lkp2014 #ERfund

Update 25 April 2014: We are $75 away from our $500 total a month in pledges for monthly donations to the ER Fund. Help us make it there. Pledge now. Details below. 
Imagine this scenario: a passerby comes across a stray cat that is clearly injured, and wants to help cats. He is however either unemployed, deep in debt, or a student. He is willing to foster the cat if Love Kuching’s foster space is full, but he cannot afford to bring the cat to the vet. What else are his options?

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At present: none.
Unfortunately, what most people in this predicament do, is to bring this cat to the vet anyway, then owe the vet clinic the bill, and thereafter try their luck fundraising on social media. If no funds can be raised for the bill, the rescuer often does not return to the same vet again, and the doctors are unable to make decisions that could better the cat’s health, simply because the rescuer has gone missing. If the cat is no longer at the clinic, the rescuer who may need a review consultation will not go back to the vet she owes money to, also detrimental to the cat’s welfare being ferried place to place with piecemeal medical histories and perhaps with a less experienced vet doing the review.
Last year, we launched the Stray Cat Fund to help cats in such scenarios, including cats that also get fostered by us. It was a rough draft, and skeletal in operations. We closed the Stray Cat Fund end of last year because in its place we are hoping to launch the Emergency Response Fund, or ER Fund.
The ER Fund is a more means-testing based, logistically airtight structure that will help such cats who need funds to see the vet but can be fostered outside of our foster space. It works together with our soon to be launched Foster Network that will support these external foster caregivers whose foster cats benefited from the ER Fund.

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Here are some of the basics on how the ER Fund will work:
1. A Love Kuching volunteer will have to be present at the vet clinic (The Animal Clinic, Katong) in order for the ER Fund to be used for paying the cat’s vet bill. Payment will be on site with no outstanding owed to the clinic when the cat leaves.
2. Love Kuching will be registered as an owner of the stray cat and be the sole decision-maker for the cat’s treatment after consulting with the vet. This is to reduce unnecessary tests and expensive treatments when more economic yet effective solutions are available. 
3. The ER Fund can only be used for the same cat once. Subsequent vet visits will not be paid for by Love Kuching. Should subsequent reviews be required, the rescuer should have ample lead time to raise funds on her own for the cat before going back for reviews. Should the same rescuer encounter a new stray cat needing the ER Fund the same rule applies in that Love Kuching will disburse the Fund for this new cat once only. 
4. The ER Fund can only be used for a cat if there is an available foster caregiver, the rescuer himself. If the rescuer is unable to foster and Love Kuching’s foster space is full, going forward our Foster Network that will soon be launched will fill this gap. In either scenario, the ER Fund cannot be used for any cat that has no aftercare provision to prevent overstaying in the vet clinic under costly hospitalisation. 
5. Every rescuer under the ER Fund scheme needs to register with us. The database of rescuers will also help us to track the cats that have benefited under the ER Fund. We reserve the right to terminate relationships with any of the rescuers.  
6. Triage: the ER Fund will have a fall below sum of $500. When the ER Fund is at or below $500, cases will be triaged. Only cats that are in life-threatening scenarios that will benefit from intervention will be allowed to use the ER Fund. Cats with comparatively minor ailments, or are beyond intervention, will not be allowed access to the ER Fund once we have reached the triage stage. 
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This pre-launch is a brief overlay of what the ER Fund will be used for. If you believe that this is something the local cat rescue industry needs, we need your help. 
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We want to achieve the fall below fee of $500 monthly so that at the very least, cats requiring life-saving intervention can benefit from the ER Fund. We hope to achieve this by monthly donations to the Fund, to a total of $500 and above. Thereafter, lump-sum donations above $500 can be used to benefit other stray cats without triage. 
To achieve this, we would like to invite you to pledge a monthly sum you can set aside via standing instruction to the ER Fund. When we have reached pledges of $500 in total, we will launch the ER Fund and start helping stray cats immediately. we are only asking for pledges right now, to test the feasability of our target fall-below sum of $500. When this sum has been achieved you will be contacted to set up your standing instructions.
How to pledge: Email us with your name and monthly ER Fund pledge amount . On our end, we will tally these pledges and announce firstly over social media that we have reached our target and thereafter contact you on how to set up your standing instruction. 
There is no time limit to this. The sooner we can hit $500 and above in monthly pledges, the sooner with can launch the ER Fund. 

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Questions? Feedback? Drop us a line at elaine@lovekuchingproject.org
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