Volunteer Annette Aluzas shows a young girl a kitten available for adoption.

Rescuing the abandoned and forgotten, with no cat left behind. That’s the motto of nonprofit cat and kitten rescue group Forgotten Felines of Culpeper.

On July 16, the nonprofit hosted its fifth annual Kittenpalooza at the PetSmart in Culpeper as a way to streamline adoption for some of their dozens of cats and kittens in foster homes. An estimated 25 felines were up for adoption, and the nonprofit received upwards of 13 adoption applications.

FFC Founder and President Lynn DeFazio, who has worked as a kindergarten teacher for 30 years, got into rescue because she felt as though she wasn’t able to help her then young daughter who has special needs.

“It felt good knowing I was helping cats and kittens when they had no voice,” she said. “When rescuing, I would never leave just one kitten behind.”

She recalled one night where she waited in her car for eight hours to get the last kitten back with its family. 

FFC works to rescue cats and kittens, rehabilitate, vaccinate/spay/neuter and adopt back out into the community.

As of recently, DeFazio said, most of their fosters have come to the group because they’ve been abandoned by their human family after a move to another location.

Frequently, owners have not spayed/neutered the now free cats, spurring a rise in feral cat populations. 

FFC holds multiple in-person adoption events throughout the year, each with a different theme. DeFazio attributes her career in teaching as her outlet for continuing the themed events. Admittedly, most of their adoption inquiries stem from online interest.

Even though her life now seemingly revolves around pets and their wellbeing, DeFazio recalls as a child never having a pet for more than two weeks. Her mother told her then, when she grows up, she can have all the pets she wants. DeFazio laughs at the thought now due to her passion project.

When families come to adopt a cat from FCC, each cat will be spayed/neutered, be up to date on vaccinations and socialized. 

However, DeFazio doesn’t let just anyone adopt one of their furry friends. Families must apply, provide references and meet their new potential family member in person.

In FFC’s adoption process, once the adopter has an approved application, they also sign a contract before leaving with their cat.

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