Our Mission: Giving cats and kittens a second chance at life.
Love Your Feral Felines (LYFF) is a non-profit rescue organization devoted to giving cats and kittens a second chance at life. Supporting San Diego County and surrounding areas, our organization focuses on saving the most at-risk felines from our local shelters’ euthanasia lists. The cats and kittens we save are deemed unadoptable due to age, health, behavior, and the shelter’s inability to meet their level of care. LYFF is volunteer-run, from the director and coordinator levels to event staff and transporters.
In 2011, LYFF was born out of one woman’s desire to give back to her community by volunteering at a local animal shelter. During her time there, Christine Hubbard made several realizations. First, that shelters and their staff do amazing work in spite of being overworked and overwhelmed. Second, that a gap exists between what shelters can do and what many felines need to live happy, healthy lives. And third, that feral cats are especially vulnerable in our society. Her experiences galvanized her to create LYFF in the hopes of changing the lives of feral cats. Since then, LYFF has saved more than 3,000 feral and semi-feral felines from euthanasia with our Barn Cat Program, through which we place them as working cats around San Diego County.
But saving feral cats wasn’t enough, not when there were others who also needed second chances. In 2017, Melissa Dunaj joined LYFF and originated its Foster and Adoption Program, taking in kittens deemed feral, socializing them, and finding them loving homes. From there, the program quickly expanded to include any kitten that shelters couldn’t care for, whether they were babies needing round-the-clock bottle feeding, kittens in need of care for a few weeks prior to being spayed or neutered and adopted, or challenging medical cases. From just a handful of foster parents in 2017 to more than 100 today, LYFF has grown the program enough that we’ve “graduated” or adopted out more than 3,500 socialized kittens and cats.
LYFF is also committed to the full-circle solution—to treating the whole problem of cat overpopulation, not just its results. Across San Diego County, we support TNR efforts, offer low-cost/free spay/neuter opportunities for feral and domestic cats, provide free educational material on animal welfare topics for grade- and high-school students, and seek every opportunity to educate our communities about how we can all help save more cats and kittens from suffering. For our efforts, LYFF has been recognized by our community three years in a row (2020-2022) with the Best Charity award in the San Diego Union-Tribune San Diego’s Best Readers Poll.