Charitable Choices: Debbie Nelson of MEOW Foundation

Debbie Nelson is the Director of Operations for the MEOW Foundation for the Adoption of Abandoned Cats, or just MEOW Foundation for short. She recently spoke with us to talk about what the organization does and why she wanted to get involved.

MEOW Foundation

Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.

MEOW Foundation for the Adoption of Abandoned Cats (“MEOW Foundation”) is a non-profit society incorporated in Alberta and a registered charity . Founded in 2000, MEOW Foundation is a specialized cat-focused humane society designed to facilitate the adoption of stray and abandoned cats into new loving permanent homes.

In addition to our Rescue and Adoption program, MEOW Foundation offers a subsidized Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) Program and a Cat Food Assistance Program for cats living in the Calgary area. We also offer cat care information and spay/neuter education to the public to promote responsible pet ownership and to reduce the continuing issue of pet overpopulation.

What problem does it aim to solve?

MEOW was founded to improve the lives of cats through humane programs and to reduce overpopulation. Spay and neuter is at the heart of all our programs.

When did you start/join it?

I joined a group of like-minded cat lovers in about 1998. After much planning and strategizing, this group of 11, founded MEOW in July 2000 and we were very proud to celebrate our 20th anniversary this past year.

What made you want to get involved?

Very simply, it was my concern for cats – they were the most numerous, most neglected and most needy species in animal welfare. We were able to devote our time and resources into very specific cat welfare including behaviour, housing and unique medical needs.

What was the situation like when you started?

There were thousands of homeless cats in Calgary and we did our best to begin helping as many as we could.

How has it changed since?

Our goal was to help one cat at a time and today, we have helped over 30,000 cats through our three core programs. The number of requests for rescue and assistance has declined in Calgary and we believe in large part this is due to education and our Spay Neuter Assistance Program for Calgarians in need.

What more needs to be done?

There is always work to be done. MEOW continues to promote responsible cat ownership and continue to strive to find ways to expand our assistance those in need in Calgary as well as beyond our city borders.

How can our readers help?

There are many ways to support MEOW such as donating, volunteering or spreading the word about our work. Readers can also shop at our MEOW Charity Thrift Shop or our Online Store at, where 100% of the proceeds support MEOW Foundation.

Do you have any events coming up?

We do not have any events booked yet, but keep an eye on our social media platforms for updates. Our MEOW Charity Thrift Shop has some great sales going on right, so we encourage folks to check it out.

Where can we follow you?

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Pay It Forward – What is an awesome local charity you love

We would like to do a shout out to Canadian Animal Task Force who assist with cat overpopulation through Trap Neuter Return (TNR) in some rural areas.