Where do you want to fly?
Around Hagerstown Community College’s campus, Trisha Horowitz is known as the “cat lady.”
It’s a term of endearment, since for the past two years, the enrollment assistant also has been the founder and main volunteer with Into the Wild Cat Rescue.
“Here on campus, people just know me as caring for the cats,” Horowitz said. “I just had a kitten brought to me about two weeks ago found in front of the administration building. She’s in foster care right now.”
Horowitz, who lives in Hagerstown, said she was helping homeless kitties long before that, rescuing her first cat seven years ago on HCC’s campus. She still has the cat today.
A few years ago, she began volunteering with the Hagerstown-based For Otis Sake dog rescue. Under the guidance of its founder, she opened Into The Wild in the summer of 2016 as its cat rescue division.
“Having a rescue has always been a dream of mine, at least a goal, and I don’t really think I would have been able to do this without them,” Horowitz said.
With Into the Wild, Horowitz said she does a bit of everything — and something for the cats every day. That includes feeding and checking on various feral colonies throughout Washington County, paying for medical care for injured or sick animals, and finding foster homes to house cats until permanent homes can be secured.
“I’m kind of getting more into situations where people can’t afford to pay for their surgery that needs to happen and possibly euthanasia’s on the table because they can’t afford that. I’ll step in and help them with that,” she said.
Such was the case with Moo Moo, a stray hit by a car around Thanksgiving. A family who were feeding him contacted Horowitz after they were told he needed to be put down. After Horowitz took Moo Moo to her vet, he was hospitalized with a broken femur.
“He’s doing good now. His bill is over $1,000, but to me that’s priceless when it’s an animal living or dying,” she said.
The rescue currently has two special needs cats who had been abandoned up for adoption. One is FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) positive and another has leukemia.
“Unfortunately, some people just don’t care and that’s the sad reality,” she said.
Into the Wild relies on community support to fund its efforts and on foster homes, as it has no facility.
Horowitz said the rescue’s biggest fundraiser is being part of Washington County Gives, an online drive held in May, but she tries to be somewhere every month, such as Hearty Pet on Jefferson Boulevard or one of Pet Valu’s locations.
People can also can donate through the organization’s Facebook page or purchase items from its Amazon wishlist.
Horowitz said she would like to have a facility for the rescue, but an immediate need is feral housing to keep the colony cats safe and warm during the winter months.
Horowitz said she tries to be a voice and advocate for cats needing help in Washington County.
“My Christmas wish is for them to all find homes,” she said.