Jill's Next Door Feline Alliance Program is a self-funded advocacy and feline adoption program created as an alliance with local pet rescues around Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. 

 

CAT COLONY FEEDER 

Jill Merjeski is a long-standing pet rescue advocate. She began her rescue efforts in 2016 by feeding local cat colonies.Jill decided to impact the feline community on a deeper level and broaden her rescuing efforts by creating alliances with several local animal rescues in Florida. Jill became a certified Trap, Neutered, and Release Professional through the Animal Rescue Professionals Association.

FOSTER HOME CERTIFIED

Since Jill learned to TNR cats and kittens, some of the more vulnerable felines needed a forever home. Jill became a foster parent to over 250 cats and kittens, finding them loving homes while providing shelter, food, and medical care. Her home became a certified Certified Foster Home through the Animal Rescue Professionals Association.

 

CAT-CARE SPECIALIST

In 2017 and 2018, Jill continued feeding her cat colonies and also increased her feline knowledge base. She completed several online cat care classes, specializations, and certifications through Pet Sitters International (PSI) while fostering through Florida's Forgotten Felines, Inc. Jill fostered and aided in adoption of over 250 kitties while working on her own cat rescue alliance program. The skill set she learned through PSI's Cat Care specialization program is essential to her day to day care for her rescue kittens and cats; and her feline clients.

 

JND FELINE ALLIANCE PROGRAM

In 2019, Jill was eager to expand her cat community outreach and founded Jill’s Next Door Feline Alliance Program (FAP). FAP is a self-funded, advocacy and feline adoption program created as an alliance with local pet rescues around Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. FAP has worked with Florida’s Forgotten Felines, iHeart Animals, Kitty Karma of Delray, Animal Rescue Force, among others; aligning its goals with their feline saving and adoption endeavors. Despite the pandemic of 2020, her efforts have only grown stronger due to most rescues being closed. Jill is currently fostering 8 kittens and cats and promoting their adoption through multiple digital platforms. Although no one was able to predict this pandemic, Pet Sitters International's Disaster Planning for Professional Pet Sitters certification certainly helped Jill with her preparedness and confidence. In late 2020, Jill became a certified foster home and parent through the Animal Rescue Professionals Association.

 

ONLINE PET ADOPTION ADVOCACY

Today, Jill’s Next Door Feline Alliance Program has aided and served hundreds of rescue animals, and Jill has fostered over 100+ felines and counting as of May 2020! She is bringing adoption and rescue awareness through engaging FAP social media accounts she has created. Jill has a large following on her social media platforms and takes beautiful pictures and videos of her fostering experience, These online platforms connected forever families with FAP kittens, in addition, has reunited lost cats with their original owners! Jill is also a member of several pet rescue Facebook pages, offering fostering and help when needed through the community. Online adoption efforts tripled since COVID-19 began.

HOME KITTEN NURSERY

Since the number of Jill’s successful fosters and adoptions continued to climb, Jill designed a home nursery strictly dedicated to foster kitties. The nursery includes: wall cat mazes, pack and plays, playpens, toys, in addition to supplies for bottle feeding babies (heat lamps, heating pads, medicine, weight scales, etc). Kittens are monitored 24/7 in home with a team of volunteers to assure they are getting the proper medications, and medical care as needed.

VOLUNTEERS

Fostering kitties is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year job. Jill needed some help with duties such as: socialization, medical care, raising awareness, adoption connections, advocacy and nursery clean up. Jill onboarded a wonderful volunteers to help aid FAP’s efforts. They often spends hours in FAP’s nursery interacting and socializing kittens, increasing their adoption probability. Another volunteer is Tony Sakal, a Trap, Neuter, & Release (TNR) trapper and local cat feeder. We call on Tony when FAP receives calls of concern from the community regarding feral cats and kittens. He traps cats/kittens for population control, providing FAP with medical care, preparing them for adoption or releasing them back to their colony. 

HELPING RESCUES UPDATE THEIR BUSINESS MODEL

FAP works very closely with our alliance Florida’s Forgotten Felines (FFF). FFF is an organization, dedicated to feeding and caring for over 850 cats in over 70 colonies in Palm Beach County. However, FFF was in desperate need of an updated website and business model to raise awareness and to increase donations. Jill provided her services pro bono to build and design an engaging website found here: Florida's Forgotten Felines, and redesigned their logo. Jill took photos of FFF in action, including them on their website. Jill has updated their out-of-date business model, created and maintains FFF social media accounts and developed a hiring system listed on multiple platforms to find qualified cat feeders.

FUNDRAISING FOR A CATIO FOR UNADOPTABLE CATS

Jill and her team member Tony Sakal have founded a residential cat farm in Loxahatchee, FL. FAP raised over $2,000 to build a farm catio (cat patio) shelter for disabled, elderly, or unadoptable cats, found through FAP. The catio serves to protect these innocent souls from predators whilst providing standard cat and medical care. On May 11, 2020, Jill broke ground for the catio launch and designed a dedication plaque to honor our generous catio donors.

JILL'S PET CARE COMPANY GIVES BACK

Since FAP is self funded, a percentage of proceeds earned from JND is dedicated to caring for fosters and colony kitties (food, supplies, medical and monetary donations). We gladly accept donations from the generous community to help the cats. Every dollar counts, and the more resources we have, the more felines we can save and find furever homes for. Please contact Jill for more information on how you can help our kitty community.


ANIMAL RESCUE ADOPTION EVENTS & SPONSORSHIPS

Jill’s Next Door has sponsored and volunteered at local pet rescue events held annually in Palm Beach County. You can read more about our community sponsored events here.

ANIMAL RESCUE AWARDS

2020 PET ADOPTION ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR, PET SITTERS INTERNATIONAL (PSI)

2020 PETATARIAN OF THE YEAR, INTERNATIONAL BOARDING & PET SERVICES ASSOCIATION (IBPSA)


ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

Susan Carmichael, Founder of Florida’s Forgotten Felines: 561-641-5717

Brandy Everington, All About the Cats: 561-277-5108

Tony Sakal, Florida's Forgotten Felines: 561-310-0425

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Jill’s Next Door is always accepting volunteers for the JND Feline Alliance Program to help socialize, care, and increase adoption odds for feral cats and kittens. Please email jill@jillsnextdoor.com and www.felineallianceprogram (still in the works) for more information.