BLASDELL, N.Y. (WIVB) — It costs the Ten Lives Club more than $1 million every year to do the work they do.

It’s a multi-faceted organization full of caring people bearing big hearts. With a main shelter and center of operation in Blasdell, they’ve got more than a dozen adoption locations across western New York, including places like Clyde’s Feed & Animal Center, Petsmart and the Eastern Hills Mall to name a few.

Kimberly LaRussa, the organization’s public relations manager, says that without these partners, they wouldn’t be able to operate at such a large scale.

“Ten Lives Club is the rescue that always says ‘yes’ to taking in cats,” she says.

But always saying ‘yes’ isn’t always easy, and the shelter is in need of help.

“We understand that not everyone can afford a donation, but the problem is that it’s becoming very, very expensive for Ten Lives Club,” LaRussa says.

Since the start of September, they’ve already taken in 90 cats. The previous month, 261 were brought through their doors. Looking at the year as a whole, Ten Lives Club has given shelter to an astounding 2,200-plus cats and kittens.

That doesn’t simply mean giving them a place to hang out until they find a forever home. Ten Lives Club is outfitted with vet techs and a full-time veterinarian on staff who provide the necessary medical care the animals need before getting adopted out. That could include serious, costly life-saving surgeries.

Having medical staff helps offset costs since most rescues have to take their animals elsewhere for care. Every cat that comes in to Ten Lives Club gets a physical, FIV and feline leukemia testing, rabies and distemper vaccines, worm, flea and ear treatments, a microchip, and if necessary, spayed or neutered.

Still, it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Altogether, these procedures cost Ten Lives Club about $230 per cat.

“Many of these cats come with problems that incur high costs,” Ten Lives Club wrote on Facebook. “Dentals, surgeries, blood panels, ringworm and sickness costs are killing us.”

With many cats coming in without donations and LaRussa says that without enough money, the shelter could temporarily close and stop taking in new animals.

“We don’t want to do that cause we’re, like, the only organization right now that’s taking in all these cats,” LaRussa said.

Since running the shelter isn’t sustainable without these donations, Ten Lives Club requests an $85 donation for every stray cat brought in.

“Even $5 here, $10 there would make a big difference to us at this given time if everyone steps up,” LaRussa says.

To make a donation to Ten Lives Club, click or tap here. Information on adopting, volunteering and events through Ten Lives Club can be found here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Marlee Tuskes is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.