The Cat Rescuers – A Documentary

There’s a new cat documentary in the works and we think you’re gonna love it!  >^..^<

Introducing The Cat Rescuers – a character-driven film that explores the urgent cat welfare problem in New York City through the eyes of four remarkable cat loving rescuers who hit the streets to rescue them.  Intended to appeal equally to cat lovers and cinephiles across the globe, we’re feline like this film will be simply meowvelous!

Award winning filmmakers Rob Fruchtman and Steve Lawrence successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised the minimum remaining funds needed to complete this documentary. Experts estimate there are upwards of one million abandoned and feral cats on the streets of New York City. With animal shelters overcrowded and resources stretched thin, hundreds of cat-loving activists have taken to the streets to implement TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), a technique that, along with adoptions, can humanely control and reduce the population. THE CAT RESCUERS is their story.

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This feature-length documentary follows four of these street-smart volunteers, all working in Brooklyn where the problem has exploded in the last decade. Against great odds, and sometimes at great sacrifice to their personal lives and bank accounts, they are making a difference in dealing with an animal welfare issue that confronts cities all over the world. By observing the challenges the rescuers face, you come to understand what drives them to be out on the streets day and night as animal rights activists. In the film you’ll see them take on one rescue after another and learn the details of TNR and adoptions, and why they work.


Let’s Meet the Human Stars of the film who we’ll affectionately call “The Fab Four”…

Claire Corey – an award-winning artist who also works full-time in the Advertising and Graphic Design Department at a major art museum when she isn’t rescuing kitties.

Sassee – an indomitable, laugh-out-loud funny and street-wise former rapper turned legal investigator, who lives in Canarsie and will hop in her car any time of day or night to rescue a cat.

Tara Greene – a big-hearted, indefatigable elder health care administrator who lives in Gerritsen Beach, who seems to be everywhere at once in Brooklyn, doing the toughest rescues and making sure every last cat she saves gets adopted.

Stuart Siet – a sweet-natured electronics engineer whose career has taken him from supervising wireless sound systems for Broadway shows to his current full-time gig maintaining radio communications for NYC’s Fire Department. He still finds time for cat rescue on the side.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Rob Fruchtman and asked him to share his inside perspective on the making and background of The Cat Rescuers. Here’s what he told us:

Q:  What inspired the idea to create The Cat Rescuers?

I am the owner of a rescue cat (another just left us after 16 great years). I am also close friends of a committed rescuer. When I saw the amount of time and effort she devoted to feeding and rescuing cats here in New York, I was amazed and intrigued by what motivated her. Curiosity is not just the provenance of cats – documentary filmmakers have it, too!

My co-director, Steve Lawrence, had a different route: he and his wife bought a row house in Brooklyn and inherited a colony of cats along with the house. With the help of rescuers, they learned how to do TNR. Now, 2 years later, they continue to feed and shelter their colony throughout the year. Together, Steve and I decided we wanted to explore their world – the cats and the rescuers.

Q:  Have you ever done films about cats before?

I have never done a film about cats before – but I find they are every bit as interesting and complex as people.

Q:  Where did you find your four protagonists – the street savvy volunteers?

Steve and I decided that our film would use Brooklyn as our canvas. There is a huge street cat population there, and therefore many feeders and rescuers. With the help of Brooklyn Animal Action (a local rescue organization), we began to meet rescuers in many different neighborhoods. We chose the four rescuers featured in our film for many reasons – their tireless devotion, the diverse neighborhoods they live and rescue in, and just their all around fabulousness.

Q:  When & where do you plan for this film to be launched?

We plan to finish the film towards the end of 2017 and launch in early 2018. Our plan is to have everyone on the planet watch it at least once. More realistically, we’ll begin with film festivals (both in the U.S. and internationally), a limited theatrical screening in select cities, offer it for community screenings nationwide so that local rescue groups can benefit, get it onto a television network and/or Netflix or other streaming services, and make it available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and other digital platforms.

Q:  How will our readers be able to view it?

We will make sure that everyone has access to the film once it’s online. We may wait until our festival schedule and television broadcast has aired but your readers will eventually be able to access it not only from our website but yours as well via shared link!

Q:  Do you own a cat(s)? 

Steve and his wife, Helen, own two beautiful cats, Tuxedo and Socrates (not to mention their colony of 15). I and my wife own Suki, who I rescued 16 years ago (pic below).

Q:  What do you hope the film’s legacy will be?

We hope The Cat Rescuers will inspire the public to understand that the population of street cats in our towns and cities are in need of our help and protection. We want people to realize that they can’t wait for their governments to “solve” this problem; they can, as individuals, be part of the solution. And they can make some great furry friends in the process!

Q:  Any other cat related projects planned down the road?

None right now, although Steve and I have so loved working on this project that it will be hard to let go. In other words, look for a sequel…


OK – we’re excited…but sad that we have to wait until early 2018 to see the film which we’re sure will be well worth the anticipation!  If you can help the team boost the Kickstarter campaign to achieve their stretch goals … thank you in advance! Go here => Cat Rescuers Kickstarter

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