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Pay It Forward: Motley Crew Cat Lounge

Motley Crew Cat Lounge 1
Todd Kunz
Motley Crew Cat Lounge traps, neuters, and returns feral cat colonies, and finds the kittens better homes.
Todd Kunz

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KXPI) - A local animal rescue organization is in its infancy, but is already making a difference. Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz went to see how it works and talk with the founders to see why they do it. And to Pay It Forward.

"We weren't satisfied with the programs that were available," said Julie Szilard, the director of adoptions.

So Szilard and Olivia Motley started Motley Crew Cat Lounge. The nonprofit turns one year in August. It is in Idaho Falls, but reaches out into the surrounding area.

"We get people sometimes bringing cats in from as far away as Swan Valley, Rexburg, Pocatello," said Szilard. Essentially, they trap, neuter, and return feral cat colonies, and find the kittens better homes.

"My job as the TNR director, I find colonies out in Bonneville and Jefferson County. I spend my time trapping them, providing free spay and neuter surgeries an releasing them back to their homes. I take kittens and I make them available for adoption," said Motley. She said she has spayed and neutered more than 50 cats in 2023. It is not cheap.

"We rely entirely upon donations at this point. We're a young enough organization that we're not eligible for a lot of grants and things like that. And so donations, people seeing our kittens and going, 'Wow, that's really cute. Here's five bucks.' It's really helpful," said Szilard.

The two of them said the community response has been very positive. People like hearing about the program. Some people have never heard about it or the trap, neuter, return initiative.

So with that, it is time to Pay It Forward.

"And we get a lot of people who are like, 'There has been no one else able to help us. Are you able to help with us?'" said Szilard.

"Hi ladies. How are you?" asked a woman approaching them on the lawn.

"Hi," said Motley.

"How are you?" said Szilard.

"Good. I'm Cassey (Leatham) with Mountain America Credit Union and we are here to actually Pay It Forward to you ladies today," Leatham.

"Oh?" replied Motley.

"And so I have $500," said Leatham, pulling money out of an envelope.

"Oh my gosh that's so much," said Motley.

"That we're gonna give to help support your cause because we just really appreciate everything that you do to help find these adorable little guys new homes. So," said Leatham, reaching out to pet a kitten, held by Motley.

"Wanna see this one?" asked Szilard, holding a kitten in a blanket.

"Yes. Oh my gosh," said Leatham, petting the kitten.

"This is Jana. She's three weeks old. And she is actually in physical therapy to help her leg," said Szilard.

"Oh goodness," replied Leatham.

"I know," said Szilard.

"Well see, hopefully this will help," said Leatham, referring to the cash.

"We'll take that straight to the vet," said Szilard.

"Yes, yes. Well wonderful," said Leatham.

"Wow. Thank you guys," said Szilard.

"Well thanks for all you do. It's a lot of work. So, we appreciate it," replied Leatham.

"Gosh. Yeah, we really appreciate it. That can get 10 male cats neutered," said Szilard.

"Oh my gosh, that's awesome," said Leatham.

"Yeah," said Szilard.

"Well wonderful. I'm glad it will help out a little bit," said Leatham.

"Thank you," said Szilard.

"Thanks so much," said Motley.

"Yeah. Thank you ladies," said Leatham.

The Motley Crew Cat Lounge will be hosting a rummage sale as a fundraiser next month. It will be Saturday, June 24 in Idaho Falls. The location is yet to be determined. Check the Facebook page here.

"Pay It Forward" stories air the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Local News 8.


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