The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 25, 2012

Shelter needs kitty homes

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP —  You could call her “Miss” Fortune.

Fortune the calico cat sits regally, ignoring the bars on her cage at the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League shelter as she watches people come and go.

With all her feline beauty and her calm demeanor, Fortune is still at the shelter, still waiting for a family — she and the shelter’s 133 other felines.

APL board vice president Irene Fiala said volunteers worked hard to place several dogs last week, some narrowly missing euthanasia.

“Then it was like we looked up and we had 133 cats at the shelter,” she said. “The cats were in a good position at that time, when we were really working hard to place the dogs. Then we had 133 in cages. That is way, way, way over our maximum cat population.”

Last week, shelter administrators waived adoption fees for all shelter cats in hopes of finding homes for the kitties, Fiala said, and shelter volunteers will host events, promotions and adoption specials through the end of the year as part of the “Home for the Holidays and Always” campaign.

The next event will be a Media One powered radio remote at the shelter, sponsored by ReMax Innovations. The event, held at the Green Road shelter on Saturday, will feature “lottery style” adoption specials for cats and kittens and dogs. Puppies are not included and only animals that are spayed or neutered will be adopted.

To get information on upcoming adoption specials and animals featured for adoption, “like” the APL on Facebook.

APL board president Diane Carr said the holiday adoption specials are offered in hopes of an adoption boost at the end of the year and also to encourage donations of money and items necessary to run the shelter.

The APL needs $35,000 and 150 adoptions by Dec. 31, Carr said, in order to maintain services, staff and hours of operation.

Carr said one of the shelter’s biggest issues is pet food. The shelter lost its pet food contract two years ago and has been struggling to pay for bags of food since.

“One of the biggest helps to us is when people bring in bags of dry Purina brand cat or dog food. We can always use the canned food, but when people donate those bags of food, they are helping us out tremendously,” she said.

Other than happy homes for all 200 animals at the shelter, volunteers and administrators are asking Ashtabula County residents to open their hearts and add much-needed shelter supplies to their shopping lists.

Businesses, schools and organizations across the county can help by serving as “drop-off points” for the items, Carr said.

“In the past, businesses and schools have offered to be drop-off locations for the shelter’s holiday drive. We are always overwhelmed and grateful for the wonderful outpouring of support during the holidays,” Carr said.

Big-ticket gifts for the shelter include: Gas cards for transport to rescues, gift cards to purchase supplies as needed (Lowes, Walmart, Office Max), tarps with UV protection for outside kennels, drum-style floor fans to dry the kennel area, a new digital camera and a laminator.

Everyday items are needed including paper towels, dog and cat toys including Kong brand dog toys, sanitary supplies including Clorox bleach, disinfectant, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and dishwashing soap, dog shampoo, Catsip, kitty litter, any brand canned dog and cat food, dog treats and puppy pads.

Donations can be dropped off at the APL shelter on Green Road or the APL shelter at the Ashtabula Towne Square, which is open every Saturday.