This post is a departure from my typical posts, but holds a special place in my heart, as I adopted two of my cats here. Felines & Canines is a no-kill cat and dog shelter that just celebrated its grand re-opening with a huge expansion and remodel. It started out as the only no-kill cat shelter, that recently took on dogs as well. It is the only shelter I know that takes that extra special care, rescuing friendly animals from "open-admission" facilities who have run out of time and hope. Their focus is on animals that have often times have been overlooked by other rescues because they are ill or need additional care. They work on healing the physical ailments and providing the time, love and attention they need to be happy, healthy family pets. The cats enjoy the open, airy space where they can run from one end of the building to the other. The cats have over thirty windows and skylights to gaze out of and enough space for everyone to feel comfortable and secure. The "only-cat" rooms eliminate the need to cage cats who are uncomfortable living with other cats, while also allowing them to live in a private, spacious environment until they are ready to move into the community space or are adopted. The dogs are housed in custom tempered-glass runs that reduce noise and the spread of disease, and afford them ample movement, orthopedic beds, and a home-like environment. Director Abby Smith is a savior and advocate for cats and dogs, especially those that are injured. No cat or dog suffers on her watch, especially when many vets have given up hope. I asked Abby to share what makes Felines and Canines special for her.
Felines and Canines originally was originally founded in 1977 as Felines, a no-kill cat shelter. Can you tell me how it has expanded and grown to Felines and Canines?
There was a need to help more animals and we were fortunate enough to be in a position to do so. Our mission is to help as many animals as we physically can, regardless of their species or breed.
When did you start running Felines? What moments make it rewarding?
I just celebrated my 11th anniversary with Felines & Canines this month. The most rewarding moment is being a part of assisting an animal who has given up hope and often times given up on life, and helping them heal mentally, physically and emotionally, and ultimately winding up in a loving home.
The original shelter is receiving a huge makeover and expansion. Can you explain how it started and what the new shelter will provide?
We began fundraising over 8 years ago. Two years ago, Kelly Thompson (Felines Director of Development) and I, hunkered down and decided it was a "now or never" type of moment. We went into overdrive with the fundraising, sketched the shelter of our dreams out on a paper tablecloth one night over dinner, and two years later, our dream became a reality. We investigated other shelters that we believe are really "doing it right" and took bits and pieces from different facilities to create our vision of the ideal shelter.
When is the official opening date of the new shelter? Will there be an official opening celebration?
We officially opened on December 26 to the public. We will have a community grand opening, to be announced.
If you have a home for a furry friend, please contact Felines and Canines. They will help match you with a compatible personality, since each resident has its own unique personality!
Photo credit: Felines & Canines