Monday, October 12, 2009

Facts about the Best Little Cat House in PA

Fact #1. The Best Little Cat House in PA is in it's 30th year of operation. Lynn Stitt started caring for homeless cats in 1979.

Fact #2. The Best Little Cat House in PA is an IRS 501 (c) 3 'Not for Profit' organization. We do not receive any State, Federal or Local Government funding, it all comes from donations and out of our own pockets. We do NOT make any charge for accepting a cat. It is not a business, it never has been and never will be. It is run entirely by unpaid volunteers. It is not associated with any other shelter other than the Bunny People.

Fact #3. The mission statement :-

To give quality and loving care to terminally ill animals where no other housing option existed. Let them die with dignity and respect.

Now what does this mean? The main focus of the Best Little Cat House is to provide a final home to cats that would otherwise be euthanized. Spay and Neuter groups bring FIV or FeLV positive cats to us. They can't release them as that would just enable these horrible diseases to spread even further amongst the feline population. What are the options? These are mostly feral cats, they have probably survived a North East winter or two, probably never had a good meal in their lives. What do you think their choice would be? Death there and then or just maybe a warm bed, a full belly and a place to stretch their legs without fear of getting run over. The Best Little Cat House does not do adoptions, it is a hospice, a last resort for many cats.

Fact #4. FIV and FeLV cats are housed together. In an ideal world we would have an area for FIV and an area for FeLV AND a separate area for cats that have both FIV and FeLV. Often we get cats that have both AIDs and Leuk, Moose was one of my favorites and he lived a good while. Sadly we don't live in an ideal world. Non infectious cats are housed in a totally separate area. These include blind, old, diabetic and otherwise unwanted cats.

Fact #5. Lynn Stitt is an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). She has worked on the Psychiatric Ward at a local hospital for the last 29 years.

Fact #6. Individuals or groups bringing cats are given a tour of the facility on arrival. They are invited to ask any questions, they are given the option of leaving their cat or taking it away with them. If they opt to leave the cats we ask them to sign a surrender form. To anyone who thinks this is unusual I suggest they phone around and ask any other shelter in Pennsylvania. A lot of shelters will euthanize a cat 10 minutes after it's been dropped of. Individuals do not bring in cats to the Best Little Cat House on the spur of the moment. They have often had days and weeks to think about it before the next scheduled intake day. We are not a boarding facility, if you want to leave a cat for a few days they are many suitable boarding facilities that will charge you for the privilege.

Fact #7. We do not allow return visits. Why not? Many reasons. The majority of the cats are feral, they are often distressed by people. The cats are not housed behind bars in neat little cages, they can go in and out onto the enclosed porch area in the fresh air or in the warmth of the downstairs or upstairs. Visitors frighten them and injuries to the cats or visitors could occur. Some of the cats are very affectionate. One-eyed Jack in particular loves to claw his way up your leg, it's all highly amusing to most people unless you are on coumadin (a blood thinner) and cant stop bleeding. This is fact, it happened. The Best Little Cat House is their home, it is not a zoo. The volunteers are there for the cats, not to deal with the emotional needs of their former owners.

Fact # 8. Wildlife. Lynn works under a State and Federally Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and treats Squirrels, Possums and Rabbits which are released back into the wild as soon as possible.

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