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February 19. 2013 9:15PM

Monadnock cat shelter seeks new home


Morgan Falkner, 10, of New Ipswich pets a cat at Kitty Rescue & Adoption Center in Jaffrey Monday while volunteering at the center. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)

JAFFREY - After 11 years operating from a rent-free donated space, Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption Center co-founder Heidi Bourgeois said Kitty Rescue hopes to find a more permanent situation.

She is asking community members to consider donating a building in the Jaffrey area for the privately owned, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

"We would be happy to name the building after them or a loved one," she said.

Bourgeois started the shelter with friend Laura Gordon in 2002 to provide care for stray, abandoned and feral cats in southwestern New Hampshire.

"Because there was a need, there were a lot of cats that, feral cats, that were just being overlooked, and we just started basically with the ferals. And then for a lot of people in financial straits that wanted to give up their cats and had no avenue to do so.

"There's such a waiting list at most shelters that it puts them in a bad position where if they have to be out of their house at a certwain time and they are on a waiting list they don't know what to do so they just drop their cat and they move. And then it becomes our problem anyways," Bourgeois said.

Also, unlike most shelters Kitty Rescue doesn't charge cat owners giving up their cats.

Kitty Rescue, a no-kill shelter, is currently home to 139 cats, two-thirds of which are feral and therefore unadoptable. The ferals are spayed or neutered and unless they have a safe situation to return to they remain at Kitty Shelter.

Another part of the population is the senior cats that people don't usually want to adopt, but the shelter supports in their "golden years."

The 2008 economic crash hit the pet population hard, Bourgeois said, but the tide is turning.

"It did get worse. Up until last year we were getting so many give up calls. This year we are getting a lot of adoption calls. It's like the end of last year, beginning of this year we are actually getting a lot of people looking to adopt, which is great," Bourgeois said.

The shelter runs on donations and dedicated volunteers, who come in daily to feed and water the cats, change kitty litter and spend time interacting with their cats.

The current location on Plantation Drive is a 4,000-square-foot space in a commercial building owned by Gordon and her husband.

It's been a generous donation, but Bourgeois said that after 11 years it is time to start thinking about finding a more permanent situation.

They would need 4,000 square feet or more. One of the difficulties of not owning their space is that they cannot remodel it to better fit their needs, she said.

Bourgeois said anyone with a possible building donation can call her directly at 562-7277.Anyone interested in adopting, donating or volunteering can call the shelter at 532-9444 or email to info@kittyrescueandadoption.org. Financial donations can also be sent online at www.kittyrescueandadoption.org.

Kitten season is approaching, so the shelter is also looking for foster homes to take in pregnant cats. Once the kittens are old enough for adoption they return with mom to Kitty Rescue.

mpierce@newstote.com


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