Since I signed up in April, I’ve had 6 foster dogs in my home. I can only foster one dog at a time, so I’m always on the lookout for other ways I can help.
I have attended adoption events, picking up dogs from the Gateway shelter to bring with me so they can hopefully meet an adoptive family. I’ve attended fundraising events and carried around a puppy who was selling raffle tickets (I refuse to sell raffle tickets myself, but am happy to accompany a puppy that is doing so!). I spend time using this website and social media to get our dogs who need foster homes or forever families as much attention as possible.
And last week, I added a new experience to my pet rescue efforts.
I saw a plea on Facebook that a cat at nearby St. Charles City Animal Control had found a forever placement. Finding a home for Mark was a miracle since he is positive for the feline leukemia virus and these cats rarely get adopted.
BUT…there was a problem.
Photo Credit – St. Charles Animal Control
Mark, an adorable white kitty, was out of time. Clowder House was prepared to take him in and care for him for the rest of his life, but he would end up being euthanized if there wasn’t a way to get him from the St. Charles Animal Control to Clowder House.
So I offered to drive him.
What is Clowder House?
Clowder House Foundation, Inc. provides lifetime care for your cat or cats when you are no longer able to do so. We offer a tranquil setting with plenty of cat toys, furniture and sunny windows for you cat’s enjoyment. Music, human love and companionship will be a part of your cat’s everyday life.
We are a no-kill, minimum-cage facility, and we make every effort to accommodate your cat’s special needs. We recognize each cat’s individuality and strive to make all our residents comfortable. Cages are used only for new residents until they become acclimated, or for sick or injured cats.
Clowder House also provides homes for abused, neglected and un-adoptable cats as space and funds allow. Rescued cats that can be socialized are available for adoption.
I had no idea that anything like this existed, but was excited to not only drive Mark to safety, but to get to see this cat haven.
It really was very simple. I showed up at St. Charles City Animal Control and told them I was supposed to be picking up Mark to take him to Clowder House. They pulled together some paperwork and put him in a cardboard carrying kennel and off I went.
I had no idea what I would find when I arrived at Clowder House.
I drove up to a large brick commercial building in the city and walked up to a door that had a dozen cats hanging out in the entrance area. After I rang the bell, a volunteer let me in and offered to take me on a tour.
I was overwhelmed. And very impressed.
Every nook and cranny in the building had cats. There were multiple rooms where cats roamed freely, and other areas where cats with health issues or who don’t get along with everyone were restricted so they could lead happy cage-free lives with other cats similar to them.
There really wasn’t a good way to get pictures to capture the vast number of cats in these large rooms. The volunteer showing me around said that there were over 200 cats currently living at Clowder House. She comes in every Tuesday to take care of the cats in 2 of the rooms. She cleans any messes, provides fresh food and water, and gives lots of cuddles and kisses.
One of the rooms the volunteer who showed me around takes care of. She knows all of the cats by name that live in this room plus most of the others roaming around.
No area was off limits to the cats. Cats have even taken over the kitchen table and the bathroom!
Before I left, my volunteer friend snapped my picture just as one of the kitchen kitties gave me a face rub.
How Can You Help?
As you can imagine, Clowder House is always in need of blankets, baskets, toys, cleaning supplies, litter, food and volunteers.
You can also do what I did, and help other pets get to safety.
If you are in the St. Louis area, join the Facebook group that lines up volunteers to provide transportation for dogs and cats going from shelters to safety. If you aren’t in St. Louis, there is probably a group for your area…just do a search for your city and “animal transport.”
Often the dogs and cats are being transported cross country and need numerous drivers to hand off the animals from one leg of the trip to the next, or to house them overnight on multi-day trips.
All it takes to help with the transport is a car, gas money and your time. What a great way to volunteer with your kids too!