New space is the cat’s meow |

New space is the cat’s meow

by Caryn

Shannon LitzSue Ruhl talks with Penny Wright about one of the cats housed in the new cat room at the Douglas County Animal Shelter.

A wooden sign stating “Phil & Pen’s Cat Cottage” hangs in the new cat room at the Douglas County Animal Shelter.Gardnerville residents Philip and Penny Wright were instrumental in making the larger, more feline-friendly building a reality.“One of the advantages of not having children is you can donate to charities,” Penny said of the couple’s $5,000 donation. County commissioners Mike Olson, Nancy McDermid, Lee Bonner and Greg Lynn were among more than a dozen supporters at Thursday’s dedication of the cat room. “It’s a pleasure to dedicate the only cat house in Douglas County,” Commission Chairman Bonner joked.The new facility is four times larger than the space within the main shelter the cats were previously housed in.“Their (Wright’s) donation bought the building and a little bit more,” former DAWG president Tondra Vees said. “It’s more space than they had. It’s away from the dogs. They have more freedom. It’s safer and more peaceful.”The shelter cats now have 224 square feet of space complete with cat trees, toys, a television and carpeted shelves to take in the sunshine from the window.“I think it’s beautiful. The cats having some place to get out and wander around is a good thing,” Penny said. “They’re more acclimated to what it’ll be like in a home.”Philip was equally happy to see the new accommodations.“I think it’s great compared to what it was inside. It’s quiet and the cats are happy,” he said. “They’ve got loads of room to play. It’s the best of all worlds until they get adopted.”The project cost approximately $9,000 to complete, which was paid for through donations. The county helped out with the logistics.“We can’t operate this place without DAWG,” said Scott Morgan, community services director. “When they have an idea or issue, we listen. And they had a great one. It made a lot of sense and cost the county very little.”Karen Joseph has been a DAWG volunteer for seven years, and donated $1,000 for the cat room.“I’m known as one of the Valley’s crazy cat ladies, and seeing the cats in the center of the barking dogs always broke my heart,” she said. “This way they can see sunshine, have fresh air and hear the birds sing.”Douglas Animal Welfare Group is looking for volunteers in the afternoons to play with the cats.To volunteer, call 267-7325

Go back to article