When an opening came up for a new cat adoption partner at PetSmart in Lynnwood, the volunteers there turned to Adams County Pet Rescue. The goal was to work with cats that are shy or scared and prepare them for new homes.
Sue Masser, the head of the program, said PetSmart has a corporate mandate for each store to ally itself with a shelter for an adoption partner. Masser’s group consists of 33 people who take turns doing two-hour shifts at the store to get the cats out of the cages and socialize them.
Apparently, the program is working. Between Feb. 16 and the end of October of this year, 80 cats have been placed in homes, many of which came from ACPR.
But that’s not all they do.
“We get a lot of people who stop in and ask questions,” Masser said. “They think we’re experts.”
They also have lots of care handouts and other information, as well as a list of online resources, for those asking for help. They enjoy sharing stories and they help provide teaching for new store staff.
Masser said new information is always available as it changes constantly. For example, she noted how in the 1970s and 1980s, it was common to declaw cats, a practice rarely used today. Plus, there have been many medical advances.
“We like to help make the new cat parents successful,” Masser said. “We are a matchmaking service to some degree.”
None of the cats are unusual. In fact, Masser said they are all regular pets that are simply unique in some way, depending on their history. That’s often where ACPR comes in. Currently, one of the local shelter cats originally came from the Lynnwood program. It suddenly found itself in a cage most of the time, which it wasn’t used to, so it was sad.
“Now, it’s happier because it can wander the shelter,” Masser said. “We also sent ACPR a pair of kittens for a skin issue. They got them healthy again.”
Right now, there is a mother cat with her three kittens at the shelter.
“We got a call from some folks who wanted to rehome the mom and dad,” Masser said. “They didn’t know the mother was expecting until she had the babies while we were on the phone.”
Mom and babies are doing well at ACPR and will return to Lynnwood when the babies are weaned. She said the mom is very friendly, but she needs a quieter home.
The program has been successful thus far, but Masser said the credit goes to the others who help her.
“They are really wonderful as a group to make sure the cats are cared for,” she said. “I’m honored to be with that group.”
Kyya Grant, director at ACPR, said the shelter is fortunate to be a part of the program.
“Sue and her group make sure the cats are clean and fed and they interview prospective owners to make sure it’s a good fit,” Grant said. “They have it together.”
For more information about the program, check out the Facebook page @catsoflynnwoodpetsmart.
Adams County Pet Rescue is located at 1961 Bench Road east of the fairgrounds. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The facility is closed Mondays and Thursdays for cleaning. To contact ACPR, call (509) 488-5514 or email adopt@AdamsCountyPetRescue. Be sure to visit the website at www.adamscountypetrescue.com and like their Facebook page.