Covid may close a Rhode Island no-kill shelter founded in 1968

Pet Refuge is a North Kingsdown, Rhode Island, no-kill cat shelter which is in financial trouble due to their inability to carry out fundraising and raise donations to support the charity during 2 years of lockdown and social distancing. They do not receive any taxpayers among; everything they do is about fundraising and donations. The secretary for the North Kingsdown-Exeter Animal Protection League which runs the shelter said: "Everything we do is fundraising and donations. We weren't able to do any fundraising. We lost a lot of money."

Pet Refuge is a North Kingsdown, Rhode Island
Pet Refuge is a North Kingsdown, Rhode Island. Picture: the refuge on Facebook

Pet Refuge is one of the largest shelters for cat in Rhode Island and they accept cats from all over the state. They do not euthanise animals because they have a lack of space or because they suffer from certain medical conditions. They only euthanise if a cat has a fatal disease or is in severe pain.

As a consequence, the facility has around 30 resident cats. These are called "lifers". They have not been adopted because of their medical conditions, age or because of temperament. Some cats live their entire lives at the shelter.

RELATED: 45% reduction in cat euthanasia in Humane Canada shelters over 27 years.

It costs around US$180,000 annually to run the shelter. Spaying and neutering costs alone are between $15,000-$20,000 annually. To these numbers you have to add pay for one full-time and four part-time workers as well as heating, lighting, electricity and repairs for the building. They need a new roof and a new air conditioning system within a couple of years.

The shelter is running a Go Fund appeal with a goal of $50,000. A background problem is that cat owners who have lost their home one way and another and are forced to rent may have to give up their cats and dogs because the landlord does not allow tenants with companion animals.

They have no plan B to cope with the possibility that if they really do have to close their doors what happens to the cats? They have not really got I plan B. They are a true refuge and they want to accept every cat who can stay with them until they are placed with a forever home.

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