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Identity & Community

Western PA Humane Society Snags Grant for 'Cat Crisis Center'

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society has landed a $30,000 grant to save more cats'  lives.

The WPHS is the second shelter in the nation to be a part of the Purina Cat Chow “50 Years. 50 Shelters.” program. The shelter will use the grant from the pet food company to improve its cat adoption room and establish a “Cat Crisis Center” to treat mild to moderately ill animals.

Gretchen Fieser, director of public relations for the WPHS, said the creation of the Cat Crisis Center will not only save animals lives, but also will help increase the number of adoptions.

“We want to be able to care for sick or injured animals and get them ready for adoption and then have a nice place to put them as soon as they’re healthy and ready to go,” Fieser said.

The Cat Crisis Center will be stocked with medical equipment and supplies, including work tables, special lighting and a mobile oxygen unit, according to the WPHS.

The cat adoption area will be upgraded with new paint, floors and doors. New furniture and state-of-the-art caging will allow the cats to move around more freely and play with their potential owners, which Fieser hopes will help the WPHS in its mission to be a no-kill shelter.

“To continue to be open door and to become all adoptable is a huge challenge, not just for cats, but for dogs and for the community,” Fieser said. “So this is a big first step in getting us there with our cat population here in western Pennsylvania.”

The WPHS places more than 11,000 adoptable pets each year — including 7,000 cats, according to WPHS.

Shelters taking part in the “50 Years. 50 Shelters.” program have the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 in additional funding based via online voting. The voting period runs through June 14.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the size of the grant received by the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. The grant amount is $30,000, not $300,000. The story has been updated.