Pawsitively Cats celebrates its 4th birthday

2014-07-09T21:45:00Z Pawsitively Cats celebrates its 4th birthdayBy David J. McGlothlin For the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

All work and no play can give you “Cat Scratch Fever.”

So Pawsitively Cats is celebrating its fourth birthday and the rescue of more than 1,600 cats and kittens with games, prizes, raffles and live music.

Musical guests Ron Pandy and Stefan George will get the paw-ty meowing with a few songs about cats and a couple about dogs. Cupcakes for a Cause is bringing the purr-fect dessert.

Pawsitively Cats is a cage-free, no-kill, nonprofit shelter for adoptable cats rescued in the Tucson area.

Sheryl Campbell, the shelter’s director, started it four years ago when she was volunteering at shelters around town and there were always more cats than anyone could take care of.

At the time she also shared her home with 50 rescued cats and independently worked to get them adopted. There were more cats to rescue than she had space for, so she expanded to meet the need.

Today, Pawsitively Cats is a rescue partner with Pima Animal Care Center and Petco at 9640 E. 22nd St.

Pawsitively Cats is responsible for about 350 cats between two properties, three buildings and 50 volunteers, including some who foster cats in their own homes. The adoption center at 3234 E. Fort Lowell Road is open Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and shelters about 100 cats and kittens.

“You would be surprised how well 100 cats can get along,” said Susan Miller, a four-year volunteer.

A separate building holds 24 special-needs kitties that require special diets, vet care and treatment. There are also cats with other special needs.

All cats with feline leukemia are kept in their own shelter because the disease is easily transmitted to other cats. As a result, people who already have cats without the virus at home cannot adopt these felines.

“They are the healthiest cats we have. Sweet, wonderful, perfectly adoptable,” said Campbell.

Starting Pawsitively Cats “took a huge leap of faith,” she said. “This is a big financial responsibility.”

As a nonprofit , Pawsitively Cats relies on the charitable, tax- refundable donations to pay for proper care and treatment.

Last year, the Meilei’s Fund provided a matching grant of $8,000 to Pawsitively Cats through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, which the no-kill shelter was able to match with its own donations, turning the total to $24,000.

This year, Pawsitively Cats asks for the public’s help in turning a $10,000 matching grant into $20,000 or more before the end of August.

The nonprofit spends its donations paying the bills, providing vet care, medicine, food and cleaning supplies.

Aside from financial help, Pawsitively Cats asks for donations of laundry detergent, bleach, dish soap, dry adult formula Kirkland brand cat food and Friskies pate-style cat food.

Campbell understands that the Tucson-area’s cat overpopulation problem is not going away. “I try to help out around the community with ‘trap, neuter and return’ by traveling to trailer parks and apartment complexes.” She also goes to middle schools, giving presentations about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

Cats left outside and neglected often become feral. It’s a pattern that keeps repeating itself generation after generation because of irresponsible pet parenting, said Campbell.

She encourages people to humanely trap stray and feral cats so they can be spayed and neutered, which is offered for free at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. That helps prevent litters of kittens from overwhelming PACC and other organizations.

This year Pawsitively Cats rescued over 90 mama cats and kittens, Campbell said. “You could say we have caboodles of kittens available.”

David J. McGlothlin is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing at the Star.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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