Holidays are all about spending quality time with the ones you love and giving thanks. No matter if you are a human or an animal, it is always important to have a home to call your own when the cold weather rolls around. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But It’s All About the Animals, a nonprofit volunteer-based animal shelter in Rochester, is looking to change that.
“We try to help as many abused and abandoned cats as we can,” said Pam Robinson, Owner and President of the organization. “Occasionally, we take small dogs. They all have sad stories.”
In 2009, Robinson opened the no-kill animal shelter in order to place as many abandoned cats as possible with families in Massachusetts. Since the organization is all volunteer-based, they try to raise money any way they can. On Sunday, November 11, they held their Kitty Christmas, where they sold festive jewelry and crafts.
“We open up so people can see what we’re about and what we’re doing,” said Robinson. “We do whatever we can to support the shelter.”
It’s All About Animals, which is comprised of about 10 volunteers, works hand-in-hand with the Marion Animal Hospital. The vets at the hospital make sure each cat is spayed, neutered, de-wormed and de-flead. They also make sure they are up to date on their distemper and rabies shots. The shelter takes care of all the cats’ medical needs for the first year.
“It’s great having a community tie with Pam,” said Chantelle Pavao, Office Manager at the Animal Hospital. “When Pam came on board, she was just this crazy cat lady with a dream. We fell in love with her and wanted to help her any way we could.”
Since 2009, Robinson and her crew have placed over 100 cats each year. Robinson only seeks adoptees in Massachusetts.
“I only do Massachusetts because I want to be able to keep in contact with adoptees and know how the animals are doing,” Robinson said.
While the cats are waiting for the perfect owner to come pick them up, It’s All About the Animals provides the perfect atmosphere for the felines. With unlimited food and water, radio, night-lights and colorful paintings, the cats have everything they could possibly need.
“It’s like Disneyworld for cats,” said Pavao.
Cats sometimes get a bad reputation for being unfriendly, but Robinson assures anyone with hesitation to give adoption a chance.
“They’re very affectionate and loving,” she said. “A lot of them have been abused, so they’re just scared, but once they learn how to trust, they’re fine. They’re very easy to take care of and very self-sufficient.”
“To put it bluntly, cats are easily disposable,” said Nikki Horton, an employee of Marion Animal Hospital. “It is so easy for people to up and leave a house and leave the cat. We are really proud of what Pam does here.”
If you are interested in adopting a cat from It’s All About the Animals, Robinson said she is available 24/7 to her adoptees. The shelter is located at 103 Marion Road in Rochester and the phone number is 508-763-2035.
“Every day I save an animal or I know it’s going to a good home, I feel like I hit the lottery. That’s what it’s all about,” said Robinson. “It gives me so much joy, I can’t even explain how happy it makes me when I can save an animal.”
By Katy Fitzpatrick