Q: What inspired you to start It’s All About the Animals Inc.?
A: All my life, my family has saved animals. One day, 13 years ago, the man who services my furnace told me that he was on a call at a run-down home in the area and noticed a completely emaciated cat. My heart sunk, and without a second thought, my husband, Oren, and I rescued that cat and provided him with the food, love, and medical attention he so desperately needed. When he was back on his paws, I told my husband, “Oren, we need to find this cat a good home,” to which he replied quite confidently, “We already did.” The shelter was born at that very moment. Our mission from day one has been to protect and care for abused and abandoned cats and kittens. To date, we’ve saved over 5,000 cats, based on our adoption rate of 350–400 cats a year.
Q: What sets you apart from other shelters in the area?
A: It’s All About the Animals Inc. is a different kind of shelter. Except for cats that are under medical quarantine, they all are free to explore and play in our “Kitty Village,” which consists of one large shelter, four smaller cottages, and an enclosed outdoor space, which we refer to as our “catio.” Each building is equipped with heat, air-conditioning, natural sunlight, cheerful wall paintings, shelving units, furniture, toys, and more. It offers our feline residents a safe and stimulating environment to explore, relax, and recoup. We also have a medical clinic onsite.
We are very strict about our intake process and protocols, which sets us apart from other shelters. When a new cat or kitten arrives, they are quarantined for a minimum of two weeks and tested for leukemia, heart worm, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). It’s essential to us here at It’s All About the Animals Inc. that adopters understand exactly what kind of cat, medical issues and all, they are bringing into their homes and hearts. The only way to know for sure is to do the testing ourselves.
We are equally as strict about our adoption vetting process. Oren and I pour our hearts into our animals and make sure that the individuals and families interested in adopting are just as committed.
Q: What has been your biggest success to date?
A: Saving a cat that has been abandoned and neglected brings us the greatest sense of accomplishment. Take Fortunate, for example. He was stuck in a tree over 85 feet in the air in the dead of winter. After calling the Marion Fire Department, we learned that its truck ladders only reach 65 feet. So we had to cut the tree limb down. Thankfully, he landed on all fours. After a quick foot chase in the snow, he was found safe and earned his loving name.
Feeding, tending to injuries, and nursing our cats back to health and into the arms of a loving family fill us up after a long day. We will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens for our animals.
Q: Speaking of long days, what challenges have you faced over the years?
A: As a nonprofit organization, money is always tight. However, our local volunteers and community supporters keep us going, even on the darkest days. We have 30 volunteers at the shelter who clean and play with our cats and kittens. I handle all the medical and health issues with the assistance of our local veterinarian.
Q: How can people support It’s All About the Animals Inc.?
A: Donations go a long way for the shelter. Medical costs for most of our cats are high, and I don’t believe in bargain shopping for their health and well-being. Our name is It’s All About the Animals, and that’s because it really is all about the animals here. It’s our adage and what we live by and for every day.
Q: How did you get started with Morse Insurance?
A: To be honest, I can’t even remember. The Morse team just fits into our business seamlessly; our seven-year relationship has been a breeze. I love working with Morse Insurance because its customer service is fantastic. As a small business owner, I need partners that I can depend on. The Marion office is also conveniently located to the shelter in Rochester, so Oren or I can pop in whenever we need something.
Q: Any last words for our readers today?
A: Spay and neuter, please. And buy pet insurance, it’s a fantastic way to protect yourself and your furry friends!