For a quarter of a century, the Mason County Kitten Rescue has been helping local felines – both owned and feral – as well as pet owners. What started as a passion project for Norma and Jack Webber out of their garage has grown into the leading cat rescue in Mason County.
But they are not just the leading cat rescue in the area, they are the only one dedicated solely to felines. The Mason County Humane Society is the other pet adoption organization in the area, catering to both dogs and cats. Lana Gunaratne with Mason County Kitten Rescue believes the cost and resources needed to start a rescue are the reasons they are still the only cat rescue in the county.
She says it’s also hard to continue running the rescue, due to monies needed but also manpower. “About 75% of our volunteers are retired,” she explains. “The director, Deedra Sigmon, for instance, is retired and tied to Kitten Rescue 24/7. She not only deals with animal emergencies and facility issues like power outages but also comes in to do basic housekeeping care for the cats and kittens when we are short volunteers.”
Mason County Kitten Rescue takes in and adopts roughly 600 cats a year.
Cat Rescue in Mason County Helps Feral and Domestic Cats and Kittens
The Mason County Kitten Rescue offers adoption services and much more to the residents – both feline and human – of Mason County. Their facilities include several buildings with different purposes on their property, including a medical ward where they can do vaccinations, worming and flea meds for incoming cats. Cats that are recovering from injuries or surgeries are also housed in the medical ward, allowing the Kitten Rescue to bring cats home from the vet sooner than if they did not have such facilities.
They also have a nursery ward, where mothers with kittens are kept if there are no fosters for them, as well as several buildings that hold adoptable cats waiting for their forever home. These cats have large structures with attached catios to allow them access to fresh air while remaining safe inside an enclosure. Finally, they are a no-kill rescue, so they have a resident ward for cats that will stay with them indefinitely.
Adoption is a main focus for the Mason County Kitten Rescue: the more cats adopted the more they can save! Lana shares that adoptions have slowed recently due to inflation and the rising cost associated with owning a pet. “Also, we noticed the younger generations do not seem to be adopting pets, likely due to busy jobs and families with two working parents making it difficult to keep and care for animals,” she adds.
In addition to adopting out cats, including barn cats if you are in need, they offer services to help lower the population of cats in Mason County through their spay and neuter programs. Their Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for feral cats includes rentable traps, free spay or neuter via reimbursement and then monthly food for the cat once it’s released back to your area/property. “We show them how to use the trap, and coordinate reimbursement for the spay and neuter from Northwest Spay and Neuter,” explains Lana. “The persons doing the trapping return the cats to the area, and we provide them dry food monthly to help feed them.”
They also have a spay and neuter program for domestic cats. Just fill out the application and Mason County Kitten Rescue will help you coordinate your cat’s spay or neuter. “We offer transportation services to the Northwest Spay and Neuter or we reimburse $50 if the owner presents us the receipt for the services,” explains Lana. Transportation options are limited. You can check the Kitten Rescue Spay/Neuter page for details.
Volunteering, Fostering, Adopting and Supporting Mason County Kitten Rescue
Lana encourages everyone who can to volunteer. “Deedre and the regular volunteers have a big heart, caring personality, and also take on the very hard work that comes with managing an organization like this,” she shares. “It’s a wonderful feeling and accomplishment to work alongside such amazing people to support the mission. Plus, we get to pet and cuddle cats and kittens!”
Four volunteers plus one member of the management team is at Mason County Kitten Rescue daily. Volunteers are always needed. “We need consistent and committed volunteers to take a dedicated shift (or two or three!) weekly at the shelter,” shares Lana. “We need volunteers who prioritize the shift much like you would a work schedule. This is a volunteer-based shelter and cannot exist without consistent volunteers to take care of the animals.” Having a strong, dependable volunteer base allows them to bring in more cats and kitten and to focus on adoptions.
“We also have a need for a handyman/woman to take on some simple jobs around the shelter,” adds Lana.
Even if you can’t adopt, foster or volunteer, you can still support Mason County Kitten Rescue. They rely on grants, fundraisers and donations from individuals to continue their work. You can make a legacy donation or donate on your own behalf. They also take in-kind donations. You can also support them by attending their bi-annual garage sales and Christmas bazaars.
To learn more about all they do and opportunities to support, visit the Mason County Kitten Rescue website. And of course, please remember to spay and neuter your pets. “A lot of our maternity intakes are people’s pregnant pet cat and their kittens that they can’t take care of,” shares Lana. “We take them in and adopt out their kittens.”