Talbot Humane is upgrading its feline facilities through the help of local businesses, donors and volunteers. Fourteen Cat Condos are being refurbished, providing more cheerful and easily maintained temporary housing for homeless cats.
Since taking the reins at Talbot Humane last October, Executive Director Brian Metcalf has been working to engage the community in all aspects of the organization’s activities. The Cat Condo project was one where those efforts, plus some serendipity, came together to create a success story.
While functional and sanitary, the cattery had been painted a dull white. When it was decided to make the area more attractive and easier to maintain, Metcalf approached Chuck Halterman of Annapolis Paints for assistance. Halterman not only agreed to donate all of the epoxy paint for the project, but is also working with Talbot Humane on a planned building exterior upgrade.
“We were only too happy to assist and participate in this project,” said Halterman. “We strongly believe in giving back to our community in meaningful ways. This is a project that will provide long-term benefits to an organization that is vitally important to our community.”
Metcalf next contacted Bevia Patrick, a local Lion’s Club member, who organized a group of volunteers to help apply the new finish to the cattery walls. Volunteer “cat cuddlers” were encouraged to share their own suggestions for the Cat Condo décor.
One cuddler, Melinda Sebastian, completed drawings of the planned furnishings. She shared them with her husband, Jim, President of Alchemyworks Residential Construction, who created a prototype and provided cost estimates.
With a weak economy and budget cutbacks, the financing could have been an overwhelming hurdle. However, Metcalf happened to meet at that time with a couple who were longtime Talbot Humane benefactors and gave them a tour of the facility. “Two days after our meeting,” said Metcalf, “they very generously offered the funds to cover the entire cost of the cattery upgrade.”
Through this community assistance, the prototype has now been built, with the remaining units due to be finished in coming weeks.
Melinda Sebastian explained that she started volunteering at Talbot Humane because, instead of being sad for the animals, she could give of herself and know she is helping them in their temporary home. “I always enjoy my time as a cat cuddler,” she said. “The Cat Condo area at Talbot Humane is an excellent way to show off the cats, while giving them space to play and allowing for easy interaction.”
“While these new Cat Condos will enrich the lives of the cats during their stay,” added Jim Sebastian, “they will also help the staff with their durable, easily cleanable surfaces.”
“The new design and materials will significantly improve sanitation and daily cleaning, and provide a much more cheerful and modern look to the facility,” said Metcalf. “This is a perfect example of teamwork and collaboration for the good of an organization that does so much for the animals of Talbot County. We cannot thank our partners enough for their generous support of this very important project.”
For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer, call Talbot Humane at 410-822-0107 or visit www.talbothumane.org.