Friends group raising funds for cat kennels for new city shelter

Published 6:37 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

With a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter on the way, volunteers are raising funds to upgrade the cages for cats and kittens.

The Friends of the City of Vicksburg Animal Shelter, a non-profit organization formed to support the construction of a new, updated animal shelter for the city, has begun a fund drive to purchase new cat kennel cages for the shelter.

The new cages will give the shelter’s cats more comfortable accommodations and improve sanitation.

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“The current cat kennel cages are like 20 inches by 28 inches and have a litter box and two bowls contained in the cage,” said Friends member Missy Arnold. “Many times they might put, because of space, two adult cats, maybe three or four kittens (in one kennel).

“It’s a small, small cage, it’s not efficient; it’s not clean.”

Arnold said the cage shelter officials are considering is 48 by 30 and provides room for the cats to move around.

“You’re going to have an area where they can move around and then you’re going to have like a shield (door). They can have their food in one area and it’s separated from where they’re sleeping,” Arnold said. “It’s easier to clean, so it’s a nice size.”

“They have a living space and then there’s a door that they can go into the area where they need to use the restroom and eat,” member Cherry Robbins said. “The cats never have to be disturbed when they’re (shelter staff) cleaning out the litter and the food. It’s just better for the animals all around. They have more room, it’s easier to clean and it’s more sanitary.”

But the new cages are expensive, Robbins said, adding they run about $3,000 each. “And we need 32 (cages),” she said. “Basically, it’s going cost $120,000 to put these things in there, and we’ve got to raise that money.”

Arnold and Robbins said the Friends do not yet have the new cat kennels and are just beginning the fund drive.

“We have to start somewhere and get some new cages in there,” Arnold said. “We’re personally reaching out to the community and then we’ve got a specific letter that we’re going to bring to businesses … it’s great if somebody needs a tax write-off. We’re a nonprofit organization. It is a time to give and it’s the end of the fiscal year.”

All donors who donate more than $500 will have their name on a plaque in the new shelter, Arnold said.

“We have a GoFundMe going right now for members of our community to donate,” Robbins said. “We’ve had $15 donations, we’ve had one $500 donation, we’ve had lots of $20 donations but we really want to get the word out about that so more people can access it and we’re going to be putting together packets to take to local businesses, industries here.

“Hopefully, some of these businesses that are doing well in our community will be happy to donate to this,” she said. The fundraiser is also mentioned on the organization’s Facebook page.

Arnold and Robbins said they have been able to get a look at the new shelter, which houses all animals indoors except for the dog runs.

“It is going to be amazing,” Robbins said. “It is going to be so much better for these animals that it’s more sanitary. They have a drainage system now where they did not before. The drainage system up there at the old shelter didn’t have enough water pressure to clean it out and then it gets stopped up, too, and it wouldn’t drain. This new facility has this great system and they can flush the system.”

“What they’ve done with this new facility, updated facility, on Highway 61 South, is they’ve put everything you need for a really upscale shelter,” Arnold said. “It’s efficient because it’s clean; it’s disease resistant.”

The shelter also has separate rooms for cats and dogs and a quarantine room for sick animals. Before, Robbins said, all the animals were in one room together

“They got rid of all that, which is wonderful. We just don’t want to see these rusty, old outdated cat cages in a brand new state of the art facility. We need to have new things in there for these animals.”

“I think it, it’s going to be a wonderful place for people that go to work, that have to work in that environment,” Arnold said. “They are going to be happy to go to work and the volunteers — you’re just not exposed to all that waste.”

The Friends of the City of Vicksburg Animal Shelter is a non-profit 501C(3) organization created to support an updated and new shelter and to provide needed supplies for our sheltered animals.

The organization was incorporated in March 2020. The whole intent of the Friends was to support the people of Vicksburg who wanted a new animal shelter.



About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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