In what was called a difficult decision, the owner of Catnip Acres – a Greene County nonprofit that has taken in cats and provided spay/neuter clinics and other medical services for many years – recently announced that the agency will no longer be able to take in any more cats, effective immediately.

Owner Carol Pultorak made the announcement on the Catnip Acres Facebook page earlier this month, stating that “many factors have gone into my decision to close the rescue at Catnip Acres,” adding that the decision was not made lightly.

Catnip Acres’ rescue, located at 155 Dark Hollow Road in Waynesburg, currently houses 170-plus cats with 140 of them available for adoption, and Pultorak said the organization will “continue to provide for each and every one of the cats until they are all adopted … (however,) we will not be able to take any more.”

Pultorak also states in the letter that Catnip Acres will continue adoptions through Petsmar,t and it may take another year before the majority of cats are adopted. She added that “high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter clinics” will continue.

“Sterilizing and vaccinating pets gives them a chance at a healthy life … (and) spaying and neutering ends abuse/neglect, disease and euthanasia in shelters,” she said.

Finally, the announcement states that “Catnip Acres Humane Police Officers will continue the enforcement of laws relating to the humane treatment of Greene County animals.”

During an interview last week, Catnip Acres manager Tanya Minardo said key factors in making the decision included space issues and a lack of volunteers.

“When I started working here 10 years ago, we had 500 cats housed here, and there simply wasn’t enough room for all of them,” she said. “Through years of hard work and massive effort, we have been able to reduce that number of adoptable cats to the current total of around 140. But it’s a huge number. Space limitation is a big issue, as is the fact that volunteer service has been insufficient for this rescue to fully and efficiently operate.”

Minardo stressed that the cost of operation is not a factor.

“It isn’t about money; our fundraising initiatives have been wonderful, and we have received a lot of support over the years,” she said. “It’s about caring for such a large number of cats with limited space and limited volunteer assistance.”

Catnip Acres will continue to seek permanent homes for the cats currently housed at the rescue, many of which are older and in desperate need of loving homes.

“We strongly encourage local residents to come in and adopt these lovely animals and give them a home and unconditional love they deserve, especially the older cats,” she said, adding that the majority of adoptions at Catnip Acres are from out-of-county residents.

She added that the rescue will continue to take in cats and kittens found in emergency situations where humane officers are called in to rescue them.

Cats are taken to Petsmart in Washington every couple of weeks in the hopes of finding them permanent homes, and when they are living at the rescue they are properly cared for and free from cages, she said. The cats available for adoption are spayed or neutered and given necessary shots to remain healthy, she added.

She also encourages anyone who is considering adopting to not overlook those who have been at the rescue their entire lives.

“Please do not overlook the shy ones, the old ones, the ‘not so unique’ ones,” she said. “Each and every one of them, regardless of age, desperately needs a loving home.”

Those wishing to adopt can apply online at www.catnip-acres.com, and applications can be emailed or faxed to Catnip Acres, or applicants can take a photo of the application and text it to Minardo at 724-415-5525.

Minardo stressed that the clinic, which is located at 175 Wade Street in Waynesburg, will continue its spaying/neutering service for the community.

“This is going to be where our focus lies,” she said. “Any cost we charge for these services is not for profit; we simply charge just to cover medical expenses. We would like to be able to provide these services for free, but we can’t. And we do try to keep the costs down as much as we can.”

The clinic provides spay/neuter services every two weeks, with packages costing between $45 and $70. All packages include spay/neuter services, vaccines and treatments for ear mites, tapeworms and earworms. These services are for Greene County residents only.

Anyone wishing to schedule an appointment should call 724-833-0954. Scheduling and other information regarding the services may be found on the website and on the Facebook page.

Catnip Acres also provides rabies clinics for cats and dogs twice a year, which is available for in-county and out-of-county residents. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 10, and information regarding this clinic and future rabies clinics can also be found on the website and Facebook page.

Minardo also stressed that all services provided by Catnip Acres are strictly adhering to all regulations, guidelines and mandates set forth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She recognized Pultorak for her commitment, passion and dedication to helping the animals.

“She is amazing,” Minardo said. “Carol started doing this 30 years ago and has dedicated her life to caring for animals, for helping them find loving homes and giving them medical treatments and most importantly, a lot of love.

“She has given so much to help them, and it our biggest hope that everyone can return the favor by helping us out and finding these beautiful creatures their homes, their hearts, their love,” Minardo said.

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