Mellissa Cowley has a heart of gold when it comes to felines.
She felt there was a need for a place where cats could be rescued, cared for, and given to families that would love them. Cowley decided that there had to be something better for the cats. So she and her family decided to start Kitty Haven Sanctuary.
Over the weekend they lost their lease on the building used to house their cats.
“We have been asked to find another place for the cats,” Cowley said. “Rather than trying to find all the money needed to build a new building and pay for land we have decided to go to the foster program.”
By getting foster families to take the cats she hopes to be able to save more of the felines.
“We not only need the funding but to let people know we need of foster families to care for these cats,” she said. “It will be so much better for them.”
Cowley said the building she was using was very old and not very healthy for the animals.
By finding foster homes for the cats, they will also reduce the cost of overhead expenses and in the long run save more cats.
Part of this project is informing the public, letting families know there are cats to be adopted at Kitty Haven. She also hopes people will donate money to help her cause.
“People will bring cats and drop them off in the middle of the night,” she said, holding a little yellow striped kitten. “This little one was thrown out of a car going down the highway near Richmond and someone saw it and brought it to me.”
Some of the cats were left on their Trenton property when they purchased it 18 years ago, and the population has grown. Currently the sanctuary is full, and Cowley is seeking families that would like to take one or two of the cats home.
“We knew some of them would never be adopted,” she said. “We didn’t want these cats to live their lives in cages, so we set up a small cattery with an enclosed outdoor play area for them in an old milking barn.”
She said they have over 40 adult cats available for adoption. There are some 25 feral cats that are not adoptable because they are too wild.
They are a no-kill facility, so the cats will spend their whole life at the Trenton facility, unless they are adopted.
“We also buy food and provide medical care for them,” Cowley said. The food costs over $300 to $400 per month and all of the animals are spayed or neutered at Cowley’s expense.
Generally, she will take in sick cats and kittens, but not right now. She said she can’t take any more felines.
The sanctuary owners use Cache Meadow Veterinary, located at 38 East 2600 N. in North Logan, to take care of all of the medical issues. Cowley said if people would like to make donations to the sanctuary they can give it at Cache Meadows.
When she takes a cat to be fixed, she tries to take a Best Friends Utah Cat/ Feral Fix Vouchers to the clinic to help defray the cost of the procedure. The purpose of the cat voucher program is to assist people trapping cats and neutering them and return them outdoors.
“We are a cage-less society. In the winter we use a garage heater to help keep them warm,” she said. “Caring for these cats is a daunting task.”
Cowley works full time at Utah State University. She is there until early afternoon, then she comes home and takes care of the cats.
They currently are listing the pets for adoption on https://www.adoptapet.com/kitty-haven-sanctuary-of-utah/