Hebron Scouts reach out to P.A.W.S. shelter

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Apr. 9, 2013
Hannah snuggles with Spooky during an April 4 visit by Hebron Gril Scout Troop 67343 to the P.A.W.S. shelter. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Hannah snuggles with Spooky during an April 4 visit by Hebron Gril Scout Troop 67343 to the P.A.W.S. shelter. Photos by Melanie Savage.

At the first meeting of Hebron Girl Scout Troop 67343 early this school year, talk turned to ways to fulfill the Scouts’ Bronze Award requirements. “We were discussing the Bronze Award at our first meeting,” said troop leader Katie. “The girls are to look into their community and find a need that they can try to fill.”

One of the Scouts, Ashley Gentile, thought of the pet shelter from which her family had adopted earlier in the year. Pajamas and Speckles were just little kittens when the Gentile family spotted them at P.A.W.S. “We renamed them Butterscotch and Cupcake,” said Gentile. Siblings Butterscotch and Cupcake have since grown into handsome full-grown cats, and have become cherished members of the Gentile household.

Ashley thought of the shelter and mentioned it to her leader. A plan was formed. The Scouts would make a visit to P.A.W.S. (Pound Animals are Worth Saving, Inc.) to learn about its needs, and then develop strategies for helping to meet them. On April 4, the Troop headed to the shelter. During their visit they were treated to a tour of the facility, housed at 244 Route 171 in Woodstock. Long-time volunteer Roxanne Genay introduced the girls to some of the animals currently living at the shelter.

P.A.W.S. was founded in Lebanon about eight years ago by Lydia Reed. When the building in Woodstock became available, the shelter was established. The facility houses adult cats in large cages, with nursing moms and kittens housed at foster homes throughout the region.

The shelter is almost always full, according to Genay, although hundreds of adoptions are made yearly. “We just always have more coming in,” said Genay. Spring always brings a large influx of pregnant moms and kittens. The morning of the Scouts’ visit, two gentlemen who had adopted a cat earlier this year happened upon a mother giving birth in the woods. “One of the kittens didn’t make it,” said Genay. But a second kitten, though cold, had been revived. Mom and kitten had been taken to the home of long-time foster parent Tracy Mansfield.

As the Scouts completed their tour, Mansfield arrived with an older kitten for them to pet. She said that momma cat had given birth to one more kitten at her house. “I don’t know whether she’ll have any more,” said Mansfield. Mansfield said she’d been volunteering for the shelter for just over one year. In that time, she’d fostered “too many to count, at least over 30,” she said.

Though the Scouts had brought a large bin full of donations during their visit, their involvement with the shelter was just beginning. “Now they’re going to think of ways that they can do more,” said Katie.

For more information about P.A.W.S., including a links to cats available for adoption, go to www.woodstockcats.org, or call 860-480-1104. The shelter is always in need of donations of money, canned cat food, World's Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula, disposable gloves, toys, old towels and other items. Volunteers are always needed both to help out at the shelter, and to foster moms and kittens at home.

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