Community, Latest News

Creature Comforts

Donations help pay for new enclosures, artwork at Mon’s Canine Adoption Center

Cats staying at the Monongalia County Canine Adoption center are a lot more comfortable as they await their forever homes thanks to a donated wall wrap and new cat cages purchased after 15 years of saving.

“Honestly, it was difficult for me to come in every day and see these cats in 2-by-3 cages where they couldn’t stretch and move,” Director Dana Johnson said. “And it was just important for me to know that while they’re here for an extended stay they are more comfortable. Their health is not compromised due to where they’re living and I just felt it necessary that we move forward and give them a better place to live while they’re living here.”

cat in a cage
A cat at Mon County Canine Adoption Center.

The four walk-in cages are 6 feet tall and  large enough for a person to go inside to play with a cat they’re considering adopting, Johnson said.

The center also purchased five new cage banks. In total, the equipment cost $26,207.12 and the Monongalia County Commission matched half the cost.

Johnson has been at the shelter for 20 years and always has a long-term goal in mind. She always sets aside a portion of each donation toward that goal. She started saving for the cages in 2005.

“I always have a goal to try to better the county shelter,” Johnson said. “I’m hoping in the next five years we can have a fenced-in area where people can come and play with pets.”

Currently, the shelter has a small, “makeshift” play area on the asphalt. Johnson wants the new area to be grass.

After the new cages were installed, Johnson reached out to artists on Facebook asking for someone willing to paint a mural and give the cats something outdoorsy to look at.

Damian Ferek, owner of The Stick Company, contacted her within “minutes” and offered to help.

Ferek adopted Stick’s office dog, Hodge, from the center six years ago.

Hodge, a Jack Russell/Beagle, recently died but Ferek said he was unique and full of character.

“There was just some amazing personality and he’s just one of those dogs you’ll never forget,” Ferek said.

An advocate for adoption, Ferek said there is value and benefit to helping local animals.

New wall art & cages at Mon County Canine adoption center
New cages and wall art at Mon County Canine Adoption Center

The wall is covered in a two-piece wrap that Stick designed and installed. It incorporates both outdoors pictures and educational elements, including the Adoption Rule of 3.

Ferek said he was “adamant” the rules be on the wall. In fact, he almost took Hodges back after a difficult and “overwhelming” first few days.

According to the rules, it takes three days for a dog to figure out their new home, three weeks to realize they live with you and start a routine and three months to become family.

Hodge started off rambunctious and destructive and then one day was comfortable and relaxed.

Ferek said he donated the wrap because he appreciates the center and everything the staff does.

“It’s a really hard and thankless position,” he said.

Tweet @WillDean_DP