Chesapeake Feline moves into Perryville location
PERRYVILLE — A truck load of veterinary equipment arrived at the Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Surgical Suite Saturday and volunteers excitedly helped move it inside.
“We’ve been working on this for two-and-a-half years,” said Donna Corcoran, secretary of the Chesapeake Feline Association. “But all the community has come together to assist us.”
CFA will operate the center on Route 222 near Route 40 in Perryville.
When Dawn Cowhey, CFA director, introduced the concept to town officials in October 2016 the plan was to be open by the start of 2017. CFA had a promise from another animal welfare organization, Lulu’s Rescue, for the donation of a $75,000 pre-fabricated surgical pod. The North East-based organization began to search for property on which to drop the pod. Perryville officials connected CFA with Ann Jackson, owner of the tract near the busy intersection.
A cat lover herself, Jackson agreed to work with CFA. In return, Cowhey named the project Miss Cat, after a beloved cat that Jackson and her mother owned.
But in the ensuing months the pod project stalled. With help from Robert Hodge, former Cecil County Council president, a manufactured building was found to take the place of the pod.
“We were able to locate one quicker,” Cowhey said. “But Lulu’s Rescue is still supporting us. They are still a really good partner.”
So instead of the pod, Lulu’s Rescue is covering the rental costs for three years, amounting to the same $75,000 grant, Cowhey said.
To outfit the suite, CFA purchased medical and office equipment at Elk Neck Veterinary Clinic, which closed last year. Volunteers unloaded sturdy cages, shelving, anesthesia equipment, cabinets and a pair of stainless steel surgical tables. The arrival of those tables made Cowhey the happiest, eliciting applause.
“This was the hard part, getting everything here,” Cowhey said.
The organization now has a target opening date of October and Corcoran expects the location will be busy.
“We hope to spay or neuter 700 cats and vaccinate for rabies, no charge,” Corcoran said.
In the meantime, CFA is trying to locate unmapped feral cat colonies in the county. Not only will that help them initiate the trapneuter-return program, but it also gives CFA numbers to use when applying for the grant money.
Anyone aware of a colony can contact the organization by sending an email to chesapeakefelineassociation@ gmail.com or by messaging them through their Facebook page.
“We’re all about community participation,” Cowhey said. “We can’t do this by ourselves.”
Volunteers move items off a truck and into the Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Surgical Suite on Saturday.
Jim Swanbeck, a Chesapeake Feline Association volunteer, carries equipment off the moving truck, which CFA will use in its Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Surgical Suite in Perryville.
Dawn Cowhey, director of Chesapeake Feline Association, gives a tour of the pending Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Surgical Suite in Perryville to Ron Lample, manager of Lowe’s in North East.
Volunteers hang the “Coming Soon” sign on the Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Surgical Suite in Perryville, which is expected to open in October.