Ch­e­sa­peake Fe­line moves into Per­ryville lo­ca­tion

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER jbellmyer@ce­ci­wl­hgi.com

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.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Vol­un­teers move items off a truck and into the Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Sur­gi­cal Suite on Satur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Vol­un­teers hang the “Com­ing Soon” sign on the Miss Cat Spay and Neuter Sur­gi­cal Suite in Per­ryville, which is ex­pected to open in Oc­to­ber.

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