Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dogs mov­ing

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­

WYE MILLS — A house on Wye Mills Road has be­come a dream come true for Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dogs.

Be­fore Dec. 1, the shel­ter should be open at the ren­o­vated house and leave its leased space at the Is­land Pro­fes­sional Park in Stevensville. The new shel­ter, across from Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, sits on five acres of land and will be called Tree of Life: Home of Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dogs. It’s named af­ter a gi­ant tree that sits on the prop­erty.

“This is a dream come true for ev­ery­body who sits on the board of di­rec­tors and I’m sure many who worked and vol­un­teered their heart and soul,” said Deb­bie Luka­covic, board mem­ber.

The new space will al­low dou­ble the num­ber of cats the shel­ter can han­dle, up from the 40 to 45 cats liv­ing at the old shel­ter, mean­ing the staff can res­cue more an­i­mals.

“We al­ways wanted to ex­pand .... We want to help as many an­i­mals as we can,” Luka­covic said.

In gen­eral, the shel­ter takes in an­i­mals dropped off by the pub­lic or a up at shel­ters in the coun­ties of Tal­bot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Prince Ge­orge’s and Anne Arun­del. Some­times, feral cats are trapped and brought into the shel­ter. Dogs are kept at fos­ter homes.

An­i­mals brought to Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dogs aren’t eu­th­a­nized like some shel­ters. The cats aren’t caged, are free to roam, and can stay for the rest of their lives, if nec­es­sary, Luka­covic said.

The house, dat­ing back to the year 1900, had to be ren­o­vated be­fore they moved it, and, for­tu­nately, some peo­ple do­nated their time to make the re­pairs.

Inside the house, the liv­ing room will be of­fice space, and the din­ing room will be split be­tween dogs and cats to meet and great po­ten­tial own­ers. On the sec­ond floor, there are two big bed­rooms, one where the cats will be liv­ing and the other screened in for cats who need iso­la­tion for some rea­son.

In a future, it’s en­vi­sioned that a new large main sanc­tu­ary fa­cil­ity will be con­structed for med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, dog runs, and space for train­ing, meet­ing and care for the cats and dogs. This fa­cil­ity will form the cen­ter of ac­tiv­ity for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. It’s ex­pected the project will be com­pleted in late next year.

Also planned is a house for a care­taker who can take care of the an­i­mals 24/7 and walk the dogs at the site as needed. Right now, the dogs are in fos­ter care, which is good be­cause then the fos­ter par­ents can tell if they are good with chil­dren and other an­i­mals, but the cen­ter wants to of­fer day care for dogs.

The shel­ter worked with Scott Saun­ders from Cold­well Banker Water­man Re­alty in Ch­ester to se­cure the prop­erty, and even­tu­ally the shel­ter got a mort­gage. Saun­ders adopted a dog from the shel­ter and the shel­ter’s board of di­rec­tors ap­proached him and said they wanted help.

“We wanted to be able to house and adopt and bring in more an­i­mals,” said Luka­covic.

Saun­ders also was the project co­or­di­na­tor in ren­o­vat­ing the prop­erty. The house was to­tally gut­ted and al­most ev­ery­thing was re­placed ex­cept the frame of the house and the foun­da­tion, Saun­ders said.

The new things in the house in­clude win­dows, elec­tri­cal in­fra­struc­ture, sid­ing, plumb­ing, and hear­ing and air con­di­tion­ing. Al­most all the floors were re­placed, too.

The shel­ter al­ways needs do­na­tions and peo­ple to adopt cats and dogs.

On Sun­day, Nov. 27, the shel­ter is hold­ing a fundraiser called, “Fall Bas­ket and Bag Bingo,” at Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278, 800 Ro­man­coke Road in Stevensville. The doors open at noon, and bingo be­gins at 2 p.m. The tick­ets are $25 in ad­vance or $30 at the door.

Any­one in­ter­est­ing in adopt­ing a pet should check out the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site at chesa­peake­cat­sand­ or contact the cen­ter at 410643-9955. The phone num­ber won’t change with the move.


Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dogs plans to move into this house at Wye Mills Road across from Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege some­time be­fore Dec. 1. The shel­ter has a mort­gage on the prop­erty and will be leav­ing its leased space at the Is­land Pro­fes­sional Park in Stevensville.


The Ch­e­sa­peake Cats and Dog’s ex­ist­ing shel­ter, pic­tured, has be­come crowded. So the shel­ter is mov­ing to a new location on Wye Mills Road across from Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege. The shel­ter at the new location, ex­pected to open be­fore Dec. 1, can han­dle twice as many an­i­mals.

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