North Shore Animal League America’s New Feline Wellness and Adoption Center
Located in Port Washington, Long Island, New York since 1944, North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) is the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. They are considered pioneers in no-kill and have helped other shelters and rescue groups around the country to adopt a no-kill position.
Recently, they completed a brand new 14,000 square feet feline adoption center by building a second story addition to their existing building. In this space are all new state of the art wellness, treatment and operating rooms.
And if that wasn’t enough, they also constructed new adoption rooms inspired by the success of the open living room plan, similar to the popular cat cafes where cats roam free in a secure area dotted with couches, chairs, cat condos, climbing areas and lots of toys!
To make this all happen, NSALA enlisted the help of Beth and Howard Stern, huge animal advocates, to spearhead the fundraising efforts. Beth grew up in a family that was rescue-oriented, helping all sorts of animals, both abandoned house pets and injured wildlife.
The adoption center, named after Beth and Howard’s first pet together, Bianca who was one of her beloved rescues, is visually very attractive, colorful, light and airy. Although Bianca happened to be a bulldog, she loved the kittens in the house!
There are different rooms designed and dedicated to the cat-loving donors. There is Billy Joel’s Piano Man Room featuring a piano and a large black cat graphic! The New York State of Mind room has a subway car, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building for the cats to hang out on.
Rachael Ray’s room is inspired by the woods around her childhood home with lots of wall climbing opportunities and snoozing by big picture windows.
The living room atmosphere is a purr-fect setting to show off each cat’s personality! It gives potential adopters the opportunity to see how the cats behave around people and for the cats to also check out the humans. It is a great way to showcase the available cats and truly makes them more adoptable!
Now that we know of a better, more holistic way of nurturing the cats to help them become more adoptable, there is no comparison between the traditional set up of stacked cages in shelters and these new adoption centers. NSALA even has a Feline Enrichment manager!
The trend towards the cat cafes that have been springing up around the country by local rescue groups and nonprofits have shown the cat rescue/shelter world a new way for getting cats adopted.
Now is the time for shelters around the country to make plans to update their cat adoption areas to better ensure that their feline residents have the best opportunity for adoption!
Granted, NSALA had Beth and Howard Stern and the benefit of celebrity donors and support, but all shelters can explore ways to create a mini version of the “cat café” concept through fundraising, furniture donations or maybe even grants. The idea is to see the trend and then figure out ways to make it happen.
We want to give special thanks to Beth and Howard Stern and all their incredible efforts towards helping cat rescue in all the ways they do! They are truly an inspiration and two of our cat heroes!
Mark your calendar for February 2, 2020 at 2 pm EST to catch Beth co-hosting the Annual Kitten Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday on the Hallmark Channel. A definite “do not miss” for the ultimate in kitty cuteness!