Purr-fect addition to animal shelter- Aunt Kitty’s Spring Yard Sale will also be held in conjunction with our Open House

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Pets

Published on June 04, 2019 with No Comments

by Steve Euvino

This is the exterior of the new Joan Hildebrand Adoption Center at the Independent Cat Society in Westville. An open house for this addition will be held the weekend of June 8-9, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A long-time dream has become a reality with the opening of the Joan Hildebrand Adoption Center at the Independent Cat Society in Westville. An open house will be held the weekend of June 8-9 for the 36×40-foot addition.

According to Jocelyn Vereb, ICS board president, the additional room will provide office space, an “event center” for meetings and selling feline items, and an area for intakes.

“We’ve talked about this for years,” Vereb said of the addition. “We hope people come to see this and help us finish the rest of our dream.”

Additional work includes furnishings, renovation of the 1991 building, and additional storage space.

Jocelyn Vereb, president of the board for the Independent Cat Society, pets Moana, one of the residents at the Independent Cat Society looking for a good home.

This first phase of the improvement project was funded through a generous bequest, grant funding from the Porter County Community Foundation and Petco Foundation, and individual and business donations to the ICS.

Vereb said the building project was the result of ICS board, staff, and other stakeholders engaging in a planning process for the future. Needed were more square footage for intakes, new arrivals, office equipment, and a visitors area. Through donations and grants, ICS raised $34,000 for this first phase of the project.

The Joan Hildebrand Adoption Center is named for a longtime ICS volunteer who died in May 2018.

Founded in 1977, the ICS has the mission of serving as many cats, pet owners, and community members in the region. To do this, the ICS: provides a sanctuary for homeless cats in their transition to adoption; strives to provide for the healthcare needs of the shelter population; promotes responsible feline ownership through public education; and addresses feline overpopulation through various programs.

The shelter’s service area covers Northwest Indiana, Chicagoland, and Southwestern Michigan.

The ICS has space for 180 felines. Every cat admitted to the shelter is examined by a veterinarian, spayed or neutered, and is current on vaccinations and necessary medical treatments. Under its no-kill policy, the ICS does not euthanize animals unless a veterinarian advises it to relieve suffering. Also, the ICS does not supply cats to any facility for research purposes.

Vereb, a former Griffith resident now living in Chesterton, joined in ICS board in 2014, but she has supported the shelter since the 1990s. She has adopted several cats from the facility.

“I knew if I walked in, I’d take all the cats,” Vereb said. “I knew that when I retired, I’d volunteer here.”

Vereb noted two other cat shelters in Northwest Indiana, one in Hobart and the other in Michigan City. So what’s so special about cats?

“They’re independent, loving, and adorable,” said Vereb, confessing she’s always been a cat person. “I love the way they purr, care for themselves, and cuddle up to you. They don’t have to go out; they clean up for themselves.”

Aside from cleaners and medicators who are paid staff, the ICS operates with volunteers. Some volunteers are called room partners whose role is socializing with the cats.

“They’re like our pets. We treat them all that way,” Vereb said. “When something happens to any of them, we’re all distressed.”



If you go to the open house …

The Independent Cat Society will hold an open house for the Joan Hildebrand Adoption Center on Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. both days. In conjunction with the open house, Aunt Kitty’s Spring Yard Sale will also be held.

The weekend promises food, fun, and bargains, along with the opportunity to meet the shelter’s cats. The yard sale will include a bake sale and cat toys for sale. Yard sale donations may be dropped off Friday, June 7, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Clothing and large furniture are not being accepted.

The Independent Cat Society is located at 4061 S. Porter-LaPorte County Line Road in Westville, on the northeast corner of County Line Road and U.S. Route 6. For more information, visit www.catsociety.org; email shelter@catsociety.org; on Facebook to www.facebook.com/INCatSociety; or call 219-785-4936.

The shelter’s regular hours are Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment.

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