A shy orange and white kitten sat at the back of a lower cage at Father John’s Animal House.
He and his brother had been found on the streets of Franklin and had been brought to the shelter about six months ago. His brother had been adopted immediately, but the little Lion-King-look-alike, appropriately named Simba, remained.
One of the workers coaxed him out and he warmed up to his potential family, “pawing” in a very unique and affectionate fashion. Now, nine years later, Simba loves laying in his bed in front of an electric fire, sitting in the window watching the birds and serving as a therapy cat for the Back on Track Agency, warming up to the special needs kids that come to the gym at his house and making them feel special.
Simba is one of thousands of furry creatures that have found their forever home thanks to Father John’s.
Father John’s Animal House is a non-profit animal shelter that takes in lost or abandoned dogs and cats. A vet checks them out and they are sent out to get spayed or neutered: until now. Under the auspices of shelter director Garret Barcheski, the Father John’s is now adding a facility right on site so that the animals can be spayed/neutered without having to be transported. It’s a big deal and will facilitate helping these animals get adopted faster. All animals that are adopted out of Father John’s have been spayed/neutered.
“We’ve been facilitating getting these animals spayed/neutered, but having this service available right in house will really amp of the volume of this necessary surgery,” Barcheski said. “We have a goal to raise $28,000 to purchase all of the necessary equipment.”
In addition to the equipment, Father John’s will need to ascertain anesthesia, surgical cleaning, oxygen and other medical needs.
Evan Kerekes is the Animal Care Manager at Father John’s.
“Currently, Putnam Animal Wellness (P.A.W.) comes here and takes the animals to a facility in the Newark area to be spayed/neutered,” he said. “Having that facility right on site will be huge, eliminating the transport and extra upset for the dogs and cats.”
As the facility is completed and goes into use, veterinarian Dr. Pamela Schott, who has been volunteering for a couple of years, will lead the medical team.
“She has years of experience in high volume spay and neuter and will be doing all of our surgeries,” Barcheski said. “Going forward, we would also like to bring in other vets to do high volume spay and neuters so Dr. Schott will be training them.”
Father John’s Animal House is much more than a shelter.
“Our primary purpose is to find homes for otherwise homeless animals,” Barcheski said. “While in our care they will benefit from love, companionship, shelter, food, socialization, and medical care until permanent, loving homes can be found.“