Photo: Pictured above, Rainbow City Animal Shelter workers Avery Daniel (left) holds Nub, Amber Stitt (center) holds Hocus and Director Kristy Causey holds Pocus to promote Adopt-A-Cat Month during June. (Katie Bohannon/Messenger)
By Katie Bohannon, Staff Writer
While shelters provide great opportunities for animals to find loving homes year-round, American Humane recognizes June as Adopt-A-Cat Month to raise awareness for all feline friends seeking a forever family. With June as the height of kitten season, Rainbow City Animal Shelter located at 4450 Steele Station Road is promoting all cats available for adoption to local residents interested in adding a loving addition to their household.
From playful, crawling kittens to friendly cats, Rainbow City Animal Shelter provides a safe, loving atmosphere for all animals who walk through its doors. A fairly new facility that opened in October 2017, the shelter operates smoothly with a dynamic trio of dedicated women determined to ensure all their animals find happy endings.
Director Kristy Causey runs Rainbow City Animal Shelter with only two other workers: Amber Stitt and Avery Daniel, who simultaneously serve as animal control for the area. Together, the trio balance rescuing, vetting and caring for animals while pairing each cat or dog with a suitable family.
A former Central Valley Animal Hospital employee, Causey channels her technical and animal experience into her everyday responsibilities at the shelter. Though a professional in her field, Causey admitted that being an animal-lover alone does not prepare a person for what is required to run a shelter.
“You can’t just own an animal and expect to come in here and know [what to do],” said Causey. “It’s a whole different world.”
When an individual walks underneath the shelter’s cheerful red entrance resembling a traditional doghouse, he or she is welcomed with jovial feline faces who meow greetings from their glass room. Bright orange Remington, twins Hocus and Pocus and unique Nub are just a few of the cats available for adoption at Rainbow City Animal Shelter. Though these four enjoy lounging in a designated area of the shelter’s lobby where visitors can admire them at a safe distance, the shelter houses many more cats and kittens that guests can meet.
Rainbow City Animal Shelter’s adoption process begins with a screening where Causey, Stitt or Daniel determine an individual or family’s needs and wants in a pet and try to pair them with the best-suited animal for their household. Visitors looking to adopt then fill out an application. If the application is approved, the family or individual pays a $100 adoption fee that ensures that the animal is fully vetted, including spaying and neutering, feline leukemia tests for cats, heartworm tests for dogs, de-worming and microchips. When animals leave the shelter, they are completely vetted and healthy, ready to begin their new lives.
“[The animals] are safe, being fed, well-loved and off the streets [at the shelter],” said Causey. “We get cats in who are all different ages, sometimes eight and nine years old. Some people fall onto hard times when they can’t afford to feed or care for their pets and we get them. Luckily, if we can’t get them adopted, we have a lot of rescues we work with that will pull older animals and give them homes. They have a lot more time and outlets to find people for those seniors.”
Working with rescues to find animals homes is one way Rainbow City Animal Shelter commits itself to creating the best possible situation for its cats and dogs alike. After closing briefly as a result of COVID-19, the shelter recently introduced a “soft opening” where the shelter is still practicing caution to protect humans and animals alike. The shelter is currently keeping its doors locked and only allowing one family in the shelter at a time, with a two-person-per-household limit. Each visitor must be 12 years of age or older to enter. Causey, Stitt and Daniel open all doors for guests, sanitizing all surfaces that outsiders might touch while at the shelter.
When the shelter reopened, the workers realized though their doors were closed, puppy and kitten season remained fully active.
“We actually had a man to bring in two moms with five babies each,” said Causey. “He brought them to us and he was worried about us finding them homes because there were so many of them. He whipped out a check and sponsored every one of them. Most of [those kittens] are already adopted.”
Though June represents a time to recognize shelter cats and kittens in need of a home, Rainbow City Animal Shelter cares for its cats 365 days of the year. With diligent workers devoted to ensuring each cat and kitten find a loving home, the women of Rainbow City Animal Shelter advocate bright futures for all animals while maintaining a safe, loving atmosphere for them in the present.
“You have to have a love for animals to have this kind of job,” said Causey. “Although we have our tough days, our horrible days, being able to find them their forever home is our reward. Especially [finding homes for] the ones that stay here months at a time or a year. Finding animals with microchips that have been missing for years and reuniting them with their families…that’s the most awesome feeling in the world. Those kinds of stories just keep us going.”
If an individual is interested in adopting a cat or kitten, call the Rainbow City Animal Shelter at 256-413-1242 to make an appointment or visit facebook.com/RBCANIMALSHELTER.