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Renovations Coming to AWLA Cat Quarters

By Courtney Battle

Wednesday - 2/19/2014, 1:30pm  ET

Old cat cage at AWLA New Cat quarters at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington Cat quarters at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) wants to make life a little better for its feline residents by upgrading their housing.

In the upcoming weeks, the shelter will undergo a complete facelift of its cat quarters that includes six cageless cat colonies, a separate kitten room, an adoption area with enlarged windows, and larger cages with spaces for hiding, perching and stretching. There will also be two isolation rooms for sick cats, two private rooms for potential adopters to “get acquainted” with the cats and a new HVAC system.

Neil Trent, AWLA President and CEO, expects all of the renovations and construction to be finished by the middle of March.

To pay for the renovations, the league launched a fundraising campaign dubbed Care And Transform (CAT). It has a goal of raising $670,000, to “improve the intake and quality of life for feline and small companion animals at the shelter,” according to a press release.

AWLA’s cats stay for 35 days on average, but some end up staying for as long as a year, according to the press release. For long-term cats, the new improvements are very important.

In a 2010 report, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) claimed that “poor cat housing is one of the greatest shortcomings observed in shelters and has a substantially negative impact on both health and well-being.”

“We believe that while cats are in our care we must do everything that we can to enrich their lives and that includes an opportunity to stretch, climb and play,” said Trent.

AWLA held an adoption event this Valentine’s Day weekend to benefit the CAT campaign. For just $14, attendees could adopt a cat, bird, or rabbit to call their own.

However, due to last week’s snowstorm, the event didn’t go quite as planned. One cat found a permanent home, but several others are still waiting to find a match. So far the CAT campaign has raised just over 35 percent of its goal. 

Photos courtesy AWLA