St. John Valley

PAWS cat shelter in Fort Kent receives grant for outdoor ‘catio’

FORT KENT, Maine — Homeless St. John Valley cats fortunate enough to find their way to a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Fort Kent will find their lifestyles improved with the addition of an outdoor recreation shelter soon to be installed at the facility. 

PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Inc., the only cat rescue operation in the St. John Valley, recently received a $900 grant from Petfinder Foundation to install an outdoor cat patio, also known as a catio, to allow the felines to safely enjoy the outdoors.

The catio will be securely connected to the PAWS facility to avoid the risk of cats being attacked by predators or running away to become lost or find themselves on roadways where they could be struck by vehicles. 

Founded in 2008, PAWS is staffed completely by volunteers and has rescued hundreds of cats since then. 

Workers finished buildling a 24-foot-by-24-foot extension on the PAWS Inc. Valley Cat Haven shelter in Fort Kent in 2018. (Courtesy of Connie Michaud)

Originally located behind the Fort Kent Police Department, PAWS built a new facility several years ago, Valley Cat Haven, on Rye Avenue. Money for the new shelter was provided through fundraisers, community donations and grants. 

Construction of the catio addition to the PAWS facility will begin in the spring. 

Anyone interested in adopting a cat, volunteering or obtaining information, is urged to visit the shelter’s website or Facebook page or call 207-543-7348.

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