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Barren River Animal Welfare Association: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Barren River Animal Welfare Association (BRAWA) strives to provide a healthy and safe environment for the animals in our care. By receiving the $500 Petfinder Foundation 2022 Cat Enrichment Grant, we can provide enrichment toys, activities, and play structures to enhance their time with us at the shelter. This helps our cats/kittens in many ways by providing stimulating and healthy environments.

We are providing some images of some of the cats benefiting from the items we have purchased. The images feature Belle, Diana, and Rex, as well as Blossom, who is shown playing with the new interactive toys in our free-range cat kennel and whose story is shared below.

How many pets did this grant help?

We take in approximately 1,100 cats a year either as strays, animal-control seizures, citizen turn-ins, and/or owner-surrenders.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Our cats and kittens appreciate the items we were able to purchase using the Cat Enrichment Grant from the Petfinder Foundation.

Blossom (first photo and, in the second photo, playing with an item purchased with the grant), came to the Barren River Animal Welfare Association as a tiny kitten, brought in as a stray in 2018.

She was quickly adopted and unfortunately was returned to the shelter as an owner-surrender two months later through no fault of her own.

The staff quickly noticed that Blossom had a very calm and interactive personality and was comfortable around other cats, kittens, and also dogs.

Coincidently, during this same time, our shelter cat Cheddar was turning 18 years old. Cheddar had a similar history, having arrived at BRAWA as Blossom had: He was brought in as a stray in 2000. Cheddar had a very social personality and often “helped out” at the front desk. Not only did Cheddar become the shelter cat but, due to his easygoing disposition, he was also used to test other cats and dogs for temperament.

In 2018, with Cheddar approaching retirement, the staff decided that Blossom was the perfect cat to put into training for that job, as Cheddar was ready to give up his duties and enjoy his golden years roaming the shelter and keeping everyone on their toes.

After some more maturing and training, Blossom now spends her days helping the staff, volunteers, and the animals in our effort to get dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens homes; she works hard to maintain Cheddar’s 20-year legacy and wants to thank the Petfinder Foundation for the funds to make the shelter a better place for cats and kittens to live.

Sadly, Cheddar passed away in 2020 at the age of 20. You can see his picture here.

Further Reading