By Taylor Boyd
The Clover Cat Rescue has maintained steady adoption rates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rescue expects to continue to have similar adoption rates to previous years during the winter months, even though they were forced to stop their monthly adoption days in Roanoke due to the virus.
Tanja Schoor, founder, said she is grateful adoptions continued even with the virus and especially during kitten season.
But, Schoor added that adoptions come and go, “like waves.”
The agency currently is experiencing a slow rate, but that is typical this time of year because “many people don’t like to look for cats during the summer when they have plans to go on vacation or start school,” she said.
Clover Cat Rescue is a non-profit organization that Schoor started in 2012 on her property in Patrick Springs. It is a no-kill cat shelter that has five different holding spaces for cats.
“We have to have different spaces for the cats” given “the different types of cats we are looking after,” Schoor said.
She explained that one space is for new arrivals to be quarantined, to make sure they don’t infect other cats. Another space houses cats who are positive for feline leukemia for the same reason. The other spaces allow for cats to be inside or outside, depending on the individual feline’s whim, she said.
Schoor currently houses 80 cats on the property and has more than 20 more in foster homes, primarily female cats with kittens.
The center can accommodate up to 150 cats, especially during kitten season, she added.
A majority of kitties housed at the rescue come from the Patrick County Public Animal Shelter, which is able to hold cats only for a limited time before felines are euthanized.
“We spay/neuter our cats because of the overpopulation of kitties,” Schoor said of a program that began in 2014. It includes spay/neuter, pain meds, and a rabies vaccine. Patrick County residents pay $25, and the rescue picks up the tab for the remainder.
Adoption costs are $65 for adult cats and $75 for kittens. A kitten pair adopted together is priced lower to encourage kittens to be adopted together.
Because the rescue is a no-kill shelter, many senior cats or those suffering from medical issues are housed there long-term. In many of those cases, Schoor said forever homes outside the rescue are elusive. The rescue relies on donations to pay for medical costs, she added.
Schoor said getting her organization involved in pet therapy is on her bucket list.
“Cats have a calming presence for children with autism and other mental illnesses,” Schoor said. Pet therapy has also shown to be beneficial for the elderly, as animals help to reduce blood pressure and stress levels.
“I would love to bring my animals up to the nursing home and see about them having a kitty to go around and see the patients once the pandemic is over,” Schoor said.
Donations may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal, or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 829, Stuart, Va., 24171.
The agency also accepts donations of cat litter, food, toys and other items. For more information, to adopt or to volunteer, visit the rescue’s social media page at Facebook.com/CloverCatRescue/.