Cats like Milo, a stray that is at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, will soon have friendlier confines while they wait for adoption thanks to a donation from Mary Flannery of Jackson.
Ground was ceremonially broken March 30 in a Jackson County construction project strictly for the cats.
Thanks to a $100,000 gift from local animal lovers, the county animal shelter is expanding with 500 square feet for “cat condos.”
Four condos, where cats will roam in something like a living-room setting, should be ready for occupancy by summer at the Animal Shelter, 3370 Spring Arbor Road.
Shelter cats have traditionally been confined in single-animal cages. Dr. Cathy Anderson, veterinarian at the animal shelter, called the construction project a dream that will give cats less stress and more freedom to “do the things cats normally do.”
“Our cats will have more of a natural-living type of space,” Anderson said.
County officials hope the condos will help keep shelter cats healthier and more adoptable. For humans considering adoption, the setting for seeing and interacting with cats will be more pleasant.
Money for construction was provided by Friends of the Animals for the Jackson Area, through a bequest from the late Mary Flannery of Jackson. Flannery died two years ago at age 96 and left money to not-for-profit Friends of the Animals group.
Jackson County government will contribute some funds by upgrading mechanical systems at the Shelter to accommodate the addition. Most likely, the county will also pay to adjust the building’s roof line. Total cost of the project is now estimated at $110,000.
Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed in a matter of months.
“We’re hoping to have it finished this summer, for sure, because kitten season starts soon,” said Nancy O’Keefe, vice president of Friends of the Animals.