Cat people

Cat people endure a lot of dark humor and criticism. This is, perhaps, ironic, since dog people are almost universally lauded. What really is the difference, except that dog people have to personally clean up their dogs’ droppings as opposed to the convenience of a little box?

Well, some local ‘cat people’ are in the running for an opportunity to do even more to help our community’s four-legged, litter-box friendly companions.

Hairball Haven, which partners with Petco to find adoptive homes, is in the running for a share of $750,000 in grant awards to be announced in November by the Petco Foundation. The foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign is accepting story submissions from individuals whose lives have been changed by an adopted pet. Hairball Haven has the opportunity to win a $100,000 grand prize or a finalist award ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 if any of the dozens of stories selected as winners comes from one of its adoptive families.

Hairball Haven rescues, fosters and finds adoptive homes for cats and kittens while ensuring the animals are spayed or neutered. The organization is in a position where more funding is needed to continue that mission, according to Tanya Mendelsohn, founder of Hairball Haven.

“We can’t keep doing it if we don’t have the money to do it,” she said. “This is a way to prevent over-population in Minot because it’s such a big problem.”

Her goal is to raise enough funds to hold a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Minot. Mendelsohn said she started Hairball Haven because, as Minot’s animal warden, she saw the need to reduce the number of stray and feral cats, which spaying and neutering can address.

Petco has been an ideal partner for the organization. Petco provides space in its Minot store for cats once they become available for adoption. People can socialize with the cats at the store and fill out an application if they wish to adopt. Mendelsohn said Hairball Haven reviews applications and works to ensure proper matching of cat personalities with the appropriate families.

Hairball Haven, which yes, might be unfortnately named, pursues an admirable goal and could certainly use additional resources.

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