By Heather Bell
RADFORD – The cats and kittens who have to call the Radford Animal Shelter home will have a new state-of-the-art habitat to await their adoption, thanks to an effort kicked off by Radford residents donating money to the shelter to memorialize Betty White.
When White, renowned actor and steadfast champion for animals, died at the age of 99 on Dec. 31, 2021, a worldwide effort to raise money for animal shelters commenced. It is estimated that effort raised more than $13 million. In Radford, the total was $8,300, and the Radford City Council recently voted to allocate funds taken into the city for shelter use to add to the donations and renovate the Radford Animal Shelter’s cat cage area.
“I threw the idea out there that we could use the opportunity and donations to upgrade the accommodations in the cat adoption room,” said Animal Control Officer Adele Katrovitz in an announcement on the Radford Animal Shelter’s Facebook page. “As usual our community rallied and donated $8,300, which is amazing, and we are blown away by your support.”
Those donations kickstarted the larger effort to find funds to complete the project.
“One of our wonderful co-workers, Cindy Carroll, who is an administration superstar, got to work,” said Katrovitz. “She was able to locate funds through prior donations and money reimbursed to us through the courts for care costs of the animals we care for while going through the court process, such as animal cruelty.”
Katrovitz presented the plan to the Radford City Council and announced the council “appropriated the funds to us for the upgrades and renovations to the cat adoption room.”
“We are so excited and cannot wait for the new room to be morphed into a five-star cat hotel,” she said. “Our animals are always our main concern, and we always strive to provide them the best we can while they are with us. These new towers will provide them with so much more space. They can exercise, play, de-stress, and eat food that will not be next to their toilets. Their health and vitality will be better for it.”
Katrovitz said the new habitat will also have features to enhance the experience of people visiting the shelter to adopt cats.
“We plan to place seating areas in the room that are comfortable and create a peaceful, loving environment for your cat to be able to choose you; as we all know, they do the choosing,” she said.
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