Belmont County Hoof and Paw seeking help, donations for its cat population
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Hoof & Paw humane organization is asking for help in its mission to care for homeless animals, particularly cats.
Julie Larish, humane officer, said the group is overwhelmed. She referred to a recent animal hoarding case in which a man living on Indian Run Road, Bellaire was keeping numerous animals including 35 cats.
“Currently, we still have cats left from the Indian Run case, and we also have been trapping cats in Shadyside at a house that’s abandoned, so roughly we have probably close to 40 cats,” she said. They are all housed at our cat sanctuary.”
Larish said the sanctuary is located on Belmont County Road 56 in Jacobsburg.
“We are in dire need of cat litter and cat food,” she said, adding the cats are often suffering from several issues related to their situations. “We had one cat that had to have its foot operated on and the foot removed. We have one cat that’s had its eye removed. We also need to have all the cats fixed so that they can be adopted out. We’ve had to doctor a lot of them for respiratory infections and other issues that they’re having.”
Larish said the group expects a greater demand for services and care in the coming months.
“We will be getting more cats in, only because it’s breeding season right now, so that’s kitten season. A lot of times we’re trapping, we end up getting pregnant moms,” she said. “It’s going to get pretty busy here very soon. We’re still trapping some locations we normally don’t trap. We normally send other agencies out, but all the agencies are also full.”
She added that the breeding season is March to April. Larish said there are organizations that trap cats, spay and neuter and release them.
“That is still going on. The problem is they’re also full,” she said. “Most of our agencies right now, our cat population is huge. … It’s getting in dire straits for cats.”
Larish said the group relies heavily on volunteers, and assistance is always welcome.
“We are always in need of volunteers. We love having volunteers come in — dog walkers, feeders, things like that. I do have a couple of crew members who were with us all last year who are coming back this year,” she said. “We need volunteers for fundraising, volunteers for the dogs, volunteers for the cats. We do have horses that we deal with.”
Larish said there are many options for people who would like to donate, including a wish list at Walmart. The organization can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 610-314-5203.
Anyone wishing to make monetary donations can drop funds off at any Huntington bank in the name of Belmont County Hoof and Paw. Residents can also drop donations of all sorts off at 49586 Jacobsburg Key Road, Jacobsburg.
“Or if they want to just give us a call, we can arrange to meet to pick things up,” she said.