SPCA Gets New Home On Pantops

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

May 4, 2006

Everyone needs a place to stay, and, of course, the same applies to our pets.

Hundreds with the Charlottesville/Albemarle S.P.C.A. satellite center almost didn't have a home until Thursday morning thanks to one property owner.

Almost 300 of the cats were adopted. No matter how big the number, or how slick, shy, or frisky the cats are, the energy level was about to drop.

The cats were getting ready to be put out of their "so-called" home.

"Unfortunately, the space has been leased, and we are going to have to move," said Susanne Kogut of the Charlottesville/Albemarle S.P.C.A.

The "Purring at Pantops" satellite adoption center of the S.P.C.A. has been on Pantops for just nine months. In that short time, it's accounted for 25% of all adoptions for the S.P.C.A.

"Sometime we take in 350 a month, so these off-site adoption centers are so important to us to make sure our cats find homes," added Kogut.

The priority to get as many cats adopted as possible shifted to finding a place for their cats to stay.

Almost 40 volunteers who care for the animals, which are sometimes abused before they arrive, were now working feverishly to prepare for a move by May 5.

Working down to the wire they got the news they hoped for.

"It wasn't until last night that that we found that we do have an alternate space. We were really scrambling, and wondering what we were going to do with all these cats," added Kogut.

They are moving out of the upper shopping center on Pantops near Giant Foods. The new space for the cats to purr will be inside the lower Pantops Shopping Center next to another grocery store.

The move is bittersweet for those who know and love the cats. It brings excitement for the cats and their care-takers, but disappointment for their neighbor that had seen its sales go up; thanks to new pet owners shopping at his store.

"While you are here you're going to buy something other than cat products or pet products. You're going to buy groceries, too. So, we've seen a nice increase in pet sales since they've been here," explained Garnie Horne of the Giant Foods on Pantops.

The person who gave the cats a new home is one of the owners of the Pantops Shopping Center. The cats new home is only temporary, so they'll be house hunting again in August.

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