Nonprofit builds homes for cats this winter

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (01/20/18) - Keeping all animals warm this winter is a major goal for the nonprofit organization HOPE.

They've already given away about 750 bags of straw for free. Saturday volunteers were busy building 35 shelters for feral cats or other community cats who may be left to fend for themselves outside.

"There's a huge need. These cats find themselves displaced outdoors for whatever reason," said volunteer Amber Price.

These shelters won't just help them stay warm but it's also a fun project and a creative way to reuse materials. It takes about one hour to make one, and once they're done, they will put straw inside.

"We get a lot of our coolers you see from local pet stores, local hospitals. They ship a lot of medical supplies in those to keep them insulated for whatever reason. And then the Mylar that you see is the foil that helps insulate those - is also found at pet stores and local medical facilities," said Price.

HOPE - short for Helping Orphan Pets through Education - started in 2016. They moved into a building on North Clio Road in Mt. Morris Township last April. Through donations this winter, they've been able to give out hundreds of bags of straw for free. It's all part of their mission to educate pet owners and the greater community.

"We started it. We were volunteers for the shelter and we realized that the shelter, you know, that was an end game there, so in order to reduce the amount of animals going through our shelters, we are working on spay and neuter programs," said HOPE President Char Mozader. "We are working on microchip clinics, teaching people how to bond with their pets when they adopt an animal."

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