C & W Rustic Hollow Shelter
by Elisa Black-Taylor
C & W Rustic Hollow cats
Good morning everyone. Today I'd like to introduce you to C & W Rustic Hollow Shelter in Nashua, Iowa. The reason I've chosen them (besides this being a happy story) is they have a lot of good ideas other shelters can learn from.
At any given time, Rustic Hollow is home for up to 250 homeless, abandoned and special needs cats that no one else wanted or the owner died. These pets come from 23 states and a number of rescues and shelters.
What I think is really special about this shelter is that it's located on 190 acres, staffed 24/7 (with some staff living in residence) and the cats can watch videos on TV. The cats live in actual "homes" where they have the freedom to walk around, play, sleep, eat, lie in windows and watch animal TV . They can also venture outside in a special cat enclosure.
C & W's founders are Carmen Linda Conklin and Wanda L. Orric and has been in operation for more than 12 years now. This shelter is cage free and accepts cats and dogs deemed unadoptable, usually because of health issues. I'm sticking to the cats here, but did want to mention dogs as they are also welcome. To read up on the history, please check out this page. Check out their whole website, for that matter, because you'll have a big smile on you face once you're finished.
Many animals displaced during hurricane Katrina were taken in here. So are pets whose owners have died. C&W also has the only program I've ever seen that offers a solution to care for a pet after the owner has passed away. It's called the "Safety Net Program" and it's for owners who want premium care for their pets should something happen to them. There is information on the C & W website telling how to take legal steps for Rustic Hollow to continue providing care for the pet after the owners death. This page is a must to check out.
They also have a cookbook with over 300 recipes for sale, including recipes for your pets. Here's the link to purchase one.
Artist Corwin Dunlap of Nashua, Iowa has donated a number of limited edition prints of Sam, a cat who was nursed back to health at C & W. All of the donations, as with all donations received from any fundraiser, are used to help the pets.
Rustic Hollow also operates a thrift store in Nashua called The Scratching Post Thrift 'n Gift Shop. What a GREAT idea!
Dog and cat sponsorships are also available beginning at just $20 a month.
They also netted over $5400 from their first auction.
I hope all of the fundraising committees out there take note of these wonderful ways to raise money for their own shelters and rescues. From cookbooks to auctions to sponsorship, C & W has some wonderful ideas that can be adapted anywhere.
This group deserves recognition because they have made a life-changing difference in the lives of cats who would have faced euthanasia in a shelter.
In closing, I want everyone to read the story of Bradley. That's his before and after picture at the top of the article. Bradley died peacefully under euthanasia in 2009 and his legacy lives on with the Bradley d. Katt Memorial Care Emergency Veterinary Care Fund. This fund enables seriously ill or injured cats to receive the care needed to live.
Ladies, you're the greatest! And I'd LOVE to have your job. There's nothing better in life than holding a cat.