Janet Feldman is looking for a little help this holiday season.
The Barrington resident has been rescuing cats for the last couple years, offering her home as a safe haven for felines that would otherwise be euthanized at a “kill shelter” in the southern United States.
But recently, facing the need to sell her home and relocate into an apartment, Ms. Feldman came to the realization that she would need to part with some of her beloved pets — she has more than two dozen cats. The task of finding good homes for her animals took on a more urgent feel earlier this month when she learned that she would need to be out of her West Barrington home by Dec. 19.
“I do want to find them good homes,” she said. “I want them to be safe.”
For the past few weeks, Ms. Feldman has been working with members of the Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare (BPAW) and with the Barrington animal control officer, Patty Watson. So far, the group has been able to find one temporary home for some of the cats: a man in Portsmouth said he will take 12 of the cats and keep them in his barn.
Ms. Feldman said part of the challenge is that her cats are all “indoor cats.”
“They wouldn’t know what to do outside. They would freeze. They haven’t grown their outdoor coats,” she said.
The animal control officer and BPAW officials are hoping to have information about the cats posted to the BPAW website — www.barringtonpaw.org — in the near future.
Ms. Feldman said she is also hoping to find temporary homes for the animals; she said it may take some time for new permanent owners to be located.
“It could be a heated garage or a barn,” she said.
Ms. Feldman said she checked with a number of area shelters to see if they would be willing to take some of the cats, even for a short while.
“They say they are already overcrowded,” she added.
A helping hand
Ms. Feldman has always loved animals and began taking in strays in her neighborhood a short while ago. Hoping to save a few felines from certain death at a kill shelter in the south, she offered to take some more cats into her house and help find them homes, but she struggled to find permanent owners for the cats.
After Ms. Feldman’s father passed away — she had been taking care of him in the home — bills started piling up. She soon realized she would need to sell the handsome colonial. She also realized she would not be able to take all of her cats with her.
“This is going to be a big loss,” Ms. Feldman said. “These cats are family. This is the hardest part for me.”
Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said people who are interested in adopting or fostering some of Ms. Feldman’s cats can call the police department at 437-3930. He said the cats will have had all their shots and will be spayed or neutered.
Can you help?
• Anyone interested in adopting a cat can call the Barrington Police Department at 437-3930 and ask for the animal control officer. Officials from the Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare are hoping to post information about the cats at www.barringtonpaw.org.
• Also, anyone who is willing to foster a cat — keep it for a short period of time until a permanent home is found — can write an e-mail to Janet Feldman at [email protected]