Bunnell, FL – The floors are in and the rest is zipping along in preparation for the adoption center overseen by Community Cats of Palm Coast.
It’s been a long road since the organization first came on line and became part of a trio of volunteer-led or supported groups working to curb the area’s feral cat population.
Finding a place with the amount of space needed to make the adoption center and supporting thrift store a reality, the Community Cats moved into their expansive location on US 1 this spring, and opened the doors to the thrift store shortly thereafter.
Hosting a Christmas in July sale, store manager Nancy Golden says they offer rock bottom discounts and deals on designer and high quality gently used items, all in an effort to support the organization’s main mission – reducing the number of feral cats reproducing in the wild.
Lured in by one of Community Cats’ big garage sales, the organizer quickly got involved. She recalls her very first trip out alongside the organization’s founder Elizabeth Robinson to trap feral cats in 2015.
“We would go over and help set up and breakdown for the garage sales which were three days long,” shared Golden.
“My first trapping was with Elizabeth and it was manual so I had to sit in the bushes and pull a rope. I got a mother cat and two kittens but we had to go back and get the other two kittens. She said I had a natural knack for it.”
Since then, she’s been in love with helping any way she can, and after taking a break, she was recruited to run the new thrift store, which she does willingly as a volunteer.
“They called me in May and asked if I’d come back and help get the store in order,” said Golden. “It’s taken a few months but we’re to the point where we’re even sizing the clothing which is great. We’re back to taking donations too,” she said putting the call out for gently used books, summer clothes and formal wear.
“Because the schools are going to be having their dances, I’d like to try to bring in some formal wear,” said Golden.
The transition from the previous thrift store location in Palm Coast has brought a needed expansion according to executive director Jessica Myers, who was on hand to accept a donation from Steve Lancour, president of the Palm Coast Cruisers, last week.
It’s not the first time the classic car club has put a spotlight on the animal organization, and in fact, if you get him talking, Lancour will tell you all about his best buddy and lap cat ‘Stinky’, courtesy of the organization. Bringing in the club’s donation and adding a bit more from his own pocket, Lancour says they’re happy to support such a worthwhile cause.
“I love cats. They’re good people, they have a really great direction saving and placing cats,” said Lancour. “We did a big fundraising for them last summer at the VFW, we used to have car shows there, and ended up with about 800 pounds of cat food and kitty litter.”
The adoption center is still ‘under construction’ and Myers said that every dollar donated helps them get closer to finishing the center and helping more cats. From fostering kittens to ensuring the adoptive family is a good fit, having the adoption center is a game changer for the Community Cats of Palm Coast.
“On average for a 2-10 week foster commitment, with no other medical conditions, just your standard basic care, it’s $250-$300 per kitten we spend, and we only charge a $75 adoption fee,” said Myers.
“My five year plan is to have our own owned building. This will make us a little bit bigger than what we’re doing now. We’re still going to have the same services, same format, it’s just going to give us a place where like our brochure says ‘we can say yes, immediately’,” she said. “It also gives people a place to come in and interact with the cats so we get better quality adoptions.”
Community Cats of Palm Coast Thrift Store
4500 N. Highway US 1, Bunnell, FL
Featured Photo: Community Cats of Palm Coast Executive Director Jessica Myers receives a check from Palm Coast Cruisers President Steve Lancour from their fundraising efforts, while touring the new thrift store, now open, and the adoption center, under construction at their new location on US 1.