By Donna Hamilton

Members of Luce County Pet Pals are trying to help the local animal shelter address the challenge of caring for its cat population. The Shelter is over capacity in housing cats; staff are seeking good “forever” homes for their adult cats. To help accomplish this goal, Pet Pals is offering $50 veterinary care vouchers to the first 10 people who adopt a cat in 2023. To qualify for the voucher, individuals must successfully complete the adoption process: Fill out and submit the adoption application, provide personal information and references, and pay the standard $75 adoption fee.

Information about the cats who are available for adoption and the adoption application are available on the shelter’s website at All the adult cats have been vaccinated, tested for feline leukemia, and spayed or neutered.

They’ve also been lovingly handled while at the shelter to help them prepare for their forever homes. They are ready! Shelter staff provide a care package to accompany each cat, which includes food, treats, a toy, blanket, and collar, all designed to help the transition to a new home.

Cats can be just the right companion for people young and old. Kittens delight children and grow into a family setting with ease. Adult cats, with their low maintenance and preference for naps and cuddles, can be perfect for older adults – even those who used to prefer dogs. Because they can use a little box and don’t need to be taken for a walk, cats can be much easier to manage. They’re also clever, beautiful, and often sweet.

Newberry residents Chuck and Esther Wieringa have four cats of their own and spend some of their free time caring for shelter cats at the Luce County Animal Shelter. Chuck said he appreciates the companionship of cats, enjoying everything from cuddles to their chirpy “conversations” and being greeted by a happy kitty with a tail standing straight up.

“Whether it’s cats or animals, either one, I think they help us to be better humans,” Wieringa said. “Every creature on the face of the earth responds to kindness, and animals help bring that out in us.”

People interested in adopting a shelter cat also can call the shelter at 906-293-6622 and leave a message, if necessary. It’s important to note that the shelter is open by appointment only, as staff are part-time and not always available to answer telephone calls. Messages will be returned.