It’s official: the Cattery in Perry has received a state license to operate as an authorized animal shelter.
The Cattery has been taking in feral felines and stray cats for more than two years, housing them in donated space inside the former Stokely Lumber Co. offices in downtown Perry and providing free, almost-under-the-radar care as a public courtesy. Humane Society of Perry volunteers and others have boarded and cared for the animals and hosted regular adoption drives.
But as of Monday, Oct. 26, the organization is legally legitimate.
“It’s a done deal,” said Dixie Erdman, livestock inspector for the southwest Iowa region of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Animal Industry Bureau. “You are licensed.”
Abby Benifiel, director of the Humane Society of Perry, said the Cattery is now “a legitimate animal shelter.” IDALS performed “basically the same inspection as any other shelter,” Benfiel said.
She said the Cattery met the IDALS standards for record keeping and documentation, including records on when the animals came in, whether they were spayed or neutered and whether they are current on vaccinations.
Benifiel said the state also wants to ensure a shelter has an isolation protocol in place and a clear schedule for when the animals are fed and watered and their litter boxes cleaned. The Cattery cleared these hurdles, too.
“You have to demonstrate that you have all your cats in a row, so to speak,” Benifiel said. Erdman, the IDALS inspector, must have liked what she saw because “we met with her, and she issued us a permit on the spot,” Benifiel said.
She said the newly authorized shelter has a 25-cat limit, “so the ones at the holding facility can’t leave there until some get adopted” from the Cattery. The holding facility is next to the city recycling center on Ivy Street.
“We still have a number of older adult cats that for one reason or another have been overlooked by people wanting to adopt, and these would all make excellent barn cats,” Benifiel said.
For more information about adoption opportunities with the Humane Society of Perry, call 515-240-7581.