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Allen County SPCA makes cat rooms healthier

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Pet Expo

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave.

Cost: Tickets are available at the door, $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children.

For more: A complete schedule of events and other information are available at or by calling the Allen County SPCA at 1-260-744-0454.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 9:48 am

The Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has gotten a minor facelift.

The former cat colony rooms at the ACSPCA have been renovated. Jessica Henry, director, said they had been having an ongoing problem with cats developing upper respiratory infections. The first thing Henry said they did was to clean the ventilation system and have it sprayed with an anti-fungal.

In the four cat rooms the flooring and molding were removed and replaced. The old sinks and cabinets were removed. The cats liked to climb into the cupboards and would leave their hair in places that just couldn't be removed, Henry said. New utility sinks have been placed in the rooms that are deep enough to give the felines a preventative dip for ringworm when they are first introduced into the cat colonies.

The paint is anti-fungal and was applied for free by a staff member's husband who runs his own painting business. Another staff member donated the switch plates for each of the rooms.

New shelving for the cats to jump onto was constructed from composite PVC lumber. Henry said it is much easier to clean and disinfect and should last longer then wood.

The four rooms previously used for the colonies are being switched down to three. The fourth room, which had no windows and less ventilation than the other two rooms, has been changed over to another adoption meeting room for dogs. Formerly the agency had one room that could be used for this, and with the upswing in adoptions it meant a wait for prospective owners to meet with their new dogs. Now two rooms will be available, which Henry hopes will speed up the process for new owners. The renovation cost $5,000, and Henry said the money came out of the agency's capital expense fund. Henry said it was something that had to be done to ensure the long-term health of their animals.

Over the weekend cats will be reintroduced into their new space; for the past two months they had been living in towers in the lobby at the PetSmart on West Jefferson Boulevard and Lima Road. Monday the rooms will be back in operation. Henry said they have plenty to choose from, but if it's a dog that people are after, stop by Memorial Coliseum this weekend for the annual Northern Indiana Pet Expo.

Henry said the ASPCA would bring 30 dogs, both from its shelter and from other shelters and rescues around the state. They have spent the last week preparing the animals for adoption by spaying, neutering and grooming.

Hundreds of adoptable pets will be on hand from around the tri-state area including many breed-specific rescues. There will be pet-related vendors, free seminars and a blessing of the pets by Fr. Joe Gaughan on Sunday afternoon.