I interviewed Ms. Nancy Riley, Marketing Committee Chair of Good Mews, a cage-free, no-kill cat shelter in Marietta.
Why don’t you have any dogs at your shelter?
This is a cat only shelter specializing in cats and kittens. It was started by a woman who started caring for lots of stray cats.
What is the record amount of cats you have taken in in one day?
50 cats from a hoarding situation.
What is the best part about running a cat shelter?
Knowing that we are finding new homes for cats that come from bad situations. Cats that come here know that they never need to feel afraid or hungry again. It is a happy place.
What is the worst part about running a cat shelter?
Feeling helpless that there are just so many cats in need of help and you want to save them all.
How do cats come to the shelter?
Strays. Owner surrenders. We also take cats from older people who move to assisted living or nursing homes. We also help Animal Controls around Atlanta that don’t have space.
How does the shelter make money?
Donations come in all forms. Some people donate money, some donate time, others donate cleaning supplies and food. We also raise money through grants and various fundraising events. Also yoga with cats, a silent auction that we do every year in the Fall and bequeaths.
What do the cats do in the shelter?
The shelter is free-range. There are no cages and the cats roam around, sleep, eat and play. Kids come to read to the cats and they get lots of visitors. The shelter is characterized by lots of stimulation and natural light.
How many cats do you have in the shelter?
About 100 at any given time.
How many cats are adopted every year?
425 last year.
How many volunteers do you have and what do they do?
We have 350 volunteers. Volunteers work 2 shifts a day on a 2 week rotation. They clean and feed the cats. Other volunteers help with fundraising and some act as ‘kitty buddies’ that pet the shy cats.
What advice do you have for me?
Keep doing what you are doing. Get kids involved and teach them how to care for animals. Spread the word : adopt don’t shop and spay and neuter.
What do you think people should know about Good Mews shelter?
All the cats that live here need homes. This is a happy place. It is a warm, friendly environment with happy cats that live in a clean and relaxed cage-free place.