December folder 047We all know that cats taken to the shelter have a 1 in 8 chance of getting out again, but let’s not forget there are people who want to adopt them. (And get them spayed so their kittens don’t go back to the shelter later.)

In the spring, when so many cats flood in with little time to assess their medical needs, eye infections run rampant. Mostly these are a nuisance that will run its course, but in a shelter, every day counts. Eye discharge can cause a cat to miss his chance. Who wants to adopt ol’ Crusty Eyes (who looks sicker than he really is) when there’s a cute fluffball in the next cage? Except Fluffball has about 36 hours before she too has green gunk streaming from her baby blues.

Enter a chance to make a difference. There’s this medication called Terramycin, comes in a tube like toothpaste (only much smaller and considerably more expensive). It’s a wonder drug for eye infection. It would make everybody a lot more comfortable while they wait. And prettier, cuter and more adoptable.

The Administrator said if I could keep them supplied with Terramycin, then their staffer Beverly (a sweet girl who cares about the animals) and a couple of trained part-timers and rescuers legally allowed to be in the shelter (up on shots and all that sort of thing) would be happy to put Terramycin on the eyes of any kitties with crusties.

eye kittenPut simply, for about $300 per year, we can up adoptions. Not to mention make the babies and senior citizens more comfortable; they are the most likely to get lasting eye infections from other cats who just shake it off in a day or two.

If you can afford it, give Powell Valley Animal Hospital some money for the SHELTER TERRAMYCIN FUND. We guarantee all Terramycin bought with this fund will be used on shelter kitties only. PVAH is giving us a discount. Just put what you can in there. This is a one-time request for 2016, we hope. We will let you know how it went and ask again in 2017. Also, please note the following:

  • Don’t donate if it causes hardship to your family. We’re not wanting to take food off your table. If you’ve got a bit left over, great.
  • Don’t take away from other activities on behalf of animal rescue to donate. If you’re already working in rescue, formally or informally, please don’t take from that or harm yourself to try and stretch to this. We’re looking for people who can slip us a $20 without breaking stride. Thank you for all you already do, and God Bless.
  • All donations will be anonymous to PVAH, no thank yous sent, so please know HOW MUCH we appreciate this help.

Here’s how: If you don’t live in the area, you can call them to use your card at 276-524-1214, or mail a check to Powell Valley Animal Hospital, 4501 Aerial Way, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Donations are accepted all year long, but unless we get really stuck this summer, we won’t ask again. We APPRECIATE your help in reducing the number of cats who don’t get adopted from the shelter. And in making all of them that wee bit more comfortable as they wait.


  1. Hi Wendy, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but we first “met” after yours and Jack’s performance at the Celtic Festival last year, when I accosted you both to ask you to sign your book “Little Bookstore…”, which I had just bought at your shop that day!  I have just now gotten around to reading it (it’s been a crazy year!), and I want to tell you that I love it.  I’m only about halfway through now, but you are making me see this area with new eyes.  I grew up in Wise, but my ballet dancing career took me away – and I was back for the Celtic Festival and just happened to go to your shop, buy the book, hear you and Jack perform, etc…  We also met again at the January music event in Norton last year (I think it’s coming up again this Sunday, not sure if you’ll be there?), and talked a bit at the dinner table downstairs afterwards. Anyway, maybe I’ll see you again this Sunday, if you’re in town.  I think what you’ve done to help develop a sense of community, and also how you brought it to life in words, and then got it PUBLISHED! is amazing.  I can’t wait to see what else you will talk about in the second half of the book… Oh, and also, based on your post below, I’m sending in a check to the PVAH.  How could I resist when I read your request, and saw those adorable photos?  (and I’m not even really much of a cat person, more a dog person, but still…  I couldn’t resist). All the best,Tracy  

    From: “Wendy Welch, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap” To: roberts_tracy@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, January 15, 2016 2:28 PM Subject: [New post] WHEN IRIS EYES ARE SMILING #yiv2487596844 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2487596844 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2487596844 a.yiv2487596844primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2487596844 a.yiv2487596844primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2487596844 a.yiv2487596844primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2487596844 a.yiv2487596844primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2487596844 WordPress.com | wendywelch posted: “We all know that cats taken to the shelter have a 1 in 8 chance of getting out again, but let’s not forget there are people who want to adopt them. (And get them spayed so their kittens don’t go back to the shelter later.)In the spring, when so many c” | |

  2. It hurts my heart to read that only 1 in 8 cats are adopted out of your local shelter. In Arlington, VA our local animal welfare league is a luxury hotel for the cats and dogs that arrive through the front doors. All animals receive complete medical care and can stay as long (years) as they need until they are adopted. They “put down” only terminal cases or very violent cases. In fact, I believe that most of our dogs come from other rural animal shelters and are scooped up quickly. The shelter has over 250 active volunteers (sometimes you have to wait up to a year to volunteer due to the large number of volunteers on roll). A volunteer is always inside the cattery or kennel wing with the cats and dogs for moral support. I am not trying to brag…I honestly thought it was like this everywhere. SO….I am sending a check to your shelter for eye medicine. Arlington, VA is a very animal friendly town, with many local non profit groups that also bring animals from other areas in where they are adopted quickly. You may want to contact Last Chance Rescue out of Waldorf, MD. They find homes for over 8,000 dogs and cats a year. Lost Dog and Cat Cafe is another large animal rescue in Arlington, VA that saves rural dogs and cats. I wish your local government could allocate more needed funding to your local humane society. You and your local rescuers are heroes.

    • Carol if you send us an email perhaps we can coordinate some rescue efforts with your shelter for our shelter cats. There will be more effort this year to transport as well as rescue.

      • Wendy, the following are the websites for the animal rescues I mentioned in my earlier post. The local animal shelter is: Animal Welfare League of Arlington ( awla.org ). I know that AWLA brings in dogs from rural WVA, I am not sure if they do the same for cats. Two local non profits are: The Stray Cat Cafe and Last Chance Rescue (lastchanceanimalrescue.org). The Stray Cat Cafe is a large group of volunteers who foster cats and dogs (The Lost Dog Cafe). The founder has a popular cafe that helps fund the non profit rescue. (the straycatcafe.com) I hope this is helpful. Last Chance Rescue utilizes the many PetSmart and Petco stores in Northern VA. I actually adopted my cat Wesley at a PetSmart in Alexandria over the summer from Last Chance. I hope this is helpful. God Bless!

    • “Animal friendly” would mean “directly opposed to HSUS’ pet genocide policy,” right? Does that mean Arlington is now cracking down on people who assume that any cat they see outdoors is homeless, sharply reminding those people that that’s like assuming any human they see outdoors is homeless, and monitoring those people to make sure they return the petnapped cat to the precise location where they found it?

      (A friend in Tennessee had a cat stolen from his yard. After two or three years, he saw the cat in a car outside the mall, about ten miles from his home. *It still knew him* and meowed until it was allowed to greet him, then peacefully went home with the people who had “rescued” it from the HSUS shelter in the next county. Grrrrroooowwwwl! I want laws allowing my friend to collect a minimum of $500 damages, collected from the petnappers before they’re allowed a second phone call or a visit while in jail!)

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