$1,000 Catification Shelter Makeover Finalists CAST YOUR VOTE!

Thu, May 17, 2012

Animal Welfare, Giveaways

The team over at The Vertical Cat received over 200 nominations for individual cat shelters for the $1,000 Catification Makeover! After reading the nominations and looking at the pictures for every single shelter, they came to learn that there are many, many great people doing incredible work across the nation, saving cats and putting in their time to make a difference.

Every shelter was nominated for a reason, from large to small and old to new, with most struggling through adversity. There were fires, floods, lost leases, and other impossible challenges. One thing became obvious — every shelter is worthy of winning the big prize. Some need it more than others, but they are all worthy.

The shelters that made the final list below are indeed doing excellent work. Every one of them is saving the lives of cats and kittens, and working to make those lives better, throughout the country. The final 10 were chosen because of the pictures and stories submitted (and because they got back to us when we tried to contact them!) They are all indeed in need of the $1,000 Catification Makeover, and we’re so sorry we can’t give a makeover to every shelter that was nominated!


But before we get to the finalists and the voting, we have a special surprise! We wanted to make sure that all of the finalists walk away with something to help the kitties, so Kathie over at The Vertical Cat went to work finding other sponsors to donate prizes for all the finalists! Check out these amazing prizes!

Sisal Rugs Direct is generously offering some of their awesome sisal cat scratching posts for all of the finalists! The Grand Prize winner along with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners, will each receive a 40″ sisal scratching post. The 5th and 6th place winners will each receive a 30″ sisal scratching post with ramp. For the 7th and 8th place winners we have the Cat’s Meow scratching post, and finally for the 9th and 10th place winners, a 30″ sisal scratching post with perch. Thank you sisal Rugs Direct!

Auntie Em Creations is helping out, too! They are providing a 5-tier cat condo for the 2nd place winner, and a single-tier cat hammock for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place winners! The winning shelters will get to choose the fabric for their prizes. Thank you, Auntie Em!

In addition to providing the Grand Prize for the 1st place winner, The Vertical Cat is going to send a double wall shelf to the 2nd and 3rd place winners! Plus, all finalists will get 20% off all Vertical Cat products for 6 months!

So all the shelter kitties can climb high, all 10 finalists will receive a 2-pillow Original Cat’s Trapeze, courtesy of Moderncat Distribution!

But wait, there’s more! All 10 finalists will receive a fun pack of donated items for their kitties! They will each receive an assortment of fabulous organic catnip products from Tipsy Nip, a selection of handmade designer cat toys from Moderncat Studio, a Kitty Cuddler Valerian Spiced Catnip Toy from Plain Brown Tabby Toys and Treats, and a case of 12 Stretch and Scratch scratchers, courtesy of Old Maid Cat Lady. WOW! Everyone wins!


And now, without further ado, here are the top 10 finalists for the $1,000 Catification makeover, in no particular order:

SPCA Tompkins County – Ithaca, NY
Cat Count: Approximately 200

The SPCA of Tompkins County was incorporated in 1902 and has been a fully operational no-kill shelter since 2001. Their adoption facility, the Dorothy and Roy Park Adoption Center, provides cats, dogs and other companion animals a “comfortable, healthy, home-like” setting, and is registered as the nation’s first “green” animal shelter which is “good for people, good for animals, and good for the planet.”

This not-for-profit organization shelters nearly 3,000 companion animals every year, works to education school-age children and adults, and collaborates with local food pantries to help feed pets.

They also offer adoptions out of The Annex in The Shops at Ithaca Mall, which started out as a temporary facility. However, three years later, The Annex isn’t seeming so temporary, and has also been nominated for a makeover. If they win, we’ll let them choose which location is most in need.

MEOW Cat Rescue – Seattle, WA
Cat Count: Approximately 90

MEOW is a mostly volunteer-run no-kill shelter that was established by a small group of friends in the 1990s, which places about 1,000 animals into permanent homes every year. When it comes to homeless cats, “newborn or senior, healthy, ill or injured, all are valued at MEOW.” Their goal is to help create a “no-kill nation.”

One person who nominated them said: “MEOW has always wanted stairs, shelves and boxes on the walls, but – there isn’t time as they are too busy taking care of the cats! Shelves were attempted, but… the folks at MEOW are great caregivers, but… not very good carpenters.”

MEOW is located in the back storefront of an older strip mall and they’ve just leased the storefront next door in order to “be able to take care of more cats.” The $1,000 makeover would go to helping them with their expansion.

Cozy Cat Cottage – Powell, OH
Cat Count: Approximately 180

Cozy Cat Cottage is a private non-profit no-kill shelter that provides “refuge, aid and care for abandoned, injured, abused or lost cats and kittens. We refuse to euthanize cats or kittens simply be cause they are unwanted.”

One person who nominated them said that more than 5,000 cats have been rescued from the streets of central Ohio. “Cozy Cat never gives up on any cat. Recently, a cat was placed in a forever home after 8 years with the organization!”

The main back room has plexiglass enclosures for the younger kittens and for stressed out cats, but other cats are free to roam, climb and sleep on the cat trees, hanging beds and counter surfaces. “The room has a very tall ceiling (with very bare and underutilized walls) and is perfect for engaging wall shelves/steps/furniture that the cats can play/hang/walk on.”

Friends of Animals Utah – Park City, UT
Cat Count: Approximately 110

Friends of Animals Utah is a private, no-kill rescue organization founded in 1990 that rescues cats from other shelters’ euthanasia lists. They have found homes for over 10,000 pets and do about 80 adoptions a month. While not a traditional shelter, they keep the cats at their facilities until a home can be found.

FOAU’s mission is “to protect and provide for animals while fostering an awareness of their importance in our lives. This mission includes our goal of improving the quality of life of animals and placing them into loving and permanent homes through rescue, extraordinary and compassionate care, and humane education.”

One person who nominated them said: “Recently we had a ringworm outbreak which required us to throw out thousands of dollars of products. We built a few cubes in the wall for our kitties but we now have very little cat furniture left. Help!!!”

Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home for Cats – Boston, MA
Cat count: Approximately 50

The Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home for Cats was established in 1884 and is the oldest cageless, no-kill shelter for cats in the United States.

Their mission is to “provide homeless cats with high-quality care in a safe, healthy, and loving environment. We work to find safe, healthy, and loving permanent homes for the cats in our care and to educate potential adopters and the general public about cat welfare issues.”

One person who nominated them said: “Although we were a pioneer in the concept of cage-free sheltering of cats, our facility has fallen behind the times. We have many surfaces that cannot be disinfected easily and our cats climb to heights where we cannot reach them to hide. It would be great to have perches and hiding places where we can still care for our cats — many of whom are semi-feral or extremely shy.”

Carol’s Ferals and Friendlies – Grand Rapids, MI
Cat Count: Approximately 35

Carol’s Ferals and Friendlies assists community cat caregivers with TNR and support services. They’ve spayed and neutered over 5,000 cats in 5 years, had 300 adoptions and relocated over 75 ferals to safe barn homes. They are a non-profit that is no-kill and run by volunteers. The organization operates out of a duplex-type house converted into rehab, adoption, and TNR-related rooms.

One person who nominated them said: “We are in dire need of help for our adult cat room. We currently house 35+ adult cats in a combination kitchen/living room/dining room with [no shelving] on the walls… Everything in the room for furnishings are donated and unfortunately, the tallest thing we have in the room is a single cat tree that only has 3 crow’s nests… By utilizing the walls, we know this would make everyone (people and cat alike) much happier and provide enrichment for the cats.”

Cats Cradle Shelter – Fargo, ND
Cat Count: Approximately 54

The Cats Cradle Shelter is a no-kill shelter run completely by volunteers. Cats live in colonies of 6-10 cats in individual units based on compatibility. Their efforts have helped Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo go five straight months without euthanizing an adoptable cat.

One of their special needs cats, a young guy named Corky, had “backward and crisscrossed legs,” and has received surgery thanks to the shelter and a local vet. While one of his legs had to be amputated due to infection, he’s on the mend. Corky is rather popular and has over 8,000 likes on his Facebook page.

One person who nominated them said: “They do soooo much for kitties! The kitties would love the enrichment! There is alot of wall space in each room and with shelves available the cats would have that much more of the room to use.”

Good Mews Animal Foundation – Marietta, GA
Cat Count: Approximately 100

Good Mews is one of the few virtually cage-free, no-kill cat shelters in the state of Georgia. Established in 1988, the shelter has found homes for approximately 5,000 cats. Good Mews also promotes public awareness regarding the value of pets, animal welfare, pet overpopulation, and quality human-animal companionship through education and outreach programs.

One person who nominated them said: “The Good Mews shelter is designed primarily with free-standing cat trees that take up valuable floor space, are difficult to clean and don’t maximize limited space in the shelter. Because they are made of carpet, they wear out quickly in a shelter that houses 100 cats. The Vertical Cat shelves would make perfect use of the space available.”

The shelter takes in many hard to place cats, including one that lost its back legs. Special needs kitties “deserve a special place to live and play that meets their needs.”

Pawsitively Cats – Tucson, AZ
Cat Count: Approximately 125

PAWSitively Cats is a no-kill shelter for adoptable and special needs cats rescued in the Tucson area and is largely volunteer-based. They are working to provide compassionate care for homeless cats and trying to find loving, permanent homes for them, while working to promote Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) for feral cats, and to educate the public regarding spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership.

One of the people who nominated them said: “This little shelter and it’s volunteers have done so much to help Tucson’s cats. PawsCats recently took responsibility for all of the cats of another recently closed Tucson cat shelter, so the budget is extremely tight and currently does not allow for shelter renovations. I personally have been working to save money to buy paint and supplies to freshen up the main room at the shelter… I know winning this makeover would be tremendously beneficial to the cats.”

Santé D’Or Foundation – Los Angeles, CA
Cat Count: Approximately 60

The Santé D’Or Foundation is a no-kill volunteer run adoption center and community focused rescue. The animals come to them from the streets, are surrendered by residents experiencing extreme financial hardship, a crisis, or those who are no longer able to care for them. They offer a home to adult and some special needs kittys, many who live there for years before finding a forever home.

The last few months Santé D’Or has making many changes and updating the space. But according to a person who nominated them, there’s more to do. “This shelter needs to win the Catification makeover because the love that is given to these animals does not reflect the condition of the shelter… We have been wanting to get the front room redone to feel more open and welcoming. It would be great to have the cats running up the walls!”

EXTRA SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Animalkind in Hudson, NY to Receive Special Fundraiser!

Out of the almost 800 nominations we received, over 350 of them were for Animalkind in Hudson, NY. On May 1, there was a massive fire at the AnimalKind shelter. Luckily, no lives were lost, but the 120 cats in their care had to be evacuated and the shelter is devastated. Clearly, Animalkind is desperately in need of the Catification Makeover, but we have decided not to include them in the top 10 finalists for this contest. Instead, Moderncat, Jackson Galaxy, and The Vertical Cat are going to organize a special fundraiser just for Animalkind in the coming weeks. They need some extra help in these difficult times and we are going to give it to them! Stay tuned for more details.

Cast your vote!

Please use the voting form below to cast your vote for the shelter that you want to win the Catification Makeover. Be sure to click the vote button at the bottom to make your vote count. You will only be able to vote once. Voting will close at midnight on May 22, 2012 and the winner will be announced on May 23. Good luck to all the finalists!

Voting in now closed.

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756 Responses to “$1,000 Catification Shelter Makeover Finalists CAST YOUR VOTE!”

  1. 701

    My vote is for Cats Cradle :)

  2. 702

    Cats cradle!

  3. 703

    I vote for carols ferals. To the above person (ab) who asked why carols ferals is getting so many votes when they only house 35 cats? They do a lot more than that! The 35 cats are ones they’re trying to find homes for. They take in MANY other ferals to deworm, give a round of shots, and spay or neuter them before releasing them. TNR is their specialty.

  4. 704

    carol’s ferals!!!

  5. 705
    Elaine Taylor

    Cat’s Cradle – although all are worthy!

  6. 706
    Jacqueline Graul


  7. 707

    Today was the first time I visited the actual Pawsitively Cats shelter (I volunteer at Paws adoption site @ Petco). Wow! I was greeted by very friendly kitties, including a sweet little white kitty who head butted me from the table for attention the whole time I was cleaning litters. The cats were–without exception–healthy looking and well cared for. Sheryl (leader)… you are amazing! No matter where we place, you’re doing a GREAT job for Tucsons homeless kitties. Thanks!

  8. 708

    How is it the leading 2 shelters only have 35 and 54 cats? Why don’t you all vote for the most needy or who has more cats? Looks like whoever has the most friends on facebook wins whether they need it or not.

  9. 709

    Carols ferals!!

  10. 710
    Donna Carolo

    I vote for Cat’s Cradle in ND!

  11. 711
    Olivia Marie

    Cat’s Cradle!!

  12. 712


  13. 713

    I vote for Pawsitively Cats in AZ.

  14. 714

    I vote for Carol’s Ferals

  15. 715
    kaye matthews

    they all deserve to win… <3 thank you for sharing …. and good luck to all …

  16. 716

    i vote for cats cradle

  17. 717

    We have more than 35 cats in our program. We have closer to 70 that are adoptable and four dozen litters of kittens in foster. The 35 cats are just in the adult room, which is where the makeover would be happening. Look at our petfinder and you’ll see how many we have.

    No one would be judging the amount of need just based on a picture. All of the shelters listed have a need for a different reason. Just because some of us shelters don’t have as many cats in an adoption program doesn’t mean a ton don’t come through our doors.

    Why is everyone so judgmental? Other shelters could have advertised as much as the top shelters and done just as well…the top ones were out there WORKING for votes. A lot of the shelters had a lot of facebook friends, but only a fraction actually voted. Plus there’s craigslist, the radio, news, other websites…tons of venues to have tried to get votes.

    It makes me sad how bitter some people sound over this whole thing and I wish EVERYONE could win. I think it’s fantastic that there were even other prizes donated. That almost never happens in contests like this.

  18. 718


  19. 719
    Peter Mainwald

    People, if all of you that voted simply donated even just a dollar, you would raise way more money than what this awesome contest is for. So even if you don’t win, try donating a dollar or hey, why not 5? Cmon, you can give up a Starbucks for a cute kitty like Corky at Cats Cradle can’t you?

  20. 720
    Kimberlhy Barnes

    MEOW Cat Rescue

  21. 721

    I vote for CATS Cradle Shelter!!

  22. 722

    They all deserve to win. A special shoutout to Cat’s Cradle and the Corky team <3

  23. 723
    dora da

    carol ferals – for you bow x0x

  24. 724
    Jessica Kooistra

    I vote for Carols Ferals!!!

  25. 725

    Also to the person who questioned why we’re voting for rescues housing few cats, the measure of a shelter shouldn’t be the number of cats they’re housing but the number of cats they serve or place. Despite being a very small organization, Carol’s Ferals and Friendlies appears to have served an incredibly large number of cats. I’d never heard of them before this competition, but I congratulate them and all the small volunteer groups all over the world, working to better the lives of homeless, abused, abandoned and neglected animals.

  26. 726

    If you – or someone who lives WITH you and uses your computer – have already voted from the SAME COMPUTER in the SAME LOCATION – you will not be able to VOTE. It captures that IP address, and stops you from sending it on – just an FYI to those who can’t “find” the voting area where you have to click on the box for your favorite…..

  27. 727

    My vote:Cat’s Cradle

  28. 728

    My vote is for Cat’s Cradle in Fargo, ND.

  29. 729
    Jeff dong

    I wish I could vote for all, but with just one vote it’d be for Cat’s Cradle, thanks.

  30. 730
    Daniel García

    My vote is for Cats Cradle :)

  31. 731
    Laura Camburn

    I vote for Carols Ferals!!…but good luck to everyone, you do great work!!!

  32. 732
    Iris Rice

    I vote for Good Mews.

  33. 733

    Modern Cat: “If you are seeing just the voting results and not the voting form, that means you or someone else has already placed a vote from that computer.”

    I beg to disagree, Modern Cat. I tried for 3 days to cast my vote, but all I ever got was a results page. If I live alone, who supposedly cast a vote from my IP address? Was it my cat? You have many, many people who have the same complaint, and countless people who were forced to leave their “vote” in the comments section because the voting form did not load properly.

    I congratulate the winner and applaud you for running this contest. However, please do not tell many of us that we could not vote because a vote had already been cast from our computers. Maybe this is true in a few cases, but given the fact that so many people had problems? Come on! There was obviously a technical glitch, making this contest quite unfair.

  34. 734
    Perry J. Taylor

    When do we find out the winner?

  35. 735
    Dianne Scott

    I vote enthusiastically for Carol’s Ferals and Friendlies!

  36. 736
  37. 737

    Cat’s Cradle!

  38. 738
  39. 739
    Grateful Shelter Volunteer

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU MODERNCAT.NET and ALL your amazing partners!!!!!!!!
    Thanks to you, ELEVEN shelters (10 finalists + the shelter that had the fire) will receive unexpected and VERY much welcomed assistance! Your love for the kitties inspired you to make sure EVERY finalist was a winner. Your contest introduced me personally to some wonderful products for my own tiny tigers, too. PLEASE let your only take away from the aftermath of your monumental effort be the DEEPEST HEARTFELT GRATITUDE from us shelter volunteers. I will be recomending your site to anyone looking for great kitty folk gifts! you totally ROCK & ROAR!!!!

  40. 740

    My vote is for Carols Ferals !! Rock on and keep up the good work

  41. 741

    As Jeff explained earlier in these comments, there’s not a voting “form” as such. Under the list of shelter descriptions is another list of shelter names, each with a bubble or button beside it where you make your choice. After you click the voting button, the results come up. I think maybe more people cast a successful vote than realize because either they were looking for a voting “form” or expected a confirmation message after voting. In the final analysis, though, I believe that the lead shelter had about 800 more votes than any other at the close of voting. So, even if every commenter voted for a different shelter and even if every commenter voted for the second place shelter (neither of which happened), the results wouldn’t change. So, let’s all congratulate the winner and, as another commenter suggested, follow up our votes with a donation if we’re able to do that.

  42. 742

    That receives my vote, hands down! I love it <3

  43. 743

    Carol’s Ferals get my vote!

  44. 744

    The Giveaway ended on 5/22, everyone. This thread is done.

    You can post your congratulations at: http://www.moderncat.net/2012/05/23/catification-makeover-winner/

    Thanks again Modern Cat, The Vertical Cat, Auntie Em Creations, Sisal Rugs Direct, TipsyNip, Plain Brown Tabby and Old Maid Cat Lady!

  45. 745
    George Beermuender

    My vote is for the Branford Compassion Club

  46. 746
    Victoria Beermuender

    Branford Compassion Club is number 1

  47. 747
    Antonia Distefano

    The Branford Compassion Club is our favorite!

  48. 748
    Ron Beermunder

    The Branford Compassion Club is my pick for number 1

  49. 749

    I vote Carlos Farols!

  50. 750

    I am so happy, AnimalKind in Hudson NY will get some fundraising help..


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