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posted: 8/14/2012 8:01 AM

Cat rescuers, Petco create adoption center for homeless felines

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  • Bob White, of Des Plaines, with Joey, one of the adoptable residents.

      Bob White, of Des Plaines, with Joey, one of the adoptable residents.

  • Sunny, another kitty up for adoption, relaxes peacefully in a corner of the "showroom."

      Sunny, another kitty up for adoption, relaxes peacefully in a corner of the "showroom."

Submitted by Denise Smith Rodd

For two years, homeless cats rescued by La Vonne Porter and Janet Marquez, founders of Friendly & Feral Cat Rescue and Cinderella's Hope, occupied the former, glass-enclosed exotic bird room at the Petco store in Mount Prospect Plaza.

With the help of volunteers and a network of foster families, customers adopted more than 200 cats and kittens from that location. With its open cage policy, the stress-free cats were allowed to roam freely in the room and interact with each other as well as with visitors.

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Earlier this year, Petco announced remodeling plans that would eliminate the room that became known as the Cat Adoption Center. Because of their success in finding forever homes for homeless cats, Petco worked with Porter and Marquez over the next three months to build a bigger and better room for the Cat Adoption Center.

The result is a larger space that houses nine or more cats in individual apartments where they spend the night. During the day, the cats have more space to roam about the room and meet prospective "pet parents." The new room continues to be humane, functional, and in line with Petco's mission to "Think Adoption First."

All of the cats have been fully vetted with a complete physical exam, up-to-date vaccinations, spaying or neutering and an identification chip. The adoption fee, which covers the cost of vetting, is $130 for cats less than 1 year old and $100 for cats over 1 year old.

Prospective pet parents can visit the Cat Adoption Center during store hours, and Petco staff will open the room to allow visits with the cats. They will also contact an adoption counselor to set up an appointment for adoption during the week. Open adoption hours are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, where no appointment is necessary.

The Cat Adoption Center is looking for cat lovers to volunteer a couple of hours a week. Contact volunteer coordinator Bob White at Visit the Cat Adoption Center on Facebook at

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