A home pg 1 6-27-24

'A home for our families'
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — In 13 years Paws Cat Shelter has helped 15,000 cats, maybe more.
No wonder owner Fay Beriau had a catch in her voice at the ribbon cutting for the shelter’s new home. The non-profit moved from a small rented space in Woodstock to a spacious new home on School Street.
Mayor Barney Seney said Paws does important work. Cats know they have a place. Not a week goes by that the Town Hall doesn’t get a call about a stray cat. “This is a great facility for northeastern Connecticut,” he said. “I know they’d like to be out of business but, unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.”
Elle Sherman, executive director of the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, also stressed the importance of the Paws mission. “This makes such a difference for our most vulnerable citizens – animals,” she said.
Putnam Business Association President Thomas Borner presented a plaque from the association and noted the shelter does important work.
PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) was started by Lydia Reed in 2011 in Lebanon and moved to Woodstock later. Beriau took over in 2017.
The shelter’s Julie Crouch said later with the help of more than 100 volunteers, hard work plus donations big and small the building was transformed in the last year. There’s a whole new ventilation system, heating and plumbing “that was done at cost,” she said. There are numerous separate rooms, each dedicated to a particular cat that especially touched their hearts. There’s a medical room and a room where cats can roam and many more. She said there are 23 doors and they put $130,000 into it creating the shelter. The nonprofit operates solely on donations and fund-raisers, she said. “We are creating this legacy,” Crouch said.
Crouch said there are 140 cats in the shelter now; however, there are a total of 480 cats under their care if you count fosters.
Before cutting the ribbon, Beriau said “Volunteers came in and made this a home for our families.”

caption, page 4:
Dignitaries and volunteers help cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Paws Cat Shelter's new home. More photos on Wed. night on our FB page.


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