Did you know that there is a cat shelter nestled on the grounds of Cal Poly? I didn't until I was desperately looking for a rescue group for my neighbor's cat Bubba. Feline Network of the Central Coast referred me to the Cal Poly Cat Program (CPCP), and when I contacted them, they were eager to help. After the vet declared Bubba in good health and updated his shots, off he went to the shelter. Being unfamiliar with CPCP, we were invited to tour the facility, meet the volunteers, and to see that Bubba had settled in OK. Soon after, Bubba was matched up with his new purr-fect family!
Now as volunteers, my husband and I have witnessed the remarkable and incredible work this 100 percent volunteer-run (the majority of whom are Cal Poly students) shelter has accomplished. The program was started by a student as a catch-and-release program to curb the feral feline population on campus. It is now a full service cat shelter and prides itself on taking in both well-adjusted and challenging kitties (semi-feral, seniors, extremely shy, etc.) and providing a caring and loving environment until they are adopted.
There are many exceptional tales to share with the community. Recently a woman tragically found herself homeless and was seeking an organization to take her seven cats! Not missing a beat, CPCP stepped up and took on the challenge; cats ranging from 2 years to 16 years old began to trickle into the shelter. One cat in particular needed extensive medical treatments (such as eye surgery). The procedures put a dent in the program's medical budget, but seeing how beautifully he has recovered, there is no question it was the right decision.
Another heartwarming tale involved two adorable cats found as strays in North County and San Luis Obispo who recently came into our shelter. They were well-mannered, not feral, but their microchip registrations were not current so there weren't any clues as to where they came from. Realizing their owners would be missing them, student staffers jumped into action. Through social media sites, the word spread across the county: "Is this your kitty?" It took a village, but both cats are now reunited with their owners!
There are many ways the community can support the CPCP: by volunteering (especially during the school breaks when the students leave town), donating, and—most importantly—adopting one of our adorable cats or kittens. Visit catprogram.calpoly.edu or facebook.com/calpolycatprogram to read about our organization, perhaps find your feline soulmate, and discover volunteer and donating opportunities.
Dana K. Humphreys
San Luis Obispo