Three out of four people who come to an animal rescue shelter to adopt a pet want a dog, according to Moira Liskovec. So what’s a cat shelter to do?
Get some dogs.
And that’s just what Liskovec, who runs is planning. Not that she’s having problems finding homes for her cats. With more than 4,200 adoptions under her belt, Liskovec is getting ready to celebrate her 5-year anniversary with a on Sat., July 23.
With this milestone, Small Miracles is moving to a bigger building where there will also be dogs for adoption.
“This is a dream come true,” Liskovec said. “In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to do dogs too.”
But space was a consideration. At its current location, Small Miracles is overflowing with cats; under the desk; on the washing machine; draped over a couch; weaving between guests’ feet.
“We don’t like to count,” Liskovec said, adding, “We have about 70.”
So Small Miracles, a no-kill shelter, is moving to a nearby, 4,500 square-foot building that is currently being renovated. Once it’s complete it will have room for cats and dogs -- and they’ll each have their own wing.
It won’t be an easy move for Liskovec. “So much of my husband is here,” she said. Liskovec’s husband helped build the current facility, and two years ago he died from leukemia.
“He told me I had a passion,” she said, "And he'll be with us over there."
Small Miracles hopes to relocate to the new buidling--just around the corner from its current location--by the end of the year, Liskovec said.
In addition to a new address, there will have to be some new ways of doing things.
Dealing with dogs will be a change of pace for the 30 – 40 volunteers that are working at Small Miracles. “Dogs have a lot of different personalities,” Liskovec said. “Dogs will be a different type of rescue operation.”
“We will probably find less homeless dogs and more from shelters – ‘give-ups,’” she said. “Outside cats are a bigger problem because they can come into heat four of five times a summer,” leading to litters of homeless kittens.
To make the transition smoother, volunteers will go through additional training to learn how to handle the new arrivals and how to best match dogs with potential families.
The cats at Small Miracles are mostly outdoors cats. Lots of them come from Baltimore City, many of them from Ellicott City, according to resident Sandy Miller.
Miller came into the shelter Tuesday with a crate and a kitten who she’d found in a parking lot. She named her Peach.
Miller said she finds cats everywhere, in parking lots, in parks in the streets of Baltimore, Dundalk and Essex.
“I call Moira and I say ‘Please, please can you take them?’” Miller said. “I’ll get right back out there and try to find some more. Moira has been a godsend.”
She’s done it with money from donations, adoption fees and a lot of support from the PetCo Foundation. As dogs move in, Small Miracles will become more involved with . Currently they have four cages at the store where they can show off cats that need a home.
And soon the shelter will also bring dogs to the store in hopes of finding them permanent homes.
“Hopefully,” Liskovec said, “they’ll be in and out.”
Small Miracles Cat Rescue will be hosting an adoption event on Sat., July 23 at its . During the event, which will include food, games and face painting, adult cats can be adopted for a reduced fee of $100 and kittens are $135 for one or $200 for two. All cats are ready for immediate adoption and have received a veterinary checkup, spay/neuter surgery, FIV and feline leukemia blood tests, shots, stool check and preventative flea, worm and tick medication.