New shelter begins caring for animals
by Rachel Davis
Aug 17, 2013 | 2873 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Robin Jackson looks over Susan, one of the mother cats who was nursing kittens at a troubled animal shelter Sumiton police shut down a few months ago. She was spayed this week, and she and her kittens are available for adoption through Labor of Love rescue. Photo Special to the Eagle
Robin Jackson looks over Susan, one of the mother cats who was nursing kittens at a troubled animal shelter Sumiton police shut down a few months ago. She was spayed this week, and she and her kittens are available for adoption through Labor of Love rescue. Photo Special to the Eagle
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SUMITON — Robin Jackson didn’t want to be in animal rescue. She loves and cares for animals professionally as well as personally, but she had always avoided the business of rescue. Then she started getting calls about the conditions at a local “shelter” and found herself forced to do something.

“Animal rescue is not something anyone wants to do, because it is a thankless, heartbreaking, profitless undertaking,” Jackson wrote in a letter recently presented to the Sumiton City Council.

She joined forces with a dedicated rescuer who was already working on a small scale to rehome pets whose owners had died or become unable to care for them. This rescuer already had a facility that was well-equipped for cats, but did not have the manpower to take animals on in large numbers. The women, along with a group of volunteers, took 24 cats and kittens from the shelter.

One of the small kittens died, despite veterinary intervention and care. All of the cats and kittens were suffering from internal parasites, fleas, ear mites and upper respiratory infections. After receiving care, most of those animals are ready to be adopted.

Jackson said she and the others involved in the rescue are devoted to the focus of caring for the animals and providing a safe, healthy environment for the animals in their care.

“The “Do-Gooders” that mean well, aren’t to be faulted, but when it comes to their failure to care for those animals or keep them from harm, they must be held accountable. You can’t ‘mean well’ and do poorly and it be acceptable,” Jackson continued in the letter.

For that reason, the women are dedicated to keeping the number of animals in the facility low enough to manage, meaning that they need to see some adoptions before they take on any more animals at the present time. In order to prevent the large number of “drop-off” animals that plague and overcrowd area shelters and vet clinics, the location is not open to the public at this time.

They eventually hope to be able to take in cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, but they don’t want to overload their capacity of care.

“We’d love to get bigger, as long as it’s done right,” Jackson said.

The group has a commercial space to house the animals, as well as an attached residential space for a caregiver.

The space has new heating and air units, separate areas for sick cats to be isolated and is already paid for, lessening the shelter’s overhead costs.

The organization is beginning the process of applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status currently, but they are in need of supplies to keep the facility running, as the current cat population is going through approximately 16 pounds of cat and kitten food each day.

The wish list includes Purina cat and kitten food (a consistent diet means less medical issues and upset stomach, Jackson said), Tidy Cat scoopable litter, cleaning supplies, Clorox Clean Up, paper towels, towels, cash, gift cards to area grocery stores and heavy-duty garbage bags.

Anyone interested in helping with vet bills or covering the cost of a spay or neuter can pay the vet of their choice directly, and Jackson said she or another volunteer will get the animal to that vet.

Donations can be dropped off to Jackson at Sumiton Animal Clinic on Main Street.

A volunteer has set up a Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/LaborofLoveRescue.