Hancock County High School Teacher Josh Smith and his students have built 15 small animal shelters so far, for cats and other critters who need a warm, safe place to seek refuge in this winter.
Josh is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher at HCHS. He and his students did a wonderful job creating the small animal shelters. They took plastic tubs and cut a hole in the side for cats and other small animals to get in and out of. They placed a container inside each tub filled with straw for the animals to get into and be warm. Each tub has a lid for complete cover against the elements.
He and his students have also built picnic tables at Vastwood Park as another helpful project in the community. These project-based learning experiences encourage students to learn and then tangibly apply their knowledge and skills through meaningful, engaging experiences in the community.
“Hancock Community Kitties asked Mr. Josh Smith’s Ag class to make small animal shelters for the winter,” Veronica Taylor, cofounder of Community Kitties said. “They are designed for cats but any small animal can get into this shelter.” If you would like to have one of these shelters to put out in your area, Veronica said to call her at 240-644-7922 and arrange to pick one up.
“Hancock County Community Kitties has been established for about a year and a half,” Veronica said. “We work on spaying and neutering cats in Hancock County and so far we’ve managed to spay or neuter about 150 cats. We’re trying to set up a partnership with Daviess County Animal Care and Control to do a clinic once a month, where we transport 15 to 25 Hancock County cats to Owensboro to get them spayed and neutered and we hope to have that set up in the spring. Patrons can pay and there is a fund available for people who cannot afford to pay. Donations can be sent to the Hancock County Shelter Supporters, requesting that the money be used for spaying and neutering. We have some money but any money and any volunteers, especially when we set up the clinic, would be appreciated.”
HC Community Kitties was started by Veronica along with Galina Murphy, Megan Boling, Cindy Erwin, and the President of the Hancock County Humane Society, Amanda Wethington. “The Hancock County shelter does not manage cats in any way. So, we started talking about something we could do for cats, and came up with TNVR – Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Rabies,” Veronica said. “Before we trap in a neighborhood, we let the neighborhood know. We trap them, take them to be neutered/spayed and vaccinated, and then put them back where we found them.”
HC Humane Society provides the traps. HC Community Kitties is funded through the nonprofit organization – HC Shelter Supporters. Donations to the HC Shelter Supporters must include on the check note: spay/neuter, which will direct it to the cat fund. Or, send to: P.O. Box 108, Lewisport, KY 42351. You can also email SFundHCAY@gmail.com for donating through PayPal. Visit Hancock County Shelter Supporters FB Page for updates and more information.
By Jennifer Wimmer