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HBPS Nominates Volunteer Jeanette as a Hills Shelter Hero

Homeward Bound Pet Shelter has nominated Jeanette Skaluba as Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Shelter Hero. The Hill’s Shelter Heroes contest aims to promote pet adoption by recognizing five shelter heroes throughout the United States. Each of the five winning heroes will receive a donation of $10,000 for their shelter.

When shelter manager Linda Clary heard about the contest, she knew Jeanette Skaluba was the clear nominee. Jeanette devotes a large portion of her time to volunteering at Homeward Bound. Not only does she work with individual animals (especially adult cats) and assist with regular volunteer events, but she has taken the initiative to promote often overlooked, adoptable pets. She assists in managing Homeward Bound Pet Shelters social media, creates promotional videos and she even created yoga4cats.

Yoga4cats is a fundraiser Skaluba began as a way to combine two of her favorite things: yoga and finding homes for shelter cats. Since the first yoga4cats in June 2015, the event has gone viral. As of March 22, 2016, the yoga4cats video Jeanette made covering the event has over 245,000 views.

The money Skaluba raised from yoga4cats has been used for the Catification project, which has provided the cat rooms with new windows, paint, and climbing spaces.

The nomination period for the Hill’s Shelter Heroes contest just ended. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is currently choosing ten nominees to continue to the voting round. The ten nominees will be announced soon and voting begins March 31. Between March 31 and April 10, the public can vote for their favorite shelter hero via Facebook or Twitter. The five finalists who have the largest number of votes when voting closes will each win $10,000 for the shelters they represent.

You can view Homeward Bound’s nomination video on Homeward Bounds Facebook page, or you can view Skaluba’s videos (including the yoga4cats video) on the Homeward Bound YouTube page. We encourage you to support Skaluba and Homeward Bound by posting on social media using the hashtag #HillsShelterHeroes, while we keep you updated on the voting process!

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Meet Bubby

Bubby, a formerly shy and withdrawn cat, has really come out of his shell in one of our newly catified rooms. In this new environment, Bubby enjoys the company of other cats and visitors with ease. Dont let the pics of him basking in the sun and lazing around fool you. He is also a very active and playful cat! Bubby is front declawed and was rescued from a county shelter in IL. He has been waiting for his new home with us since March 2015.

Bubby is a friendly, playful, and handsome guy. He gets along well with other cats but is fearful of dogs. Bubby loves high rise living, lounging in the sun, and is dressed to impress in his dapper tuxedo. – Pat H., Bubbys Paw Protector

A home would be the best anniversary gift Bubby could receive!

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Yoga4Cats Funds Project Catification

Things are looking up for the cats at Homeward Bound Pet Shelter. Yoga4Cats, the volunteer-initiated fundraiser that received international attention in 2015 with a video that went viral, has resulted in donations sufficient to fund shelter upgrades for the free-roaming feline living spaces.

After all of the excitement with the first event in June, we had to keep going – and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the donations from the next event, said Jeanette Skaluba, HBPS volunteer and microbiology supervisor at Meda. Yoga4Cats – A Black Cat Affair was hosted in October [at the Madden Arts Council] and featured adoptable black cats. This event raised $1800 and Project Catification was born!

Jeanette enlisted two retired engineers to help with the catification carpentry – her dad from Michigan and locally, Jack Kelsheimer. The volunteer team has catified two existing spaces at HBPS and hopes to complete all of the rooms with existing and future donations.

Jeanette added, “We now have vertical spaces that feature open and enclosed areas, and two cat superhighways! Our new rooms feature an inviting space for visitors to interact with the cats at eye level or while sitting comfortably so you can test drive a lap cat. Most importantly, it makes a huge difference in the quality of life for the cats as they wait for their forever homes.”

Kelly Gagnon, Director of Public Relations and Development at MRI, stated, “We’re really excited about this grass-roots volunteer project. It’s so motivating when you see a team of volunteers see a need for the shelter, raise funds to address the need and then do the leg work to make their vision a reality. We are so lucky at Homeward Bound to have volunteers like Jeanette, Jack and others!”

Yoga4Cats continues to receive positive press. Best Friends Animal Society, based in Kanab, Utah operates the nations largest sanctuary for homeless animals and provides adoption, spay/neuter and educational programs. The Yoga4Cats fundraiser concept is currently featured in Best Friends Jan/Feb 2016 magazine as part of their “For the Love of Cats” article which highlights innovative cat adoption strategies.

Catification is the process of creating feline-friendly environments that cater to a cat’s natural instincts to climb, perch, rest, play, and claim their territory. This concept is particularly important for free-roaming cats in a shelter setting and utilizes the vertical space to give our cats more square footage!

Homeward Bound Pet Shelter will be hosting a Catification Open House this weekend on Saturday, January 23rd from 2 – 3:30 pm. Guests are welcome to stop in, enjoy snacks and refreshments, learn more about catification, and meet adoptable cats (and dogs)! Tickets will be sold for a catification raffle basket for additional project funds. Additional donations are welcome!

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Meet Brutus – Adopted

Brutus is a 6 year old German Sheperd. In March of 2016 he will reach his 1 year anniversary of living at Homeward Bound Pet Shelter. We hope Brutus doesnt get to celebrate! Brutus closely bonds with his person and is extremely active for his age. He is a staff and volunteer favorite!

Brutus is a handsome fellow with selective taste in humans. He has manners- sit, shake, and lay down. His criteria in humans are (1) Do you have high value treats? (2) Do you like to walk long distance and play (He is an expert on the treadmill)? (3) Do you like to hug big guys? Brutus is loyal, protective and loving to the person who is blessed to give him a FOREVER home. -Donna, HBPS volunteer

I love his kisses in the morning! -Lesley, HBPS staff

Brutus loves to cuddle up, is clean in his kennel, potty trained He is fun to play with, and he loves his big ol soccer and basketball. -Toni, HBPS staff

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Meet Anderson

Anderson is a 5 year old male Pit Bull Terrier that was rescued from a shelter in fall 2015, with the hopes that a change in environment would get him adopted.

Anderson is very friendly, walks well on a leash and likes to make new friends. He knows his basic commands, sits nicely for a treat and would do best in a home with older children.

He loves to go for car rides and loves eating chicken nuggets. Anderson needs to be active. We take him for rides and walks 2 to 3 times a week. If adopted it would be best to crate him at night or when gone. Slowly introduce him to the house. Anderson always wants to be with you. -Gary, HBPS volunteer

Come meet meet this handsome guy with the big floppy ears!

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Meet Bekka – Adopted!

Bekka is a talkative cat. A wide-eyed, friendly three-year old with a dynamite personality. Shes playful and does well with children! Bekka has been at Homeward Bound waiting for her forever home since February of 2015.

Bekka was adopted in January of 2016. She just missed her one year mark!