The New Year marked a bittersweet occasion for many in the Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) community, as the Cat Depot closed permanently on Monday.
The entirely volunteer-run nonprofit closed due to being unable to find a new director and have enough volunteers to handle the workload that came with the number of strays that were constantly under the care of the Depot.
Lorena Perez, who was the director for the past year was unable to continue her position due to other obligations and commitments.
“Thank you for your donations, thank you for your support, and thank you for believing in this project,” Perez said as she bid farewell to the Depot in an online video on Monday night.
Perez went on to say that she hoped the closing of the rescue shelter would bring attention to the serious problem the base has with people abandoning cats.
While the Cat Depot had a number of volunteers over the years, Perez mentioned one by name for her commitment and time. Mayumi Mitchell began volunteering with the depot in 2015, and in 2017 alone she logged 800 volunteer hours at the shelter.
“That’s just counting shifts at the depot,” Perez said. “Not to mention adoption events and taking cats to the vet. She’s amazing.”
The Depot opened in late 2011, and in the six years it operated, 350 base cats were rescued or dropped off at the depot and subsequently adopted out. In addition to rescuing, feeding and housing the cats, depot volunteers also made sure all cats were up-to-date on their shots, spayed or neutered, and treated for the various ailments they had.
Before the shelter closed, they hosted a Clear-the-Shelter event, where the remaining 22 cats were adopted out and the adoption fees waived.
Their inventory, including enclosures, cages, food, and litter, as well as the remaining funds, were all donated to Valley Animal Haven in Lemoore.