Thursday, July 28, 2011
Easel: volunteers fighting homelessness
Mark Phillips, executive director of Easel Animal Rescue League, shelters two feral kittens and two older feral cats in his office.
He hopes the kittens – now in a big multi-level big wire cage -- can be socialized; he doubts that can happen with the older cats, who may not have been caught in time to learn to trust people. They’re “at large” but typically invisible in the two rooms he can close off from the rest of his business.
Regarding cat adoptions – now underway everywhere because this is the height of the “kitten season” – Phillips says, “It’s the cat, it’s not the group [behind the adoption].” His purpose is “to get animals adopted” from the huge adoption pool; he’s not about having to take credit.
Most of Easel’s adoptions result from internet contacts. There’s Petfinder.com and Adoptapet.com, Phillips says. And every couple months, he prints out color posters showing 10 cats and 10 dogs in the Ewing shelter that are displayed at markets and other sites.
If people who respond arrive too late for specific animals, there are many others to choose from.
As all-volunteer Easel continues working toward its own shelter, the focus is on the Ewing site. Only kittens are fostered.
Organization members also take animals for adoption to PetSmart and PETCO (whose foundation Phillips lauds), as well as Rosedale Mills and Cutter’s Mill (whose generous manager he also praises).
Even if animals aren’t adopted at these stores, “It’s a good day for those dogs,” he says: “They get out of the shelter.”
(See February 23 post about Easel – www.EaselNJ.org)