When Robbie Elliott was looking for a leadership service project to earn his Eagle Scout badge, he knew he wanted to do something to help animals. He visited the Norfolk, Virginia SPCA to investigate homeless pets in need of assistance. It was there he learned about the SPCA’s trap-neuter-return (TNR) program to control the area’s large population of feral cats. In TNR, stray cats are trapped, altered, and returned to their colonies, since most are too feral to be rescued and adopted as pets.
While the TNR program was helping to spay and neuter stray cats in the community, the local feral cat colonies still lacked food and even the most basic type of shelter. Robbie realized he could make a difference by building structures designed to shelter the cats. He did some research and talked to a local architect. Robbie’s cat house design features a polycarbonate window to let in natural light, a wall to block wind and rain, a cat door at the back that opens out, allowing cats to escape larger predators that enter the shelter, sliding doors for easy maintenance, and a covered porch for food and water.
Robbie raised the needed funds and also acquired donated materials to build the shelters. He even used leftover funds to purchase food for the cats. With the help of fellow scouts, he built 10 houses in just a few days. The SPCA and local TNR volunteers were thrilled with the new cat shelters. Feral cat organizations around the country are now expressing interest in using Robbie’s blueprints to build shelters of their own.
To learn more about Robbie and the cat house project, click HERE.
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