Once upon a time, a sum of money was bequeathed to Carbon County with the stipulation that it be used to build a new animal shelter. At that time…1997 to be exact…the county housed dog kennels in the Lehighton area, but there was no shelter for homeless cats and kittens. Through the efforts of many volunteers, local government officials, interested animal lovers, and contractors who donated time and materials, the Carbon County Animals Shelter was built near Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania just off Route 93 near the Carbon County Prison. The dogs were relocated from Lehighton and a separate area of the building was set aside for cats and kittens. At last, accommodations were available for the many homeless felines in Carbon County!
Four women joined together to form the organization known today as Carbon County Friends of Animals. They were: Linda Rex, Jean Sargent, Denise Sebelin, and Susan Yaich. These women knew the need existed for a means to house and care for cats that were abandoned, stray, feral, and/or abused. Together they donated countless hours of their time and money to care for the cats and make their dreams a reality. Without their endless dedication and enthusiasm, Carbon County Friends of Animals would not be in existence today!
The Carbon County Animal Shelter soon become filled with cats and dogs in all shapes and sizes. It became increasingly apparent that the cats and kittens had outgrown the accommodations provided for them. Thanks to Denise Sebelin and her husband Tony, property at 900 Walnut Avenue in Jim Thorpe, PA became available. This was the perfect opportunity to relocate the cats and kittens to larger quarters. In May 2003, CCFOA celebrated its 2nd anniversary in their new location! The CCFOA shelter is located along route 209 next to Deezine’s Flowers at the base of “The Liberties” in Jim Thorpe. The new shelter features individual cages for all adult cats, as well as an isolation area where incoming and ill cats and kittens are housed and cared for. The shelter also has an on-site laundry, new reception area added in 2002, ample parking for visitors, and construction is underway to the rear of the building for additional housing areas.
All of these accomplishments would not have been possible if not for the efforts of the many volunteers, benefactors, supporters, and employees who give of their time and money so generously. Since Carbon County Friends of Animals receives no outside funding from the government or other organizations, all of the monies required for the daily operation of the shelter are raised through adoptions, fund-raising, donations, and the membership program that made its debut in August 2002. The costs to care for the cats and kittens and daily shelter operations are high. Just some of the expenses incurred are: veterinarian expenses such as exams, medication, vaccinations, spay/neuter; cat food and cat litter and shelter expenses such as rent utilities, payroll and supplies.