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Shelter striving to meet a four-paw need

Christine April of Marblehead, a volunteer with Marblehead Animal Shelter, plays with Milo, who’s up for adoption. Photo by Spenser Hasak

Starting on Saturday, Nov. 12th through Sunday, Nov. 20, the Marblehead Animal Shelter will be hosting a Homeless Cats and Kittens Thanksgiving food drive. 

The Village Street facility’s staff are asking the community to donate wet and dry food for cats and kittens, including “Pate Style” wet food for kittens with no fish, and “Gerber’s Seconds” meat-flavored baby food. 

The nonprofit animal refuge takes pride in being an all-volunteer shelter. Their operating expenses are underwritten by the generous donations by community members and the fees they charge for adoptions.

“We are a no-kill shelter, we kind of pride ourselves on that. We don’t have any motivation but the love for the animals. That’s why we are all volunteers. Adoption team, Rescue team, cleaning team. They are all incredible people,” said Christine Koretz, a Marblehead Animal Shelter fundraising volunteer. 

Truman is one of the cats up for adoption at the Marblehead Animal Shelter.

 With the harsh weather approaching, the no paid staff are asking the public for donations.

“That’s the other reason for the food drive, is because the winter is coming and it’s a very difficult time for those cats who are out abandoned or just wondering the streets,” said Koretz. 

Along with donations, the volunteer staff hope that more people will also consider the cats and kittens that are in need of their forever homes. “One cat, Flossy has been there for a couple of months. She is kind of our ‘senior kitty,'” said Koretz. 

 The animal shelter recently lost two volunteers a week apart and is searching for volunteers who have a love for animals, “unfortunate we lost a couple of amazing volunteers. They passed away a week apart, believe it or not, and we have been in need of volunteers,” said Koretz. 

Primarily a cat shelter, rescued animals are primarily from the North Shore and Boston area compared to other shelters that rescue from hurricane areas. 

During the Thanksgiving food drive, bins will be set up at the Stop and Shop and Petco stores. There are four drop-off locations, including Marblehead Animal Shelter, 44 Village St.; in Swampscott at Petco, 419 Paradise Road; Stop and Shop at 450 Paradise Road, and in Beverly, Stop and Shop, 224 Elliott St. 

 “The beauty of animals is that they give you unconditional love. They don’t care who you are, or what you look like and that’s the beauty of animals! And hopefully, they teach us some lessons in life. Or make us better people,” said Koretz. 

 To learn more about the food drive, donate, volunteer, or adopt a pet please visit, www.marblehead-animal-shelter.org

Marblehead Animal Shelter volunteer Lexy Mekkawi places Squeak, soon to be known as Molly, into a carrier as Kathy Falese of Marblehead adopts her on Tuesday.