I was given a private tour of the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County on Friday, December 9, by Maureen Williams, President and Volunteer. This unique no-kill shelter/rescue is located in the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, at 12 Park Avenue. The organization began in the fall of 2005 with an all-foster program; and officially opened its first facility on February 24, 2007. The current 2100 square foot location opened in September of this year and has been transformed into a totally “cat and human friendly space”.
From the cat-appropriate vinyl flooring to the cozy decorated rooms, each area of the renovated former single family home has been carefully and lovingly adorned and furnished as any cat would want it. The walls have been decorated with painted cats and colorful painted paws by one of the many volunteers that care for the 12 – 16 cats which reside at the shelter at any given time. AWLMC is an all-volunteer, private operation consisting of about 200 volunteers working in 3 shifts…morning, afternoon, and evening, to feed, clean up after, and spend quality time with each and every cat.
The shelter consists of many “cat rooms” which house several cats each. In addition, there is a private, spacious area set aside for private visits by potential adopters decorated with couches and soft plush chairs, donated by Wagging Tails Thrift Store, which is run by the Montgomery County Humane Society. Wagging Tails also donated the easy-chairs and other furniture which enhance each cat room. AWLMC coordinates directly with MCHS, rescue groups, and others to save the lives of cats and kittens. As a registered charity with 501(c) (3) non-profit federal status, it is able to serve Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the Washington DC Metro Area.
Each cat, once it has been placed with AWLMC, is promised a place to live and loving care until it can be placed in a permanent forever home. The Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County is open to the public Wednesday evenings, Saturday afternoons, occasional Sundays, and by appointment. Further information can be found by visiting the website: www.awlmc.org; by email: email@example.com; or by phone: 301-740-2511.
AWLMCalso participates in Adoption Events as follows:
AWLMC Shelter: Saturdays 12 – 3 pm, Wednesdays 6 – 8 pm, and the 3rd Sunday of each month 12 – 3 pm.
PetSmart at Kentlands: 218 Kentlands Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD, 20878; 301-977-9677 – Saturdays (1st, 2nd, and 4th of each month), 12 – 3 pm. (Please call in advance as these dates and times are subject to change.)
PetSmart at Milestone Center: 20924 Frederick Road, Germantown, MD, 20876; 301-916-2029 – Sundays (2nd and 4th of each month); Saturdays (3rd of each month), 12 – 3 pm. (Please call in advance as these dates and times are subject to change.)
If you aren’t ready to adopt a cat, there are other ways you can help animals through direct participation with AWLMC:
VOLUNTEER– Online applications are available at www.awlmc.org, or stop by the shelter. There are 4 teams of volunteer categories to choose from: Cat Enrichment Program, Adoption, Intake, and Foster.
GIVE SHELTER CAT CARE – Apply online – 3 shifts are available.
BECOME A FOSTER HOME– AWLMC pays all medical costs.
DONATE– All monetary donations go directly to help the cats cared for by AWLMC. In addition, the shelter always needs supplies. A Wish List of needed items can be found at www.awlmc.org.
Look for my upcoming article dedicated to AWLMC which will include information on the Chompers Pet Food Bank and the Seniors for Seniors Cat Adoption Program. And remember, each homeless pet adopted is a life saved.