P.A.W.S. settles into new facility that includes retail store


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Bonding time: Nancy Rubino, director of Partners for Animal Welfare Society, sits with Vienna, a female Chihuahua mix in need of a home. P.A.W.S. recently moved into its own space after making do for several years by storing equipment and supplies at several locations. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)


A fluffy friend: Nancy Rubino, P.A.W.S. director, snuggles up to Gus, one of the many adoptable cats located at the new facility. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)


GREENFIELD — Throw in a few clouds and a couch or two, and this could be cat heaven.

For all of their shelter lives, these 23 frolicking felines, many of them young, abandoned ones from last spring’s mating season, lived in a rural Charlottesville building that had no running water and was barely heated.

It was more of a problem, and a huge expense, for their caretakers from Partners for Animal Welfare Society than it was for these cats.

Still, now that P.A.W.S. finally has its own Greenfield storefront, these kitties are in a much friendlier environment. They sleep, if they want, in cages stacked around the edges of the cat room in this newly rented 2,100-square-foot space in the Schakel Center at 3141 W. U.S. 40.

Toys are strewn about the floor, and the cats are happily busy with them. Spats over the toys arise at times, especially over the “tunnel,” but they’re usually not serious, says Betty Fahrnsworth, their principal volunteer caretaker, who on this day is busy with a three-hour daily routine of feeding, sanitizing and cleaning the room and cages, and cleaning litter boxes.

The Hancock County Board of Zoning Appeals in September granted P.A.W.S. a special exception to operate a pet store in the business center. For the past several years, P.A.W.S. had kept its equipment and supplies wherever it could. Mostly, that was at Tractor Supply Co. on North State Street, where monthly adoptions are held; at a nearby TSC warehouse; and the homes of volunteers and P.A.W.S.’ director, Nancy Rubino.

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