Eden Animal Haven Hosts Open House

BRIGHTON, Mo. - A local couple in Brighton is attempting to make stray cats' lives better.

"There are way too many cats to be adopted and humane society is overrun by cats," explained Dr. Michael Reid at the Animal Health Center Hospital and Clinic, "there just aren't enough homes for them."

Dr. Reid said there's a cat overpopulation problem in the Ozarks, which is where Eden Animal Haven is looking to make a difference.

Eden Animal Haven is the first ever no-kill, cage-free, cat-only shelter in Southwest Missouri.

"Today is our summer open house, and so basically we're inviting people out here to see how we're doing," said Leslie Sawyer, the co-founder of Eden Animal Haven.

Sawyer said they only focus on cats for two reasons.

"One is because we can help more with fewer resources," Sawyer said, "and then also is because we were here for a while, we realized there were a lot of dog rescues and dog only places, but not too many for cats."

"Cats are very prolific breeders," said Dr. Peggy Callow, a veterinarian at the SAAF Spay and Neuter Clinic, "we have an overpopulation of cats and they end up filling up our shelters, and unfortunately sometimes healthy animals get put to sleep because they don't have a home."

Eden board member Betty Ridge said they're hoping to get more donations to get the shelter finished so more cats can find that forever home.

"Hopefully by the time the winter sets in we'll have the inner part completed and we'll have all the cats out of the old barn," Ridge said.

In the meantime, to help control the overwhelming cat population, Dr. Callow said "the best way to prevent that is with spay, neuter, and birth control. For female cats spay, that is $65, that includes the surgery, pain medication, a rabies vaccine if they're not current, and a free nail trim. For a male cat, it's $45, and that includes all the above."

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