The Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter will close its doors for the last time on Sunday, Sept. 24, after 18 years of operation as the group has not renewed its contract with the city to provide a no-kill animal shelter.
Until that day, the shelter will continue to offer free adoptions of rescued cats and kittens. One week later, a new group that is forming, Gonzales Paws and Whiskers Inc., will begin operating the shelter, located at 505 Saint Francis St., starting Oct.1.
In 2022, FOGAS was able to rescue more than 500 homeless cats “through fostering, adoption, TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, release), rehoming and our Barn Tiger program, due to the dedicated hard work of four volunteers!” the group announced in a recent Facebook post.
“In 2022 we also applied for and won a grant that awarded our community with enough funds to pay for the spaying and neutering of 135 cats and 90 dogs!” FOGAS announced. “These are animals living within and owned by the community. Perhaps you were one of many owners who benefitted from this grant. We have been able to get these grants for 13 of these years.”
What the group is most proud of, however, is that it was able to operate the shelter without killing any cats to make room for new intakes for 18 years.
Sadly, FOGAS saw its core group of volunteers dealing with health challenges that made it no longer viable to continue operating the shelter.
“As our days of operating the Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter come to a close, we would like to ask that you continue to support animal rescue and adoption efforts throughout our town,” FOGAS said in its Facebook post. “The need will always exist to protect the homeless cats and dogs that can’t speak for themselves.”
GPAW will have its own Facebook page, a new phone number and be its own non-profit organization. That information has not yet been announced. The Gonzales City Council on Sept. 14 approved a one-year contract with GPAW in which the city will pay that group $4,082.08 per month as compensation for management and operation of the Gonzales Cat Shelter.
FOGAS will be open from Wednesday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Sept. 22, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from Saturday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 24, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for free adoptions of any remaining cats and kittens on the premises.