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For the friends of the Independent Cat Society, a no-kill cat shelter

Spring 2017 #153

The Future of ICS This year marks ICS’s 40th Anniversary. Since 1977, we have been the largest adoption agency for felines in Northwest Indiana, having placed 298 cats and kittens in the past year alone. With a focus on reducing the population of unwanted cats and kittens across our region, our spay/neuter partnerships and educational components are essential complimentary programs to our active adoption program. Together, these aspects bring into focus the fundamental best practices of any no-kill shelter. The ICS Board of Directors, key volunteers and staff engaged in a thoughtful process to develop a reasonable plan that is both aspirational and attainable. As a small nonprofit organization with consistent but modest means, ICS is perpetually caught between the immediate financial needs of our nearly 200 cats and the long-term capital needs of the organization. With foresight, ICS began a separate Building Fund that to date has raised $34,000 to be used toward meeting the cost of new construction projects. Approximately $60,000 additional is needed to complete the first phase of the project. What came out of this planning process was that the most immediate need involves our square footage, in particular our ability to intake and house new arrivals as well as meeting with our visitor adopters and their first impressions of ICS. A clean, attractive space that includes space for office equipment, a place for visitors to relax, space for events, as well as space for visitors to meet some of our most special residents, is increasingly needed. With that in mind, the ICS Board has approved the construction of a new Welcome Center. We think that the Welcome Center addition will go a long way towards bringing more visitors and potential adopters to ICS, thus increasing both adoptions and community involvement. As guests enter they would be greeted in the reception area, and they can quickly see the kittens frolicking and exploring in rooms designed to allow room to play, socialize, and be active. The Welcome Center will also include a designated space for the Adoption Counselors to work with potential adopters and finalize adoptions.

How YOU Can Get Involved! Join the Building Committee in any capacity. Activities of the Building Committee include: • • • • • •

Meet monthly and communicate regularly via e-mail. Make decisions about design and implementation. Develop and implement plans for fundraising. Reach out to potential donors and businesses. Get the word out on a regular basis with updates and opportunities for involvement. Publicize the Rainbow Bridge Garden, since monies from the garden go to the building fund.

Other things you might consider: • • • •

Does your company provide matching grants on a regular basis? Would they consider doing so on a one time basis? Do you or someone you know have the ability to provide a gift? Do you belong to an organization that might like to do some kind of fundraiser? Would you like to purchase a brick or donate your time to the Rainbow Bridge Garden to beautify and maintain it?

The kitten rooms and office area will allow the current incoming area to be focused only on the needs of the new cats as they begin their journey towards a second chance at a better life. Once this first Phase of the project is completed, Phase II will be able to move forward, which will include extensive renovation of the existing facility as well as further expansion.

Upcoming Events, Tributes, and much more inside!

Published for the friends of the Independent Cat Society, Inc. PO Box 735, Westville, IN 46391 (219) 785-4936 Web: Email: Facebook: INCatSociety

Calendar of Events

June June 9-11 Aunt Kitty’s Trash and Treasure Yard Sale! 9:00am - 3:00pm each day Donations accepted Friday - housewares, holiday items, shoes, children’s items, small furniture and appliances appreciated ICS Shelter, 4061 County Line Road, Westville

June 17

The Independent Cat Society, Inc., founded in 1977, is a non-profit, no-kill cat shelter on US Rt 6 at the Porter/LaPorte County Line Road in Westville, Indiana.

Lakeshore PAWS Pup Crawl 5:00pm - 10:00pm Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso

Our mission is to rescue, shelter, adopt, and promote the spaying and neutering of cats in our Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland community.

Cat Show at the Porter County Expo Center Porter County Expo Center, Valparaiso

Adoption hours: Friday, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Sunday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Others by appointment. Please call (219) 785-4936.

ICS Adoption Event Pet Supplies Plus, 6030 Central Ave., Portage

About our Adoption Fees Include: Spay/neuter, vet exam, feline leukemia and FIV test; ageappropriate vaccinations; parasite treatment; tattoo ID/microchip; 30 Day No-Cost Pet Insurance; Hills Science Diet coupon; and free postadoption participating vet visit. Please check our website or shelter for monthly adoption specials! Board of Directors: President: Jocelyn Vereb Vice-President: Paulette Gonzalez Recording Secretary: Diana Richie Corresponding Secretary: Kay Vazquez Treasurer: Natalie Cebulski Board Members: Diana Foster Beth Hayden Lori Hlinsky Jennifer Stall

June 17

June 25-26

July July 15 Bark in the Park 9:00am - 3:00pm Thomas Centennial Park, Chesterton

July 29-30 Eyes on the Pies Summer Open House Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm; Sunday 1pm - 4pm ICS Shelter, 4061 County Line Road, Westville

August August 12-13 Summer Book Sale! Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm; Sunday 11am - 5pm To donate books, please contact to make arrangements Valparaiso Moose Lodge, 108 Indiana Avenue

September September 29 - October 1 Aunt Kitty’s Fall Trash and Treasure Yard Sale! 9:00am - 3:00pm each day; Donations accepted Friday ICS Shelter, 4061 County Line Road, Westville 2

President’s Message Happy Spring! It’s hard to believe it’s May already – the first four months of 2017 have been very busy for the ICS kitties and the volunteers. The best news is that over 115 cats and kittens have been adopted so far this year! Congratulations to Twiggy for being named the ICS 2017 Sweetheart! Her team raised the most votes in this year’s hugely successful Sweetheart Contest, followed by (in order) Teddy, Heidi & Puffin, Shamrock & Lucky, Chalupa, Fiona, Stubbs and Cubby. But, Twiggy, Congratulations to our Sweetheart winner, Twiggy! as well as Chalupa, Puffin, Teddy, Stubbs and Shamrock & Lucky have each gotten the most coveted prize – a “Purr-Ever” home! The others are still looking for theirs – all paws crossed it will be soon! Thank you to all the volunteers who campaigned for the Sweethearts this year, those who helped at the event, and to all of you who supported ICS by voting and/or attending the Sweetheart Day Event. This event raised over $9,000 for the shelter thanks to all of you. And a special mention to Dr. Kylene Huler of Indianapolis, IN, who had coffee cups made with a picture of her ICS alumni, Cowboy & Aloha, and sold them to her patients and friends to support Twiggy’s Sweetheart campaign! And, last, but definitely not least, we must thank the Valparaiso Moose Lodge 1357 for providing a wonderful venue for this event for the 3rd year in a row. In March, we welcomed Coyne Veterinary Center – Portage (formerly Portage Animal Hospital) to our list of participating veterinarians and those providing Assisted Spay/Neuter Services (see the “Spay/Neuter Resources” section below). Coyne Veterinary Services has locations in Crown Point, St. John and many in Illinois, and they will all provide a free first vet visit for our adopters, as well as honor our Assisted Spay/Neuter voucher. This partnership greatly benefits our growing number of adopters and friends from western Porter County, Lake County and Illinois. See all of our participating vets under Corporate Sponsorships on page 7. And, finally, Kitten Season is upon us again, although we had a record number of kittens throughout 2016! Currently we have several litters in foster, and your help is requested. We need foster homes to keep up with kitten season this year. Donations of kitten formula, bottles and warming discs, just to name a few items, would be welcomed. Also, contributions to our Medical fund are be greatly appreciated, as our vet bills rise to keep up with the incoming kittens and other strays. Please watch our Facebook page for posts about various ways you can help ICS. Thank you for your support! Jocelyn Vereb ICS Board President P.S. Send your pictures in now for our 2018 ICS calendar! Single Day pictures are $10 each, and there are 10 Monthly spots available for $50 each. Deadline is August 1, 2017. Check Facebook and/or our website for more information, or email

Spay/Neuter Resources ICS assisted spay/neuter vouchers are available at the ICS shelter on Saturdays from 10 AM-4PM and Sundays from 1-4 PM. (Others hours may be available by appointment only). After purchase (cash/check/credit card), call one of the clinics below to schedule an appointment: • • • • • •

McAfee Animal Hospital (Valparaiso): 219-462-5901 – $115 Westchester Animal Clinic (Chesterton): 219-926-1194– $65 Coyne Veterinary Center (Portage): 219763-3311 –$65 All Creature Features (LaPorte): 219-393-3558 – $85 Gast Animal Hospital (Valparaiso): 219-759-7387 – $110 Maple City Animal Hospital (LaPorte): 219-324-0055 – $116

Dr. Anderson’s Feline Reduction Center has a low-cost clinic on Saturdays in Beverly Shores. The scheduling number is 219-861-9006. Other local options: • • • • • •

Neuter Scooter: Pet Neutering and Adoption: www. (DeMotte) ABC Clinic: (Granger) The Estelle Marcus Animal Clinic: www. or (219) 924-7140 (Munster) PAWS Chicago: The Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic or mobile unit, or (773) 521-7729 (Chicago) Fried’s TNR Clinic: 219-252-2872, (Michigan City)

Contact us at for information on feral/community cat spay/neuter.



from your Spokescat,Monica

So, did you know ICS has been around for 40 years? Yep, that’s what they keep telling me, and everyone’s all excited. There’s going to be a big party in October, and already the humans are all celebrating. So, I decided to do my homework on ICS and all of its accomplishments in 40 years, and guess what I found out? • ICS is one of the very first no-kill shelters in Northwest Indiana! • Our name, Independent Cat Society, refers to the fact that since our inception, we have run entirely on member and community support. • Our first location was at the corner of Harrison and Maple in Michigan City, but a fire broke out shortly after the space was leased – scary! Luckily, very few people or animals were hurt. ICS moved to several temporary locations around the Michigan City area, including the historic Pullman Building, until it finally found a permanent home in 1989 at its present location in Westville.

Monica, your New Spokescat

Generous people like you have helped make ICS what it is today – an organization that has helped thousands of cats find health and happiness in forever homes. Forty years is a long time, but there are still many more cats that need help, like my friends below who need sponsors. Let’s keep going and make it another wonderful forty years!

ICS is looking for good foster parents!

frequent attention and a quiet place to recuperate. It is a lot of work, with a lot of reward.

Kitten season is right around the corner, and that means soon we will have pregnant cats, momma cats with babies, and some orphaned kittens coming in. We Dot wants YOU to help her friends get a good start need dependable in life! foster parents to temporarily house and take care of these mommas and babies. We will also need bottle feeders for the orphaned kittens, this is a tough position to fill. These cats/kittens need

What does it take to be a foster parent? • A place to keep the cats/kittens safe and warm. • Supply their food, water, kitten formula, litter. We supply medical. • Can transport cats/kittens to the shelter for shots or treatments. If this is something you are interested in please email the shelter: or visit our website and fill out the online volunteer application, volunteer.html. The foster care coordinator will then contact you for an interview, do a home check to see where the cats/ kittens will be kept, and lastly the foster care agreement.

I want to Sponsor-A-Cat from the Independent Cat Society

I have enclosed a check for:

__________ $180 for one year of Sponsor-A-Cat

__________ $15 for the first month of Sponsor-A-Cat. I pledge to send $15 each month to Sponsor-A-Cat

__________ I pledge to send the amount that fits my budget and feels “right” to Sponsor-A-Cat each month Please mark “SAC” on your envelope and check memo. The sponsor will receive a photo and biography of his or her Sponsor-A-Cat. Name of sponsor_____________________________________________ Is this a gift sponsorship? _______________ Address_________________________________________________ City______________________________________ State_______ ZIP__________ Telephone _______________________________________ Month of sponsor’s birthday______________________________ email address_______________________________________ Clip and mail to: Independent Cat Society, Inc., PO Box 735, Westville, IN 46391 4

A Special Visit to Oakwood Manor by Judy Dean and Diana Foster Friday, January 13 – black cats, magic, tricks or just bad luck? NO, it was an “On the Road” presentation by ICS Volunteers Judy Dean and Diana Foster!

While Judy talked with the audience, several of the family members and Diana attempted to coax Opal out of her carrier while the younger of the two cats, Crystal, had a field day checking out the large, comfortably furnished Living/Library room, jumping from chair to chair, lap to lap and even trying out the piano. Remember the old song “Kitten on the Keys?” Well, that was where Crystal decided to stand as she stretched and stretched to enjoy the fragrance of the flower bouquet on the piano. She also enjoyed a lot of attention from everyone there!

The presentation, held at Oakwood Manor in La Porte, IN on Longwood Drive, provided this dynamic duo the opportunity to present the 5 W’s of ICS – the Why, What, Who, Where, and When. With Judy presenting and Diana wrangling the kitty cats, they shared a little bit about ICS, including Why we exist, What we do, Who we are, Where we are, and When we take care of all our Resident Shelter Cats . . . think 24/7!

Just prior the conclusion of the program, several of the residents mentioned they would like to come visit the Shelter. And they will get to do so soon! At a special time when the cats are quiet, perhaps on a weekday afternoon soon, the Oakwood Manor residents will achieve their “cat fix” as they will have the cats all to themselves.

Diana and Judy were graciously greeted by Mr. Ken Baker, who organized the more than twenty residents and several family members for the 60 minute presentation. The group was excited and ready to meet and greet the two black ICS cats, Crystal and Opal, as Diana set up the portable outdoor playpen and opened the cat carriers.

Who enjoyed this the most – the Oakwood Manor residents, or Judy and Diana? Why all of us, of course! We’re happy to have made new friends – and so are Crystal and Opal!

The Price of Ownership

by “Ollie” and his human, Victoria Voller, Board President, Humane Society of Northwest Indiana Dear Ollie,

Do you want a kitten or cat? Kittens are adorable, curious, playful and full of energy, but they are not a good mix with young children who may be “rough” expressing their love. Also, you don’t know what a kitten will grow up to look like or how you may like its personality

My family is in the market for a new pet. We are favoring adopting a cat or kitten, since we work and the kids go to school. How do we go about choosing the right cat or kitten for us?

Now, ask yourself about personality. No two felines are alike; some are very mellow and will tolerate any kind of handling while others don’t like being picked up and held at all.

The Hanover Family New Buffalo, Michigan

What about the coat? All felines have lovely fur coats. So do you want a long-haired cat to brush even though some don’t like it? Or, a short-haired cat that may shed if not brushed?

Dear Hanover Family,

Can you give a home to a special needs cat? They may be older, deaf, blind etc., but they can make wonderful companions. Their condition will not affect the amount of love and pleasure they can give you; it just means some extra commitment to them from you.

If you are looking for an “Instagram” celebrity like Snow the cat (check out, who can help his owner play and win at the famous shell game on the streets of Tokyo, you may not be in luck. Snow has an uncanny ability to identify which of the five rapidly shuffled cups hides a small plastic ball in this famous shell game. His Japanese owner posted a video of him staring intently at the moving cups before placing a paw on the right one every time.

Do you have room for one more? The good news is that cats can get along with other cats. Actually most dogs can, too. However, not me. My woman human once tried to bring a cat home and I behaved very badly. Dogs and cats can become best friends but some dogs, with a high prey drive, may chase the poor cat to its death. Or, like me, eat their food, steal their little feather toys and sleep in the special bed reserved just for them. I admit to you that I was obnoxious and I do that very well.

So forget Snow, that cat is already taken, but you may find a cat or kitten that is very special in its own unique way. Start by making the decision to adopt. There are many cats that need a good, forever home waiting in shelters all over northwest Indiana. To help you get started, I want you to consider answering four important questions before you bring in a new feline family member.

Good luck, and if you find a cat like Snow, let me know and we can take him to Four Winds Casino just to see what he can do.


Me mo ria ls & Tr ib ut es

January 2017 - May 2017

In memory of Walter Witt, from Mary Witt

and Sheri Christian, & Elizabeth Martenson

In memory of Waltrand “Trudy” Smith, from Patsy Spahn

In memory of my favorite cat, Pooter, from Tracy Foor

In memory of Ann Labin, from Marcine Todd

In memory of Chubby Kleckner - he was an awesome cat, from Tom and Nancy Kleckner

In memory of Scott Gumns, from Maxine Hamann

In memory of Don F. Driver, from Karen Appleby

In memory of Little Boy, from Martin Gonzales

In memory of Dorothy Hibbets, from Jessie Heinze and Sandra Pappas

In memory of Trixie, from Thomas and Dara Perry

In memory of our dog, Pepper Miller, from Timothy and Judith Zaparucha

In memory of David Schroeder, from Martens and Son Carpenter Contractors

In memory of Mary Lou Biegel, from Richard and Karen Szprychel

In memory of my beloved cat, Marcie, from Roxanne Myers

In memory of our kitty BooBoo, adopted from ICS 21 1/2 years ago, from Cynthia Murray

In memory of Sweet Simon, Judy’s pet, from Annette and George Kulmatycki

In loving memory of Phantom, Greta, and Little Beau - we miss you all! from Jocelyn and Larry Vereb

In memory of Daun Caddo who passed away suddenly, from friends at the LaPorte County Plan Commission, and Maxine Hamann

In honor of my mom, Martha Ryman, from Ann Maurer

In memory of 15 year-old Lucy, from Brigette Benson

In honor of my two cats adopted from ICS 13 years ago, from Valorie Valse

In memory of John Vining, from Eric and Kemilyn Schreiber In memory of Marble the cat, from Barbara Crawford

In honor of Laney and Earth, my two ICS cats, from David Rowland

In memory of Charlie the Cat, from Viktoria Voller

Happy Birthday Margie Travis, from Debra Jett

In memory of Max, an incredible cat, from Susan Smith

In honor of Charles Carlson and Dennis Weaver, from Stan and Laura Zoller

In memory of Mr. Kelly, our beloved Persian, from Lori Jacobs In memory of Elena Ensign, from Diane Hanson

In honor of Beau Niemeyer - super cat! from Virginia Niemeyer

In memory of Caroline Cummins, from Richard and Raun Brobeck, Dawn Munoz, Dorothy Quillin, & Kathleen and Michael Warren In memory of Betty Pisarski, from Carmen Amado, Sheryl Barnard, Mark

Finding Happiness in the Golden Years My name is Irv Olsen. My beloved wife, Dorothy, passed away three years ago and I quickly learned the meaning of the word “loneliness.” Then, my daughter, Leslie Thomas, persuaded me to visit ICS to choose a cat to be my friend. It’s been a year and a half now since I brought Precious home. Yes, the first months were difficult because she was scared of everything. But gradually, she learned to enjoy her new home and to trust me. Today, of course, she owns the place; she greets me at the door when I return from an errand and she sleeps every night next to me in my bed. Has my sadness gone away? Of course not. But it has eased a lot. I talk and play with Precious constantly and my mood is much more cheerful. In fact, I would not give her up for anything!! We are friends, buddies and soulmates. What else can I say? Just, thanks ICS for introducing me to my new buddy and best friend, Precious. By Irv Olsen, proud and happy owner of ginger tabby Precious, adopted from ICS in 2016


Valley Cats: A Special Offer for ICS Supporters Team Twiggy and Midwest author Gretchen Preston want to make you a very special offer! Through 2017, buy one of Gretchen’s wonderful stories about the adventures and friendship of the Valley Cats and 40% of each purchase will go to the Independent Cat Society. That’s right, you can order from now all the way through Christmas! Just make sure you put TEAM TWIGGY in the Remarks Section when ordering. Gretchen Preston, along with illustrator Karin Neumann, create wonderful children’s books about real-life issues blended with Northern Michigan history, new vocabulary words, and of course, fun for all ages. These tales of the Valley Cats and their adventures will have you and the young people in your life enchanted with every turn of the page. We love the Valley Cats, and we hope you will too!

Author Gretchen Preston

The latest title, Valley of the Cats: Earth Wind, and Sky, is now available!

To order your books and earn a little extra for ICS, please visit

Corporate Sponsorships Financial Institutions

Matching Gifts

Michigan City Animal Hospital, Michigan City

1st Source Bank

ArcelorMittal Matching Gifts

New Carlisle Animal Hospital, New Carlisle

Allegius Credit Union

BP Matching Gift Program

Westchester Animal Clinic, Porter

Northern Indiana Federal Credit Union

CNA Foundation

Vale Park Animal Hospital, Valparaiso

Discover Financial Services Sweetheart Contest Business Donations (see website for complete list)


JC Penney Change for the Better Campaign

Banfield Charitable Trust

State Employee’ Community Campaign

Best Friends Animal Society


Bissell Foundation

United Way of Greater LaPorte County

Cat Dancer

Petco Foundation


Catty Stacks

Porter County Community Foundation

Event Wines - Benefit Wines

Porter County Master Gardeners

Health and Hospitality Corp of Marion Co

Unity Foundation of LaPorte County

Network for Good

Earth Rated


Participating Veterinarians:

Five Guys Burgers- Valpo, Portage, Schererville

Aurelio’s Pizza, LaPorte

All Creature Features, LaPorte

BoyConn Printing, Valparaiso

Arbor View Animal Hospital, Valparaiso

Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service, Valparaiso

Ark of the Dunes Animal Hospital, Chesterton

Puntillo & Crane Orthodontics, Crown Point

Coyne Veterinary Services, Portage

St. Stanislaus School, Michigan City

Gast Animal Hospital, Valparaiso

John W. Anderson Foundation

Arbonne Products Cat Lady Box ( Chesterton Feed & Garden Coastal Pets Entirely Pets (aka HealthyPets)

Maple City Animal Hospital, LaPorte

Jakes Feed and Garden store Kuranda USA Lettuce Entertain You – Wildfire Restaurant Memorial Opera House – Valpo Picaboo Preston Hill Press

McAfee Animal Hospital, Valparaiso If we have inadvertently omitted anyone, please write, email, or call us so we can include them in the next newsletter.


Independent Cat Society PO Box 735 Westville, IN 46391

Non-Profit Organization US Postage


Valparaiso, IN Permit No. 134

Upcoming Events • Aunt Kitty’s Trash and Treasure Sale

June 9-11, ICS Shelter

• Lakeshore PAWS Pup Crawl


June 17, Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso

• Cat Show

June 7, Porter County Expo Center INCatSociety

• ICS Adoption Days

June 25-26, Pet Supplies Plus - Portage

• Bark in the Park

July 15, Thomas Centennial Park, Chesterton

• Eyes on the Pies Summer Open House

July 29-30, ICS Shelter

• Summer Book Sale

August 12-13, Valparaiso Moose Lodge

• Aunt Kitty’s Trash and Treasure Sale

September 29 - October 1, ICS Shelter

• SAVE THE DATE! 40th Anniversary Gala

October 14, Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City Details coming soon!

If you’d like to receive the Mewsletter via email, let us know at

Can you help the Independent Cat Society cats? Become a Member! Annual Dues:

Donate or Volunteer! ______ I am donating $______ for the care of the cats and kittens.


$1000 Corporation

______ I am donating $______ to the building fund.


$500 Platinum

______ I will help groom cats at the shelter.


$100 Gold Star


$50 Family


$25 Individual


$1­­0 Student

______ I am donating $______ to the TNR/Assisted Spay & Neuter Fund. ______ I will help at fundraising events. ______ I will be a foster parent. ______ I will donate my cat-themed artwork or crafts for fundraising events. ______ I will bake for fundraising events. ______ I will make adoption follow-up telephone calls. ______ I will help cats get good homes by becoming an adoption counselor. ______ I will help take care of the grounds and maintain the shelter. ______ I will distribute flyers for fundraisers.


$10 Senior

­­Name______________________________________ Address_____________________ City______________ State_______ ZIP__________ ____This is a new address. ____ Do not send a “thank you” note. Phone____________________ email___________________________ Clip and send to: Independent Cat Society, Inc., PO Box 735, Westville, IN 46391

ICS Mewsletter Spring 2017  

Welcome to the Spring 2017 edition of the Mewsletter for the Independent Cat Society in Westville, Indiana!