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

Summer 2017 #154

Celebrating 40 Years! It is difficult to capture 40 whole years of history in just one short article. But it’s true – ICS has been helping cats in the Northwest Indiana community for over 40 years now. It’s been a long road, full of great successes, and challenges, too. In all started late in 1976, when several cat lovers in Beverly Shores, Indiana, met to discuss the possibility of opening a no-kill cat shelter in their area. This is where the mission of ICS was developed, with a dedication to ensure that our felines were well cared-for, for as long as they needed to be with us, and that they were adopted to good homes. So, in March 1977, the Independent Cat Society, Inc. was chartered in the state of Indiana. Why the name “Independent Cat Society?” It was chosen to show that the organization was not affiliated with any other humane society, animal shelter, or cat organization.

Happy adopters ready to take their new friends to their forever homes, in our current Westville location.

The shelter’s humble start was in Michigan City, in leased space in the old streetcar barn, not far from the center of the city. It housed approximately 35 cats. Four Michigan City veterinarians and a Porter veterinarian agreed to participate in the spay/neuter program and the general medical care of the cats. The shelter operated smoothly with all volunteer help and was kept open with intensive fundraising, growing membership dues and donations. Unfortunately, on a Saturday afternoon in June 1979, a fire started in one section of the building. All but two of the cats were rescued from of the smokefilled building, and ICS had to find a new home. For a short time, the cats found safety in an old motel outside of Michigan City, and later in the top floor of the old Pullman Building near downtown. Volunteers worked hard to make these spaces as wonderful as possible for the cats; however, the Pullman Building was not a permanent location, as the property would soon be sold for development. Thus, in 1983, a building fund was started so that ICS could eventually purchase property and build a proper shelter. After one more temporary and difficult move, to a building Pines where neighbors preferred not to have an animal shelter in close proximity, a generous offer was made to ICS by Arbor View Animal Hospital in Valparaiso for the use of part of a building located behind the clinic. This location served as a temporary shelter as the search went on for more permanent quarters. Finally, in 1989, the property on which the shelter now stands was found. After initial construction, the cats were moved in during the spring of 1991. A two-car garage in good condition was remodeled

and became the “Paws Awhile” Gift Shop. A drive was held, Building Fund II, for a much-needed Isolation Building which would house kittens, newly arrived cats and an office. A lot has changed since 1991, of course, but our commitment to our cats has not. Our staff and volunteers work hard each day to provide the best quality of care for the cats, and to find them caring forever homes. Many new programs and services have been added to keep this vision alive, including our Assisted Spay/Neuter program, Sponsor-a-Cat, Foster Care, and many others. As part of our ongoing mission to reduce the number of unwanted, homeless animals in Northwest Indiana, all ICS cats are spayed or neutered before they are offered for adoption. ICS is also part of the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network, and partners with other organizations around the region regularly. In 2005, an Endowment Fund through the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County was established to build a permanent fund and assure a predictable source of income. In addition, ICS has been able to secure various grants to support our goals. We also continue the Building Fund, which now gathers funds for building additions to improve the living conditions of our cats. Our founders persevered in the face of adversity, and guided ICS to a safe haven. Today, we are leaders in Northwest Indiana in rescue, spay/neuter, and humane education. We are proud of what we have accomplished in 40 years, and we hope you will join us for the next leg of our journey!

Upcoming Events, Tributes, and much more inside!

Calendar of Events


Published for the friends of the Independent Cat Society, Inc. PO Box 735, Westville, IN 46391 (219) 785-4936 Web: Email: Facebook: INCatSociety 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. Our mission is to rescue, shelter, adopt, and promote the spaying and neutering of cats in our Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland community. 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. 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.

September 9 Popcorn Festival 8:00am - 5:00pm Downtown Valparaiso

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

October October 14 The Cat’s Meow ICS 40th Anniversary Gala 6:00pm - 10:00pm Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City, IN Order tickets at or visit us at the shelter

October 15 Black Cat Strut 5K Walk/Run Race starts at 9:00am Red Mill County Park, LaPorte, IN Register at

November November 11 SELF School Holiday Bazaar 9:00am - 3:00pm SELF School, Valparaiso, IN

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

November 18-19 Holidaze Bazaar 9:00am - 4:00pm Porter County Expo Center, Valparaiso, IN

November 25 Dunes Cat Fanciers Show 8:00am - 5:00pm Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point, IN

December December 9-10 Holiday Open House 10:00am - 4:00pm Saturday; 1:00pm - 4:00pm Sunday ICS Shelter, Westville, IN


President’s Message Me-Wow! ICS kitties, volunteers and staff have had a very busy summer. Since our last Mewsletter, we’ve had some very successful fundraisers, including our Spring Yard Sale, Eyes on the Pies/ Summer Open House and our 2nd “Abridged” Used Book Sale, as well as participation in other events sponsored by other organizations. These events raised much needed funds to help care for all of our cats and kittens, but our success is not possible without you, our generous supporters and hard-working volunteers. Thank you all! Fiona says, “Thanks!”

And a special thanks to the Valparaiso Moose Lodge 1357 for providing a wonderful venue for our Book Sale in August (as well as our March Sweetheart Event and January Book Sale).

More events are scheduled for the rest of the year (see page 2), but we are most excited about the Cat’s Meow 40th Anniversary Gala on October 14th at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. We’re hard at work planning this event and hope to see you there! Please see page 5 for our limited edition 40th Anniversary Gala T-shirts designed for ICS by KarahTess Clothing and Lettering in LaPorte – we know you’ll want to order one! We also want to welcome the LaPorte Animal Hospital as a participating veterinarian (see complete list on page 7). Our vet partners offer a free exam to all adopters within 2 weeks of adoption. If you’re looking for a new vet, please contact one of these great clinics and tell them ICS sent you! So far in 2017, over 185 cats and kittens have been adopted (that’s 60 since our last Mewsletter in May!), which is really good news. However, kitten season has brought us many more kittens than in recent years, a statistic we share with most other shelters in the area. In 2017 to date, over 115 kittens, 6 months of age or younger, have been admitted to our shelter (and that’s not counting all those we had to refer to other shelters because we didn’t have room). Most were orphaned, and, if unweaned, required bottle feeding by our dedicated (but too few) foster families. Interested in fostering? Please see page 4. These kittens come from all over the area, and even though ICS, along with other shelters, animal welfare organizations, and veterinarians, strongly promotes responsible pet ownership through spay/ neuter, there are still too many un-altered cats roaming free. ICS is proud to be a no-kill shelter, so these kittens (as well as every cat we take in) will have a home here forever, even if they aren’t adopted. But, despite our best efforts, we cannot save them all, and many cats and kittens are euthanized or perish outdoors each year. Please remind your friends and neighbors to spay or neuter – even barn cats! ICS offers low-cost Spay/Neuter Vouchers for certain vets (see below for these vets and prices, as well as other low or no-cost options you may contact directly). Other financial help may be available as well – please contact us at for more information. Thank you all for your continued support! Jocelyn Vereb, ICS Board President with Fiona, ICS “Office Manager”

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

Dear Friend, You probably already heard all about our 40th anniversary by now, and that’s good news for both of us! Why, you might ask? It gives me a chance to tell you that Sponsor-A-Cat has been one of the primary revenue sources for ICS since the program started in the 1990s. That’s right, I’m the proud Spokescat for a program that’s been going strong for almost 30 years. Pretty cool, huh? We have had lots of great Spokescats come and go, including Boy George, Autumn, Lucky, Nikki, and many other old friends. Corky, our last Spokescat, is still here in fact, and I see him all the time curled up in his favorite spot in the hallway. It’s so cool to think that I’m part of something that has helped so many cats over the years, to get the food, love, and medical treatment they need while at the shelter.

Monica, your Spokescat

You see, ICS is not just about adopting cats, although we like to think that our stay is not quite permanent. We always have a home here, of course, but our real goal is that Forever Home, somewhere with a loving family to take care of us for life. Even if you can’t take one of us for your own, consider the Sponsor-A-Cat program. You will be supporting one of us during our time here, and help us be the best we can be. It’s a great feeling!

ICS is looking for good foster parents!

frequent attention and a quiet place to recuperate. It is a lot of work, though with a lot of reward. So, you might ask, what does it take to be a foster parent?

ICS is always in need of dependable foster parents to temporarily house and take care of the cats and kittens that come to us. We currently need Wouldn’t you just love to help us get our start in life? bottle feeders for orphaned kittens, as well as fosters able to care for cats with special needs. These are tough position to fill, as these cats/kittens need

• 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


Me mo ria ls & Tr ib ut es

June 2017-August 2017

In memory of David Schroeder, longtime ICS supporter and friend, from Debbie Schroeder and everyone at ICS

In honor of Carol’s cupcakes, from Cathleen Amador and all ICS volunteers who’ve enjoyed them!

In memory of Walter Witt, from Mary Witt In memory of Mary Showers, from Henry Showers

In honor of Ken and Sharon Brooks’ 60th Wedding Anniversary, from Richard & Susan Brooks

In memory of Jason Petrick from Sable, Josie, Charles, and Connie Conjalka

In honor of my best friend, Christine Wulf, from Bonnie Canzano In honor of Gisela and Rudi Rath, from James & Hilde Lanie

In memory of Joyce Shore from Laurel, MD, from Tricia Jauquet

In honor of Jody Nelson, from Bruce Nelson

In memory of Bob Goetz, from Doris & Keith Bell, Joyce Recktenwall, and Gary & Sandra Thompson

In honor of our cats, Tangelo and Persimmon, from Robert & Patricia Beezhold

In memory of Boy-Boy and Mommy, from Robert & Christa De Bernardi In memory of Tom Osika, from Linda McMillan In memory of Dave Pritchard, from Marcine Todd In memory of David L. Steuer, from Debbie Macki In memory of Smokey and Goldie, from Steven & Susan Sanders In memory of Patti Press, from Debora Nugent In memory of Lucky, my beautiful beloved boy - we miss you so much, from Charlene Kirschsieper In memory of Mitzy, from Laura Nowak In memory of Beth Hayden’s father, Mac Mackeigan, from the family’s many friends including the ICS Board, Cathleen Amador, Nancy Adler, Kent, Maggie & Sam Norman, and the whole furry family In memory of Michael Masters, from William & Wendy Masters In memory of June Draganowski, from the Bohney, Williams, and Wright Families

Future ICS Plans: 40 More Years! In the last newsletter, you might recall seeing information on plans for future building addition. Well, we’re still excited about the idea, and we keep working hard to create lasting improvements that benefit our cats as well as our people. What can you do to help? • • • •

Join our Building Committee and provide your expertise in making decisions about design and implementation. 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.

An overhead view of the potential new addition.

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?

A side view of the planned addition, from the south. Special thanks to Purdue Northwest, the College of Technology, Professor Ge Jin, and recent graduate Jonathan White for help in developing these renderings.


Black Cat Strut Annual 5K Walk/Run Don’t miss the best outdoor event of the season and join ICS and the Crazy Legs Race Series for the Annual Black Cat Strut 5K Run and Non-Competitive Walk! Thank you again to Paul Stofko and his family for their work in making this event possible. This year, we return to beautiful Red Mill County Park and we hope to see you there! Vital Info: Date: Sunday, Oct 15th, 2017 Time: 9:00 am CST Where: Red Mill County Park 0185 S Holmesville Rd La Porte, IN

Entry Fees: • $20: Run: per person if received by Oct 1, 2017 • $25: Run: per person if received after Oct 1, 2017 • $10: Walk: per person if received by Oct 1, 2017 • $15: Walk: per person if received after Oct 1, 2017 To Enter: •

Option 1: Visit events/2017/11471/black-cat-struttrail-5k-runwalk and sign up online.

Option 2: Use the entry form at http:// cat_2017_entry_form.pdf and make checks payable to: Paul Stofko Black Cat Strut 5k 1218 Dogwood Drive Chesterton, IN 46304

The Black Cat Strut 5k Trail run and NonCompetitive 5k Walk “Race for Buddy” is in honor of Paul and Rachel’s cat Buddy who brought great joy to their family. Buddy was adopted from the Independent Cat Society in the 1990’s and sadly passed recently after spending 20 years on this earth. Proceeds of the race are donated directly to the care of our ICS cats.

Corporate Sponsorships Financial Institutions



1st Source Bank

Aurelio’s Pizza, LaPorte

Charity Gift Certificates

Allegius Credit Union

BoyConn Printing, Valparaiso

Event Wines - Benefit Wines

Northern Indiana Federal Credit Union

Eley-Graham Financial Advisory Services, Merrillville

Health and Hospitality Corp of Marion Co


Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service, Valparaiso

Racing Capital Cat Fanatics, Indianapolis

KarahTess Clothing & Lettering, LaPorte

Banfield Charitable Trust Best Friends Animal Society Bissell Foundation John W. Anderson Foundation Petco Foundation Porter County Community Foundation Porter County Master Gardeners TransCanada Corporation Unity Foundation of LaPorte County

Moose Lodge – 1357, Valparaiso Puntillo & Crane Orthodontics, Crown Point St. Stanislaus School, Michigan City 2nd Chance Games Movies & Music, Portage Westville Elementary School, “You Can Make A Difference Club”, Westville

Network for Good

Participating Veterinarians: All Creature Features, LaPorte Arbor View Animal Hospital, Valparaiso Ark of the Dunes Animal Hospital, Chesterton Coyne Veterinary Services, Portage Gast Animal Hospital, Valparaiso LaPorte Animal Hospital, LaPorte

Matching Gifts ArcelorMittal Matching Gifts CNA Foundation Discover Financial Services JC Penney Change for the Better Campaign State Employee’ Community Campaign Truist

Maple City Animal Hospital, LaPorte McAfee Animal Hospital, Valparaiso Michigan City Animal Hospital, Michigan City New Carlisle Animal Hospital, New Carlisle Westchester Animal Clinic, Porter Vale Park Animal Hospital, Valparaiso

United Way of Greater LaPorte County

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 • Popcorn Festival

• Aunt Kitty’s Trash and Treasure Sale


September 9, downtown Valparaiso September 29 - October 1, ICS Shelter

• Cat’s Meow 40th Anniversary Gala INCatSociety

October 14, Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City order online at

• Black Cat Strut 5K Walk/Run

October 15, Red Mill County Park, LaPorte

• SELF School Holiday Bazaar

November 11, SELF School, Valparaiso

• Holidaze Bazaar

November 18-19, Porter County Expo Center, Valparaiso

• Dunes Cat Fanciers Show

November 25, Lake County Fairgrounds, Crown Point

• Holiday Open House

December 9-10, ICS Shelter

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

Mewsletter Summer 2017  

The Summer 2017 edition of the Independent Cat Society Mewsletter.