Friends of Jack honors Rochester animal shelter

Mar 17, 2021

ROCHESTER — The Friends of Jack Foundation found a purr-fect match in It’s All About the Animals for its “Unsung Heroes” program.

The Rochester no-kill animal shelter was honored by the foundation for its positive impact on the community on March 17.

Pam Robinson, who runs the shelter with her husband Oren, had no idea that they would be receiving recognition by the foundation until Friends of Jack left signs outside the shelter Wednesday morning.

“Everybody knows me. I’m not lost for words,” Pam Robinson said. “But I don’t know what to say.”

It’s All About the Animals rescues and fosters cats until they are able to find a loving home — sometimes housing over 30 cats at a time.

The shelter is operated completely by volunteers, and is kept afloat through donations. Pam Robinson said that it’s a lot of hard work, and that it’s nice to be recognized for her efforts.

“I can not thank you enough,” she said. “This is a huge honor. It really is.”

Pam Robinson said she didn’t even know about the Unsung Heroes program until it recognized her.

“It means more than you realize,” she said.

Cats at the shelter are able to roam freely, and even have their own “houses” at the property.

The shelter also contains an Intensive Care Unit, where rescued cats are nursed back to health.

Sarah Briggs, who nominated the Robinsons for the Unsung Heroes program recalled that at one point, Robinson took in 15 cats from a hoarding situation.

Pam Robinson said the cats were starved, and one of them even had one of its toes cut off. But Robinson was able to save each one of the cats, who all found forever homes.

“This is an award very, very well deserved by you and Oren,” Briggs said.

As part of the program, Pam Robinson was given a cape by the Friends of Jack, which she immediately donned and said she would wear for the rest of the day.

“Oh, this is phenomenal!” she said.

Pam Robinson noted that the shelter is open for cats who need to be taken care of, and that she also offers to spay pregnant cats after they give birth — so long as she gets to keep the kittens.

Friends of Jack, which was founded by Mattapoisett resident Jilline Fearons, works to enhance the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being for children across the South Coast.

The foundation’s Unsung Heroes program honors those who do important community work, but go largely unrecognized.