Rochester resident paws-itively dedicated to shelter
ROCHESTER — Ask Pam Robinson of It’s All About the Animals what she likes to do with her free time, and she’s hard-pressed to find an answer.
“I used to like to sew,” she said, “but if I have extra time now, I’ll sew cat blankets, or cat beds. But I don’t have any extra time.” It’s just another example of how dedicated she is to the cat shelter that she runs with her husband Oren.
“I put in about 12 hours a day, seven days a week,” Robinson said, “I don’t know what a day off is, I don’t know what a vacation is.”
Robinson was born in New Bedford, and had a happy childhood filled with lots of animals. She was a housewife, or “domestic engineer,” as she prefers to call it, for years, and always rescued cats.
Eventually the number of rescue cats around the house and a particularly heartwrenching rescue from a crack house inspired her to want to do more.
“When we got up to 9 cats we said, ‘you know what, we’re not doing any good by just adopting one. Because you can only keep so many,’” Robinson explained.
Why does the shelter focus exclusively on cats?
“I love dogs, but there’s such a great need for the cats,” Robinson explained, adding that people seem to spay and neuter their dogs much more than their cats. So cats are “basically the underdogs. They need it the most.”
She added, “there’s a lot of dogs that are coming in from down South. There’s a lot of cats that are here.”
It’s All About the Animals can house up to 50 cats using a number of sheds, and currently has about 35. The cats that come to the shelter may be dump offs, animals that have been socialized to interact with people, but cannot be feral cats, which have no socialization.
Though Robinson has no formal veterinary training, she found a mentor in Dr. Rachel Francis, the owner of the Marion Animal Hospital, and has picked up many tricks over the years.
“My support system with Marion Animal Hospital is absolutely incredible,” Robinson said. “They are wonderful. The doctors, the staff, are just wonderful. ”
Robinson and her husband have two ICUs on site at the shelter, and nurse a significant number of cats back to health. Still, the worst part of having a shelter for Robinson is when the cats don’t make it.
Conversely, the best part is, “when you can save the ones you thought never would have made it,” Robinson said.