Shelter cats need homes this holiday season

Donations of money, supplies also helpful for local shelter

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published December 5, 2023


MADISON HEIGHTS — Ten cats are currently at the Madison Heights Animal Shelter waiting to find their forever homes. With the holidays underway, officials also hope to see an uptick in charitable giving to the shelter, which relies on donations to take care of the animals there.

The shelter, located at 801 Ajax Drive in the yard of the Department of Public Services, is run by Paige Wallace, the city’s animal control officer. David Soltis, a member of the City Council, said he brought them an orphaned baby bunny once.

“They took care of the bunny when nobody else would. I’m so grateful they were able to help,” Soltis said. “The shelter is a very necessary service. I hope people consider donating money and supplies to our shelter, if they can manage it and are in a financial position to help.”

One cat currently in need of a home is Beatrice, also known simply as “B.” She’s been at the shelter the longest, having arrived in May. She is a gray domestic shorthair cat with a flea allergy.

Her owner surrendered her because they were unable to care for her. The flea allergy sometimes causes her to break out into rashes, which require antibiotics to treat. As such, she will require routine veterinary care and a flea preventative year-round.

Ninja is a Nebelung mixed breed, known for their long, dense fur. Believed to be 3-5 years old, Ninja has a wild temperament and gets along with other cats but is “absolutely incompatible” with dogs and small children, Wallace said.

“He will require someone who is a cat person, through and through,” Wallace said in an email. “He plays rough like a dog, and he is very outgoing.”

Ninja’s best friend, Chester, is also currently at the shelter. Both arrived as strays from a local apartment complex. Chester is a domestic shorthair tabby cat, estimated to be 8-10 years old. Chester has his own medical issues: four dislocated discs in his lower back that flare up like arthritis, making his back end sensitive to the touch. He needs one joint supplement daily.

Duncan is a brown tabby cat that was thrown out by a man when his ex moved out, causing the man to allegedly tell his neighbor, “The cat has to go, too!” While older at 12 years and missing some teeth, Duncan is very friendly and loves to roll on his back for belly rubs.

Midnight is 4-5 years old, and her nickname is appropriate since she’s all black. She was also surrendered by her owner, who was over the city limit of three cats and two dogs. At first, she had extreme hair loss around her rear end, and her owner lacked the funds for veterinary care. She was over licking due to a medical condition. But once the shelter had her spayed, it cured her. Her fur is now growing back, and she is doing well.

“Midnight is spunky and has a sassy attitude. She will be best as an only pet,” Wallace said. “Absolutely no dogs, but other cats can be OK with slow introductions.”    

Binx, like Midnight, is also an all-black cat. He is about 3-5 years old. He arrived at the shelter the day after Halloween, dropped off at the front door. He was already neutered, but no one ever stepped forward to claim him. He is a curious cat who wants to smell and interact with everything.

“Binx is shy and docile, but once you pet him, he wants to cuddle up,” Wallace said.

Sage and Simon are another two cats. They arrived together as strays after hours, brought in by the Madison Heights Police Department. Both are Bengal mixes, and both are males around 1 year old. They seem to be from the same litter. Both are great with other cats, and OK with children, but it’s unknown how well they would get along with dogs.

Sapphire is a younger cat, at 1 year old. She is a dilute tortie domestic shorthair cat, part of a litter that was dumped off at a park. A resident witnessed the incident. Wallace described Sapphire as “extremely loving,” purring in the mere presence of a human.

“After animal control confronted the owner from the park, it was discovered she had been living in a motel with all those other cats for two years, and none of them were fixed, so they just kept breeding and breeding,” Wallace said.

The final cat is Avocado, a domestic shorthair tabby. Wallace said they are still unsure whether Avocado is male or female. Avocado is the youngest, at six weeks old, and was found under a dumpster in a Jimmy John’s parking lot. Avocado will receive appropriate vetting once old enough.   

Currently, the Madison Heights Animal Shelter is holding a raffle basket giveaway on the “Madison Heights Animal Control” Facebook page. The shelter can always use direct donations of money and supplies. Bleach and paper towels are very helpful, along with non-clumping kitty litter. The shelter can also use wet food for the cats, including Purina cat and kitten chow, which has extra fat and protein that kittens need — a useful item with kitten season right around the corner.

Soltis marveled at the shelter’s tireless work.

“I’m very thankful there are people like our animal control officers who care deeply about the animals while also having the stomach to help them in some tough situations,” he said.

Sean Fleming, another member of council, said he wants the city to strengthen its support.

“I want to focus more of the city budget on the animal shelter, so that we don’t have to rely on donations so heavily and continuously. We need to make their budget bigger so we can better cover any health issues for the dogs and cats in their care,” Fleming said. “And at the first chance we get, I want us to bring back the dog licenses, which are now handled by the county. I would like us to handle it so people don’t have to go so far. But first, we need to budget better here, and improve our own shelter services.”

The Madison Heights Animal Shelter, located at 801 Ajax Drive, can be reached by calling (248) 837-2784. The Facebook page is