A ten-year dream is coming to fruition and the resident dreaming it is determined to help Peru solve a local problem.

Shelley Shircliff and her husband Bill have been working to rescue cats in Peru for almost a decade now and the two are bound and determined to open up the cities first cat rescue center by the end of the year.

While this has been happening at Shelley’s own home for a very long time, her husband Bill took out a personal loan to purchase a building, located at 600 Chili Avenue in Peru, to remodel it, and create the Peru Scratching Post Rescue Center for Cats.

The 501C -3 is a tax free entity and is being designed to rescue, house and adopt out cats from the Peru area. The Scratching Post Cat rescue will house approximately 125 cats in total. It will have four large rooms which will each house around 25 cats (uncaged), an isolation room, and will be handicapped accessible.

Bill has been working on the building on weekends and every spare moment of his time gutting and framing and running electrical and plumbing, accepting help from friends and relatives, the couple had to hire a drywall crew to come in and put up the walls recently.

“We are so close to being able to open,” Shelley said. “We really could use help from the public by way of donations at this point.”

Shelley said the couple is about $9200 short of finishing the project and being able to open their doors and because they have already been able to get their 501C-3 status all donations they receive are 100 percent tax-deductible.

Currently, Shelley has been taking care of the rescued cats at her residence and in temporary foster homes. All of the cats that have been rescued have been spayed or neutered, had all their shots, and are all in good health.

If they need something when they come in, Shelley makes arrangements to meet their needs.

For those who are looking for a new pet, Shelley has several kittens available, but she also has many adult cats which are ready for permanent homes as well and full of personality.

When walking into the barn on their property, one can see the room was designed to be a haven for all cats. There are windows galore, scratching posts, perches of every kind and style. There are also home-made kitty-condos attached to the walls made from plastic tubs.

The cats are social and friendly and all looking for homes.

Shelley said she is hoping to make a dent in the cat-problem Peru has been experiencing in recent years.

“We started rescuing cats in 2005 out of our home,” Shelley writes on her GoFundMe page. “My husband then built a small building in our back yard. It didn’t take us long to outgrown it. We then purchased a couple of outside cats runs/cages. We use those for the mama cats and their babies. We buy tarps to put over them to protect the kitties from the outside elements.”

“In 2013,” Shelley continued, “my husband purchased a two-story building that we needed to renovate to turn into the Scratching Post Cat Rescue. First we had to clean everything out by renting two very large roll-off dumpsters. We then had to get a state design release before we could even work on it.”

While the Peru Animal Shelter run by the city has been working with dogs for a long time, they are not equipped to handing the feral cat population that has exploded in Peru recently.

The community raised the question about the cat population in Peru during the Peru Mayoral Debate in October, and numerous people have lodged complaints both in meetings and on social media that something needs to be done to address the cat population in Peru.

But the City of Peru has not been sitting by and watching the cat population explode. They signed up with Purdue University a few years ago and veterinarian students come to Peru once a month to perform health checks and spay and neuter dogs and cats. Cats can be brought in from anywhere in the city and once fixed, they are then released back to the area they came from.

The idea behind this program is that keeping the cats spayed and neutered controls the population and returning them to the area they came from prevents other cats from moving in on the territory.

Shelley said she is a proponent of the program and wishes more people knew about it and it was done on a larger scale.

“We need to educate people,” Shelley said. “There are some very good programs out there like and Kokomo Community Cats that have been working on these programs. We just need to make people aware of them.”

While Shelley said the drywall has been hired out, they are hopeful they will be able to get volunteers to help paint the building’s interior and assist with the finishing touches like rubberized tile flooring to get the place open for the New Year.

She said they feel the building could be completed with another $9,200 and is hoping the community is willing to donate to getting the shelter open as well.

Donations can be made to a GoFundMe page, for the Scratching Post Cat Recue by following the link:   or donations can be mailed to the Scratching Post Cat Rescue at 600 Chili Avenue, Peru IN. 46970. All donations are tax-deductible and Shelley said a letter will be sent to each person who donates.

Those interested in donating their time to the center, serving as foster families for some of the cats, in adopting a cat, or in finding out more about the programs available to have cats fixed, can contact Shelley Shircliff directly via Facebook @ Scratching Post Cat Rescue, Inc. Animal Shelter or by calling the Scratching Post at (765)475-4926.

Log in at the bottom of the page to post comments