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Small World shelter struggling to find families for abandoned creatures



Published: Fri, September 20, 2013 @ 12:15 a.m.

photo

Veronica Caruso, a founder of the Small World animal shelter in Girard, greets one of the 27 cats that live in the shelter at 945 State St. The shelter appreciates donations, but the founders really want homes for their animals.

Animal shelter in Girard tries to stay open

By Jeanne Starmack

starmack@vindy.com

Girard

It happened again Monday morning.

Someone left a box of kittens on the doorstep at the Small World Animal Shelter at the corner of North State and Smithsonian streets. Before they were found, some of those kittens climbed out of the box and got killed on the road.

Drop-offs — just one more frustration for the founders of the shelter, which opened in January. Now they are struggling to keep a roof over the 27 cats that live there. The shelter has one dog for adoption, a beagle-mix puppy. But he lives elsewhere.

Inside the shelter, it is indeed the cats’ own little world.

The rented building at 945 State Street is cozy, and it’s clean and cheerful.

The cats range from 3 months to 8 years old, and they come from anywhere and everywhere, said Veronica Caruso, who runs Small World. There’s a range in temperaments and personalities as well.

Heather is a calico who has a whole lot of catitude. She’s named after the woman at a vet clinic in Champion who brought her in. “She’s fiesty but friendly, Caruso said.

Handsome, a large tiger cat who was feral, is tame now but shy. He’ll tuck his head under your arm and rest timidly on your lap. He came from a trailer park in Findlay, Ohio, where someone was poisoning the feral colony.

Sam was found at the Rite Aid on State Street. A mother and son felt sorry for the friendly gray tiger and brought him in.

Isaac, a large, calm, purebred Siamese, is an abandoned pet from Hubbard.

Black-and-white Licorice was found on a road in Warren.

Even though they have their differences, the cats have two things in common.

They can all go to homes with kids, dogs or other cats.

And they all like to watch Judge Judy on TV.

Caruso isn’t sure why, but she has a theory. “She’s very demonstrative,” Caruso said. “She moves.”

Small World runs on donations and on money from garage sales. Utilities cost $1,000 a month, and food costs $400, they said.

The shelter founders try to make life happy for the cats, with carpeted cat trees and plenty of toys.

“They like us,” Caruso said. “But they need to be in homes with a family.”

They also make sure the cats are healthy before they are adopted, with all their necessary tests and shots.

They ask for a $100 donation to adopt a kitten; $50 for a cat from 1 to 5 years old; and $35 for older cats.

They said they appreciate donations, but what they really want is for their cats to be adopted.

The shelter is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Saturday and Sunday visits require an appointment. Call 330-980-3685 or 330-727-1878.


Comments

1Roger_Thornhill(634 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

If WORTHLESS state representatives would deal with cat issues there might then be some laws to deal with cat overpopulation.

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2enjoytheride(26 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The state eventually closed the small world daycare operated by Caruso. I would be concerned because the animals don't have voices like children do.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has filed for an injunction to force Small World Day Care Center of 918 Youngstown-Warren Road in Niles to close.

The complaint says the facility has been operating without a license since Feb. 1 and falsified various forms and statements.

The agency filed the request Friday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Small World is owned and administered by Veronica Caruso and the Scot-Eres Baton Drum Corp., of which Caruso is sole owner and sole shareholder.

In a settlement agreement signed by Caruso in December, Small World agreed to refrain from operating a day care center from Feb. 1, 2007, through Jan. 31, 2009.

However, on Feb. 20, three child-care licensing specialists with the Cleveland field office of the ODJFS conducted an unannounced inspection of the facility. The specialists found that the facility was operating, that 24 children were present, and that the facility was violating child-care rules — including health and safety violations.

A letter contained in the legal action says the agency found April 14, 2006, that the center had falsified a fire approval report, training forms and employee medical statements.

The filing seeks to stop Caruso from operating the center, fine her and make her pay the costs associated with the filing.

Response from owner

Contacted Friday, Caruso said she is continuing to operate the facility because there is nothing wrong with the quality and safety of the facility. She said she's only being targeted by the state because she is an outspoken critic of the constantly changing rules and regulations the ODJFS enforces.

Caruso said she has operated day-care facilities in the Niles area for 33 years and has thousands of satisfied customers.

As for the alleged violations, Caruso said the agency requires her eight employees to turn in forms from doctors indicating they received physicals. The employees turned in the forms, but Caruso didn't verify the information for the agency, she said.

The fire approval report involves an inspection she had done by a licensed firefighter but not the one from the Niles Fire Department that the JFS wanted, she said.

Caruso said all of the day-care operators she knows dislike the state regulations, but she is the only one who openly complains about them.

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