Submitted by <p>By Amy Miller</p><p></p> on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 07:56

Spotlight: Carbon shelter celebrates 20 years of helping animals

Cats leave paw prints on your heart.

Just ask the volunteers and employees at the Carbon County Friends of Animals.

The Jim Thorpe shelter is celebrating 20 years of helping thousands of felines find their forever homes, and to celebrate they are hoping to help as many of their feline friends who still need a family.

Dana Dunbar, shelter manager, said that for the month of September, there will be a $10 discount on all adoptions, with the exception of Sept. 15, when CCFOA holds its open house. Between noon and 4 p.m. that day, the discount will be increased to $20 in the hopes of pairing some of the 215 cats and kittens with loving families.

In addition, a special discount rate for the month will be in effect for adoptions of cats that have been at the shelter three years or longer.

“We’re trying our best,” Dunbar said. “We want everyone to come out and enjoy the event.”

The open house is a way for the public to see just what the shelter does to help the cat population. Light snacks and refreshments will also be available during the event.


It takes a village

Kimmy Mulik, a CCFOA board member, said that over the past two decades, it was the community that kept the nonprofit shelter in operation.

Carbon County Friends of Animals began at the Carbon County Animal Shelter in Nesquehoning, but after the increase in the number of felines coming to the shelter, and the introduction of dogs at the facility, the organization began looking for a new home.

The home was found at 900 Walnut Ave. in Jim Thorpe, where the shelter remained for over a decade until the board purchased the former Carbon Career and Technical Institute’s adult education building at 77 W. 13th St. in 2014.

The building boasts three large rooms to allow for the cats to have more space to spread out and roam freely, as well as a kitten room, laundry room, isolation and intake areas and more.

The organization’s annual budget comes in well over $100,000, Mulik said, adding that most of the money to cover insurance, cat care, supplies and medical and building expenses comes from donations and fundraisers.

“We do the best we can because we love the animals,” she said. “If it wasn’t for our regular supporters, we wouldn’t be in existence. We just want to give these cats a great home.”

The shelter is currently offering two fundraisers for the upcoming holiday season — a Coach and Vera Bradley bingo on Oct. 7; and Thanksgiving pies.

Mulik said that both sponsors and sellers are needed to help make the fundraisers a success.

In addition, the shelter is always looking for fresh ideas for fundraisers, as well as volunteers.

“If you have an idea, contact the shelter and speak with Dana,” Mulik said. “Any idea is a great idea.”

For those interested in adopting or donating to Carbon County Friends of Animals, the shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week; with adoption hours from noon to 4 p.m.

The shelter also lists a wish list of items for the felines on its website at; as well as all of its adoptable cats on

“We appreciate everything people give us,” Dunbar said. “If it wasn’t for the people, we wouldn’t be here today.”

For more information on the shelter, visit its website or call 570-325-9400.


About the shelter’s fundraisers

Carbon County Friends of Animals is currently holding two upcoming fundraisers to help cover costs of running the shelter at 77 W. 13th St., in Jim Thorpe.


Coach and Vera Bradley Bingo

The shelter’s fall bingo event will take place on Oct. 7 at the Orioles Club, 475 Orioles Drive, Lehighton. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the bingo begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

The bingo includes 25 games of Bingo plus a special grand prize game, as well as door prizes, a 50/50, Chinese auction and food and refreshments.

Donations for the Chinese auction are still being accepted until Sept. 20 and sponsorship opportunities for the bingo prizes are still available.

For tickets, to make a donation or to sponsor an item, contact Denise at 570-325-4310 or email Kimmy at

Thanksgiving pies

A pie and rolls sale is also currently underway at the shelter. The 10-inch pies and 23-ounce rolls are made by Rosa’s Distributing in Hazleton.

Pies include a variety of fruit fillings, custards and cremes and cost $14.25; while the rolls vary in price from $8 and $9 for nut, cheese and fruit rolls to $10 for cake rolls.

Those wishing to order can do so by Oct. 19 by contacting the shelter at 570-325-9400 or any of its volunteers and members.

Delivery of the pies and rolls is after noon on Nov. 20.