I too am perplexed by the JohnQ review. I have been a weekly volunteer at CHS for close to a year and a half. Got started when my then high-school senior daughter needed to volunteer somewhere, and CHS was a good fit because they welcomed her assistance and because she loves animals. I have continued to serve because I find it rewarding and because of the important mission of the organization. From day one I was impressed by the level of care Chris and Linda Haslam provide the animals, not just the cats, but also the dogs that they rescue from North Carolina and beyond. Every protocol they have in place is geared towards the health and safety of the animals, from the feeding and litterbox cleaning regimens for the cats, to the frequent walks and administration of medications for the dogs. They consult with or visit their trusted veterinarians at the first sign of a problem, and also to ensure that immunizations and checkups are up to date. It is obvious that they deeply care for the animals, and work very hard to adopt them out to “good fit” individuals or families. In the rare case when an adoption doesn’t work out, they take the animal back with open arms, without argument or hard feeling. So, in closing, I must repeat that I am perplexed the JohnQ review.
We found our forever friend at this location. He was well taken care of and healthy although he had been relocated to this facility from a barn along with his mom and brother. We felt comfortable there, found the conditions extremely clean, and Chris offered advice on the selection of a friend for our current cat. We renamed him Max and he has been such a joy and, like Chris said, gets along great with our current cat. I continue to support this non-profit each year as a thank you for this wonderful experience.
I am perplexed by the JohnQ review. Totally opposite to my experience...I have lost count of how long I know Commonwealth Humane Society (CHS) and both Chris and Linda Haslam, who run the organization and animal shelter facility. Never, have I found anything amiss, re the premises condition, animal care and condition. There has been a constant stream of cats and dogs through their doors. They are willing to take on difficult medical situations and have carefully screened and cultivated close relationships with vets to provide the best diagnostics and treatment for their charges. So long as there is a chance at quality of life, they have invested the time and funds to save many an animal that would not have otherwise survived. They are committed to working as "smart" as possible re their systems and operations, to increase their efficiency, and thereby, the rescue and adoption #'s. Indeed, they also share resources, freely, to facilitate other Rescues and Shelters to do the same. Over the years, they have partnered/developed alliances with other Companion Animal rescue and adoption entities in areas overrun with unwanted/excess cats and dogs, resulting in a river of animals adopted out through CHS that otherwise would have been euthanized. CHS regularly collects donations of animal supplies to pass along to their more needy affinity partners. Thanks to CHS, area pet supply stores are doing more in store animal adoptions, because CHS cultivated and then passed along the opportunity to another animal organization. Again, sharing their resources and connections. In summary, the CHS positive "foot print" is massive, considering their modest budget and size. I would say you get a very "big bang for the buck" from this organization!
Have been in CCR's facility several times in the last few years. CCR is obviously doing the work that it claims to be doing. The animal area is separate from dwelling space and is well organized and clean with proper equipment and supplies. We have always seen happy animals that are well kept under good conditions.
I have been a volunteer for this organization every week for the past several months. I have never observed anything like the conditions described by John Q. Public. The facility is clean, the animals are well-cared for, playful and contented; and I have never observed more than 6 - 8 cats in the facility -- nowhere near the 50 cats as alleged.
It would seem Johnq may have confused Commonwealth Cat Rescue, Inc. with another rescue organization. I've worked with Commonwealth for well over 10 years. During this period, I've visited its location well over 100 times and at no time have the conditions been "filthy" nor has there even been overfilled litterboxes anywhere. In fact, there has not even been a whiff of "cat odor." As a result of consistent and caring adoption efforts, the number of rescued cats in care has substantially been reduced over the years, but I can say with assurance there have never been 50 cats in care. The number has always been at least 25% fewer and today stands at least 40% fewer than Johnq reported. I also know this rescue will expend considerable financial and emotional capital to ensure the health and welfare of the kitties within its care. Further, as is a periodic occurrence within the rescue community, I am aware the local animal control has visited this rescue and has always found the conditions more than satisfactory. Given all these inconsistencies, for the sake of the kitties, I would urge Johnq to retract this review and determine what rescue Johnq actually visited which possessed such deplorable conditions and provide an update accordingly.
I've worked with this organization many years, and I have NEVER seen the conditions described by johnqpublic. The cats are kept in pristine conditions, litterboxes are clean, floors are clean, cats are happy and healthy. I have adopted 3, and they were in wonderful condition at the time of adoption. I am familiar with the operations and goals of this organization, and they make optimal use of donations and assist other rescues in a real and substantial way. The review by johnqpublic appears to be some kind of troll situation or an attempt to settle a personal grudge.
I find John Q. Public's review interesting because I've been working with this organization for over a decade, and I've never seen the conditions described in Mr. Public's review. I've always found the place scrupulously clean, smelling fresh, litterboxes in cages and in corners scooped, they even put in plexiglass barriers at the bottom of the walls to make sure if someone decided to spray it could be easily cleaned away. I've never seen more than 15 cats total at this location, and that combines rescue and personal animals.
My very first impression, upon walking into Commonwealth's offices back in January 2008 for the first time (we had been working with them about two years at this point via email and phone), was that I was in a veterinary office. Medical supplies are clearly labeled and stored on shelves on one wall, while another area with a counter, sink, and cabinets, stores food, dishes and cleaning supplies. This area is clearly dedicated to the rescue, and is separate from the domestic quarters, which are located upstairs.
The cats there are friendly, as healthy as possible, and available for adoption (except for one or two personal cats which live in the area). The dog area in back is neatly kept, cleaned daily, and the yard is poop-scooped daily as well.
I have in the past and would not hesitate in the future to transport animals to this rescue, as they work extremely hard to find good homes for animals in need. I'm sure Chris would be happy to give anyone a tour who has any questions. This is a top rate organization.
Review from Guidestar
This organization is extremely sketchy as to what they actually do. They claim to be a cat rescue service, however where they "rescue" their cats from is questionable. The "humane society" is located in the president's home, where he, at times has over 50 cats. It is extremely filthy with cat litter boxes in every room of the house, and cat urine and feces covering nearly every surface. It is surprising that local code enforcement does not intervene. The non-profit status of this organization is simply a way for the president to eek out a living and not have to pay income taxes. He has been known for tax evasion, in his long and sordid past, and continues to feel that he is above paying taxes.
Review from Guidestar