Pet Topics: East Village’s newest treasure: Home for homeless animals

August 2, 2012 

Thirty-two colorfully decorated heart-shaped signs planted up and down Moonstone Beach and Main Street piqued the interest of residents and visitors in town for Fourth of July events and celebration. What did the arrows pointing toward East Village mean? HART of Cambria? The Homeless Animal Rescue Team’s July 3 open house, of course!

One person told us “It was like a treasure hunt. I followed the signs wondering where I would end up and was excited when I arrived at HART. HART is a real treasure nestled in East Village!”

The morning of July 3 began with a blessing of the animals and the new shelter by Father Fred of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. It was delightful to see as many as 20 kittens frolicking around Father Fred, curiously playing with his

shoelaces and tassels as he sprinkled holy water on them.

The adult cats, while less active than the kittens, warmed up to him as he patted their heads and rubbed their bellies. Everyone, cats included, had a sense of well-being after Father Fred’s blessing.

As the open house got started, visitors were greeted and given a tour, beginning with the retail store, then onto the fun zone where kittens crowded the door in anticipation of more shoelaces to chase and hearts to melt.

Festivities outside included chili, sweets and drinks prepared by HART volunteers and music by talented local musician Dakota Noble (what a voice!). And, not to be outdone, Gretta, the singing dachshund, made us all giggle as she and owner Genete sang the National Anthem.

As the crowd gathered in the front yard and, just prior to the ribbon cutting, the Cambria Fire Department arrived to receive a presentation by Genete Bowen, founder of DogE911 All Pet Emergency Training on behalf of HART. The specially designed oxygen masks presented to the fire department will allow oxygen to be administered to injured animals of all sizes. These masks were generously donated by Invisible Fence West Coast under their Project Breathe Program.

HART board members thanked the many volunteers

and supporters — far too many to name in this column — who helped make our dream come true, then snipped the red ribbon that symbolizes the official opening of the doors to our new home.

As HART settles into our shelter, we have already begun planning for the future to ensure continued service to the community as Cambria’s only no-kill, free-roam cat rescue and shelter. We invite you to shop at our retail store or get your kitty fix by leisurely visiting with the cats. You just might connect with a furry friend who will fill a special spot in your heart.

Watch for us in the Pinedorado parade and come to the microchip and “Love Paw” event on Sept. 8.

We always need good volunteers to join our team. Visit for event info — and fill out a volunteer application.

Also, look for HART’s “Scaredy Cat” scarecrow in front of HART in October.

For more on the Homeless Animal Rescue Team, call the shelter at 927- 7377 or go to

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