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Local groomer helps stray cats put their best paw forward for adoption

Elsa will be up for adoption in 7-10 days.{ }
Elsa will be up for adoption in 7-10 days.
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According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 3 million cats enter animal shelters each year, and at least half of them are later euthanized. One local groomer in Council Bluffs is working to give stray cats a better chance at adoption.

Tracey Michaels has been fostered cats for the SOLAS [Support Our Local Animal Shelters] Rescue for years. Michaels said she has been fostering a young cat named Elsa for the last week, but when she first arrived the cat had serious hygiene problems.

“She was full of what we call flea dirt. Her skin was irritated and flaky, so you’d pet her and she had flakes all over. When you pet her your hand would be dirty, it would just be crumby feeling,” Michaels said.

Michaels said Elsa had at least two litters of kittens while avoiding the animal control for the first couple years of her life. After being placed in a SOLAS foster home,Club Meow Owner and Master Cat Groomer Melinda Brink decided to provide Elsa with free grooming to help her get adopted.

“I think we gave her five baths, and shaved and sanitary, cleaned her ears, her ears where yucky, and just made her a princess. She’s beautiful now,” Brink said.

Brink said each month she provides grooming for two to three cats in shelters or in rescue programs.

“We rotate it between the different rescue groups, so we are not just using one, we are blanketing everybody who needs help,” Bink said.

She said a little extra grooming can help animals get adopted into a forever home faster.

“A groomed animal makes all the difference in the world,” Bink said. “People will walk by the sweetest pet in the whole shelter, but if it’s dirty; but saying ‘touch me,touch me’ but it’s gross looking, you don’t want to touch it. He’s probably going to sit there for awhile.”

Brink said because Club Meow isn’t a non-profit, they don’t accept donations at the cat salon, but she encourages people to consider volunteering to cover the cost of a grooming session for cats in local shelters.

Michaels said Elsa will be going to get spayed next week then she will be up for adoption. You can find more information on SOLAS pets ready to be adopted on their website, the SOLAS Facebook Page or at

SOLAS will host a reduced price vaccination clinic on Saturday, February 8,from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bomgaards, 2703 E. Kanesville Blvd.

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