The cats are an equal mix of strays, surrenders and kittens. Aisenstat said because of the economic climate, many people may be losing jobs and homes and hang on to animals as long as they can, until at some point they make the choice to surrender it to a shelter. There's also a problem with pet owners not spaying or neutering their cats, so when they're let outside, they create a growing population of stray kittens.
Aisenstat also works with HOPE, which stands for Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist, and is a rescue group that fosters animals until they find permanent homes. As a retired schoolteacher, she said volunteering her time is instinct, and helping animals is especially important.
"Animals don't have a voice. The strays and surrenders that are at a shelter don't have anyone to speak for them, so as rescue people, that's what we do," said Aisenstat. "Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things. It's that feeling that you have to pay it back."
The animal shelter annex is open Monday through Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The "500 Celebration" on Wednesday, July 28, is open to the public and starts at 4 p.m., with raffles being drawn at 6 p.m.