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FieldHaven's funding fix

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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If $115,000 isn’t raised soon, FieldHaven Feline Rescue will cease to exist. So said the rescue’s co-founder Joy Smith, who explains that the current cat shelter at the nonprofit cat sanctuary has been without an operating permit for two years. Since there is no way to retrofit the current shelter to bring it up to Placer County’s building code, according to Smith, the money will go toward building a new shelter. “It would break our hearts to lose the shelter,” said Shelter Manager Jen Paul. Lincoln resident Bob Wagner visited FieldHaven after hearing a neighbor praise the shelter. Wagner lost his German shepherd three weeks ago and was looking to get a cat for a pet and companionship. “I came in here and everyone was just super,” Wagner said. “Everybody loved the animals and was very helpful.” According to Wagner, losing the shelter would have a definite negative impact on the community. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Wagner said. “I would think the loss of FieldHaven would be devastating.” FieldHaven, in addition to having an adoption and foster service, offers free spaying and neutering to any cat in the Lincoln area and has a volunteer Community Assistance Team, which helps out with myriad cat-related issues. “They are a valuable resource for us,” said Mike Winters, animal control officer for Placer County. “They take probably 250 to 300 cats and kittens from us per year that would otherwise have to be euthanized.” Winters said those numbers have been consistent since at least 2006, and without FieldHaven, significant numbers of cats would be euthanized. “Our shelter is full at the moment,” Winters said. “They do good things for us. They’ve done excellent work and we sure would miss them if they were gone.” According to Placer County Planning Director Michael Johnson, the shelter is not considered a legal building by the county. “This happens often in the county where somebody may construct a building or bring one onto the property without country review,” Johnson said. Johnson added that the county is working with FieldHaven to ensure that whatever building does end up on the site complies with all county codes. In order to raise some of the much-needed funding, FieldHaven is hosting its inaugural fundraiser, “Classics, Cats and Cabernet,” on Saturday. Filling the open space at FieldHaven will be an expected 20 classic cars and 10 classic boats. Preston and Joy Smith’s own 1956 23-foot Continental – which finished restoration in 2003 – will be one of the classic wood boats, accompanied by Rivas, Hackers and a Century. The classic cars will include 1947 and 1950 Woodies as well as Porsches, Chevrolets and a couple exotics, Preston Smith said. While attendees stroll FieldHaven’s grounds, they can sample local wines and gourmet hors d’oeuvres as well as meet the cats. Live music will be provided by the Brazen Hussies and the Bad Boyz, Joy Smith said. “There’ll be a silent auction, a live auction and a raffle,” Joy Smith said. “We’re going to have lots of art as well.” Some of the auction items and raffle prizes include jewelry, winery tours, art, a spa package, a day on Lake Tahoe in the Smiths’ restored antique boat and a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In all, between 100 and 150 items will be included. In addition to raising funds for the new shelter, which will include all of the latest research and designs to ensure the space is maximized and comfortable for the cats, Smith said she hopes to find residents who are willing to donate time and expertise to the nonprofit organization when the time for construction comes. Currently, the shelter at FieldHaven has space for 25 cats, and the new shelter will hold the same amount. For more information about FieldHaven Feline Rescue and to purchase tickets for the fundraiser, visit fieldhaven.com. Know and Go Classics, Cats and Cabernet Fundraiser for FieldHaven’s new shelter 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday 2754 Ironwood Lane Tickets: $35, available online at fieldhaven.com Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at brandond@goldcountrymedia.com.