Looking for a “Fur-ever” Friend?

Cats and Kittens Await Adoption at the Standish Humane Society

One of the kittens from Florida is being checked in by the Shelter Director Julia Fratalia (left), Kathy Bergeron (center), and Joyce Keyes (right) in 2019.

Lily Bonner, Staff Writer


The benefits of adopting a family pet from a shelter are endless. When you adopt from a shelter, you’re saving an animal’s life. You also have a wide variety of pets from so many different backgrounds to choose from.

Adopting a pet from a shelter is actually less expensive than buying one from a pet store. Shelter pets come with full vet check-ups, are neutered or spayed, up to date on all their shots, and well socialized.

The South Shore has plenty of adoption shelters. If you are looking to rescue a cat, The Standish Humane Society is a perfect choice.

Most of the cats are pets given up by their families, found stray cats, or they come from other shelters.

— Julie Salamone

Located in Holmes House on Rt 14 in Duxbury, Standish was founded in 1969 by Elizabeth Holmes. It is a no-kill cat shelter that houses around 30-50 cats at a time and began sheltering animals in 1990. Their slogan is “We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Julie Salamone first joined the Board of Directors in 1996 and became president in 2004. When asked how the Standish receives cats, she said, “Most of the cats are pets given up by their families, found stray cats, or they come from other shelters.” Recently, the Standish has been “taking in cats from the South, because many are homeless due to the lack of spaying/neutering in the area,” Salamone said.

Salamone does not do it alone. The organization is run by four part-time employees, a hands-on Board of Directors and approximately 100 volunteers. Julia Fratalia, the Shelter’s Director, has been a part of the shelter since 2004.  They also have shift supervisors of the volunteers and office workers who deal with all the paperwork involved in running a shelter.

Volunteers also play a big role in the shelter. They work in shifts to feed and groom the animals, as well as to make sure the rooms and boxes are clean. They also socialize and play with the cats, making them “feel even more at home in the Shelter,” said Salamone. The cats who come to the shelter are provided with toys, cat condos, cat tunnels, and comfy beds.

Salamone said, “Holmes House also has a veterinarian who comes to the shelter almost weekly to evaluate the cats. If she finds anything wrong, the shelter immediately brings it to an animal hospital. If they find any major medical problems, cats are given the treatment they need, whether it’s blood work, surgery, teeth removal, dentistry, and even suggestions from a behaviorist.”

Although the cats are in a shelter, Salamone said, “We treat our cats like they are our own.” She added that this includes even if the cat needs an expensive surgery. Salamone said they “schedule it and fund raise if they need to.”

The Standish Humane Society also helps feral cats. One of the solutions the Society came up with is The Elvis Feral Fund, which supplies food and sometimes veterinary care for feral cats. Salamone said, “Once in a while a friendly cat is found and is then brought to our shelter.  After being vetted and acclimated to the shelter, the cat is then put up for adoption.”

If pregnant cats are found in a feral colony, Salamone said that Standish “takes them in and allows them to have their babies in a safe environment.” And if feral kittens are found in a colony, “they are sometimes brought to the shelter to have teams of volunteers socialize these kittens until they are ready to be adopted,” she said.

Besides housing cats and placing them into adoptions, the Standish Humane Society is well-known for their reduced-cost spay/neuter program.  The surgeries and immunizations are done through area veterinarians and the Animal Rescue League’s Spay Waggin.  The purpose of this program is to help reduce pet-overpopulation. Salamone said that “in 2018, 526 animals were spayed and neutered through our program.”

Although the Standish Humane Society fosters cats, they partner with a dog rescue.  Anyone who calls the shelter looking to adopt a dog can be matched with out of state dog transport.  Salamone said, that the Shelter “also helps supply dog supplies, leashes, food and crates.”

In 2018, 526 animals were spayed and neutered through our program.

— Julie Salamone

Last year, the Standish Humane Society “placed 432 cats and kittens in loving homes,” according to Julie Salamone, the current president.

To keep the shelter running, a couple of fundraisers Standish runs are the Kitten shower, Calendar raffle, Christmas Open House, yard sale, Dining for a Cause, Paint Night, Bowling Night, and Giving Tuesday. They also conduct fundraising through social media on Facebook for specific cats with problems.

One of the biggest events is the Planet Subaru Home Forever Fund. “This fund helps families financially care for their part, whether it’s food, litter, vaccines, surgeries, flea treatment, x-rays, and veterinary services. It has helped more than 100 different families,” Salamone said. This year, Planet Subaru also chose the Standish Humane Society as its beneficiary for the “Share the Love” campaign. “For every new car sold during the event period, Planet Subaru will donate $250 to our animal shelter,” the Humane Society’s website says.

If you are interested in adding a new furry member to your family this holiday season, the Standish Humane Society’s website contains a few of their available cats for adoption.  Their phone number is (781) 834-4663.