Hancock County Humane Foundation Holiday Newsletter

As we near the end of the year and the holidays approach, we reflect upon how fortunate we have been to receive the strong support of a caring community. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has selflessly helped support our mission. It is because of your support we have been able to reduce the number of stray cats in the community, give medical care to sick cats and find caring homes for loving animals.

From the bottom of our hearts,


Greetings cat and kitten lovers!!! We hope all is well in everyone’s world, especially everyone’s furry little friends!

We have many exciting things coming up at the “cat house”! For instance:

Dec 7 - Quarter Auction - Sat 12 PM | Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, WV

Dec 14-15 - Photos With Santa - 1 PM to 5 PM | Busy Beaver, Weirton, WV

Dec 14 - Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic - Sat 10 AM | Hanover Fire Department, Washington County, Burgettstown, PA

Thank you so much to the WV Spay Neuter Assistance Fund, the generous donors who helped us match their funds, and the volunteers who did all the hard work. Since the last week in April we have spayed or neutered 215 cats. Most were community cats that were parts of several TNR projects that needed our assistance.

To FIV or Not to FIV? That is the question …

At the Hancock County Humane Foundation we currently have 4 resident tiger-striped tabby kittens that are even sweeter than they are beautiful! They were brought to us by a very caring person who found them in the Mountaineer Racetrack area. When we receive groups of cats or kittens, we look for themes to name them. In this case, we decided to use famous horse names. So, the girls are Helena and Brett, and the boys are Ajax and Archer – chosen with the help of a Google search.

The kittens, who are now approximately 6 months old, have been with us for a couple of months, and in that time we have learned that they are total lovebugs! So why are they still with us? For one reason only … their mother tested positive for FIV, so we had all 4 of them tested as well. They all tested positive. That is the bad news. The good news is that their mother has since been spayed, so there will be no more FIV cats coming from her. But even more importantly, we have learned that kittens from FIV+ moms tested prior to 6 to 8 months often test positive, but it is essentially a false positive. They still carry antibodies from their mother that causes a positive test result even though they don’t actually have the disease. These furbabies were tested at around 4 months. Our hope and belief is that when retested, they will all test negative and live happily ever after!

FIV is not the dreaded disease that it used to be. It is not transmitted through casual contact, only through bites where the virus crosses the blood barrier. While it can be passed from a positive mother to her kittens, research is showing that that rarely happens. Cats can and do live long and healthy lives with the disease, so long as one keeps an eye on any infections etc. and gets proper veterinary care in a timely fashion – which should be done with any pet, not just FIV ones. It is now understood that they can cohabitate with non-FIV cats so long as they are not aggressive and wouldn’t be biting the other cats. I can tell you from personal experience that this is not only possible, but that they make some of the nicest and best companion animals. I had two male orange tabby FIV+ cats that I took in to live with my other non-FIV cats when they were both about 2 years old. Both were sweethearts, and both lived to be 15 years old. None of my other cats contracted the disease in all of that time. I miss them still.

So please come and meet our little racetrack gems. It may be the start of a beautiful relationship, or relationships – two are more than twice the love and affection and fun!

Happy Holidays!


In other news…

We have had 152 adoptions since January! Thank you to all who have adopted our special cats and kittens and thanks for providing a forever home for them!!

Recent adopters pose with their new family members

We celebrated many “firsts” this past year starting with our first year in our new building at 241 Ohio River Blvd, New Cumberland, West Virginia 26047. We are eternally grateful to Thomas and Geraldine Banketas who have given us our new home! Their generous donation has made it possible for us to continue our mission and provided flexibility to commit more of our resources to our various programs. A special thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard to move all of our cats and furnishings! Also, in the spring, we had our first dinner, auction fundraiser that raised over $4000.00 for our Foundation! Then in the early part of August we had our first rummage sale at our building parking lot, with over $1,000 raised! Another first, we had a fun Paint n sip party in our new building.

Paint 'N Sip participants display their work

Saving Lives With Great Volunteer People

The Hancock County Humane Foundation runs entirely on volunteers.

In other words, no one gets paid scooping litter, doing laundry, feeding and cuddling kitties. It’s all a labor of love and generosity mixed together.

Thousands of volunteer hours go into maintaining our cat rescue, adoption and fund raising events. As well as our low cost spay and neuter clinics with Frankie’s Friends. The end result is our volunteers save lives through TNR, adoption and outreach programs. We are so very proud of all the efforts and time each volunteer provides HCHF and the kitties. Wont you come join us in our mission to save even more lives? Adopt, Donate and most importantly, please volunteer with the Hancock County Humane Foundation.

Even your smallest efforts will greatly change the life of a cat. Please apply today, so many lives are counting on your volunteer help.


Our volunteers have hosted some exciting game nights with snacks and ice breaker games to get to know each other better. There is so much work to be done at the Foundation and it’s great to share in some fun and enjoyable “non” work related activities!

Many people have donated to our Foundation and we would like to thank each and every one of them for thinking about us!

We rely on your continuing support in order to reduce the stray animal population in our community, as well as care for the sick and injured while finding them good homes; so please consider donating to the Hancock County Humane Foundation!

To learn more about the Hancock County Humane Foundation, please visit our website at www.hancockhumane.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/hchumane


Created with images by Markus Spiske - "untitled image" • Jasmin Schuler - "untitled image" • Jeffrey Buchbinder - "A friend’s daughter was holding this kitten, who seemed very comfortable." • Mikhail Vasilyev - "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Photo of a kitten named William hiding under a plaid" • Josh Appel - "untitled image" • Tim Mossholder - "Through the Window of Christmas" • JAFAR AHMED - "untitled image" • freestocks.org - "untitled image" • Galina N - "untitled image" • STIL - "christmas layout"