ADAMS -- A new local group aims to save stray cats from one town locale, but their initiative could lead to something more, organizers say.
Albert's Hardware Cats formed to protect Kearns Lane's feline residents during an upcoming demolition project there. They hope to keep the animals from harm's way when two condemned buildings are taken down. A parking lot will take its place next month.
The group, formed by Caroline Scully, of Adams, recognizes the site as the stomping grounds of 10 or more cats.
"I heard the buildings behind Albert's were going to be demolished and that rat poison was going to be put down beforehand and the cats would be at risk," Scully said. "I basically wanted to figure out a way to keep the cats from being poisoned or harmed when the buildings come down."
The other primary volunteers are Carrie Loholdt, of Adams, and Aimee V. Annichiarico, of North Adams.
The group's solution involves baiting cats with food and deciding when to spring the traps. The animals are slated for a stay at a local farm while the demolition project takes place.
Now, however, the initiative includes measures to provide the cats with vaccinations and spaying or neutering, and -- with luck, new homes. This addition was helped along by Annichiarico, an employee of Greylock Animal Hospital
"It's basically a trap, spay or neuter and relocate program," Annichiarico said. "Greylock Animal Hospital has partnered with us in providing rabies vaccinations and spaying or neutering and providing feline Leukemia and AIDS testing. With any cat project, especially with stray cats, it's really key to vaccinate and spay and neuter if that hasn't been done. This will be the only project for the care of cats in northern Berkshire County."
If ownership isn't an option, the group is also interested in foster homes.
"One of the important points is that we're not planning on putting to sleep a single cat here," Scully said. "Our plan is to hold them safely and either find a new home or release them in a place where they will be safe."
So far, vaccinations, testing and care have been provided to four of the cats in question.
The group seeks donations, being accepted through Greylock Animal Hospital, Loholdt's Great Danes Around New England Rescue Inc and donation cans that have been placed in town businesses. The group has also received support from Adams Friends of Animals.
The animals are scheduled to be removed within the next two weeks.
Annichiarico said there are plans to continue the group in a larger capacity, with the goal of providing low-cost spaying and neutering for local cats.
"Caroline, some volunteers and I are definitely interested in potentially turning this project into something more permanent," Annichiarico said.
For more information, and photos of the cats, visit the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AlbertsHardwareCats.
To reach Phil Demers, email