Safe haven for cats
by Julie Clements, Reporter
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
Cats are notorious for disappearing on occasion.
One day, a cat sits at a window. The next, it is nowhere in sight. Sometimes, cats are just taken by an "Angel of Mercy" in the form of a human.
At times, however, a cat just disappears.
While cat owners know that when a cat disappears that there is a good chance it is gone for good, there is still a great need for a place where cats can find refuge and safety until the owner(s) can come home and find them.
"A lot of times, people take their cats to the vet and they have to be neutered," said Jennifer DePue, owner of Cat Haven at 4500 Highway 3 South in Union. "And the owners leave it at the vet and it gets picked up by a humane society, and the owner can never find them."
DePue started the nonprofit group about five years ago in order to give cat owners a place where their pets could be fed and sheltered until they are found.
"I knew I had to do something," DePue said. "People were finding out they couldn't find their cats. There was nowhere to go. And I didn't think it was fair for people to just take them (to the humane society) and they couldn't find them."
DePue came across the concept of "Cat Haven" when working at a veterinarian's office in North Carolina and it was so much like what she needed. She started volunteering at the veterinary clinic. Her husband then heard of the group from the vet's office, and she decided to start a similar group in Union.
She spent about two years looking for a piece of property. At first, she had one place in mind, but was told she couldn't get it. She finally found a place and then decided to start the Cat Haven organization.
DePue has eight employees and two volunteers who help with the animal welfare groups. She has about 50 volunteers and about 20 volunteers who come in for "daytime kitty." Those volunteers play with the animals, and sometimes they bring back a feline friend to take home.
DePue's volunteers get a free day pass to volunteer. However, those who don't have pets can become volunteers too, she said.
Cat Haven needs volunteers who can provide food, blankets and other necessities for the cats, and help with spaying and neutering of them. People can become volunteers too.
DePue also makes cat food out of ingredients she buys in bulk.
In order to care for the animals and find them homes, DePue does adoptions for cats and kittens. And there are some cats at the shelter who are there because of past problems.
"If they are in bad shape and need a good home and get that, then we give them to somebody else who can make a new life for them," she said.
To adopt a cat or kitten, call 459-1313.
If you'd like to become a volunteer, call 451-5501.
For information about Cat Haven, visit cathavensantacruz.org.
Fluoride debate heats up
An upcoming debate regarding fluoride is causing a stir at the La Jolla Library.
The event, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the library, will feature two opposing opinions on the topic of "Fluoride: A Public Health Hazard or Public Wellness Benefit?"
Fluoride is an essential part of public health, the library says on its website. But is there a link between fluoride and cavities?
Some local dentists say it is, and that it also lowers the risk of having oral cancer.
The debate comes at a time when people are talking about health issues and the benefits of using fluoride. About two years ago, La Jolla city officials voted in favor of adding fluoride to the city's drinking water supply. Officials at UC San Diego and City Hall have also recently weighed in.
At the library event, a number of panelists will speak, followed by the debate.
Anyone can submit an opinion about fluoride online through the library website.
For information about the library's upcoming Health and Wellness Month, visit judyg.com/hwm or call 480-3232.
Soriana restaurant opens in North County
The owner of a chain of restaurants in North County has started up a new establishment.
Soriana opened at 8333 Avenida de la Playa in Del Mar, and in Mission Valley, at 875 Ramona Ave. in La Mesa, and at 1510 Front St. in Carlsbad.
The eatery is the sister restaurant of Soriana in the Carlsbad Shopping Center and Soriana in the Plaza Del Sol mall in San Diego.
Diners are able to order their meals online at www.Soriana.com.
The Carlsbad location's menu has four types of tacos with three to four pieces of fresh fish, as well as fresh salsas.
The Mission Valley location has six varieties of tacos, including pork, steak and chicken.
The restaurant also serves fresh salsas, chips and guacamole.
For more information, visit the website.