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Shelton resident leaves estate to Kitten Rescue
A lifetime of compassion for animals was summed up as Molly Clark lay on her deathbed in August.
"She had her hand on mine, and she said, 'Kitten Rescue,'" said Carol Parker of Hoodsport, who had been Clark's friend for at least two decades. "Her final thought was about the animals."
After her death Aug. 16, Clark â€” a Shelton resident â€” left her entire estate to Kitten Rescue, a local nonprofit that takes in cats with the hope of sending as many as possible to forever homes.
"She didn't have anyone else," Parker said. "You know, when you get old ... you don't always have a lot of people around you."
Three years ago, Clark was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, one of her chemotherapies gave her leukemia, Parker said.
Since the Shelton resident knew her time was coming to an end, she made arrangements for her four dogs and five cats to go to new homes, as well as for her estate to go to a cause that she supported her whole life â€” an animal rescue center.
"She really loved animals," Parker said. "She always helped rescue one that was in need."
Parker said Clark spent several years volunteering with organizations suth as Kitten Rescue and Adopt-a-Pet in Mason County.
Donating her estate was her last gift to the animal kingdom.
"We don't do solicitation; most of our donors do a small monthly donation," said Norma Webber, who runs Kitten Rescue. "This (donation) was a great thing for us."
During the past five months, three of Clark's friends, including Parker, have helped settle their friend's estate to get the most money to the rescue shelter.
First, the friends allowed volunteers from Kitten Rescue to enter Clark's home and take any items they thought would sell at one of the nonprofit's annual garage sales.
Kitten Rescue hosts four large garage sales each year â€” the only fundraising the nonprofit does, Webber said.
"We usually raise a couple thousand dollars on each sale," she said.
Volunteers took items such as DVDs, pieces of art and figurines, Parker said.
"I couldn't watch though," she said. "It was a good thing and it helped the sale, but it was my friend's house, you know."
Parker said the items gleaned from Clark's house helped Kitten Rescue raise between $6,000 and $7,000 at its latest garage sale.
After volunteers salvaged what they could from the estate, Parker said she spent the rest of the year settling Clark's debts, with the help of several local companies.
She said businesses like Taxman of Shelton Jack Bartz; Julie Cook, attorney with Bonin & Cook PS; and Columbia Bank reduced their rates to ensure the most money possible would go to Kitten Rescue.
"I think a lot of them said, 'Oh, it's for the cats' when we came to them," Parker said. "All of their services really helped."
On Jan. 28, Parker and her friends donated $5,500 to Kitten Rescue â€” the remaining money from Clark's estate.
"Those women are such sweethearts," Webber said. "(Parker) really shopped around to find the best deals and everything to make sure Kitten Rescue got some good funding."
Webber said normally, this time of year is most challenging for Kitten Rescue, because there are three months until the next garage sale.
"Right now, we don't have to worry until the sale in March because of this donation," Webber said. "It's a good feeling."
Webber said the no-kill shelter, which takes in any cats or kittens that have been abandoned in
Mason County, requires $100,000 to operate each year. Most of that cost is paid for by monthly donations or garage sale profits.
Including all of the fundraisers during the past year, the nonprofit was able to raise $34,993.97, according to an email from the shelter.
In 2015, the shelter helped 511 cats and kittens find forever homes.
"That shows you that the county has an abandoned cat problem, doesn't it?" Webber said.
As of last week, Kitten Rescue was housing 66 kittens and cats, but Webber said during the peak season in the summer when cats are breeding, that number generally jumps to around 120.
Each cat costs about $120 total to "rescue," Webber said, which includes having each cat spayed or neutered, fed, and administered internal and external parasite medications.
Kittens can be adopted for $65, while juvenile and adult cats go for $50.
"So you can see, we're upside down on our costs," Webber said. "Honestly, volunteers and donations save my life."
In 2016, Webber said the shelter is hoping to build an outdoor, fenced exercise arena for cats, improve some habitats and reduce some credit card debt.
The shelter is currently accepting donated items for its March 12 garage sale. Items can be donated at the shelter, located at 420 SE state Route 3 in Shelton, and left under the white tent at the end of the driveway.
For more information on Kitten Rescue, visit www.kittenresq.net.
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