Interview: One of a Kind Pets, the first no-kill shelter in Ohio

by Stephanie Musarra

A curious kitten perches on my shoulder as I tidy up around the glass enclosure housing several cats. This is one of my favorite memories from my days volunteering at One of a Kind Pet Rescue.

I worked with the cats between 2012-2013. I’ve always been fond of cats. They make faithful companions, and provide an endless source of laughter through their amusing behaviors. 

This is an interview with Linda Holland Toth, the founder of One of a Kind Pets, Donae Ceja, the executive director, and Amy Matheny, adoption specialist. 

Stephanie Musarra: How did your organization get started?

Lisa Holland Toth: I found myself spending a lot of money trying to rescue animals. I started the organization out of my garage, until space opened up around the West Market and Hawkins area. The adoption center opened in 2005 and became a non-profit organization in 2006. When the adoption center opened, we only had 110 animals. Now we house 500 cats and 40 dogs. Six birthing suites have been added. The spay and neuter clinic opened up in 2007.

 SM: What is the mission of One of a Kind Pets?

 Donae Ceja: We look for dogs and cats at risk for being euthanized. We are the first no-kill adoption center in Ohio. No-kill means that animals are only euthanized due to severe illness and not because of lack of space. We save animals across the state from puppy mills and rescue them from the local pound. We also accept owner surrenders.

SM: What is your adoption goal for 2019?

DC: We hope to adopt 5,000 animals.

SM: What does One of a Kind have to offer?

DC: Aside from the adorable animals that bring smiles to all our faces, One of a Kind offers boarding, grooming, behavioral training, traps for feral cats, and low-cost spaying and neutering. We have one full-time, and seven part-time vets on staff. The spay, and neuter clinic has performed 132,193 surgeries.

SM: How can the public contribute to your organization?

DC: One of a Kind Pets is always looking for donations of cleaning supplies, cat/dog food, and medical care. You can be a foster parent for a pet. Some animals require foster care between the ages of six to eight weeks to prepare them for adoption. Volunteers are an important part of our organization. We are always looking for people to walk the dogs, do administrative work, and grooming.

SM: Can you tell me about any upcoming events your organization is participating in?

DC: The “Chase Your Tail 5K Charity Run” is on October 13. “Yappy Hour” is held at the Wolf Creek Winery on the first Tuesday of every month during the summer, between 5-8 pm.

SM: Can you tell me about some of the cats and dogs up for adoption?

AM: Six-year-old Molly is a grey Catahoula Dog. She was frightened when she arrived. She’s gotten used to people through foster care, and she is available for adoption. Five-year-old Ruby is a Labrador. She was hit by a car, and had a metal plate inserted into her leg. She is recovering beautifully, and she is eager to find a new home. Eight-year-old Ernie is an orange tabby that was rescued from the local pound. He is a very affectionate cat. Fourteen-year-old Gus is a long-haired, black, and white cat, who is very sweet, and likes to greet everybody. You can find these rescues, and many more furry friends at One of a Kind Pets.

One of a Kind Pets 
1929 W. Market St., Akron, 44313
Monday – Friday 11 am – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday 12-6 pm

The Spay and Neuter Clinic is located at 1700 W. Exchange St., Akron, 44313
Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Vaccines are offered on the first Saturday of each month.

//BIO: Stephanie Musarra is attending the University of Akron for web design. She enjoys writing stories and poetry in her spare time.