Attorney-turned-animal-advocate Renee Shamloo is opening a nonprofit called The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center on Nov. 2, at 1006 Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla.
“We rescue cats in line for euthanasia at high-kill shelters and provide them with a safe haven where the public can socialize, rehabilitate, and adopt,” said Shamloo of her currently foster-based program. “We are in the process of opening our first facility in La Jolla, and want to celebrate being San Diego's first and only nonprofit cat lounge with a Nov. 2 grand opening at 11 a.m. We will be having a ribbon cutting to celebrate our new venture in transforming the adoption experience.”
Shamloo discussed her involvement with cats.
“I went to law school in San Diego six years ago, and I was doing animal-rights wildlife legislation related to animals suffering in small enclosures,” she said, adding she’s turned her legal training into humane action. “Here, our mission is to adopt healthy, treatable, adoptable cats that were going to be euthanized.”
Shamloo said her animal adoption center is unorthodox.
“We rescue them, rehabilitate them, socialize them and provide a different shelter experience,” she said. “We’re trying to reframe the shelter experience. Instead of a shelter where animals are in small cages, we’re creating this environment that feels like your living room with couches and hammocks, and these cats are free-roaming and you can just hang out.”
“I start just fostering cats out of my own home in March of this year,” Shamloo said. “Within two months, we rescued over 100 cats and had more than a 70% adoption rate.”
She added she wanted to bring something new to the growing cat cafe movement.
“Instead of having a cafe and a rescue center, I wanted it to be one entity, instead of a full-on coffee shop with a small little retail section,” said Shamloo. “We’re a bit unique. We’re the first nonprofit cat lounge out there.”
Added Shamloo, “There are better ways to bring pets into your home other than buying them from a breeder.”
Concerning her mission, Shamloo noted, “Euthanasia rates are so high, I’m just trying to get that number lower.”
She said adoption fees for her cats include pets being spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and dewormed.
“It’s a full-time job,” said Shamloo of cat care and being executive director of a nonprofit cat lounge.