The McKinley Mall has some interesting tenants. Dozens of cats!
"It's all about cats. We love dogs, but everything in here is about cats. It's rather unique to this area," says Cheryl Ludwig.
Tabby Town is a non-profit organization co-founded by Ludwig. It's a unique place where you will instantly make some new friends, who just want to become part of your family.
"That would be Katie. She was a rescue who just had kittens and she loves hanging out front. She just loves it," explains Ludwig.
At Tabby Town, you will find 45 cats just hanging out. Don't be surprised if one just comes right up to you.
"What we do is we work with them so that we can help little rescues, like little Megan right here, who was just spayed yesterday, find homes and take care of them while they're waiting to be adopted," says Ludwig.
Ludwig saw a need help local shelters increase adoptions. That's why she created Tabby Town.
"Cats are overlooked. As strays, you know, they're roaming the streets, they need help, too. And, if they're not a feral cat, or they're not a little bit wild, and they've strayed from a family and don't know how to fend for themselves, and so the shelters rescue them and we help them get another home," she says.
Shelters like Ten Lives Club, the SPCA and the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter send some of their cats here because it's a bright, happy environment.
"Oftentimes, for people in shelters, it can feel sad. So, what we wanted to do was create setting and an uplifting setting for people to come in and with their friends and families and adopt a baby and spend some time," she says.
Ludwig has recruited corporate sponsors, who along with donations, keep Tabby Town up and running, but it would not be able to survive without its dozens of volunteers.
"Personally, it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. For the volunteers here that spend hours and hours and hours helping these animals, it's unbelievably fulfilling," says Ludwig.
Since it opened at the mall four years ago, Tabby Town has helped three-thousand cats find forever homes. Money from everything you can buy here goes directly to the cats. It pays for food and other supplies.
Tabby Town is open seven days a week. Monday-Saturday it is open until 8 p.m. Sunday it is open until 5 p.m.
You can learn more by going to www.tabbytown.org.