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The Great Catsby to return to the Eastern Panhandle
June 7, 2019

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SHEPHERDSTOWN -- With warm weather here to stay, the Eastern Panhandle's feral cat problem is on the minds of many cat-lovers in the area. This Saturday, funding to help these cats will be raised, during the second annual The Great Catsby event at the Martinsburg Roundhouse.

"It's a community event. The main reason we started this event, was to bring attention to the need for adoption of cats and other animals," said event organizer Dolly Fergus. "We want to educate people on the rescue groups that go out and do the trap, neuter and release and do the cat fostering. There are so many people who aren't aware of how big of a feral cat problem we have."

According to Fergus, last year's event drew about 400 attendees, and she hopes to draw even more this year, with the addition of some new vendors and activities.

"I believe we're going to have more cats for attendees to meet, and different vendors. We will have two food vendors, last year we only had one," Fergus said. "This is the second year we've held this event, and each year we're going to add something new. It will be more of the same, just bigger."

For the children at the event, this year will have even more fun activities for them to participate in.

"Last year we had Susie the Clown doing face painting for the kids, this year we've added a kids craft area where we'll make and color animals masks," Fergus said, mentioning she hopes these free activities will encourage families to come and spend the day at the event.

According to Fergus, while admission to the event is free, attendees are encouraged to donate cat food and supplies at the event, which will be given to the Charles Town-based 501(c)3 nonprofit Pat's Little Angels.

"They are a local rescue that helps do the trap, neuter and release, and they help out the cats and educate people and get people involved with their program," Fergus said. "The Humane Society and other places are overfilled and can't take in cats, so a lot of shelters become kill shelters. But many people aren't aware of the first problem, which is the issue of not spaying and neutering cats.

"Some people are not aware of these small groups of people that dedicate their lives to help animals that are in need. That's why I decided to partner with them and do this event for them, to do this event for them and other rescues," Fergus said. "It's just a call to arms, and if we all work together we can make a difference."

Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Great Catsby will feature door prizes, dozens of vendors, a silent auction ending at 2 p.m., booths for a variety of of local animal rescue groups, adoption opportunities for rescue cats, live music by CJ's Music Masters and Tony M Music, a Cat Fashion Show by Pat's Little Angels' cats at 11 a.m. and a People Fashion Show for those in cat costumes at 1 p.m., with registration required by 12:30 p.m. While the entire event celebrates cats, the People Fashion Show may be the favorite highlight of the day.

"Last year was crazy and awesome. The Cat Fashion Show was adorable, and the People Fashion Show was a success," Fergus said, mentioning the People Fashion Show has prizes for winners in its categories for children, adults and groups. "Some people went all-out, dressing like a cat or cat character -- it was amazing. The public seem to love it."

To learn more about The Great Catsby, visit www.facebook.com/TheGreatCatsby.MartinsburgWV/.

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