The Hobo Hotel, Inc. is incorporated and organized exclusively for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals through the operation of a no-kill shelter for cats and kittens, the rescue of abandoned cats and kittens, the adoption of cats and kittens, the development of foster homes until adoption is possible, education about pet care, promotion of spaying and neutering and the encouragement of relationships with pets.
Hobo's Hurricane Heroes
A huge Hobo thanks to the Houston Humane Society who arrived at the shelter two days after Laura struck. It was a bittersweet day saying goodbye to 57 cats and kittens who we had cared for and loved. Thank you to Hobo volunteers Diana Anderson, Bette Talbot, and Kim Lapoint who helped with this effort. Remaining at the shelter were 23 older, special needs, and shy cats who we have been able to continue to care for. But there is great news: 47 Hobo cats have been adopted from the Houston Humane Society! Last but not least, our feisty Althea (who is FIV+) was taken in by Big Sky Ranch/Catnip Foundation in Folsom, La.
We can't say it too often, "We have the best fosters." At the time Laura hit, we had 22 cats in foster care and all of them had evacuated with their caretakers. They slowly came back to the shelter and were prepped for adoption. Many thanks to Yvette Richey, Melinda Melton, Misty Sanders, Terry Dolezal, Janet Smith, Lee Joyner, Margaret Babcock, Katie Laneaux, and Annalynn Garfin.
Volunteers picked up debris in the yard, helped clean the shelter when it was dark, hot and wet from numerous celing leaks, and ferried gas to and from the shelter to keep the generators going. Volunteers brought food, litter, cleaning supplies, water, gasoline, and cash. Many thanks to the owners and employees of Ace and Chanti's Pet Services, Virgil SMith, Anna Silverstein, Jim and Robin Anderson, Pranvera Selenies and Arian Haxhillari, RCI Roofing, Barbara Rose, Roseanne Agee, Grace Garbo, Randy Howerton, Wade and Misty Shaddox, and Margaret.
A Celebration Story
by Amanda Johnson
Hobo Hotel volunteers celebrated 20 years of cat rescue and adoption with live music, dinner, a silent auction and awards on October 22, 2019. One hundred supporters gathered at the beautiful Charleston Ballroom in downtown Lake Charles for the 20th anniversary gala. Mistress of ceremonies Heather Partin, a Hobo supporter for many years, told the audience that since Hobo started keeping records in 2002, they have neutered 6,300 cats and adopted out 4,000. She added that Hobo is “completely funded by grants and donations.”
The board of Directors honored the memory of co-founder Carol Cain, who managed the adoption center until her death in 2010.
President Robin Anderson said, “Back in the ‘trailer days’, Carol had a favorite cat named Quinella.”
Six Quinella Awards were given to volunteers who “have done something very special for Hobo Hotel,” said Anderson. Honored were Virgil Smith, who mows the lawn; Jude Richard, who administers the web site; Maria, Amanda and Alyssa Johnson, a mother-daughter team; and Misty Sanders, who foster high-risk kittens.
“Other places have to pay people to do these things. We don’t because we have faithful volunteers,” Anderson said.
Heather Partin introduced her brother-in-law, Lake Charles native Rory Partin. He performed jazz music with a small band during dinner. His wife, Alexa, joined him on stage for a duet and sang two solo songs. She performed an original called “Silly Me”, which she wrote about her cat’s simple life. The Partins had recently toured in Austria and flew into Lake Charles the day after returning to Los Angeles to perform at the gala.
While the event focused primarily on celebration, generous supporters and sponsors raised over $10,000, which will be used for veterinary care, cat care supplies and cleaning services.
FROM JUNE 2009 Newsletter, by Sweet Baby, Co-Founder of Hobo Hotel:
So many people have been asking lately, "How did y'all start?" Well, here's how it all began. In August 1999, I was a pretty small kitten. I was what is commonly referred to as untamed, wild or feral. Carol Cain fed me and a few others from her two-room trailer. My tail was falling off because I was very sick. Bette Talbot brought over this thing that trapped me and then they took me to Dr. Stark. He cut off my tail and said that was a good thing. I have kinda not liked him since then. In 2000, Carol developed cancer and couldn't take care of herself or us cats. At that time, Bette and Carolyn "Collie" Rouyer moved Carol and two of her cats, Hobo and Quinella, into an apartment behind them. Carol couldn't come home for five long months. I was very lonely.
In 2001, Carol's two-room trailer housed eight cats. Bette and Collie kept Hobo . One of Carol's cats, Bouree, helped begin our outreach program. We started with four cages to house kittens until we could find homes for them. In 2002, Collie had a shelter for the outside cats who were mostly untamed. It was jokingly called the "Hobo Hotel," and the name stuck.
In March 2002, Carol created the first Hobo Hotel Newsletter, which was hand-written. Collie was the Editor. In September, we created the "Cat's Meow" Award. Collie Rouyer received the first one. That award eventually became the "Quinella St. Francis" Award which we purrsent to our top volunteers each year. In 2004, we got a three bedroom trailer to expand our "sheltering" abilities. On August 24, 2006, we became a non-profit corporation. Very official sounding!
So...that's how the purrfectly terrific Hobo Hotel and Spankey Halfway House for Cats and Kittens began. From small roots, we have grown so much. We are now located in a nice brick building, have a fostering program. and adopt from PetSmart, PETCO, and PetSense.
We lost our beloved Carol on March 4, 2010 after she suffered a stroke. We all miss her so much, but we are dedicated to carrying on the work she started. I had to move to the care center after her passing, but I have made new friends there, both cat and human. I've come a long way too!
So thank you, all of you, who have generously donated your time and dollars to make Hobo Hotel the wonderful place it is today. Because of you, we are able to carry on the work our dear redhead began, and we will continue to make Lake Charles a better place for our feline and human friends.
Sweet Baby went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2012.
Bouree's Outreach is a trap/neuter/return program for feral cats that started in 2008 with the trapping of 31 cats.
At the end of 2018, over 1,500 feral cats have been altered, reducing the unwanted cat population in our community by approximately 75,000.
Hobo Hotel, Inc. History and Timeline
1999 - Carol Cain learned to trap cats from Bette Talbot. Collie Rouyer paid for the medical needs of cats in the early years. Sweet Baby was the first cat trapped and lived at Hobo Hotel until her death in 2012. These four are the "co-founders".
1999 - A local vet, Dr. Joe Stark, helped with advice and support.
2001 - Carol continued to help feral cats and Collie Rouyer had a shelter built for them. Carol said it would be called "The Hobo Hotel" after a cat named "Hobo" who died at 26 in October 2012. Barbara Chaumont was our first volunteer.
2002 - Carol handwrote the first newsletter in February.
2002 - Collie Rouyer received the first "Cat's Meow" award which later becomes the St. Francis/Quinella award. (Quinella was one of Carol's cats.)
2003 - The Newsletter was computerized thanks to volunteer, Becky Smith.
2004 - Collie Rouyer donated a trailer to house more cats. Bette Talbot donated a large storage building to use for an adoption center.
2006 - We became a Louisiana non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation, Hobo Hotel Inc.
2007 - The first board meeting was held in February.
2007 - A website, www.hobohotelforcats.com, was created by Mary Kay Hopkins; Mickey Deal and Jennifer Osborne Miller created a logo.
2007 - The first auction, "Kool Kats Night Out," was held and we began doing adoptions at PetSmart.
2008 - Shirley and Marvin Self made the largest donation yet to Hobo Hotel, Inc.
2007-2010 - The growing number of volunteers and the support of Dr. Joe Stark. allowed larger numbers of cats to be served. We began using the facility on School Street.
2010 - Co-founder and Operaions Director, Carol Cain, died on March 4 from complications of a stroke, Diana Andersen became Operations Director.
2013 - The shelter was "catified."
2016 - The Andrew Garofolo Memorial Catio was built and dedicated.