Archived Story

Director to downsize cat shelter after charge

Published 5:45pm Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Austin cat shelter is downsizing because the director has been cited for having too many cats.

Mary Draayer, director of Cats Off Broadway shelter, is downsizing the shelter after a misdemeanor charge for having too many cats. - Amanda Lillie/amanda.lillie@austindailyherald.com

Mary Draayer, director of Cats Off Broadway shelter, appeared in Mower County District Court on Thursday morning to plead not guilty to the single, misdemeanor charge.

“The city’s been involved, the authorities have been involved and now Human Services is involved,” Draayer said Thursday afternoon.

Draayer, who has about 30 cats at her shelter, said she was given the citation because she is violating a city ordinance. However, she claims she shouldn’t be at fault because the citation was written out to her personally and not to Cats Off Broadway. Draayer only owns three of her own cats. The rest are technically owned by the shelter.

“I don’t even know if they’re aware of the fact this is a shelter, because the ticket is written to me and not to Cats Off Broadway,” she said.

According to city ordinance, animal shelters must be at least 500 feet from residential areas; however, Draayer’s out-of-home shelter is in a residential area.

Draayer’s next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31, and she plans to continue operating her shelter in the meantime. However, she hopes to adopt out some of the cats between now and August — partially because of the citation and partially because she hasn’t been approached for as many adoptions recently and would like to have fewer cats in the shelter.

Draayer has at least nine male cats and at least 16 female cats. Males are discounted from $100 to $55 and females are discounted from $110 to $75. All of the cats up for adoption have been vaccinated and the majority have already been spayed or neutered.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and August,” Draayer said. “I know they want me to try and change my address, but that’s not going to happen.”


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  • http://Yahoo HWYSTAR

    Don’t the stupid idiot cops have anything better to do? She is doing a good service keeping cats out of the county pound and taking good care of them.

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    • knewb

      Hwystar, why do you assume the police had something to do with this?

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  • http://Yahoo HWYSTAR

    Knewb, to quote the article, “the city’s been involved, the authorities have been involved and now Human Services is involved” what do you think?

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    • knewb

      Yes it’s all the polices fault this lady is breaking the law. The authorities should feel ashamed. Our society is screwed because of the majority of people are just like Brenda and hwystar

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  • Brenda

    What a bunch of bullcrap!!!!!!!!!! The authorities have nothing better to do then cause problems for someone that is doing something good???!!! Mary has been helping innocent cats for years find forever homes. She isn’t hurting anyone. Leave her the hell alone!!!!!

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  • cooper

    Im so sick of you and your name calling of the police. Just because they did thier job with you dosnt make them bad people. They have a hard job dealing with people like you everyday. Like I have stated before IF you would have behaved yourself then you would have nothing to complaine about.

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  • formeraustinian

    Ms Draayer has had “cats off broadway’ for quite some time now and it’s common knowledge that she is not only breaking the law by where the shelter is located, but in the past she has sold cats that were not healthy. At one time several years ago it was questioned if the cats even had the shots she was claiming. I was advised by a vet not to purchase any of her animals and if I knew of anyone thinking of doing so to discourage them. So even though she may appear to be helping SHE IS NOT DOING IT LEGALLY!! Just like the illegal immigrants – FOLLOW THE LAW!

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  • senior

    HWYSTAR the stupid idoit cops were more than likely checking on a complaint turned in. I hope you never need the help of them stupid idoit cops !

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  • whatsup

    I am sure that the police just didn’t show up on this ladies door step for the fun of it. They were called to check on a complaint. I am sure that she thinks that she is doing these cats a great service, BUT, she has to have the right place and knowledge to do it. I had a neighbor four years ago that got a cat from her and it turned out to be in bad health and it took alot of trips to the vet to save her cat. We have a very very good humane society in Austin that works with the police to save all dogs and cats found running loose. I think that this lady also got in some trouble for setting up a temporary stand in Medford on the side of the road by Cabellas to sell her cats. I think that the city of Medford finally cracked down on people selling dogs and cats there. Also I think she has been at the fairgrounds and malls selling. It is stressful on animals to be out in the sun and heat of summer–even though she might think she is “saving” some cats perhaps she needs to rethink her role as savior.

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