Mitchum’s birthday helps CASA


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor


Visitors to Paper Moon in McGregor on Saturday, March 8, celebrated cat Mitchum’s 16th birthday with cupcakes and plenty of attention for Mitchum and the other store cat, Ruby Woo. Some also brought in pet food, toys and made donations toward the Crawford Area Shelter for Animals, Inc. (CASA), an organization close to the hearts of mother-daughter duo, Louise and Jennifer White.


CASA Director Dhjana Franson attended Mitchum’s birthday event and said the organization is grateful for the pet food and donations. She also appreciates all that Paper Moon does to bring CASA some publicity.


“So many people have never heard of us,” Franson said, explaining that CASA was started in 1999 after one of her friends had issues with dogs being dumped off at her home.


Coming from Madison, Franson said she looked for a local animal shelter and was surprised to find that there wasn’t one. As a result, CASA was born, offering an alternative to the previously illegal and inhumane practices used to dispose of “nuisance” animals. CASA is run by volunteers and works to vaccinate, spay and neuter and foster as many animals as it can.


The organization has no facility, relying on volunteers to foster animals in their homes. Franson said CASA is always looking for more people who are willing to foster.


“We have to turn away people with healthy stray cats because there’s no place for them to go,” she said. “If you foster one animal, it’s appreciated.”


Even if you are not interested in fostering, Franson said it is important to spay and neuter pets, especially cats. Over seven years, Franson said two unaltered cats, a male and female, can lead to 246,000 offspring.


“That’s hard on the community,” Franson said of the amount of stray and feral cats. “It’s as much about the community as the animals. People don’t want their song birds killed or their gardens pooped in.”


For more information about CASA, visit or call (608) 648-2461.

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