When new businesses come to town it is often an exciting event that broadens shopping or eating opportunities. The opening of the brand new Prosper PetSmart, located at 1001 S. Preston Rd., offers another opportunity to the community — the chance to give some furry friends a forever home.

Texas CARES opened their latest adoption center at the brand new location, with the grand opening of the store held on Saturday, March 3. The all-volunteer, non-profit animal welfare organization has been providing cat adoption and rescue for DFW area cats and kittens for the past 26 years, enjoying a strong relationship with PetSmart.

Texas CARES provides for unwanted and abandoned felines. Vice President Maria Beck said the adoption process starts with making sure all the pets at home are vaccinated, the adopters live at their given address and that Texas CARES believes their home will be a good fir for the cat they are looking at.

Intake Foster Coordinator Shawn Greenberg said that the organization verifies that all the cats are fully up to date on their health exams. “Our standards are pretty high as far as that goes,” she said.

Intake of the cats involves organizing what cats are coming in, with a large part of the process relying on fosters. Fosters will take in the cats and allow them to stay at their home while the cats are waiting to be adopted. The cats will then attend adoption events for several days or weeks and return to the foster home to rest in between adoption events if they are not adopted. This process allows for the cats to have the best chance of being adopted without stressing them out too much.

The playroom at PetSmart offers potential customers the opportunity to sit in an enclosed room and get to know the cats before selecting which one is right for the family.

“This is a much more futuristic adoption center,” said Greenberg. “This is what all of the shelters that are ahead of the ballgame have.”

“The biggest benefit is someone who comes in and sees the cat in this environment is really going to know the true personality of the cat, so you really know what you are getting,” added Texas CARES President John Lindsay.

Beck said that one of the best benefits of Texas CARES is the standout medical treatment offered to the cats. Top clinics offer the best care and examinations for all the cats, including full testing that brings the organization beyond most groups.

“We want to know that when we adopt one of our kitties out that they are completely healthy,” said Beck. “We take great pride in that.”

Because Texas CARES lacks the funding of larger organizations, volunteers are the cornerstone of the operation.

“From cleaning cages to working the adoption events and special events we do, we’re always looking for volunteers and donors to keep the operation running,” said Lindsay. “We really rely on volunteers, donations and sponsorship. … if you’re a cat lover and you live in this area, it’s a great opportunity.”

To volunteer with Texas CARES or foster a cat at your home, a volunteer link can be found at texascares.org. Volunteer hours can go towards high school honors society hours, as well as community service hours to anyone who needs them.

Texas CARES will have cats at the Prosper PetSmart at all times, with adoption events held on the weekends. PetSmart employees can assist customers with looking at cats during the week.

All Texas CARES cats are fully tested, vetted and microchipped. Spaying and neutering is often provided, with vouchers offered for animals too young or small to be immediately taken care of. All cats are indoor only for safety purposes. There is a 30-day adoption addendum to return any cats that do not turn out to be a good fit for their new home. To surrender an animal, fill out a request online.