Three Rivers College welding students modify cat cages into animal shelter


POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) — Welding students at Three Rivers College recently modified 16 cat cages for the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southeast Missouri.

“A real job that gets done is a big help for us,” said Derek Joplin, Welding Instructor at Three Rivers. “They liked it and it helped the manufacturing process.”

Three Rivers says the students cut holes in the sides of two cages, tied them side by side, then inserted a small “tunnel” made of PVC pipes so the cats could easily move from one cage to the other.

“The modification allows a nursing mother cat to keep her newborn babies in a bed in one section and have her food and litter box in the adjoining space, giving her some downtime and keeping the kittens in a clean and safe space,” the AWA secretary said. and volunteer Charlotte Craig, who transported supplies and finished cages to and from students at Three Rivers in Dexter. “As the kittens figure out how to follow their mom from cage to cage through the PVC tunnel, they can be moved with the mom to one of our cat “condos” or other spaces suitable for weaning.”

The students had to learn how to center the holes, cut, match the two sides, and insert the pipes into the cages.

The project involved cutting holes in the sides of two cages, attaching them side by side and...
The project involved cutting holes in the sides of two cages, tying them side by side, then inserting a short “tunnel” made of PVC pipes so the cats could easily move from one cage to the other.(Three Rivers College)

The renovation process took about eight hours with 10 people.

“If it had shifted even half an inch, it wouldn’t have worked for them,” Joplin said.

The shelter, which opened last spring and quickly filled, is located at 1904 S. Westwood Blvd. in the old Hillcrest Animal Hospital building. Those interested in volunteering or making a donation can do so at awasemo.org or by visiting in person.

“We always need volunteers,” said AWA Executive Director Paul Healy. “We are a community driven organization.”

Additional information about the Three Rivers welding program is available here.