May 2, 2005
Pillows, photographs, statues, purses and all kinds of knickknacks are scattered throughout Cindy Langdell’s north Scottsdale shop.
Most have an animal theme. Animal cages are tucked in the back of the small store in the Scottsdale Horizon Shopping Plaza.
In them are stray kittens and cats, although dogs sometimes roam the site.
Since 1994, Langdell has been president of Citizens for Scottsdale Strays, a nonprofit, 20-volunteer group that started in 1991. When Langdell took over, she realized the rescue group needed rescuing and changed its focus.
"It wasn’t being run like a business," Langdell said. "When I started, we were $8,000 in debt. I took it from just a cat rescue group to an adoption agency, and things changed."
So much so that Langdell, who doesn’t draw a salary from Scottsdale Strays, opened Adoptables, a shop that caters to animal lovers looking for just the right pet or accessory.
There are usually 25 to 35 kittens and cats available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There are also up to 30 dogs, especially on weekends.
Langdell uses six foster homes — including her own — to house many of the animals. She and her 3-year-old son, Z.Z. Ortiz, own Lola, a terrier mix they rescued from what Langdell called certain euthanasia, took home and fell in love with.
Langdell, a former employee of Southwest Gas, said she expects 400 to 500 cats and kittens, and at least 300 dogs, to be adopted this year. Her goal is to find the right home for 1,000 strays a year.
"I traded my business suit and power lunches for kittens and the ability to bring my dog to work," Langdell said. "I was a single mom who needed to find a niche. I figured, why can’t I sell home accessories and adopt out kittens?"
Langdell has junior volunteers who help with adoptions. One of them runs the group’s Web site, www.scottsdalestrays.com.
Older cat adoptions start at $85, with kittens $100 or more. Dogs are $100, regardless of age or breed. All animals are neutered or spayed.
Fees go to Scottsdale Strays, not Langdell’s store. She has a 90-day return policy if an animal doesn’t fit its new surroundings.
"I want to make sure all animals get the same opportunity to live and find a good home," Langdell said. "I’m glad I got into this and stayed with it. Our group has saved a lot of animals. I truly feel if I wouldn’t have gotten involved with it, it would have disappeared."