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Karaoke event at Bob's Garage in O'Hara to raise money for homeless cat care

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | The Herald
Melanie Kleist has been involved in many fundraisers to benefit cats.

Anyone singing karaoke on Sunday night at Bob's Garage should be ready to hear a few cat calls.

The Freeport Road bar will host a musical fundraiser from 7 to 11 p.m. to benefit the Homeless Cat Management Team, a volunteer group that provides spay and neuter clinics to reduce the stray cat population.

It is the fourth annual Karaoke for Cats held at the popular O'Hara spot.

Organizer Melanie Kleist started the show after having two stray cats fixed by the group.

“Their services help create a healthier, smaller cat colony,” Kleist said.

Founded 15 years ago, the Homeless Cat Management Team has performed 15,000 cat surgeries during its twice-monthly clinics. It serves Allegheny County and eight surrounding counties.

It also operates a clinic in Tarentum, which celebrated its first anniversary this month.

During Sunday's fundraiser, anyone willing to belt out a tune can pay $5 a song.

Donating $20 will get you unlimited rounds on the microphone.

Kleist said there are themed rounds, where the songs are all Elvis or all movie-inspired.

She gives prizes for the best tune, the worst and the funniest. There is also a 50/50 raffle and prize baskets to be auctioned.

Homeless Cat Management Team Secretary Lisa Lendl-Lander said the event is a fun way to draw attention to the group and its mission, which is not only to reduce the number of stray cats but to promote responsible colony management.

The free and reduced-priced clinics include a rabies vaccination and flea treatment. Participants must agree to provide care to the cats once they are spayed or neutered, whether that means feeding them outdoors or supplying veterinary care.

Lendl-Lander said the group hosts at least a half-dozen no-charge clinics for people who can't afford to fix the stray cats but who are trying to help their neighborhoods.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will cover the costs of a no-charge clinic.

Last year, it brought in more than $1,000.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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