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Woman running cat adoption out of apartment told by the city to shut it down



Online petition has nearly 15,000 signatures to keep it open.

WESTBY, Wis. — No cats allowed. That’s essentially the letter the owner of The Cat Lounge Adoption Room received in November from the city of Westby.

It stated that Joane Kjome’s 1,200-square-foot apartment behind her business called Treasures on Main., was not zoned properly. The city denied a rezoning request from Kjome in order to keep handling cats. Kjome says the city was seemingly fine with it before someone complained.

“I have asked the police. I have asked the mayor. I have asked the zoning commissioner,” Kjome said. “What was the complaint? What happened? No one can really tell me.”

A petition online, urging the city council to reconsider, set its goal for 15,000 signatures and it is nearly there. 

She started the adoption to make sure cats got put into good homes and said 45-50 felines had been adopted in the past year.

She partnered with the Crawford County Animal Rescue Shelter to help find them homes. Now, however, she only has until the end of February to find homes for the 10 cats she has left.


“Otherwise they’re going to have to go into foster care,” Kjome said. “That’s what the city has told me.”

Kjome wrote on her Facebook page:


Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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