Marnie,  I'm late responding to your post, but I wanted to tell
you what a wonderful thing you are doing.  

I also own a private shelter/santuary.  In 2004 I bought a large
2,000 sq ft. building in town and made it into a home like setting,
with furniture, climbing posts, window ledges, and large cat condos.
There are no cages as I can't stand to see cats caged up, so ours
have many rooms for the cats to run around in, and they really good
have a good life. I wish they all had individual homes, but I know
they'd be dead by now if I hadn't taken them in as they were all
abandoned when I rescued them.

It has cost me a small fortune to buy this building and heat it, plus
the money for vet bills, food and litter is several hundred dollars a
month, but it's what I want to do with a small inheritance my parents
left me. I have no help other than my son-in-law, my daughter, and a
paid cleaning lady. We live in a very small town, and our humane
society only has 8 active people who are into dogs, not cats.


On 02-26, Marnie Miszewski wrote:

> The last time I posted, I was in the start up phase of my
>  sanctuary, Helping Paws Animal Sanctuary. We will be in business 1
>  year in July and we are already working on our expansion. We
>  currently have 1500SF indoor facility (soon to add another 1500SF)
>  and have limited to approx 100 cats. I don't believe in cages and
>  keep the cats in large rooms with perches, furniture even water
>  fountains. My inspiration was my FELV+ cat Tom. There weren't any
>  places for positive kitties. I do adopt out my kitties to make
>  room for new ones, but keep it home-like for the long term
>  friends. My vet sees every cat before they enter the facility and
>  oversees their care. She's on my board of directors and is only a
>  call or text away if I need her. Many of my volunteers have vet
>  tech experience (including myself). Animal Services of Lee County
>  has inspected us and have asked us to be a model for the other
>  shelters/sanctuaries in the area. They also transfer their
>  positive kitties to me when I have room for them. I love each of
>  these furry friends and know all their names. Their well being is
>  my life's mission and I wouldn't have it any other way. We are
>  open to the public every evening and the kitties look forward to
>  entertaining their guests. As for "outdoor kitty time" we have a
>  screened enclosure they take turns using. Our dream is to have
>  acreage for them but all things in time. I can't speak for other
>  sanctuaries, but I welcome everyone to come see our facility. I
>  like to think I'm doing Tom proud.

> Marnie Miszewski
> Helping Paws Animal Sanctuary
> Saint James City, FL

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