Volunteers help cats in Feral Cat Sanctuary

A feral cat’s life is hard, cruel and usually short. Our Art O’Brien Feral Cat Sanctuary is a haven of luxury for about eighty of these kitties who were formerly roaming the streets hungry, sick, and in danger of being hit by cars or attacked by dogs.

Arthur “Art” O’Brien began his volunteer journey at Valley Animal Center when the facility first opened. He has worked with cats for many years and is very skilled at socializing feral cats. The Valley Animal Center feral cat sanctuary is named after Art. Five plaques dedicated to Art can be found in our Grand Lobby. One reads, “Ferals are wild cats who have not met Art O’Brien.”

Because feral cats are not always friendly, many people would rather work with the gentler felines in our Cat Adoption Center. Also, maintaining the Feral Cat Sanctuary is hard, dirty work, and the tasks that need to be done don’t often attract volunteers. Recently, however, we had two wonderful families that, not only put on their grubby clothes and got out in the midst of the feral yard to labor, but also made significant contributions to help the cats.

Jessica Steed & Family

Jessica Steed and her children, James and Jessalyn, have been volunteering at the Cat Adoption Center since last December. Sometimes cats that don’t become socialized are moved from the adoption floor to the feral yard, and because the Steeds were fond of a couple of such cats, they became interested in the Feral Cat Sanctuary. When they noticed that we needed some extra cat housing, the cat-loving family went out and bought some beautiful little “kitty condos” for the yard. They also donated several pallets for us to use as foundations for the houses.

Then, they started coming regularly to work in the feral yard. So far, they have extracted feral bedding and replaced it with freshly washed blankets, and started tackling the overwhelming job of pulling weeds in the yard.

Click HERE to shop our Feral Cat Sanctuary Amazon Wish List.

Ellen Sano & Family

Ellen Sano is a senior at Clovis West and a Girl Scout. She is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest and most prestigious honor in the Girl Scouts, and comparable to the better-known Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

For her Gold Award project, she decided to focus on our Feral Cat Sanctuary. Her parents purchased materials, and the three of them came and went to work. They built 10 x 10 foot redwood litter boxes for the feral kitties and filled them with clean wood shavings. This entailed an enormous amount of dirty work, and great expense, because materials aren’t cheap these days.

Ellen Sano’s parents have assisted Ellen in her Gold Award project.

Help continue beautifying our Feral Cat Sanctuary on Sunday, April 23, 2023

It has been wonderful seeing huge improvements in our Feral Cat Sanctuary. We thank the generous donations and hard work of these incredible people and welcome you to help us continue beautifying our Feral Cat Sanctuary on Sunday, April 23, 2023. National Volunteer Week is April 16-22, 2023 this year, and we have many areas we need help with. To sign up to volunteer, click HERE.

Valley Animal Center is dedicated to serving animal companions in the Central Valley and beyond. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We believe every animal deserves a loving family and furever home. Donate to support our endless mission as we care for hundreds of homeless dogs and cats.