A father establishes a refuge for 300 cats following the death of his son.

Long Island, New York, USA is home to nearly 7.5 million people and 40 feral cat colonies with hundreds of feral and stray cats as of 2018. Cats are responsible for up to four billion deaths 6.3 to 22.3 billion mammal deaths each year in the United States, according to an article published in “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment” last year, and have caused the extinction of 63 species.

However, there is much room for compassion and care in addressing feral cats, stray cats, and animals in need. In his Long Island hometown, a grieving father found himself unexpectedly answering the call. Chris Arsenault had always loved cats, but after his 24-year-old son tragically and unexpectedly died in a motorcycle accident, he found solace and healing in caring for cats, and it quickly became something extraordinary.

Chris found himself with a colony of 30 sick cats and kittens after the terrible loss of his son, Eric. The small colony lived in the open air near his house.

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The shelter now has a main shelter, as well as a large open courtyard with custom fencing to keep the cats from escaping. There are also several cat lounges equipped with heaters, air conditioners, and fountains!

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Chris told The Dodo that the cat population has increased to 300, but it’s not overpopulated:

It is so vast that even if a cat does not like the company of other people, it can occupy any area it wants.

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The fact that they are comfortable and that everything stays clean is the most important thing to me.

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Arsenault says that in the first few years of the sanctuary’s existence, he cared for nearly 70 cats at a time. And cats come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of them were adoptable, while others were classified as “semi-feral,” meaning they were not suitable for keeping as pets. At the same time, because the cats were semi-feral, they could not thrive on their own as a genuine feral colony because they were dependent on people for sustenance.

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Furthermore, Arsenault stated:

Most came from the street or were rescued from hoarding situations. Owner surrenders make up a small fraction of our animals, but they do happen.

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Others were rescued from much more gruesome situations, such as being used as bait in dog fighting rings. Despite their trauma, these kittens are released at The Happy Cat Sanctuary. They are free to “roam, scratch, lie down and climb” in a safe place.

Also, according to their website:

All cats are neutered, have access to veterinary care, and are routinely cleaned and cared for.

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Amazingly, two years ago an unknown donor gave the sanctuary $200,000! Arsenault was able to expand her facility to accommodate additional animals after going from caring for 70 cats to making major improvements. Renovations to make way for the now growing population of 300. The outdoor spaces include tree structures and hammocks for the cats, in addition to the incredible amenities described above.

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Arsenault now has numerous employees who help with the maintenance of the jacks, as well as a system to keep everything running smoothly.

Arsenault comes to the facility every day at 7 or 8 in the morning. Before going to breakfast, clean out the litter boxes and water dishes. Observing the cats, it is evident that they are used to their usual routine. According to Arsenault:

When I come in the morning, they are happy. We have a fantastic system and everyone is very patient.

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The shelter is not simply to be pampered and pampered. There is also a medical room available to provide sick or injured cats with the extra space and care they need to recover.

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Arsenault said he has accepted cats with all kinds of medical problems after several years in the cat rescue and rehabilitation “industry.” Some are just as tough as cats that have been poisoned or shot by humans, while others have been hit by a car or have feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV.)

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Arsenault, on the other hand, is not a cat person. While some cats may have a family waiting for them to be reunited, many will find a home in your sanctuary:

When we foster a cat, I realize that there is a chance that it will spend the rest of its life with us… It’s okay though.

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Arsenault and Happy Cat Sanctuary aren’t just doing that. In addition, he oversees a “trap-sterilize-return” program. The initiative has already had a considerable impact on the number of feral cats in Suffolk County, New York, which is already overloaded. He claimed, ”

When we get calls about kittens, I foster them and care for them until they are adopted. All of our adoptions are handled by All About Cats in Freeport.

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Thousands of animals that required a sanctuary existence in the wild have found a “safe haven” at Chris Arsenault’s sanctuary, and he has placed hundreds upon hundreds of homeless kittens and cats into forever homes with the perfect families.

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Worth it if you care about animals. It is very rewarding to see cats happy and healthy while climbing on tree structures or basking in the sun. This is how nature intended it to be. Nothing could be better than providing children with a dignified life and a protected place.– Arsenault, Chris

You can help Happy Cat Sanctuary by liking and following them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also visit their website by clicking here.

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