A Solution for Feral Cats

Saving Feral Cats from euthanasia, while supporting the community requires innovative approaches. We have completely raised the bar to what’s possible. We are the first to create and build a feral cat Pet Therapy & Comfort Pavillion on the grounds of a senior living facility. With hopes others will emulate our business model, and with the goal of helping to control and care for the thousands of feral cat colonies that exist, we will provide free instruction, education, and A-Z hands-on mentoring for other organizations, senior living facilities, or individuals who may wish to create a similar pet pavillion on retirement facility campuses or other secure locations.

Although our focus and immediate expertise is California – having successfully navigated and mastered the intricacies of licensing and code requirements here locally – the fundamentals of this unique feral rescue facility can be applied anywhere and we stand ready as a resource to provide assistance in any state. Given the increasingly interconnectedness of the world through the internet, we could easily help animal welfare groups in other countries as well, with start-up fundamentals unique to feral needs.

Welcome to Shanti’s House!

Now, imagine this alternative to abandonment and euthanasia: A multidimensional enclosed Feral Cat Pavillion with beautiful green gardens, trees, grass, lush plants, water fountains, solar lighting, and wind chimes. Most importantly: safety, shelter, food, water, medical care, and love.

cat with one eye
volunteers with cat
comfortable cat
relaxed cat

The Sad Truth

There are an estimated 60-100 million feral and abandoned cats in the United States. San Diego alone has an approximate 3000 + feral cat colonies. Through no fault of their own, feral cats are forced to live a tragic existence. The average lifespan of a feral cat is a brutal 2-5 years – IF they have someone who regularly feeds them. Many of these cats were once pets, but were left behind by their owners because care became too expensive; some of them still live in their foreclosed homes!

And in even worse cases…

Some cats get placed inside plastic bags and are tossed away like trash – or they’re thrown out of car windows!
Feral cats suffer from:

  • constantly being on the run from wild predators (coyotes, mountain lions, etc.)
  • dog attacks
  • disease
  • starvation
  • severe weather
  • anemia from blood loss, abscesses and injuries from battles or vehicular drama
  • severe flea infestations
  • abuse and torture from cruel people

This isn’t a dream!

It actually exists! In just two and a half years, we designed and built anextraordinary oasis for one of our cat colonies in San Diego, located on the site of a senior living facility.

Previously the 50+ cats were living on the grounds and asphalt parking lot of this property and the adjacent strip mall. The cats were walking skeletons slowly starving to death, covered in fleas, anemic, injured, frightened, and un-fixed. They would timidly approach the senior residents desperate for food or scavenge in dumpsters where they sometimes incurred injury from razor blades and needles. Their future was animal control and euthanasia.

Results:

Incredibly, since this endeavor began two and a half years ago, many of our ferals have become community cats who crave human touch and companionship. They love being spoken to and truly start to heal and thrive, resulting so far in eight successful adoptions into forever homes. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to build trust from ferals. We will continue on with this path and for every cat we adopt out we will connect with animal welfare organizations to take in older, sick, needy, or crippled ferals needing a safe, beautiful, and gentle environment.

Shantis’ House Contacts:pavilion

Kristina Hancock
Volunteer Co-Director
858-752-7887 • Email Kristina

Karla Dutt
Volunteer Co-Director
858-922-7000 • Email Karla

General email:
shanti@snap-sandiego.org


“The advancement of a civilization can be seen in the way it treats its animals.”
– Gandhi

Getting Started

Our immediate, urgent imperative was to secure the safety and well-being of the colony. We spayed or neutered every cat, one by one, and administered any necessary medical treatment. Remarkably our entire colony has tested FeLV/FIV negative. Then we began construction on their new home.

The Pet Therapy & Comfort Pavillion

The Pavillion is entirely separate from the resident area, and the cats live in their own compound with their own caregivers. They have five cottages of varied sizes, a secret garden, and multiple play areas which include a huge Podocarpus tree to climb, and a tree house. Except for the indoor cottages, the entire habitat is open on one side for resident viewing, with a large plexiglass wall providing unobstructed views of the central pavilion. Every morning, afternoon, and evening the seniors enjoy watching the kitties play. It’s a win-win for the senior residents who love the cats, many of them having known these cats since they were kittens.

First Time Experience for Feral Cats

Our ferals, like millions more, had never been inside. They had never experienced a soft pillow or warm blanky under their bodies, or felt a soft warm kitty bed to curl up into. They never experienced toys or balls to play with, and they couldn’t escape the hot sun or shivering cold that made their bones brittle. The cats never experienced a safe and quiet place to lay their head; they didn’t know how to sleep without one eye open. And they never knew where their next meal was coming from. But now, for the first time in their lives they know what this feels like!