Puffy Paws Kitty Haven is a no kill cat hospice and rescue shelter located in Englewood, Florida. They humorously bill themselves on line and on Facebook as the “World’s Greatest Cat House.” And indeed, they are. The founders and operators, Rick and Chrissy Kingston work very hard, day in and day out caring for two hundred special needs and unwanted kitties on their own.
Puffy Paws Kitty Haven takes care of the largest amount of special needs cats and kittens in the area. They care for cats with feline leukemia, FIV, blind cats, feral cats, epileptic cats, senior kitties, kitties with only one eye and more. All of these special needs cats and kittens would have been euthanized because they would be deemed un-adoptable. None of the cats or kittens are put down due to behavior problems, space or adopt-ability issues. The only ones that are humanely euthanized are those with medical conditions that cause pain and suffering and have no chance of survival.
Also, Puffy Paws is the first rescue in the area to feature adoptable and special needs cats live on the Internet. It all started 16 years ago in the loving home of Chrissy and Rick Kingston. There they took in cats and sometimes even families of cats. In the fall of 2009, Puffy Paws Kitty Haven moved outside the Kingston’s home. To better handle the different medical needs, they have separated them into two separate living quarters. The “Haven Home” is a 2200 square foot building which houses the healthy, adoptable kitties and a permanent resident for those that have physical, emotional and behavioral problems. The second building is 800 square feet with a 400-square foot used solely for kitties with feline leukemia. This section has been nicknamed the “The Kitty Angel Club.”
Over the last 11 years, founder Chrissy Kingston estimated that she has worked thousands of hours caring for the kitties and spent over $100,000.00 on unwanted though loving cats and kittens.
Puffy Paws Kitty Haven was named after a small, sickly kitten that was part of the Kingston’s family for only one year. The kitten’s name was “Poo-Puffy Paws,” or “Poo Puff” for short. Although he was a happy, well loved, and well cared for kitten, he passed away during Hurricane Charlie in 2004. Naming the Haven after this very special kitten represented to the Kingstons something they wanted others to know and appreciate; one kitty at a time can change the heart of one person at a time.
On November 20th, 2006, Puffy Paws Kitty Haven became a not-for-profit corporation. This allowed Puffy Paws to raise funds for the cats currently in their care as well as future cats that will come to them needing a safe haven. But caring for 200 cats can be very costly and difficult to maintain when you rely solely on donations. It costs $946.00 a month to feed the cats and $275-$300 a day for cleaning supplies to keep the two buildings spotless and the litter-boxes clean.
(Photo of cat hospice via Facebook)
To read more about Puffy Paws Kitty Haven, donate or adopt one of their cats visit their website.
Also, visit their Facebook page.