Weeks ago, Puff Paws Kitty Haven benefited from national generosity via Cakewrecks.com.
Now the home-based cat haven has been given transportation by a Cape Haze man.
Rob O’Reilly said his donation of a 2000 Jeep Cherokee was motivated by the strict no-kill policy at the Haven and the Kingstons’ willingness to take care of cats infected with feline AIDS.
“I’ve tried to rescue cats in Cape Haze and Placida,” said O’Reilly. “I would rescue them to animal hospitals, but the veterinarians put them to sleep if they have feline AIDS. Rick and Chrissy will take in feline AIDS kittens. … They can have a nice life. A kitten with AIDS can live from one to eight years.”
O’Reilly recently gave three kittens to Puffy Paws, a 501 ©(3) nonprofit. Sarge, Priscilla and Runt were living around the BP gas station on Placida Road, and now reside with the Kingstons in their home on Lakeview Lane.
O’Reilly said he and other people try to help the many feral cats that live around Placida Road, from The Fishery Restaurant and environs. He said it seems there are always litters of kittens around.
“Half get run over by cars,” he said.
Trapping them is only partially successful, as their survival is in question once they get a check-up. If they have AIDS they are contagious and are a danger to other cats in a conventional shelter, and will be put down right away.
“I’ve got two kittens in my house,” he said. “Their mother was run over by a car on 775. Hopefully I’ll get them adopted. … I can’t build a shelter out of my house.”
Rick and Chrissy Kingston have more than a 100 cats in their home, where they keep cats with AIDS or feline leukemia quarantined from the general population.
“They’re really good people,” said O’Reilly. “That’s what they do for their life.”
O’Reilly remembers taking a kitten who was born outdoors to a hospital and he didn’t like the results.
“It broke my heart see this adorable little kitten being put to sleep,” he said.
He said the $12,000 Puffy Paws got in the December windfall from Cakewrecks.com wouldn’t last long. Kingston confirmed that it is already gone, used to pay for many surgeries for his felines, including many spayings and neuterings fror kittens that have been dropped off recently. He also said that one kitten, Shadow, had had an eye removed because of a hematoma.
The kittens came from Lakeland. Many are in the feline leukemia quarantine room.
O’Reilly was aware that the Kingstons needed transportation, as they were down to one car. Neither would go very far with it.
He wishes they could find local sponsors for their efforts.
“I wish one of the clubs would take them on,” he said. “Maybe a woman’s group.”
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