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We have the sweetest story to share with you! Joe Fonseca had been feeding feral cats in the parking lot outside of his office in California for a whopping 20 years. But then Joe decided to retire … so what would happen to the feral cats? Joe made the trek, driving to Napa from Vallejo, every day to continue feeding the cats. When a nearby apartment complex owner confronted him about the cats, he knew he needed to find a permanent solution for his beloved felines.

Joe began calling various shelters, but none could help. “I’d gotten some of the cats to begin to trust me. A few would actually come up to me to get fed,” Joe explained to Napa Valley Register. He was devastated thinking about their potential fate. But then he called St. Helena’s We Care Animal Rescue and everything changed. We Care is “no kill” rescue shelter and a sanctuary where the feral cats could live in a larger community.

Slowly but surely, Joe managed to capture all 20 of the cats to bring them to their new home at We Care. Despite some scratches, Joe was successful.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.05.07 AM

Tom Stockwell/Star

 

 

But Joe’s story doesn’t end there. He noticed some repairs needed to be made at We Care and because of their tight budget, they were unable to get around to them. So he stepped in to repair and replace broken fixtures. Joe selflessly volunteered his time to helping out around We Care where ever he could. He even rebuilt an area within the facility for sick cats so that they could still have access to the outer compound and enjoy the fresh air. Amazing!

Joe also began making cat furniture for We Care fundraisers. Some of the items included beds made out of old drawers, wooden wine cases, and even suitcases. Joe and his wife also began creating ceramic garden stones with humorous embedded pictures of cats. The items are made at his workshop at home and then he sells them at the shelter’s fundraisers, all proceeds going back to the organization. What a creative way to help animals!

And of course, Joe still spends time with the feral cats as they live out their lives safe at We Care. He sees his volunteer time as a way to say thanks to We Care for generously helping him and the feral cats. “I didn’t used to be a cat person, I was more of a dog person. But now…” Joe said. We understand, Joe!

 

13912528_1147782015294770_9053685451568488910_nWe Care Animal Rescue/Facebook

 

If you’re considering welcoming a four-legged companion into your home, please always adopt and never shop. And if you’d like to get involved with your local animal shelter, just like Joe did, check out our guide to volunteering. If you’re interested in helping feral colonies in your area, click here for tips.

Lead image source: Tom Stockwell/Star

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0 comments on “This Man Fed the Feral Cats at Work for Years – But When He Retired, He Did Something Really Amazing”

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DAve Flood
3 Months Ago

I take care of 50+ in a Condo Complex. Have fought many battles with Home Owners Assoc. and won for the time being. Lots of work and expense as the colony ages. Tough on Social Security but it\'s a calling.

About Joe I have only one comment

;AND THEY GAVE A MEDAL TO JOE BIDEN. WRONG JOE IN MY OPINION. THIS GUY DESERVES MEDALS AND ACCOLADES FOR HIS COMPASSION AND KINDNESS. Too bad he isn\'t\' a politician .............. yet.


Reply
Sandra L Vars
3 Months Ago

I, too, feed and house a feral cat colony. At one time I had 18 cats that \'adopted\' me but after they were all trapped, neutered, and had their shots all but 12 went somewhere else when released. I am happy to say that there are 7 now living in my backyard in their cat hotel (crates set up on bricks with overhanging plywood roofs) with worn out clothing for warmth. They are all named, respond to being talked too and three of the girls are petable. I can even brush them now and they love to have their necks scratched. I also have 3 indoor cats that found their way into my heart and home. I always thought I was a dog person as I grew up with dogs on the farm. My granddaughter and her boyfriend have a dog who thinks she\'s a cat now as she was raised here in my home. Thank you to this generous man and his wife for caring for the ferals.


Reply
Ruth Ludgater
3 Months Ago

What a compassionate and creative man. Thanks Joe for your unwavering committment to animals in need.



Reply
Kate
3 Months Ago

A great story of someone who went beyond what many others would do.The cats benefited and so did the shelter and Joe.
CLSmith, get a grip. Cats are carnivores and while no wants animals killed for food the fact is that there are those who need meat. Sadly it comes form horrible places in these modern times that we live in. I am vegan but know that cats can not survive on a vegan diet and so does One Green Planet.


Reply
Tippy
3 Months Ago

It doesn\'t say where you can buy his items to help out the shelter?


Reply
ANNE
14 Jan 2017

Good point - call the shelter or contact the writer of the article and mention it.

delores jones
3 Months Ago

Joe will make a difference for these special friends. They ask for little. I have 6 ferals I\'v had going into their17 year. All are well. Lost one some time ago with stomach problem. Found one shot with pellets, paralyzed paw. He\'s abtay home.out 8. Vet revived 5 pellets. He\'s doing well, but I\'ll never board him again -- miserable experience. Lose his hair and then I discovered fleas which all have now. I\'ll never place one to take trip again... I\'ll stay home.


Reply
ANNE
14 Jan 2017

"He\\\'s abtay home.out 8"

What ?

inadaze254
3 Months Ago

thank you for the warming story, made my day.


Reply
john pasqua
3 Months Ago

JOE IS A CHAMPION FOR THE CATS .


Reply
Nikita
3 Months Ago

Amazing, bunk beds for cats. Great idea. God will bless you for your kind acts.


Reply
kaitlinrose32
3 Months Ago

What a GREATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT STORY THANK U FOR CARING YOU ARE A ANGLE HERE ON EARTH THANK U THANK U.


Reply


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