When it comes to the treatment of animals, there are a lot of ways that we humans need to do better. We teach dogs to fight each other using cats as bait, we leave animals who have only ever known our homes behind when we move, or we completely fail to meet to their basic needs. It’s heartbreaking to think that anybody could possibly have it in them to mistreat cats and dogs, but it happens. Thankfully, there are beautiful humans out there who do good to counteract the bad that others put animals through.

Happy Cat Sanctuary on Long Island, New York started back in 2006 after founder Chris Arsenault lost his son in a motorcycle accident. We can’t speak to how Arsenault felt after his loss; only a parent who has lost a child could possibly understand that. But, we do know this: overcoming tragedy and creating something beautiful and selfless is an amazing feat — and that’s exactly how Arsenault started the sanctuary.


Not long after losing his son in a tragic accident, Arsenault nursed a colony of 30 sick kittens back to health. From that pivotal moment, he knew that his calling was to rescue cats.

He converted his Medford, Long Island home into a sanctuary for over 300 cats. The shelves you see lining the wall in the background are a place for rescued cats to hang out.

All cats and kittens who arrive at the shelter are spayed or neutered, brushed regularly, and given plenty of love and attention.

In addition to having free reign of a home designed for their entertainment, the cats also have access to the outdoors with structures that they can climb, scratch, and lounge on.

The health and safety of the kitties are top priority. As you can see in the photo, the area is fenced so they are free to roam the yard, but they can’t get to the busy streets. Plus, there are security cameras!



Happy Cat Sanctuary opens its doors to all cats, young and old, as well as FIV-positive cats, blind cats, differently-abled cats, and those who have been traumatized by abuse. As you can see in the photos, Arsenault has put a lot of work into ensuring that the cats get all the enrichment they need. They’re also up for adoption, which would allow Arsenault to take in more cats.

If you’re considering welcoming a pet into your life, please always adopt from your local shelter or sanctuary and never buy from a pet store or breeder.


Happy Cat Sanctuary runs entirely on donations to feed its population of rescued felines. To make a donation or to learn more about the sanctuary, visit the official website.

All image source: Happy Cat Sanctuary