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.

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.

Update 10/14/20: Check out some of these amazing cat rooms that Joe has helped with at We Care!

cat room cat room cat room

We Care Animal Rescue/Facebook

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