The 100-plus cats living in an Iberia, Louisiana, animal shelter will soon have a luxurious new home, thanks to a posthumous gift from a cat-loving businessman.
The cats once had their own room in a cinder-block building at the Iberia Parish Humane Society shelter. But when Hurricane Gustav hit in 2008, the cats were evacuated just before the roof blew off in the storm’s high winds.
Since then, the cats have lived in temporary quarters. For the last two years.
Right now some of the cats are in cages inside the shelter, but most of them are roaming around the shelter property.Shelter supervisor Sandy Sawyersays she believes the new facility will help support healthier and happier cats.
“We have the most beautiful happy spayed and neutered cats and we just love to show them off and cages just aren’t where cats should be living.”
Plans for a new cats-only space have been in the works for a long time, but “all our fundraising has gone to operations,” said Shelter Director Dayna Perry.
But then the shelter received a completely unexpected gift.
The late Lawrence Golden Jr., a prominent businessman and animal lover who died in July of 2009, left a donation for the shelter in his will. The bequest was large enough to fund the construction of the new home the shelter’s cats.
Construction of the 30- by 35-foot addition began recently. The state-of-the-art facility will include cat towers, cubyholes, and a solarium. It will also allow cats to go outdoors but still be protected.
The new building is expected to be complete by July.