VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA – What started out as a mere way to limit the number of feral cats roaming around Ellen Seuberling’s home has turned into more than 1 acre of land soon to be a cat sanctuary for unadoptable cats.
Seuberling currently lives in unincorporated Volusia County near Oak Hill. She has spent the past 10 years finding new and various ways — whether it’s with her own money or with a partnership through the city of Oak Hill — to trap and neuter feral cats so that they can return to the wild and not overpopulate.t
Southeast Volusia cities have had issues with feral cats for a long time now and Beverly Cowling, director of the Volusia Society for Aid to Animals, said the Edgewater and Oak Hill areas have a feral cat population anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000.
“I have encountered a lot of people that are trapping cats and taking them to the shelter and they are unadoptable,” Seuberling said. “We are just trying our best to save the ones that are just stuck in the shelter.”
Seuberling and Cowling frequently work together rescuing cats and kittens. Seuberling created the organization Farmhouse Cat Rescue from her home, and Cowling formed the nonprofit Aid to Animals about four years ago to educate citizens and prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of as many animals as possible.
Seems a man donated about an acre of land he owns in Oak Hill for the sanctuary. It has some dilapidated structures already on it that volunteers are trying to fix up so the cats have a place to get out of the elements. Cowling said they will begin with about 10 cats at the sanctuary, and it will take probably a few years to “get a grip” on what works best.
“It takes a village to do something like this,” Cowling said.
The cats will most likely come from the Southeast Volusia Humane Society in New Smyrna Beach once the sanctuary is ready and up and running, Cowling said.
A GoFundMe page was created for the endeavor with a goal of raising $2,000 to get the sanctuary going. To donate, you may visitwww.gofundme.com/gmx2mbny.
“For people who are animal lovers, it’s worth putting forth the effort to save one pet after another,” Seuberling said. “By no means will the sanctuary be glorious, but if it saves 10 cats, five cats, or just one, then it’s worth it.”