So you love animals. Like, you really love animals. But would you — or could you — make the kind of sacrifices that Lynea Lattanzio has made, to help and house cats in need?
For the past 25 years, the Parlier, California, woman has been operating what is believed to be the largest no-cage cat sanctuary and adoption center in the United States, a massive endeavor that prompted her to give her 4,200 square foot, five-bedroom home to the cats and move into a small trailer on the property.
“‘Crazy Cat Lady’ is so passe,” Lattanzio joked in a news video by the Fresno Bee. “There are so many of them out there that I prefer eccentric-slash-masochistic, which is the same thing.”
Over the past quarter-century, Lattanzio has saved an estimated 24,000 cats and around 1,000 cats currently live in the sanctuary, called The Cat House on the Kings. (One semi-famous resident is this little kitty who has a Borat-style mustache).
The cats are allowed free reign of the house and its grounds and are protected by a secure cat-proof fence that surrounds the property. The sanctuary, a registered non-profit organization, stays clean thanks to a team of volunteers, and the on-site veterinarians keep the cats healthy, vaccinated and ensure that they have been spayed or neutered. (Lattanzio estimates that in the last two years, the Cat House has spent $250,000 just on spaying and neutering the cats).
“They’ve got this house. They’ve got 12 acres. They can climb a tree. They can go sit in the sun outside,” Lattanzio told the Associated Press. “It just gives these animals a reason to live as opposed to just living in a cage just because no one wants them.”
It isn’t entirely accurate to say that no one wants them; Lattanzio has dedicated her life, her savings and even her home to ensuring that those cats — and thousand of others — feel wanted.