When cat lover Helen Heck passed away in 2014, she left The Oasis Animal Sanctuary (“Oasis”) not only her two cats, but almost her entire estate. The cats were lovingly adopted by a Board member, and with the bequeathals from Mrs. Heck and from the Estate of Harriet Doolittle, the Sanctuary purchased a 21 acre farm in Franklinville, NJ on May 29, 2015 for its home. Oasis is a 15 year old non-profit animal welfare organization committed to relieving the suffering of companion animals, horses, and other pets. The Company follows a “no-kill” philosophy as its guiding principal.
Since that time we have been working to renovate a small bungalow on the property into our “Cat Cottage” which, when completed should house at least 30-40 felines while they heal from their traumas and await new loving homes. While we have accomplished a substantial part of the renovation, we are in need of funding to continue this process. To date, we had installed a complete HVAC system, including all necessary ductwork and a new propane tank. Much of the moldy wooden paneling on the main floor was removed, as well as the horrid kitchen cabinets. Branches of surrounding 100+ year old trees were removed by a tree surgeon in order for a new roof to be installed. Westfield Architects from Haddonfield, NJ is drawing up plans for Township approval and to maneuver through the maze of local building codes and permit requirements. A surveyor was called in to mark the area around the building that is exempt from Farmland Preservation.
The building specifically needs a new kitchenette, new lavatory with a bathing/grooming area for the cats, a completely new staircase, new roof, new non-porous flooring, total re-wiring, and new windows and doors. A small enclosed portico needs to be added at the front door so there is a double entry system, thereby thwarting any animal’s potential “outdoor plans”. A second floor (totally) screened-in balcony will be built so the animals have access to fresh air and sunshine. When the major renovations are completed, there will be brightly colored paint, pillows, hide-y boxes and cat walks throughout the building for the animals’ enjoyment. The goal is to have the cottage up and running by late springtime, 2017. To accomplish this, The Oasis Animal Sanctuary is seeking (100% tax deductible) donations totaling $35,000 to pay for the improvements so the animals can live comfortably, in a non-caged environment, as they prepare for the next chapter in their journey.
This is a huge undertaking, but the rewards are far greater. The relief in an animal’s eyes when its pain is alleviated; watching a formerly abused animal let go of its fear and seek out human affection; a child’s delight when a kitten “picks” them as its caregiver; letters received from the new family reporting on the cat’s acceptance of his new home - these are our rewards. It will be possible for Oasis to re-home hundreds of felines a year by having this compound for them to heal and move forward.
Euthanasia rates for cats in Gloucester and Salem Counties, NJ is staggering. Please help us make a difference by supporting The Oasis Animal Sanctuary’s cat cottage initiative. We need funding to complete this goal. Your donation is 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Please donate to this worthy endeavor!
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