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Help Save Gandolf's-No Cat Is Left Behind

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Hello fellow furry lovers,
My name is Priya Patel and I am the sole owner and operator of
Gandolf's Legacy Cat Rescue in Atlanta, GA

I have created this GoFundMe because I have come to a heartbreaking crossroads. A horrible place that I had hoped I could avoid. With a heavy heart I have to say, I may just have to close the Rescue.

I have been rescuing homeless street cats for 21 years. In life, I found my passion all those years ago when I lived in New York. Little baby Skippy was wandering and had a severed leg, so I took him in and cared for him. And just like that, passion became a Rescue. The humane obligation gripped my heart, and I did not let go.
As the poet Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
I chose the path less traveled to save every homeless, hungry, sick, scared fur babies. The numbers are over 1700 now. And choosing this path, really has made ALL the difference for them. 2010 have known a full belly, warmth, love, and a home. Many that I have rescued were too far gone, with various injuries and illnesses, but I took them in anyway, as no one would help them. In their last moments of life, at the vet, or in my rescue, they were held in my arms and loved, knowing my touch and that someone did actually care. That their life matters! So many are alone on the streets, dumped like garbage, starving, hungry, no shelter and sick. I strive to be the difference for them. To be the one who cares and that they did not die on the street alone, a slow and painful death. The highs have been pure bliss, and the lows and the losses have been heart-wrenchingly, soul-crushing. I am grateful that I was able to make a difference for them, and so very grateful to all the donors that made it possible. You have helped me to continue my work and many babies have been able to live, thanks to the compassion and generosity of all who have supported my efforts. You have been the grace that saved them...and thereby, Gandolf's. A kindness I will never be able to express enough gratitude for!

I am a non-profit private rescue, a one woman rescue doing it all. I have been running the Rescue since 2002. For 18 years I have financed it all on my own. I had a good paying job, worked many long hours, and put every penny I had into the rescue. I never asked for a donation.

Then the Pandemic hit and I lost my job. Laid off. I did find a part-time job, but in 2020 I had to start asking for donations because I just couldn't make it work on a part-time salary anymore. It just isn't enough. I loathe asking for donations with every fiber of my being! I see very clearly that so many are in need of so much, and it's hard to swallow that you just can't do this without asking. We all take pride in being able to do for ourselves. I have been able to all these years. But I find myself, now, in need of so much if I am to continue my passion and save more. The past year has been a storm of epic proportions, and just haven't let up.
The two things a rescue must have to operate, are space and funding.
The mounting vet costs in caring for just the seniors alone have, in the past year, skyrocketed!! I have had to find many thousands of dollars to pay for an array of emergency surgeries and treatment for all manner of advancing illnesses besetting aging fur babies, on top of the regular vet care costs of every new rescue that comes in. 6 of my seniors are now on prescription medications and strict special diets, and the food for them is very, very expensive. Although my Vet gives me a discount, the costs are still astronomical. I pay $1000 down on the vet bill, only to find it go up $4000 the next week with more care needed. At least $20,000 in the past 6 months just in Emergency vets and surgeries for seniors sick all at the same time. Many unknowns lie ahead.
Since April and at kitten season, I have taken in over 52 babies. Each new intake costs ~ $300 to fully vet. That is if there are no other health issues. Often, there are! So, $13,000 just for basic vetting to get them ready for adoption. So now we have 21 waiting to go get vetted so they can be adopted, 2 trying to get to their adoptive homes, but no funding.
How do I tell them I can't get their RX medicine filled because the vet wants a payment this week, or that the money must go for food for the others this week. Litter alone, believe it or not, is very costly, as I scoop 23 litter boxes daily. I have applied for every grant imaginable, but often it's $200-$300. Although grateful, that alone can be one month's worth of cat litter.
I am constantly contacted by someone requesting help. After all these years, the community knows me. “Please come and get this/these cats”, which has always been the norm. They are often dumped by terrible owners, left outside to fend for themselves. I have always gone. I bring them in, get them vetted, try to find them fosters or adoptive homes. It's who I am.

But my adoptions have come nearly to a stop. If we can't move them out, new ones can't come in! There are 21 waiting for homes. The adoptive babies just linger and get older. Most are attracted to the cute kittens. It's just the hard truth.
Fosters are scant to non-existent. My “overflow” space is now one Foster with a very small living space. But often, they get taken to the vet and wind up being boarded there. Some have illnesses that will not allow them to come into the rescue, and as I am so full, I have literally NO QUARANTINE SPACE. So I have to try to get them fostered or adopted from there. The bill, however, is still mine to pay, even if they get adopted. Now, there are accumulating boarding fees on top of the vet care.

During the pandemic, adoptions were at a slow but steady pace. Now, 12 fur babies have been returned since Summer. 12!!! And another new return notice came in just today!! For all the reasons you can imagine. Cat knocks things off counter, my family member doesn't like, no longer want, moving, new baby, cat throwing up and on and on. My adoption application looks like an FBI interrogation form...and still you cannot predict what the future will bring with people. So...I take them back. If I don't they could end up on the street or at the kill shelter. That's my policy, to take them back to save their lives.
Winter is coming. The cold rains have begun. A time, other than kitten season, when we take in the most homeless kitties, who are left out in the cold and rain, with no shelter and will perish from hunger and sickness. This year, I fear I will not be able to answer the call and do what, for 21 years, has been the calling of my heart.
The hardest truth, the thing that steels my sleep and punches my gut, is the babies out on the street and I have no where to put them to keep them safe and sheltered.

The stress and anxiety have taken a toll on me in ways I never would have imagined.
Out of space; Out of adequate funding.

So, friends, I have but one solution left to keep the rescue open. I must expand my space. I must have a quarantine space. I must have space for the kitties to spread out and reduce their stress and thereby ensuring their wellness. I must create room to bring the new ones in. If there is no more room, honestly, there is no more rescuing. It is the only way we can continue. To continue in this crowded environment that only causes stress and resulting illness among the cats, and to continue to try to bring new ones is not reasonable or possible!!
I have a front porch that can be enclosed, that would provide the adequate space for everyone to spread out. I've had several quotes from contractors, and the best I have so far is around $13,000. It's a lot, I know. A huge endeavor. But this is my only option.

To stop rescuing would be the death of my soul. The idea of closing the doors to the rescue produces a pain so deep in my heart that I cannot breathe. I cannot fail those beautiful voiceless creatures out there with no one. I cannot give up on what I perceive to be my moral obligation as a human to help them. I have spent endless days and months of anxiety and sleepless nights trying to solve this horrific puzzle.
I DO NOT WANT TO give up and be defeated. I want to live my passion and overcome this giant monster of a road block! The fur babies babies need me and are waiting for someone to come and save them. So, this will be our "Hail Mary Pass". Our desperate attempt at what may seem impossible, and try to make it possible. We have seen this day coming, but now, it's here.
If we cannot expand, our doors will have to close. Out of space. Out of adequate funding. By the Grace of all the powers that be, we want to keep our beloved 21 year old rescue open to the lost, homeless souls who need to come through our doors and be saved.
Any help that you can give to help me build my enclosed Catio, would be grace delivered to Gandolf's Rescue. That was my beloved Snoopy's (OTR) porch where he laid in the sun puddles, and I pray that it can now be the answer to keeping the rescue open, for all his furry friends to be he was...saved.
I am humbled, with hat in hand, and ask you to support my efforts and my passion of saving the homeless, hungry, sick, and frightened fur babies, hopefully for many years to come!
I am also in desperate need of Fosters, Adopters and Sponsors to get 15 kitties vetted, so they can be ready for adoption. Help to pay down the vet bills would be an extraordinary gift.

Ever grateful for all of your love, help and kindness,
Priya Patel

>The cost of the Catio enclosure is estimated to be $13,000
>The vet bills are continuous...currently $4700 in arrears.
>18 kitties are in line, in need of various levels of vet services. Estimated to be ~ $5400
>Ongoing need for RX medicine and special diet food for 6 cats. ~ $700/mo

If you prefer to make a donation for vet bills and to send directly:
Medlock Bridge Animal Hospital-Atlanta, GA
5155 S. Old Peachtree Rd.
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
Phone: [phone redacted]

*You can also talk with me @gandolf_s on Twitter
*Donations of food and supplies are always needed and appreciated.


  • c b
    • $500 
    • 2 d
  • Kathryn Rusk
    • $25 
    • 2 d
  • Leslie Thomas
    • $100 
    • 3 d
  • Landon King
    • $40 
    • 4 d
  • Torsten Schwan
    • $50 
    • 5 d

Organizer and beneficiary

Sherry Miller
Atlanta, GA
Priya C Patel-Knox

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