As most of you know, I volunteer at one of our local animal shelters. The shelter has had great success in finding homes for most of the animals that come through its doors. But there are always a few, and in particular those with special needs or health conditions, that makes them a little harder to place into loving homes. Fortunately, the shelter has developed some good relationships with other rescue groups and animal sanctuaries that are willing to take these special needs pets.
This was the case recently with one of the cats at the shelter. Jack was found as a stray and was brought to the shelter. All cats at the shelter are tested for FeLV, or feline leukemia, and FIV. Unfortunately, testing revealed Jack has FeLV which is an incurable disease. Because of this, finding him a home was difficult since FeLV can be transmitted to non-FeLV cats and, therefore, cats with FeLV should live as only cats or with other FeLV cats.
Jack had been at the shelter for several months with no adoption prospects in sight, when an opportunity came up for him to live at Froggie’s Pond, an animal sanctuary for FeLV and FIV cats. Located in Battle Creek, Michigan…about a 2-hour drive from the shelter…Froggie’s Pond provides a permanent home for stray cats that have been diagnosed with FeLV and FIV.
Froggie’s Pond was started in 2007 by Sara Huelsberger, a veterinary technician and her veterinarian husband, Ben. It’s located on the expansive property behind their veterinary clinic. You can read more about Froggie’s Pond and how it all began…all because of a stray cat named Froggie…by clicking HERE.
Jack needed a ride to his new home. So a couple of weeks ago, I volunteered to be his “Uber Driver” and take him to Froggie’s Pond. It was a beautiful fall day for the 2 hour drive. Jack was a pretty good traveler, only meowing a little bit the entire time.
This was Jack in the carrier before we hit the road.
When I arrived at the vet clinic, I met with Sara and we took Jack into the back room and got him set up in a cage. Sara wanted him to relax for awhile and chill out before introducing him to one of the sanctuary rooms.
This was Jack after we arrived at Froggie’s Pond…chilling in his cage.
After getting Jack situated, Sara took me on a tour of the sanctuary. The main building, where the FeLV cats live, consists of 6 large rooms, 3 on either side of a long hallway.
Each room is light and bright with lots of windows, and decked out with all the amenities a cat would ever need or want. Here are some photos of the various rooms along with their feline residents.
Each room has access to a fenced-in and covered outside area so the cats can enjoy some fresh air when the weather permits.
There is a garage with an attached enclosed outdoor area that houses mostly FIV cats. These are some of the FIV cats enjoying the nice day.
In addition to the cats, Froggie’s Pond is also the home of this miniature horse…whose name I forget. And a pig whose name I do remember…Lucille!
Sara said there are currently about 100 cats living at Froggie’s Pond. They really aren’t taking anymore cats so we were lucky to be able to get Jack in. She has 10 volunteers that help her and her husband take care of the cats. There are plans to build some additional rooms in the main building and perhaps even build a second building.
I have to say, I was impressed with the sanctuary and Sara’s dedication to caring for these special cats. She knew every cat by name. I have no doubt that Jack will be well taken care of and very happy in his new home at Froggie’s Pond. It’s heartwarming to me that there are sanctuaries like Froggie’s Pond willing to give cats a place to live who otherwise would not have that chance.
Froggie’s Pond relies solely on donations and fundraising events for monetary support. If you would like to donate to Froggie’s Pond, please visit their website by clicking HERE.