Marana Woman Saves Hundreds of Cats Thanks to Her Garden Sanctuary

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Whiskers and Wishes Cat Sanctuary began two years ago with a Craigslist post.

“I just knew it was a lifelong dream for me to have a rescue cat,” said Emily Barratt-Shields, founder of Whiskers and Wishes.

That same day, Barratt-Shields received dozens of applications from people who could no longer care for their cats.

“There was a huge need in the community and I didn’t even know the need was there,” Barratt-Shields said.

Perla Shaheen/KGUN

Marana’s wife saves hundreds of cats thanks to her garden sanctuary. The Whiskers and Wishes Cat Sanctuary started two years ago with a Craigslist post.

So Emily got to work: she bought a house in Marana and built three cat houses in her garden. There she brought elderly and disabled cats that other shelters would not accept.

“A lot of sanctuaries or rescues won’t take these kinds of cats because honestly they’re unlikely to find homes,” Barratt-Shields said.

Since then, her sanctuary has adopted a total of 203 cats.

“I’ve had so many adoptions where the stars align and these cats who have struggled for so long to have homes finally have homes of their own,” said volunteer Jaydon Cavallaro.

She has two other volunteers, and they all take care of 25 cats on site. A volunteer comes from Minnesota to help. Everything works entirely thanks to donations and the love of animals.

“We are often unable to do the important things that we would like to do because of funding,” said Jolene Danner, a volunteer.

Emily says she has about 15 people a week asking her to take cats.

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Perla Shaheen is a journalist for KGUN 9. Perla graduated in May 2020 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in political science. Share your story ideas and important issues with Perla via email [email protected] or by connecting to Facebook, instagramand Twitter.


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