In 2005, Alana Miller was volunteering at an animal shelter when a man brought in a sick, blind kitten. The man threatened to abandon the kitten if the shelter did not take it. At that time, there were few available resources for blind cats, and many shelters euthanized them as they were considered unadoptable. Knowing that the kitten needed help, Alana decided to adopt him herself. That kitten, Louie, was followed by three more blind cats, and soon Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. was born.
In 2011, the sanctuary began accepting FIV and FeLV positive cats. FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) can hinder the immune system of an infected cat, making the cat more susceptible to illnesses. FeLV (feline leukemia virus) causes abnormal numbers of white blood cells in infected cats, leading to tumors and infections. Many FIV+ and FeLV+ cats are euthanized due to these conditions even though they can have healthy, happy lives for years.
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary currently houses and cares for approximately 90 blind, FIV+ and FeLV+ cats. The rescue accepts cats into its sanctuary as long as it has space and the cats are certifiably blind, FIV+ or FeLV+. These cats are not adoptable but instead are cared for by the rescue for the rest of their lives.
The rescue also works with its community to improve pet welfare. According to the group’s Spring into Action contest entry, “in 2015 we spayed/neutered 1,382 cats and we provided 210 sets of Pet Oxygen masks to be placed on every fire truck on our county.”
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary is located in St. Pauls, N.C. and is open to the public for tours, visitation and volunteering. If you’re interested in volunteering or visiting the sanctuary, please visit the rescue’s website for the hours and address. You can also learn more about the group by visiting its Facebook page.