Shanti's House logo

A New Approach to Saving Feral Cats

Saving feral cats from euthanasia, while supporting the community, requires innovative approaches. We have raised the bar to what is possible. We are the first to create and build a Pet Therapy & Comfort Pavilion for feral cats on the grounds of a senior living facility. With hopes that others will emulate our business model, and with the goal of helping to control and care for the thousands of feral cat colonies that exist, we provide free instruction, education, and A-to-Z, hands-on mentoring for other organizations, senior living facilities, and individuals who wish to create similar pavilions on retirement campuses and other secure locations.

The Sad Truth

There are an estimated 60-100 million feral and abandoned cats in the United States. San Diego alone has an approximate 3000 + feral cat colonies. Through no fault of their own, these cats are forced to live a tragic existence. Feral cats typically live a brutal life of two to five years — or less, if they don’t have regular feeders. Some were once pets, betrayed by their humans, abandoned and discarded like trash.

Sick max

These cats endure:

  • wild animal predation
  • dog attacks
  • disease
  • starvation
  • severe weather
  • anemia – blood loss
  • severe flea infestations
  • abscesses and battle injuries
  • abuse and torture from cruel humans
  • bodily injuries from vehicle trauma

Our Story

Previously, 50+ cats were living on the grounds and asphalt parking lots of an assisted living property and an adjacent strip mall. The cats were emaciated — walking skeletons slowly starving to death, covered in fleas, anemic, injured, frightened, and un-fixed. Desperate for food, they would timidly approach the senior residents, hoping for handouts, or scavenge in dumpsters where they sometimes incurred injury from razor blades, needles, and other dangerous refuse. Their future was animal control and euthanasia.

Sick Max 1

MAX – Before

When we met Max, he was near death, suffering from many of the afflictions common to feral cats.

Sick Max 2
Sheena - Before 001

SHEENA – Before

When we met Sheena, she was so weak she
had no use of her hind legs.

sheena before 2

Solution

Now, imagine this alternative to abandonment and euthanasia:
A multidimensional enclosed Feral Cat Pavilion with beautiful green gardens,
trees, grass, lush plants, water fountains, solar lighting, and wind chimes.
Most importantly — safety, shelter, food, water, medical care, and love.

Health Cat - Max 1

MAX – Now

Fully healed, he is the
Benevolent Ruler of
the Colony. Nobody
messes with Mr. Max.

Healthy Cat - Max 2
Health Cat - Sheena 1

SHEENA – Now

“Tiny Dancer”— legs
now fully functional —
our Little Princess, the
beauty queen, loves to
cuddle.

Health Cat - Sheena 2
These are only two of our stories of recovery — so far there have been more than 60 —
and many more are waiting to happen.

A Dream Fulfilled

In just two and a half years, we designed and built an extraordinary oasis for a San Diego feral colony, located
on the site of a senior living facility. Our immediate, urgent imperative was to secure the safety and wellbeing
of the colony. We spayed or neutered every cat, one by one, and administered any necessary medical
treatment. We then began construction on their new home.

Property Before

Shanti's House Property Before 001
Shantis House Sanctuary before looking right

This isn’t a dream — it actually exists!

Shanti's House Daytime
NIghtime at Shanti's House

The Pet Therapy & Comfort Pavilion is entirely separate from the resident area. The cats live in their own compound with their own caregivers. They have five cottages of varied sizes, a secret garden, and multiple play areas which include a huge Podocarpus tree to climb, and a tree house. Except for the indoor cottages, the entire habitat is open on one side for senior resident viewing, with a large plexiglass wall providing unobstructed views of the central pavilion.

chairs and cat house
NIghtime at Shanti's House

Enchantment for Senior Citizens

Cat in Pink Bed

Every morning, afternoon, and evening the seniors enjoy watching the kitties play. It’s a win-win for the residents who love the cats, many of them having known these cats since they were kittens.

Cat looks through Cat door

First-Time Experience

Our ferals, like millions of others, had never experienced comfort before.

Fluffy Cat on Cat Bed

They had never experienced toys or balls to play with. They couldn’t escape the hot sun or shivering cold that made their bones brittle.

Cat in Blanket

They had never slept on a soft pillow, felt a warm blanky under their bodies, or had a cozy kitty bed to curl up into.

Cat relaxing in henhouse
dark colored cat by stone

The cats never experienced a safe and quiet place to lay their heads, always having to sleep with one eye open. And they never knew where their next meal was coming from.

But now, for the first time in their lives they know what this feels like!!

DONATE TODAY!

100% of your contribution supports the cats.

Your donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Results

Shanti’s House is designed to live up to the principles of its namesake and has proven to be a place of “peace, rest, calmness, and tranquility” for the felines that are lucky enough to call it their home!

Cat Sleeping in Chair
Cat on Gazebo Rail
Incredibly, since this endeavor began less than three years ago, many of our ferals have become tame, craving human touch and companionship.
Cat Stepping Out of Cathouse
cat looking right with tongue

They love being spoken to and have truly healed and thrived.

Fluffy Cat by hedge

So far, we have successfully adoped out fifteen tamed ferals into forever homes.

Michael with Flower on his head
Cat lying in Mulch
Cleo in the little house
Cleo in the little house
Cat in Grass by Branch
Cat in Parking Lot
It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to build trust from feral cats. We will continue on with this path and for every cat we adopt out we will connect with animal welfare organizations to take in older, sick, needy, or crippled ferals needing a safe, beautiful, and gentle environment.

Shanti

Shanti

In March 2018, our founder took a wrong turn down an alley and found a lone kitten in the street.
That kitten was Shanti. The rest is history. . .

Our
Business Model

Shanti

Our
Business Model

black cat on ground
Cat in a Chair - Business Michael

With the hope that others will emulate this business model, and with the goal of helping to control and care for the thousands of existing feral cat colonies, we provide free instruction, education, and A-to-Z, hands-on mentoring for other organizations, senior living facilities, and individuals who wish to create similar pavilions. Although our focus and immediate expertise is California — having successfully navigated and mastered the intricacies of licensing and code requirements here locally — the fundamentals of this unique feral rescue facility can be applied anywhere and we stand ready as a resource to provide assistance in any state. Given the increasingly interconnectedness of the world through the internet, we could easily help animal welfare groups in other countries as well, with start-up fundamentals unique to feral needs.

All photos on our website are of our actual resident cats, past and present.

THANK YOU to our Donors/Partners

Dr. Elsey's Quality Products for Cats

The Kitties of Shanti’s House wish to thank Dr. Elsey’s for its amazing support!

www.drelseys.com

National Charity League logo

A special thanks to the mothers and daughters of the National Charity League, for their many hours of donated time and in-kind contributions.

Nom Nom Cat Food logo

Thank you for the delicious meals the cats enjoy each day.

DONATE TODAY!

100% of your contribution supports the cats.


Your donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Building the Dream

Filmstrip - Shanti's House Action Shots
Filmstrip - Shanti's House Action Shots 2
Filmstrip - Shanti's House Action Shots 3
Filmstrip - Shanti's House Action Shots 4
Filmstrip - Shanti's House Action Shots 5

Contact Us

If you’d like more information about Shanti’s House
or getting involved,
please contact us!
We’d love to connect with you.

Consider supporting us through our Amazon Wishlist:
https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MO9VQCWFOZ44?ref_=wl_share
Or through our Chewy Wishlist:
https://www.chewy.com/g/shantis-house_b85595049

Human - Cat - High-five

About Us

Kristina Hancock

Kristina Hancock
Director of Operations
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Kristina graduated summa cum laude from USD Law School and has had a 30 year law practice representing nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, with a focus on foreign charitable operations. Her 15-year background in medicine, as a critical care nurse, provides a unique complement to her law practice. Starting in 2000, she developed a curriculum for and taught Animal Law, at Cal Western School of Law, as an adjunct professor. Among Kristina’s other accomplishments, she co-founded the American Bar Association’s first Animal Law Committee and served as its Chair during 2006-2007. She is currently on sabbatical pursuing a graduate degree in Climate Science at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Karla Dutt

Karla Dutt
Assistant Director

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Karla Dutt has been a dedicated animal lover since a young child with her great love for Wild Cats. She is Reiki Level II certified and has spent many years volunteering at a local animal shelter. Karla strongly influences the importance of “Adopt Don’t Shop”. While volunteering she assisted with heartwarming adoptions but also experienced the reality, struggles and suffering of feral cats. In 2018 she came on board to assist with the creation of Shanti’s House. Her goal has always been to help educate the community on how feral colonies originate, through no fault of their own, along with the importance and impact of spay-neuter and keeping cats indoors.