Forever home for the holidays: Ladew Cat Sanctuary uses ‘Seniors for Seniors’ program to find permanent homes for elderly cats

Susan Richard
December 02, 2018 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS)  Pairing senior people with senior pets. That’s the goal of the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc’s Senior for Seniors program, which aims to find permanent homes for the often-overlooked mature cats living at its sanctuary in Oyster Bay, New York.

“Pat Ladew was an artist, a sculptress, a writer”, Ladew Foundation Executive Director Susan Whittred, DVM told 1010 WINS. “She had a house in Center Island.  People knew she was a big cat lover and kept dropping cats at her doorstep, and, as she says, when the pitter patter of little feet got to 144, she knew she had to do something about it.”

In 1975, Patricial Ladew purchased a home in Oyster Bay to house the rescue cats, but was clear that this would not be your typical animal shelter. “She was specific that she never wanted cages”, says Whittred.  “She was petrified of that. She wanted to leave it to somebody who would leave it a home-like atmosphere.”  That means no cage unless an animal is sick, or ahead of a health assessment on intake.

The result is more than a hundred cats who enjoy elevated runs, cubby holes, cat trees, a flat screen TV with custom kitty programming, multiple food stations and litter boxes, along with access to three catios where they can play outside (or lounge as the case may be with cats) in a safe enclosure.  As part of a major renovation in 2012, the foundation added an onsite Veterinary clinic to care for its feline residents, including ultrasound, dental and other specialty services. The 24/7 staff includes licensed Veterinary technicians and a live-in caretaker.

Get the scoop on the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc. from 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard in the latest episode of AllForAnimalsTV:

Patricia Ladew passed in 2002 and the foundation she created, along with donations from the public support the shelter which has been run by Whittred since 2003.  It was that year that the foundation joined the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals as one of the private organizations that pulls at risk animals from Animal Care Centers of New York City.  Cats also come from other municipal shelters on Long Island, including the Town of Oyster Bay and Smithtown.  In addition, a limited number of fee-based spots are made available to the public for sanctuary care. Whittred notes that if an adoption doesn’t work out, the cat is always welcome back, telling 1010 WINS that all cats that come into the Ladew Foundation have a home for life.

Finding homes for senior cats is a challenge for most shelters and rescue organizations, and the Ladew Foundation is no exception.  To that end, this year they launched a Seniors for Seniors program, in which the foundation pays the reasonable medical costs for the life of a cat, when adopted by a senior citizen. “So, whether it has an illness at the time of adoption or not, we will continue to take care of that cat”, says Whittred.

Other programs include Have A Heart, in which the foundation pays for echocardiograms for the life of cats with heart murmurs, and Sponsor A Cat, where folks who aren’t able to adopt can make a donation on behalf of a specific animal.  “It’s like adopting,” Whittred jokes, ”and we’ll clean the litter box.”

In addition, there’s also an emergency fund for cats like Tommy Pickles, who ended up at ACC in New York with three broken legs.  The fund paid for both orthopedic surgery and physical therapy.  Tommy is now in a loving home and has his own Instagram page.

On Saturday, December 8th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation is hosting its second annual Winter Whiskerton adoption and rescue awareness event. Light refreshments (apple cider and cookies) will be served. The event will showcase many cats ready for adoption from kittens to seniors.  All cats have been medically evaluated, vaccinated, spayed and neutered, and each adopter will receive a stocking with toys and treats for their new feline friend.

The Ladew Cat Sanctuary is located at 34 Hamilton Avenue in Oyster Bay, NY. 

Get more information HERE

Find out more about the Seniors For Seniors program HERE.