Rescue Cats of Florida is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with PetSmart and local shelters to find loving homes for abandoned and homeless cats, kittens, dogs and puppies.

Rescue Cats of Florida is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with PetSmart and local shelters to find loving homes for abandoned and homeless cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. All of their adoptable pets are fostered by loving individuals and families until they find their purrfect, furrever homes.

“Rescue Cats of Florida was started by a local attorney who has been involved in cat rescue for years,” said Kerry Williams of Rescue Cats of Florida. “This is actually her third rescue. When our founder became pregnant with her daughter, she thought she was going to get a much-needed break from rescue. Unfortunately, the need was just too great, and so this rescue started initially just to do TNR, fix and vaccinate the cats already living in the community.”

The organization’s mission is to rescue, vaccinate, spay or neuter and find loving adoptive homes for stray, abandoned and neglected cats. It aims to increase public awareness of the companion animal overpopulation issue and provide solutions to end the killing of adoptable animals in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

“We now have six PetSmart adoption centers, including Valrico, Brandon Boulevard, and Plant City locally, all run by volunteers,” Williams said. “We are actually the number one rescue that takes more cats and kittens out of the local shelter on Falkenburg Rd. than any other rescue for the past four years. We actually take more than 50 percent from them and we actually take more from the community than we take from the shelter. So, it’s a really big rescue and we are always desperate for volunteers and donations.”

What makes Rescue Cats of Florida different is that each PetSmart the organization partners with has its own group that decides how it’s going to do things at its location and how the fosters are selected for each store.

“While we all work together as one big group, nobody has to wait for an answer that has to be run up the chain,” Williams said. “We decide things for ourselves. The fact that this rescue supplies all food and litter and all meds that are needed is amazing. This rescue buys litter by the pallet, because it’s important to our founder that if you are donating your time, you should not be required to donate your money.”

To learn more about Rescue Cats of Florida or to donate to the organization, visit www.rescuecatsofflorida.org.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.