First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary runs a Senior Cats for Senior Laps Program.

First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary, located in Riverview, brought on the Senior Cats for Senior Laps Program, which provides older cats between the ages of 5-12 as companions for adults 65 and older, disabled or at-risk healthwise. The goal of this program aims to match older, less active and harder to place cats with seniors who are looking for lap cats that are docile.

An approved senior must pay a one-time adoption fee of $100 for the cat that they get matched with. The cat will already be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, health-checked and more. Also, once a year, First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary will follow up with the senior and provide transportation from one of the volunteers to take the cat to its annual checkup.

In addition, the program provides an end-of-life agreement so if the senior passes away and they have family or friends who cannot take care of the cat, First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary will accept the cat back.

Chelsea Edmonds, founder of First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary, mentioned what makes the program unique: “The fact that our commitment to the animal surpasses the life of the owner.”

First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary is a woman and veteran-owned rescue that opened in 2018 and grew out of a passion for rescuing cats and kittens. Since its inception, more than 1,000 animals have been removed from the streets, specifically in Eastern Hillsborough County. It serves the Greater Riverview, Ruskin, Valrico, Brandon and Plant City areas. First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary is a community-supported, ‘no-kill’ rescue with supporters and followers from all 50 states and internationally.

“We would like this region to give us first consideration when adopting,” Edmonds said.

On Saturdays from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. the sanctuary hosts a small market as well as Adoption Day, which includes local produce and more.

It is located at 13028 Shadow Run Blvd. in Riverview. For more information, visit, call or text to 477-9948 or email

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.