Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Haven for Cats on Long Island - The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation

I’m sure it will be no surprise to our readers that when I attended Cat Camp in March my favorite spot was the adoption area. There were several shelters and rescues present, but I was particularly happy to see that the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation was there. I had been familiar with the Ladew Foundation for quite some time, receiving their newsletters and following them on Facebook, and I had been wanting to visit the sanctuary. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Susan Whittred during Cat Camp who graciously invited me for a tour. 




Life at the sanctuary

The sanctuary is a very lovely, unassuming house situated on a residential street in Oyster Bay, NY. A caretaker lives in an apartment on the premises to make sure the daily needs of the cats are attended to. In addition to the caretaker, there are three full-time staff, three part-time staff and approximately 10 consistent volunteers, who are the cats’ family. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Photo courtesy of theladewcatsanctuary.org

It was a rainy day when I visited, but the weather didn’t dampen the cats’ spirits. When I arrived, I was welcomed by two beautiful cats sitting in the window. 
Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
It's a little hard to see, but there are two cats staring at me!


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Entrance to the sanctuary.

Once I entered I was greeted with a chorus of meows and purrs from the less skittish cats who were rubbing my legs and enjoying being petted. This is my kind of heaven. 
Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
The Main Room - complete with bird TV.

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
One of the cats cozy in a cubby

It's also heaven for the residents. There is plenty of catification with walkways, stairs, shelves, cubbies and cat trees. Not to mention Bird TV on flat screen televisions, all mounted on the appropriate level for the cats' viewing pleasure. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island


At the time of my visit, there were 93 resident cats, with 100 being the limit. Last year a total of 164 cats were taken in, with 134 being adopted out to their forever homes. That's music to my ears. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
An alcove on the main floor of the house.

The house has many rooms that the cats live in. There are the main room and another room on the first floor, and two adoption rooms and Pat's Cats Room downstairs. All are comfortably and aesthetically decorated and furnished for the cats' comfort and enjoyment. The cats enjoy living in a cage free, home-like atmosphere with access to an outside catio and a playground. (Unfortunately, because of the weather, the cats were inside when I visited.) 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Photo courtesy of theladewcatsanctuary.org

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Photo courtesy of theladewcatsanctuary.org

There is also a quarantine room where, upon entry, cats are housed until they can be examined and cleared of any communicable disease.

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island


All of the cats looked happy, relaxed and well cared for, and I'm always impressed when a facility that is home to so many cats is clean and well organized!  When speaking with Dr. Whittred about the sanctuary and the cats, her dedication is obvious and she genuinely cares for their well-being and happiness. Animal rescue is a non-stop job. During my tour, Dr. Whittred got an alert on her phone about a cat at NYACC that was pulling at her heart strings. I wouldn't be surprised if that cat has found a new start in life at Ladew. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Cats enjoying the shelves in one of the adoption rooms. 

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
One of the adoption rooms downstairs. 

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island



There is an onsite clinic situated in back of the main house. Rubio, the hospital greeter, is one of the sweetest cats I've ever met and loves giving visitors lots of head bonks and kisses. (Rubio definitely gives Lola some competition in the "Sweetest Cat" category - but don't tell her I said that!)  Rubio is very bonded with Dr. Whittred, who described him as her "work husband".


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
The Handsome Rubio welcoming me to the clinic. 

The clinic, which was very clean and modern, provides the cats living in the sanctuary with both routine and emergency medical and dental care, as well as spaying and neutering. The resident cats are cared for by Dr. Whittred, Licensed Veterinary Technician, Lynne Carson, staff, and volunteers. I love when a sanctuary has onsite medical care because it eliminates the added stress of riding in a car and going to an unfamiliar environment. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
One of the rooms in the onsite clinic. 

I got to see kittens during my visit! 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
"Hello! Who are you?"

This beauty is P.G., short for Pretty Girl. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
P.G. is looking for a forever home after her owner passed away.

P.G.'s owner recently passed away, and she luckily ended up at Ladew. She is 11 years old, and I bet she would love to spend the rest of her years with the right family. 

The sanctuary, which has been in the community since 1975, has a great relationship with their neighbors and the community of Oyster Bay. They received assistance when some excavation was needed, and the local Pet Value showcases their cats for adoption. Area vets also lend a hand if medical assistance is needed on a day Dr. Whittred (who also works at the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways) is not there. 


Outdoor Cats

The staff and volunteers also care for feral cats on the property. Frick, Frack and Frodo have lived on the block for many years and were cared for by kind hearted neighbors. When those neighbors moved, they made arrangments with the sanctuary for their ongoing care. Sadly, Frick passed away early this month at approximately 17 years of age. Frack recently had dental surgery and Frodo is doing well. 

Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
Frick, Frack and Frodo's house. Photo courtesy of theladewcatsanctuary.org

History of the Ladew Cats

In 1975, Patricia Happie Ladew, a lifelong cat lover with a bottomless heart, formed and funded the Oyster Bay Cat Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization whose primary focus was to address the problem of homeless cats on Long Island. Over the next 27 years, Patricia dedicated her time, energy and resources to her foundation and these cats.  After her death in 2002, the foundation was formally renamed Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc. Now in its fifth decade, the foundation continues to provide homeless cats with hope, medical care, housing, and most of all love. 

Dr. Whittred has been involved with the sanctuary for 14 years. In her former career, she worked for Entertainment Attorney Elliot L. Hoffman, a friend of Patricia Ladew’s. When Patricia was looking for someone to take care of the Foundation after her death, Elliott thought she would be a perfect match.  Dr. Whittred, who is currently the Director, was friends with Patricia for 10 years prior to her death in 2002. Elliot was the President of the Foundation until his death last year. 


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island
One of the rooms on the main floor. Some of the cats enjoy drinking from the faucet. 


Admissions

The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation is a closed admission sanctuary for homeless cats who are primarily rescued from Animal Care Centers of NYC  (formerly known as New York Animal Care and Control, the shelter Lola was rescued from) and from The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. The sanctuary has New Hope status and accepts cats who would be considered unadoptable due to many reasons (which could include illness, injury or temperament) and gives them a second chance at life. These cats would otherwise be slated for euthanasia. Cats who are considered "less adoptable" never have to fear about their future because they can live the rest of their years in peace and comfort at Ladew.

Due to their small size, the sanctuary is not able to accept cats from the public. They do, however, have a Surviving Pet Care Program. By enrolling in the program, a cat owner can have peace of mind knowing that their beloved pet will be cared for in the event they pass away or become disabled. For a set fee, the sanctuary will accept up to five cats and provide them with care for their lifetime. The fee can either be donated over owner’s lifetime or through planned giving. 



Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island


The Paw Project

Dr. Whittred is the Co-Director of New York for The Paw Project (Paws up for Dr. Whittred for advocating for a no-declawing nation!) Five years ago she received a postcard about the NYC screening of The Paw Project movie. “When I saw that it was a by a veterinarian, I was so happy to see that someone was brave enough to stand up for this issue! I went to the screening and met Dr. Conrad, my new hero! I introduced her to Jane of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, who introduced her to Assemblywoman Rosenthal, and the NY bill was born!” 

I am on Assemblywoman Rosenthal’s mailing list and receive updates on the bill. I applaud her for taking this to Albany and support her mission wholeheartedly. If you’d like to sign the petition to support this important bill, you can do so hereI had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Conrad at Cat Camp NYC and attended her presentation. This is an important topic that I will be addressing in future blog posts. Rubio whispered in my ear that he assists Dr. Whittred in this mission. I’ll be interested to hear more details!


Patricia H. Ladew Foundation|Ladew Cats|Cat Sanctuary Long Island


How You Can Help

When I asked Dr. Whittred what her greatest joy is about being at the sanctuary, she told me it is adoptions and matching the right people to the right cat. She also enjoys helping cats stay in their homes, educating people on cat care, and helping cats from ACC.  But they can only help so many due to their size and the amount of staff that they can afford. The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc. is able to continue this work through funds acquired from the New Hope Fund, the foundation's endowment, and through the generosity of donors. There are several ways you can donate, which include a making one-time donation, giving a monthly gift, or buying items from their  Amazon Wish list. You can also sponsor a cat, which, after visiting, I just had to do. And of course, I had to choose Lola. (How could I not?) The “other Lola” sent me a purrsonalized note, and I must agree with her; I do have wonderful taste in Lolas! 




I hope you enjoyed this peek into an organization that does wonderful things for cats. If you’re interested in volunteering or would like to visit the sanctuary, please call 516-922-CATS (2287). Cat sanctuaries are among my favorite places to visit, and my visits especially bring me joy when I can say that I would be comfortable with my cats being there in the event something happened to me. The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation is definitely in that category. I'm looking forward to visiting again.

Have you ever visited a cat sanctuary? 

Dawn

42 comments:

  1. Wow, what an awesome place! It's so clean and kitty-friendly. That's also great that the foundation has been around for so long.

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  2. Ladew looks like such an amazing place and I would love to visit there one day. So jealous that you got to go! They are one of the first rescues I profiled on my blog. Such a fantastic place! Beautiful pictures, too.

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  3. L & L

    how total lee awesum is thiz post & de santuary getz 984 paws up timez a bazillion
    ~~~~~~ waves two each N everee one N we hope thiz greeting findz everee one getting ther for everz home... wish....yur houz iz sooooper kewl ...we can tell ewe all R well cared for N loved.....best best fishez ♥♥♥♥♥

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  4. What a wonderful place ! It's great ! It's so well catified, so pretty, and so clean ! Purrs

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  5. what an amazing sanctuary and we LOVE the house and set up. what a wonderful place for kitties that need a safe place to land...be it long term or short term.

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  6. What an amazing place! Truly heaven on earth as far as I'm concerned. It's going on my bucket list to visit one day, for sure.

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  7. Wow! What a pawsome place! Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

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  8. What a pawsum place. So many gawjus kitties. And another Lola. MeOW Fanks fur sharin'. Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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  9. This is truly one of the prettiest, cleanest and just charming cat sanctuaries I have ever read about (I know the PAWS people do a great job too!) Loved the little cat cubbies, the colors, how clean everything is and so many comfy places for the kitties to relax. Thank you for sharing this with us! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  10. Such an amazing place. I like that someone lives there, I always worry about fires at night for places that leave them alone at night.

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  11. That place is nothing short of amazing, thanks for sharing them with us!

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  12. It's great for cats to have a great place to live

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  13. It's great for cats to have a great place to live

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  14. Thank you so much for doing this post! You did a great job giving us such good and detailed information about this wonderful cat sanctuary. I really hope to visit there. I am very impressed by them.

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  15. Wow, Ladew is such a wonderful place, doing such important work. Thank you for sharing about them with us, dear pals!

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  16. I can't get over how incredible this sanctuary is! When you hear of the houses of horror too many shelters are, it gives me some level of peace knowing there are incredible places, and people, who provide such love and care to homeless animals. Thanks so much for writing this amazing article and for sharing the work of these kind souls. I wish more people would realise these are the heroes, not the minor celebs they follow so anxiously, hanging on their every word. Sorry jumped on my soapbox for a second!!

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  17. This made me smile! What a special place. The cats look so happy and I just love the abundance of beds and cubbies and places to climb and explore. This is how a cat sanctuary should be. I hope your sponsored cat Lola finds a loving home soon, as well as all of her friends!

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  18. Wow! What a truly amazing place! It's so inviting, clean looking and any cat would do well there. I think many sanctuaries could take notes from the Ladew Foundation!

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  19. What a truly pawesome place! Thanks for telling us about it.. .and all the adorable pics!

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  20. Wow, what an amazing place for an amazing cause. I'm a little familiar with Oyster Bay as a friend grew up there. These cats awaiting adoptions are so lucky to be there! It seems they are getting the best possible chance for a loving, happy home.

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  21. Oh this is brilliant. TOTALLY BRILLIANT. How can't you love NO DECLAW and being a NEW HOPE rescue. These cats are truly blessed. A wonderful safe haven, cared for cats and so much love.

    I only learned what new hope rescues were from Mia Lancaster, and her NYC Foster Network. (You need to interview her former model - amazing lady).

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  22. Wow! What an amazing place for cats. A truly wonderful organization. Look how happy all those kitties are. I love the festive colors too.

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  23. OK this is incredibly cute. I love all the colors, the designs, and the creativity in creating a fun and cozy space! ~Dear Mishu

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  24. aw!!! I think one day I might do something like this but for tiny senior toy breed dogs!!

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  25. OMG, I had no idea this beautiful sanctuary existed! I live in Huntington, which is practically next door to Oyster Bay! What a lovely home, it's so beautifully done up in Kitty Decor! It sounds like such a special place. I'd love to visit and sponsor one of their kitties. I wish I could add a cat to our family but we aren't able to at the moment. Thanks so much for telling me about this wonderful sanctuary. I'll be sharing!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  26. Wow, I am so impressed with this cat sanctuary! It is a beautiful facility and so well maintained. I love that the adoption rate is so high, but I'm sure part of that is a reflection of the beautiful and peaceful environment.

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  27. This has to be one of the most amazing cat rescue/sanctuaries I have ever seen. I've written several posts on a national renowned cat rescue organization in Chicago, Tree House Humane Society, and they aren't even close to providing a shelter like this despite millions of dollars in donations and a brand new facility. It's a shame that they couldn't have come up with something similar but they have the wrong people making the wrong decisions. I would give money in a second to the Ladew Foundation before ever giving to Tree House. Thanks for the information. PeeS: I think my ancestors came into this country through Oyster Bay or near there that makes a big difference to me!

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  28. Thanks for sharing this information. I wish I knew about this foundation when I used to live in NY. It's such a wonderful thing to hear that so many adoptions have been made through this foundation. I too am impressed with how clean and organized the place is considering they have nearly 100 residents! That's no small task!

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  29. So much wonderful in this post! I love the surviving pet program, also love that they prioritize cats who might be less adoptable at other shelters. Wonderful that they also care for a few ferals on the grounds. Definitely going to be adding them to my list to support when I can.

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  30. What an amazing place! I love how the cats are cage-free and can roam throughout the house and have a catio. I also admire their adoption success.

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  31. Wow the sanctuary looks truly amazing. That is the nicest, most attractive cat environment I have seen. Love their mission and their standard of care and comfort including vet care. Very inspiring!

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  32. What an amazing and wonderful place. It serves as a great model for other cat rescues. And I need to find out about cat camp. Sounds like a purrrfectly wonderful idea!

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  33. When I did my post on lifetime care organizations and planning for the future, I never found this one! What a cool place! I've been meaning to update that post and I will make sure to mention them! I love their philosophy of helping and providing for the cats - I admire this so much!

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  34. This is... WONDERFUL. Reading 'bout this sanctuary made my heart sing. PURRS.

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  35. The sanctuary looks like a great place! The cats are lucky to have such a place to care for them.


    Thanks for joining the Pet Blogger Showcase!

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  36. Wow! What a magical place. It always amazes me to see so many different cats from different backgrounds enjoying life together like this.

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  37. Wonderful! I'm so thrilled to see this. We have a sanctuary on 40 acres not too far from where I live. They accept cats and dogs, and they have cottages on premises so the animals live in a home environment. I think that is a critical component in rescue. Thank you for sharing this.

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  38. Just wanted you to know we chose this post as a featured post from the last Showcase :)
    http://mommakatandherbearcat.blogspot.com/2017/06/pet-blogger-showcase-06032017.html
    ps - Love to all of you :)

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