At the end of 2012, when a wave of evictions took place due to the housing market crash caused by the subprime mortgage crisis that occurred between 2007-2010, the streets were flooded with abandoned house cats trying to fend for themselves; that’s exactly when the story of Change One Life Cat Sanctuary began.

Witnessing everyday homeless cats being ran over, neglected, abused and ignored as they were crying out for help and dying on the streets, moved us (me and my wife) to leave our conventional living to start rescuing all the cats that we could get off the streets to nurse them back to health and protect them.

Jackie with FeLV+ rescue Minnie at the vet

Sanctuary co-founder Jackie with FeLV+ rescue Minnie at the vet’s in the early days.

At the same time, we started caring for those we couldn’t rescue by providing food and fresh water daily.

Paul feeding Maya on the streets before her rescue in 2015.

Sanctuary co-founder Paul feeding Maya on the streets before her rescue in 2015.

That’s how our story began and since then it’s been ten years of trying to cope with endless logistical difficulties, financial problems and personal struggle.

Sanctuary co-founders Jackie and Paul with first rescue Felix, back in December 2012 when they still led an ordinary life.

We, the co-founders and caregivers of the Sanctuary, are a couple of immigrants in our late 50’s who are currently unemployed and live rented.

It’s always been just the two of us so in order to carry on we’ve had to make endless sacrifices, forget about having a regular job or a steady income and in doing so we turned our personal lives upside down.

Sanctuary co-founders Jackie and Paul with their rescues Oliver, Kitty and Blackberry Melody, now in 2023.

We gave up everything to give this cause all our time, knowledge, love and compassion.

We started our mission by selling the very few things we owned to kickstart our cat rescue project and cover the initial expenses of our small sanctuary.

Paul with rescues Pitu Jasmine (top), Angel and Gigi in the very austere place that became our cat sanctuary, with just a couple of second-hand chairs, a few old blankets and a ‘cat condo’ made out of supermarket cardboard boxes.

Afterwards and until this day, we have been able to carry on thanks to our sponsoring program, the private donations we receive from our supporters, and in addition, to an irregular income my wife and I get every now and then from some of the work we do online, which also helps cover part of our cat sanctuary expenses.

Cat Sanctuary before and after pictures

In 2015, with the help of private donations they could leave behind the old playground Paul had made out of cardboard boxes and were able to buy cat furniture and supplies.

Over the last decade, we’ve been through so much it’d be impossible to list here all the sacrifices made and the challenges we had to face to stay alive and protect the lives of our rescues.

So, if you wish to learn a bit more about us, we invite you to read our first newsletter to find a detailed summary of our journey since the early beginnings.

By navigating our website menu you’ll find a link to visit our old website to see photos and watch videos of our extensively documented rescue operation inside and outside the sanctuary over the last ten years, as well as past fundraisers, and more.

Click here to read our first newsletter in 2023, on our new website.

Watch Paul refilling feeding stations for homeless cats. If you want to help Paul feed cats outside the Sanctuary, join our ‘Feed a Feral’ Program for only $5 a month.