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Nonprofit Wilton Shelter Strives To Find Cats Permanent Homes

Tia, who lost her home after her owner died, is unhappy at the shelter and is patiently waiting to be adopted. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Sammy, a 3-year-old black cat, is very friendly and laid back. Photo Credit: Contributed
Mo, one of the many cats available for adoption at Wilton's Animals in Distress, has a lot of love to give. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Snickers is eager to have a home of her own again. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. — There’s a place in Wilton where once-forgotten cats and kittens are doted on and given a chance to live happy, healthy lives. Run entirely by a group of 25 volunteers, that place is Animals in Distress, a nonprofit no-kill cat shelter.

Located behind Wilton Town Hall, the free-roaming shelter is currently home to approximately 25 cats. However, more than 50 cats and kittens are under the shelter’s care, and volunteers are determined to find loving forever homes for each and every one.

“They come from all over,” Shelter Director Katherine Reid said. “We find a lot of the cats, but others are brought in by people who no longer want them or can’t take care of them.”

That was the case with Tia, a 10-year-old domestic short hair who arrived at the shelter after her longtime owner passed away and no relatives could take her. Having lived in a single-cat home for so long, Reid said, Tia is having a hard time adjusting to shelter life and, as a result, is unhappy.

“Once in a home of her own again, Tia will blossom and be a loving companion,” Reid said.

Another resident who hasn’t adapted to being at a shelter is 5-year-old Snickers. This short-haired tuxedo female found herself at the shelter after her owner had to give her up due to new living arrangements. Reid said Snickers would be “so happy to have a home to call her own again.”

Some of the cats end up at the shelter after being abandoned. Among them is Mo, who was found wandering in a local resident’s backyard. When Mo’s owner was contacted, they wanted nothing to do with him.

Mo, who has short black fur, is estimated to be 8 years old. Reid describes him as being extremely affectionate.

“He has a lot of love to give his human companion, but would rather be your one and only,” she said.

Sammy, a gentle giant with a silky black coat, was also found wandering the streets. At just 3 years old, Sammy has been at the shelter for about two years. Despite his incredibly friendly demeanor, Reid worries that Sammy — who’s nicknamed Mr. Mellow— is being overlooked due to his FIV positive status.

“Sammy is the most awesome cat,” Reid said. “Though FIV positive, he's in excellent health. He’s just looking for someone to snuggle with.”

How ever they end up at the shelter, all cats are taken to a veterinarian and tested for FIV, feline leukemia, rabies, given vaccinations and, when needed, spayed or neutered.

Susan Schiavone, who recently adopted a female black cat from Animals in Distress, praises the nonprofit for all it does.

“The staff and volunteers work very hard and long trying to find the right homes for their cats,” Schiavone said. “The shelter was clean and every cat was well obviously well cared for. Please support them —  they truly are a wonderful organization.”

The shelter is open every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments can also be made anytime during the week by emailing or calling 203-762-2006. For more information about adopting, or to see a full list of adoptable cats, visit the Animals in Distress website.

Anyone interested in supporting the shelter can do so by purchasing food and other items through its Amazon Wish List.

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