Stray animals are a worldwide problem. In most countries, the number of animals in need of homes is very high, and animal control agencies are unable to help everyone. Then kind people come to their rescue, and some of them find themselves in a situation where the number of pets is just enormous. This happened to Lynea Lattanzio from California who is dubbed the Cat Lady.

Source: YouTube screenshot

Never being a pet volunteer before, Lynea got her first cat Thomas in her 60s after divorcing her husband. But soon she noticed one stray cat on the street, then another and another... When the number of cats in her house was over several dozens, she sold her 1973 Mercedes and a wedding ring with a 2-carat diamond. With that money, she was able to buy a large house in California, where she founded the largest cage-free cat shelter. There is also a small number of dogs that are free to roam the grounds along with cats.

Source: YouTube screenshot

For the first seven years Lattanzio maintained the shelter with her own money, and then she started getting help from animal rights activists and philanthropists. In recent years she has had over a thousand cats in her house at one time, so animals take up all the space.

Source: YouTube screenshot

Lattanzio had to buy a trailer and live in it in her own backyard. But she does not regret it, believing it is closer to nature.

Lynea estimates that over the past 24 years she has rescued more than 28,000 cats. Some of them found new owners, while others remained feral and lived at the shelter until the end.

Source: YouTube screenshot

Of course, the woman can't take care of so many animals by herself. She now has 45 employees and volunteers working at the shelter. Each week the shelter needs 2,500 pounds of food and 600 pounds of cat litter. Lynea says that it costs about $1.6 million a year to shelter the cats.

Source: YouTube screenshot

Of course, she could have spent that money on trendy clothes or luxury cruises, but Lynea chose to help animals and doesn't regret it. "I'd rather have 800 cats than another man,"  Lattanzio says.

Source: pulse.mail

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