Katz 4 Keeps to close permanently March 18

Love Me True Rescue to take up the mantle


After 11 years of rescuing and caring for cats at its facility in Ponte Vedra Beach, Katz 4 Keeps will close its doors permanently Sunday, March 18.

“For the past 14 years, we have fulfilled K4K’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home approximately 2,500 felines with an outstanding protocol of care that ensured our cats and kittens received a healthy start to a healthy life,” Founder Mary Boushie wrote in a message to supporters on the nonprofit’s Facebook page. “This could not have been accomplished without our many dedicated K4K volunteers, the ‘Luv ‘Em Up’ socializers, caring veterinarians and others who worked quietly in the background to support the mechanics of our mission. We will soon lock K4K's door for the last time, grateful that all cats have been placed in their forever homes with caring community residents who trusted us enough to adopt.”

No longer accepting new cats, staff and volunteers at the shelter spent the last few weeks working tirelessly to ensure that all the remaining felines in their care were adopted prior to closing, officially accomplishing that goal early last week.

“We adopted out all 24 adult cats in 12 days, which is awesome,” said Bethany Mockler, a volunteer at the shelter.

While the Katz 4 Keeps shelter has been in operation since 2007, according to Mockler, Boushie has been personally rescuing cats in the Ponte Vedra area since 2003. Now, after 15 years of dedication to the rehabilitation and re-homing of cats, Boushie has chosen to retire to spend more time with her loved ones.

“Mary has been dedicated to this for a really long time, but running a physical facility is a 24/7 role,” Mockler explained.

Although Katz 4 Keeps is closing its doors, many of the shelter’s volunteers are currently helping to open another cat shelter, Love Me True Rescue, in Ponte Vedra Beach.

“We are opening, hopefully by May, on Palm Valley Road in Ponte Vedra Beach,” Love Me True Rescue Founder Lisa di Donato said. “Our rescue is a little different than Katz 4 Keeps. We are a communal room rescue, so there won’t be any cages, really. There will be mostly free-roaming cats, and kittens will be in pens. Our mission is also slightly different, in that we rescue mostly from high-kill shelters – animals that are in danger of being euthanized – but we’re still taking in cats from other places when we have the room, and we are still an adoption center.”

With Love Me True’s future home at 5150 Palm Valley Road, #403, currently under construction, a definitive opening date has yet to be set. Tentatively, however, di Donato is planning for a date in either late April or early May. In the meantime, the local community has begun raising support, including neighboring CrossBarre Inc., which will hold a fundraiser tomorrow, March 16, for the shelter.

“There’ll be a silent auction and a dance party,” di Donato said. “I think it’s supposed to be somewhat of a surprise, but I know they’ve been advertising it, so I’m really appreciative of it and just so amazed by how much the community’s supporting us.”

Donations for Love Me True Rescue can be mailed to P.O. Box 1683, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004. For further information about the shelter, visit www.lovemetruerescue.com or contact lovemetruerescue@gmail.com.