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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Hermitage Cat Shelter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Founded in 1965, The Hermitage Cat Shelter is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization supported entirely by donations. We are dedicated to the shelter, protection, and care of homeless cats, especially those that are often not considered adoptable by other organizations. We are both an adoption facility and long-term sanctuary for those felines who are “adoption-challenged,” including felines who are FIV or FeLV-positive, and other types of chronic health issues. We were awarded sanctuary designation in mid-2013, by the American Sanctuary Society. All of our kitties roam free within 9,000 sq. ft. of outdoor/indoor living space.

Results: 2013 was a banner year for The Hermitage; we rescued 800 kittens and cats, and found homes for over 600 of them! We also instituted our Lease for Life program, helping us find loving homes for over 75 special needs kitties since then. In 2014, while we only rescued 615 kittens and cats, we found homes for over 400! We're looking forward to celebrating out 50th birthday in 2015, and finding homes for many more kitties!

Target demographics: abandoned cats find their forever homes, as well as help families keep their pets during financial difficulties

Direct beneficiaries per year: find homes for almost 650 kitties, and provided food for over 60 families each month

Geographic areas served: Southern Arizona

Programs: Adoptions: our full service adoption facility rescues cats and kittens and gives them a second chance at a forever home! All our cats are altered, micro-chipped and vaccinated before they're ready for adoption. Lease for Life: a program created to find homes for our FIV and FeLV kitties! The adopter is responsible for core vaccinations, food and annual vet visits; The Hermitage covers medical costs resulting from their chronic health issues. Food For Peoples Pets- The Hermitage collects cat & dog food that is then distributed to food banks in Tucson to help people having trouble feeding their pets so that they can keep them and not turn them into shelters.

Community Stories

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Susan431

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at The Hermitage Cat Shelter and am impressed by several things: the quality of mental and physical care the cats living here get - whether that be diets specific to the cats ‘s stage of life, the medical care for emergencies as well as ongoing care for cats with special needs or the attention to the psychological needs of the cats, by providing indoor and safe outdoor space and perches, climbing things, and hidey holes. The staff is small but so dedicated you’d think it was much bigger. In addition, a cadre of well-trained volunteers provide daily feeding and playing with cats, and do tasks like laundry, cleaning, and shelter maintenance. The professional staff is as devoted to their volunteers as we are devoted to the Shelter.

I have seen a lot of animal shelters in my day, but nothing compares to the open spaces (no cages for these lucky cats unless it’s medically necessary) these cats have, nor does anything compare to the commitment this shelter has to making homeless cats healthy and happy until they find forever homes, or if they don’t.

About two years ago, I had a cat who demanded to be outside, which, against my better judgment I allowed. He had a buddy outside who was quite old and never left my yard and always came inside at night. When the sad day came that I had to say farewell to old Tommy, outside Teddy eventually disappeared, and I was sure he’d perished. To my astonishment and indescribable happiness, somehow Teddy found his way to the Hermitage, and he’s cared for in the way I’d like to but just can’t.

Having many cats, this non-profit has a special place in my heart, but regardless of my personal attachment, it’s one of the most totally committed organizations I’ve come across in a long time.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at this wonderful no-kill cat Shelter in Tucson. Here there is not a cage or confined cat in sight; rather, the cats roam around freely, indoors or outdoors on catios, with plenty of space to climb, play, hide, or just hang out. The staff is remarkable - loving, compassionate, creative, and kind. Volunteers are treasured, almost as much as the cats. I’m currently at my self- imposed limit on cats in my house, but should I ever want to adopt another, this would be the first place I’d look.

1 bcs2017

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have visited the Hermitage many times over the past two decades and recently received a delayed tour (my choice) of their shelter. I would recommend it for anyone to see the new design and the delightful environment for the felines and their guests. The design reminds me of a cat and kitten neighborhood. There are many improvements: the parking, landscaping, memorial wall for the Hermitage foundress Sr. Seraphim , and indoor/outdoor spacious cat rooms with lots of activity opportunities for felines. After checking out these hearty looking friendly cats and determining which one you would like, have a seat in the front lobby and enjoy the fountain and the greeter cat while you ponder adopting a companion for your new family addition. Enjoy!

Donor

Rating: 5

i lost my best friend Tabitha , Orangey Orangey , Pretty Pretty , Furr Ball , Tabyfurr September 9th 2018 She was born May 25th 2005 She lived 13 years 3 months,
I am thankful this kitty is in my life, She rescued me when i had a heart attack and healed me
after heart surgery, Her love kept me strong and a reason to choose a better path in life ,
To choose not to drink and drug, Tabitha was sent to me a gift from GOD, Her work on earth
was to be a Kat but this kitty was more than a kat, she went far and beyond the call of duty,
GOD is pleased with her reason on earth to take care of me, Rest in Peace Tabitha, i will always keep her in my heart and do the best i can for me and her. GOD blessed me with Tabitha and shown me i can Love...................................

20

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The Hermitage non-profit cat shelter is not quite what it seems to be. Apparently their primary purpose is to raise money from lavish parties versus finding homes for their cats. Here is my story. We were allowed to place a neighbor’s cat with the Hermitage only after offering sponsorships and money to get them to take him! Long story short, in the interim of them accepting Simon, a cat with diabetes, we started giving him insulin shots and feeding him. After turning him over to them we missed him so much we made weekly visits to see him. During those visits we started to see the real workings of the Hermitage. Often times there was not even a person at the front desk to greet us. We’d just walk right in and go to see Simon. Watching feed time in the diabetic room was a wake up call to us. They would put the food bowls down and just leave! Not watching to see if the cat ate (or a different cat came and ate their food!) then later coming back with a handful of syringes to give insulin shots. The problem is if a cat doesn’t eat and gets an insulin shot they can become hypoglycemic, possibly a fatal issue. We decided to adopt Simon as our own, reportedly we were immediately placed on a do-not let adopt list because we brought him there on our neighbor’s behalf. After almost a month, the adoption manager left a voice message saying that we really had never been denied and we could come to the Hermitage and adopt Simon. On the day as were driving to pick him up, we learned the adoption would not take place as we were told the medical staff person and the adoption manager would not be available to process the adoption. The medical staff person had a conflicting appointment and the adoption manager was sent home earlier as he had worked too many hours the prior week. Two days later as we drove back for a second adoption appointment, we received a phone call telling us Simon was taken to the hospital and was to be euthanized for hypoglycemia! Upon arrival at the Hermitage the director stated that Simon probably hadn’t eaten last night and that could be why his blood glucose was so low. When we asked the executive director to see the body, she said we could see Simon’s body for just a few seconds and then said “I want him out of here”. I will get a necropsy done to see what happened, she assured us we could have his ashes and a copy of the report. Well two more months have passed and still no word on Simon’s ashes. I could not recommend this place for donations or adoptions with many other highly reviewed caring cat shelters in the Tucson area. I can only recommend that you do some research first for any place, many use fluff or false reviews from employees or friends or glowing recommendations on a Face book or Yelp page with no proof of truth.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love The Hermitage! Volunteering there had been an amazing experience. The staff and volunteers genuinely care about the cats and their futures. I love that the shelter is cage free so I can get to know the cats really well. I love this shelter and the message they put out.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hermitage Cat Shelter is one of the most amazing places I have ever been privileged to be involved with. Their staff are some of the most caring, dedicated, and passionate individuals that I have ever met. Each day, they work to improve the lives of each and every feline that comes into the shelter, and several more that don't. they work to educate everyone who comes into contact with them about the importance of how we take care of our animals, both as individuals, and as a society. The Hermitage has several initiatives centered around animal care and welfare. The hermitage supports anti-declawing efforts, the Trap-Neuter-Release program , rescuing from high-kill-rate shelters, and educating the public about the dangers of allowing a cat to roam outdoors, among other things. I am proud to be involved with The Hermitage, and I intend to continue working with them for as long as possible.

2 Cheryl144

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Started volunteering at the Hermitage in November 2014 as a form of therapy after my cat developed a malignancy on her spleen as well as an intestinal ulcer and had to make the difficult choice to euthanize (figured that attempting to fix one or the other might have been an option, both at once would've been near impossible). Wasn't sure how ready I was for interacting with other cats at that point, so initially thought I might concentrate on office tasks. Needless to say, I found myself falling under the spell of the various feline characters who rule the place, and have since gone over to socialization. Some of the kitties, needless to say, are far more naturally social than others, and will let you know that they require attention NOW--but it is at least equally fun watching a shy cat come out of his or her shell--or for that matter, having one of the more curmudgeonly of the bunch decide to give you a very civil hello(on their own schedule, naturally!). Can't recommend this place enough.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter is a fantastic shelter where the small staff works very hard to meet the needs of the cats under their protection. It is obvious that the staff love the kitties and are extremely knowledgeable about what makes a cat contented.I have volunteered there for about two years, helping with office work and giving the cats lots of love, and I am always told how much my help is appreciated. I have volunteered at other animal shelters in the past and can easily say that the Hermitage is the best.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer, a foster parent, and a happy foster failure for eight kittens/cats from the Hermitage. Everyone there is hard working and absolutely dedicated to their jobs. These are people that put their hearts into everything they do for these felines. The shelter itself, though aging, shows the care put into it every day by it's maintenance group and the adoption staff is more than glad to walk you around and show you all the wonderful animals. Volunteering at the shelter is a wonderful practice and I recommend anyone in Tucson that wants to help a great cause, to not look any further.

Mark183

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hermitage has a 50 year history of helping the cats of Southern Arizona. It is a wonderful place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Hermitage! I love cats! I LOVE volunteering at the Hermitage! I love being a foster mommy for the Hermitage! Everyone who works at the Hermitage are truly amazing dedicated people who work very hard to find homes for homeless kitty-cats! The Hermitage is a unique kind of shelter, truly a diamond in the rough. First the Hermitage is a no-cage cat shelter; This is amazing because as you walk around the shelter you get to meet who the cats really are, they are not cooped-up and scared in cages. If you want to know a cats name all you have to do is ask the staff. The staff can tell you the cats name and a little bit about the cat. Something else that is super amazing about the Hermitage is they take cats that are considered "unadoptable" from other shelters and find them forever homes! The staff believes that EVERY cat should have a wonderful loving forever home even if they have FIV or FeLV, or some other disability.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered the Hermitage Cat Shelter while attending the University of Arizona and became a volunteer there. I can really say that they are such a unique, one of a kind shelter that does amazing work for the felines in Tucson. They are dedicated to the adoption and care for all cats, including ones that have special needs like diabetes, feline leukemia, etc.. I admire how much they do for our community and will continue to support them in whatever way I can!

1 Mimi A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found The Hermitage at a pet fair, and signed up to volunteer. I'm glad I did. The Hermitage is an wonderful organization housing all types of animals with great care. It is obvious how much love is shown to the cats who reside in their facility by the volunteers and staff that are always around. I am amazed and extremely grateful at how much time and energy people have put into the shelter, and their work shows through in the lives of the cats that rely on them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter!! This is such a great & positive environment for all the cats. They are given the best attention possible & any cats or kittens with special needs, diets or who require special attention, receive just that. I am so glad to be a part of helping out this wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I walked into the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, I knew it was the place I had been looking for: a place where cats are loved and lovingly cared for.

After my move to Tucson last year, a top priority was to find an Animal Shelter to support, advocate for, and volunteer at. I visited many: one where cat socialization was not allowed (in an attempt to control the spread of disease); another where their attempt to rescue and care for diseased cats and dogs that had been slated for euthanasia at a county facility was doomed to failure due to a severe lack of adequate space and medical expertise; one where the animals were simply numbers, waiting to either be quickly adopted or euthanized to make space for the seemingly endless intakes they have.

Then I found the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary – Arizona’s 1st no-kill, cage-free cat rescue.

The staff at The Hermitage carries on the vision of its founder, Sister Seraphim, a Russian Orthodox nun who started the Shelter in her home in 1965, believing that caring for unwanted cats was her highest calling.

Still in the Sisters’ original home, expanded to over 9000 sq. ft., the 150 – 250 cats at the Hermitage live in a cage-free, cat friendly environment. It has “catioes” (cat-patios), cubbies, cat-shelves, overhead catwalks, sisal-covered climbing posts, and colorfully decorated rooms with wall art specifically designed to enrich their lives. In addition to the “General Population” areas, there are sections for: FIV, FeLV, Seniors, Diabetics and Over-Weight, Allergy (food) and even a place for cats with Manx Syndrome.

Many cats were deemed unadoptable by other shelters, and, if not for the intervention of the Hermitage staff, would have been euthanized. Some were rescued from abusive homes; others were abandoned. Whether it’s their retirement home, their sanctuary, or just a temporary place of transition - while they wait for their forever family to come find them – for all cats The Hermitage is a safe haven. No cat is euthanized unless it is to prevent undue suffering that cannot be otherwise alleviated. In 2013 it earned the added accolade of being a certified “Sanctuary”.

All of the cats in the house have a story to tell. What helps to make The Hermitage special and unique is that the Staff takes time to hear and care about each and every cat’s story. They are exceptional people, with huge hearts, generous spirits and endless compassion. Every day they tackle the daunting task of trying to improve the lives of these cats, find loving homes for them, and make room for more.

The Hermitage relies solely on the donations, charity and goodwill of like-minded supporters. Right now they are trying to raise funds to upgrade the home – which, at being over 60 years old, needs extensive repairs.

If you’re in Tucson, stop by for a tour: chat with the staff and visit the kitties.

Whether you can visit or not, please support The Hermitage: Adopt. Advocate. Donate. Volunteer.

hiley

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The hermitage cat shelter is a wonderful safe haven for all kitties big and small. You are filled with love and serenity once you cross the threshold. The staff is very hard working and determined to find furever homes for their beautiful kitties. I love being a part of a terrific team who values the life's of their fur babies. I love knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of God's creatures. Once you have experienced the hermitage you will want to come back again and again. The hermitage is unlike no other shelter!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hermitage is a fantastic unique shelter that serves Tucson well. As a volunteer and foster, I have seen the deep workings of the shelter. The staff truly care for the well fare of the cats and making sure everyone gets the perfect home. I come into the shelter every Saturday to socialize with the special needs cats. The staff always appreciate us volunteers and treat us like family. The cats are able to live in a low stress home and enjoy the good life of pets, love, and finding their forever home.

I would highly recommend volunteering, fostering, donating, and adopting from Hermitage Cat Shelter.

Jamie Aitchison

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hermitage Cat Shelter is doing tremendous good in their community. Not only do they work hard to rehome adoptable cats, they also provide lifetime care to special needs cats who have limited options. NAVS proudly awarded emergency funds to repair the shelter's foundation and roof (destroyed during the 2014 hurricane season) so that they can continue their important work.

1 Vicki59

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is unusually
beautiful and compassionate. The love and care is tremendous. Their willingness and acceptance of special needs cats is beyond words. May God bless the Hermitage cat shelter and all the the workers and
volunteers. You're all superb!!!

1 Michael271

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My story began 10 years ago volunteering for HALO animal shelter in Phoenix, AZ. For many years I struggled with the handling, care, well being and overall disregard of the corporate staff at Petsmart who insisted on doing things "their way" with no regard to the cats best interest. No padding, no bedding, poor cleaning............a sterile and inhospitable environment. Several years ago I had enough.

Within the last year my faith in the world and people in general has been restored now that I have found The Hermitage No Kill Cat Shelter in Tucson, AZ. This wonderful organization is the fairytale and fable that I have always wished existed for these poor, sweet, innocent animals. The facility defies description and can only be truly understood by visiting the shelter. It is cat heaven! There are no cages. No bars. No jails. Just large expanses of various (and many) dedicated rooms of free roaming cats according to their specific need or preference. The facility is built and dedicated to thinking like a cat. Rafters to walk on, cat doors leading from one area to another, indoor AND outdoor access available at whim. This place is truly phenomenal. As I mentioned, it is the fairytale I always wished existed. I drive 2 hours from Phoenix to Tucson to spend time at this shelter. I can't get there often enough.
Now that executive director Lee Bucyk has taken the reigns, it is amazing what she has been able to accomplish in such a short time. Not only does she have the education, background and experience for the job................she has in abundance the most necessary trait for this position..........PASSION!!

I honestly cannot say enough great things about this deserving and Struggling organization. Being a 501(c)3 non profit, they struggle on a daily basis just to stay afloat. I have adoptied cat named Babs whom although I can't take home with me, I was able to provide the money for her for expenses for as long as she is there. My directions upon my death (if sudden) is to provide a specific sum of money to the shelter and only THERE will I accept my own 4 children to go. Talk about personal investment.

This organization has brought me such joy in such a short period of time. Please help it continue to serve the community as it truly is the most deserving of any charity I have encountered in years.

Thank you,
Michael Cannon

2 Nicole98

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my two kitties from here, an elderly tabby lady and a young mama who is tabby and white, and they are the lights of my life! The hermitage took such good care of them and made sure that they didn't get overlooked even though they weren't kittens. Whenever I go there the hermitage is clean with lots of places for cats of all temperaments and abilities to be comfortable and safe-- it is truly a unique and wonderful place!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful staff that are very active in social networking to find homes for their cats. The care they take of their kitties (and the adopters as well) is fantastic. Their thrift store has a wonderful selection of cat and people things. I needed a replacement for my flat screen monitor and found one there at a very reasonable price. We got our current kitty from them and when we have more room, we'll be going back to them for another.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been the sponsor of several special needs cats at the Hermitage. This is a wonderful organization. The staff really care for the cats, and have made great strides in finding forever homes for more and more cats over the years. This is a no kill shelter, they care for cats that can't be adopted as well.
The marketing department at the Hermitage has come up with some very creative strategies over the years. I loved the Cat Camp idea, also the Men who Love Cats Calendar, and the Kitten Shower. The ads for the Thrift Store were excellent too.
Most Pet Rescue organizations are deserving of support, but in my opinion the Hermitage stands out as one of the best. They take excellent care of the cats and their fundraising efforts are creative, humorous, and always upbeat and in good taste.

1 Joanne34

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Hermitage as much for myself as for the cats, and I know that their care and lives count to every employee there! Because this is a no-kill facility, all of the cats (including special needs cats) will have a home there for the rest of their lives if necessary. As human beings I think we will be judged by how we care for our animals (among other things), and the Hermitage is an excellent example of that. It is also fun to share in the joy of adoptions of both the adult cats and the delightful kittens, knowing that they will become members of a new family.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Hermitage is, and has been for nearly 50 years, the go-to shelter for people who want to adopt a homeless cat in Tucson. Every cat at the shelter is valued as a worthwhile creature, deserving of the most simple qualities of life: love and a home. None of our cats are considered disposable; each and every one will live their life at the shelter until we are able to locate for them their perfect home outside the shelter. If this does not happen, then they will stay with us permanently, lovingly cared for by our devoted staff and volunteers.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is the best go-to shelter in Tucson. They are very caring of the cats. This is a no-kill cat shelter. They mean business, they really work to get homes for all the cats. Their level of care is high, certainly better than most other shelters here in Tucson.

And - if you need a cat fix, you can stop and chat/pet with many of them!

1 Erin66

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hermitage was able to help me and my family out of a painful and difficult situation. I adopted my cat from a shelter and he was with me for about 5 years without any issues before he started acting out and urinating on things. Without going into a very long story that lasted years and cost many thousands of dollars, his problem got worse and worse. My husband and I tried every method that we could find including medication to get him to stop. We ended up with a completely ruined home and although we loved our cat, after I had our son, we had to make the difficult decision to find a new home for our cat. No one we knew would take him with his issue and the more I researched, the more I thought there was no hope. Euthanasia was not an option. When I first contacted The Hermitage, they were supportive. Although they had no room for him at that time, they said they would contact me if they did. I kept in contact with them and they made arangements to take him. We drove him almost 2 hours away to leave him there forever. Without the Hermitage and what they do, I'm not sure what we would have done. I will forever be grateful.

Chilly C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The staff is wonderful! They are very helpful and informative about the cats. They know their names and personalities. You are welcomed to a tour of the facility and meet each cat, to make the right choice for you and your new Buddie.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Adopted my beautiful new baby from the Hermitage cat shelter.. A wonderful,clean,safe environment for kitties. Recommended to me by a friend. A great place to find your new forever friend.. Keep up the great work. Staff are loving & friendly.

Sabrina A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out family- traditional nuclear, adopted 2 kittens from this shelter. The kittens are great and came with antibiotic ointment for 1 as he had eye infection. Clean and loving staff- our family is really happy and kittens are doing great. Thanks!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so happy to volunteer here and felt like even the first day there I made a difference.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter is an oasis of kindness in a world of cruelty and apathy. It is a critical animal care resource but also an incredible human resource that inspires everyone who visits it with the kindness and humanity that pervades the shelter.

The Hermitage is a wonderful, fun place from the moment you walk in. The cats roam around and lounge in comfort and the volunteers are always busy attending to them.

I love the Hermitage and their volunteers and staff for the kind and empathetic work they do- it goes well beyond helping cats. It restores faith in humanity, and that may be its most important role.

2 Deborah63

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A year or two ago, I was at church and noticed 2 plastic boxes that were duct taped out front, didn't think much of it until I came out of mass and a woman was beside herself. She was furious that inside the nearly airless, duct taped boxes were 8 kittens, different litters. They were put in with some kitty litter, they could barely breath and were scared, hungry and probably sick.
No one at church wanted to take them, so I took them home, gave them a bath, washed them up and fed these kitten's that were about 6 weeks old, one of them was about 8-10 weeks old.
My husband reminded me that our two 15 year old cats (at the time), were not happy about this, so as much as I was enjoying the babies, I had to find a solution that was humane; I was NOT going to take them to PACC because I KNOW they put them down, and that wasn't going to happen on my time. I strongly believe that the Ten Commandments when it says 'Thou shalt NOT kill' means animals, as well, for me (and probably many others)

So, I contacted Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, I knew of them but never contacted them prior to this, and they took them in. They nursed them back to health, and found homes for all of them. They were so nice to keep me in the loop of their results. I was so happy that they were the ones I brought them to be saved. SPCA at the time was full.

Since then, I offered to do murals for them. I donated a mural in thanks for their kindness to animals. Bless ALL those who work with these animals. Thank for Sr. Seraphim for starting such a wonderful thing.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hermitage was an amazing in helping me with 2 boxes of kittens that were abandoned at my church; I took the kitties home that were ducted taped into a couple of plastic boxes with the tiniest of holes for breathing; nearly suffocated them in the kitty litter the 'human' left them in. I washed them, fed them and knowing I couldn't keep these babies; I called and found Hermitage, they took them all in, 8 I think there were. They got them back to health; and found them all homes. I was so moved that I being an artist, felt I need to do something nice for them, I painted a room with a mural for them.. the whole room in thanks for doing this for the kittens. These people have been exceptional in kindness towards animals, they even helped someone find their pet mouse, dogs even to post on their internet sites. We need more people like the ones who work/volunteer at Hermitage No-Kill Cat shelter. It gives me hope for humanity towards animals.

1 Pam_44

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

2005 was a rough year for my husband and me. We had two cats (18 and 11 yrs) and a greyhound (12 yrs) at that time. The hound and one of the cats were best buddies, so when we had to euthanize the hound due to a severe stroke, the cat was depressed and grieving. The second cat didn't like dogs at all, but was not helping his friend through the process. We did our best and after a month of trying thought that maybe another dog would help, so we adopted a dog that likes cats from one of the rescues. He did his best to help our older cat. After a couple of weeks with no improvement, we took our older cat to the vet and found that he was diabetic and his organs were failing. We couldn't bear to put him though more and decided that since he'd reached a respectable age, his organs wouldn't improve by treating the diabetes and getting a new dog wasn't helping his grief, we made the sad decision to euthanize him. Which left us with a dog that liked cats and a cat that didn't like dogs.

I had seen (and put change in) several donation containers for The Hermitage around town and knew that they really cared about the cats in our community. We went with the intention of adopting an older cat who liked dogs. We spent about 3 hours there being 'interviewed' by various cats and guided through the facility by knowledgeable and caring staff who knew the residents well, but none of the cats 'claimed' us. My husband passed one of the large wire kennels they used to integrate kittens into the larger group when one of the kittens climbed the wires, reached a paw out to snag his jeans and yelled at him. He asked to hold the kitten, who promptly snuggled into his chest. He was enthralled. After a while he passed her to me. She took one look at me, carefully reached out a paw and pulled my glasses off. I left them off while she carefully sniffed my face and when I put them back on, she took them off again. My husband and I went home to think carefully about our choices. We adopted the kitten who had claimed my husband, brought her home and she immediately warmed up to our dog.

She's 7 years old now, and our only cat. Our older cat passed away two years ago at the age of 17 and I think our girl is happy to have the dog all to herself. When we're ready to get another cat, we'll be going back to The Hermitage to find another companion. I still put change in the containers for The Hermitage, thankful for all they do.

Pam N Perseus

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love to hear and read all the wonderful reviews about the Hermitage no kill cat shelter. It is so nice to see the love and care that people have for these precious cats. To love and protect them from all the sick abusive, heartless people that torture them. Cats are very loving and feel pain just like a human. if only people thought of what pain they inflict, what it would be like if done to them? I will include Hermitage No kill Cat shelter in Tucson, AZ in my will as i do hope everyone will consider and act upon. A tax ID # and address is needed to do so, So please do it.

Pam N Perseus

1 Denise53

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first experience with the Hermitage was when I moved to AZ 6 years ago, and was looking for a place to volunteer ( I had volunteered with cat rescues in my previous state). The cats were all well taken care of and the volunteers were friendly and caring. Due to distance I couldn't keep volunteering, but the Hermitage was a huge help to me as a volunteer at a small municipal shelter in my area. They rescued two older cats from our shelter who were badly in need of grooming, prettied them up and I know one has found a forever home. They love cats, and it shows!

2 Jill12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Hermitage No Kill No Cage Cat Shelter for almost 2 1/2 years. The 8000+ square foot indoor/outdoor facility gives the kitties the best of both worlds--safe outdoor area for the feral or unsocialized kitties to hide and an indoor area for those days that either get too cold or too hot. Sister Seraphin started an awesome shelter for animals that has grown immensely over the years and continues to get better. I think of nothing else when I am there--whether it be cleaning, socializing, or just giving an extra pet to each one. If you've never been at this shelter, it is a must see!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

AWESOME ORGANIZATION......I have been volunteering at the Hermitage for just about a year now and I started out with grooming and working with the shy cats 2 hours a week....now I'm there 3-4 days a week. They are a great organization and have rescued many cats from the Pima Animal Control Center giving them a chance at a full and loving life, whether it be at the shelter or with their furever family! They provide loving care to the sick and aging kitties that need a little extra TLC as well as the little ones with URIs. Their #1 priority is the cats..................and that's the way it should be! I'll be volunteering there for a very long time to come!!!

2 Claudine V.

Donor

Rating: 5

When no one else listens, The Hermitage is there; I have proof.

I have been trapping, neutering and releasing a colony of feral cats for 8 months and one of them went missing 5 days ago. I found her in a neighbor's yard, severely injured and hiding under a shed. The neighbor was uncooperative in allowing me to place a trap on his property; he also had a large dog whom he said would kill the cat if she came out.

I called everyone: the Police, Animal Control, the Animal Defense League, the Animal Cruelty Taskforce, the media, private wildlife rescue organizations, feral cat networks, even veterinarians. No one would help because the cat was on private property. Today it was 100 degrees and the cat had been without food, water and medical care for days; I was desperate and the homeowner was becoming belligerent with my efforts to coax the cat off his property without trespassing.

I called The Hermitage and explained the situation to the Executive Director. Within an hour the Cat Care Manager (Michele Wilson) and two rescue techs (Ken and Carina) were on the property with nets, traps and supplies. While they were unable to catch the cat, they were successful in getting her off the property and back to her colony where I feel confident I can trap her and get her medical care.

I was beginning to feel like I was the only person crazy enough to care so much, but I today I learned I'm not. I am enormously grateful to The Hermitage, their staff and their mission and will continue to donate whatever and whenever I can so they can continue to save cats' lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Hermitage is te best place for kitties of all ages and in all stages of health to find loving care and acceptance! I have donated and will continue to do so, especially when I hear from friends and from FB postings that their work continues to make a huge difference!

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are great. The place is verry clean and all the kittys are well taken care of. The can we adopted is doing great and we love her very much. one of the things I love the most is how much they know about every individual cat personality.

Krystal H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for The Hermitage in the past, but I see the impacts of their work everyday with the public. They're a wonderful organization that fills a void in the community. Tucson is grateful to have The Hermitage and we all hope they continue to do wonderful work that impacts and inspires us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Not only have I adopted from the Hermitage, but I used to volunteer for them too. There is something wonderful about a place where the animals come first, and it is the people who genuinely provide the care it takes to manage a no-kill, cage-free cat shelter where no matter what, every kitty has a home. I constantly recommend them to friends and family who are looking for pets, and to young people looking for a good way to support their community. I have always, and will always support The Hermitage, may it continue its existence for another 50 years!

Clare Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about this place. I first encountered the Hermitage when I was trying to place a cat whose owner could no longer care for them. The shelter took him in, even though they were filled to capacity, and worked so that he were almost instantly adopted out. I began volunteering there and one thing that impresses me is the overall kindness and respect given to every cat who is accepted through the doors. Even special needs cats whose prospects of adoption are low are treated with loving kindness and affection. This means that potential owners are vetted carefully to ensure that each cat receives optimal placement. I love this place--volunteering there is the highpoint of my week.

AllPetTravel

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Last year I had the pleasure of assisting the Hermitage with the relocation of two cats that had been adopted to a Tucson family who eventually relocated out of state. When this family could no longer care for the pets, they contacted Hermitage to see if the cats were welcome to come back to the shelter. Of course, the Hermitage said "yes" and we made the flight arrangements for the cats' safe return to Tucson. The cats were able to stay until they were eventually adopted out again TOGETHER. Some rescue organizations might have turned these cats away, but the Hermitage stands by their kitties for life. I can’t say enough about the Hermitage and they work they do.

Judi P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can not say enough wonderful things about the Hermitage and all the folks working there. I have visited there for years and now I am taking my grandkids as often as possible. Its our pleasure to go buy food and treats and come donate them. The kids walk around and give the kitties little treats and love patting and playing with them. The staff couldn't be nicer or more patient.

The cats are so well treated and the place is always clean and tidy. You can tell there is definitely a lot of love from all the folks there. There work there deserves nothing but praise and some of your donations if you can..!!

Judi Putnam

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Hermitage is truly a special place, ran by people who above all care for the well being of their animals. I have adopted 3 animals over the course of time from the Hermitage and they are just truly spectacular people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In addition to visiting The Hermitage Cat Shelter as an adopter I also contributed to the shelter after seeing what an impressive facility it is. The shelter is very large and spacious and the cats enjoy free reign in open areas with plenty of places to climb, rest and play.

The staff genuinely love cats and do their work with pride and care. It is uplifting to see. This facility is a model for a cat sanctuary and a great place to adopt from and to offer support to.

The Hermitage Cat Shelter is a must-visit resource for cat and animal lovers. They do a wonderful job and I am very thankful for them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a "snow bird" traveling between warm winters in the south of our nation and cool summers in the north. I visit and volunteer at Humane Societies or Cat Shelters whenever I can. Of all the places I have visited, the Hermitage Cat Shelter in Tucson AZ is the best maintained, best run facility with the most wonderful volunteers and great interaction between staff and volunteers. I LOVE this place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Soon after I moved to Tucson seven years ago I discovered The Hermitage. The shelter was clean, the cats were healty, the staff had gone thru the process of becoming a 501(c)3, and I decided that was a place I wanted to volunteer.
I was impressed that all cats were healthy, chipped, and neutered before they were adopted out. (And there have been many, many adoptions through the years.) I think the one thing that made me want to belong there was I knew if a cat was never adopted, it had a good place to live out its years.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the experiences of working with the volunteers on the board, being a donor, an adoption recipient as well as having to use the shelters services for a family pet that was not able to remain in our home any longer. Throughout all of these circumstances the Hermitage Cat Shelter was amazing. They are dedicated to the welfare of saving, nurturing and loving the many cats that are desperate need. Making sure that none go over the rainbow bridge before their time. There should be more shelters like this in the world!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a donor to The Hermitage for about 10 years and a Board member for 4 years. I continue to be impressed by the care the staff give the cats. They know the cats' names and their stories. I'm especially proud that the shelter provides a home for "special needs" cats, with medical or physical disabilities. These cats would not do well in another type of shelter.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the shelter for over two years now and became Board President last year. Shelter staff and the Board work hard to make the Hermitage "The Best Little Cathouse in Tucson" Our cats are well cared for and loved.

1 Gabi T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We, my husband and myself own Gabi Kat Grooming, cats only mobile in Tucson. We volunteer by bringing our grooming van to Hermitage each Friday to groom as many cats that day as we can. So far our record is 2 hours after grooming the cat got adopted! How great is that. We bath, shave and trim the cat. And get to spend about an hour loving on them. The cat are not in cages, they get to roam around be in the sun, up in a cat tree, where ever they feel happy at the moment. This summer we adopted 3 kittens that needed a home together. They are the best boys. We look forward to our Friday grooming visits...

Client Served

Rating: 4

I first heard about the shelter after a friend passed and his family requested donations in lieu of flowers. As I researched Hermitage, I was quite impressed by their policies. Some months later, I was finally ready to adopt a new kitten and so went to Hermitage to visit. What a wonderful facility! The cats and kittens all looked so healthy and happy. No cages. Just cats lounging on cat trees. I petted and loved on many cats that day. One tiny kitten, however, won my heart and I has been with me for nearly 2 weeks now. He's healthy and happy and just want I needed in my life. I hope to not only continue supporting Hermitage with donations but find time to volunteer there. Everyone at the shelter was kind and cheerful. Cat lovers with big hearts.

Ray H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent the last year or so volunteering for the Hermitage Cat Shelter and these are some great folks! The staff know the kitties pretty well and take good care of them. The cats are fed regularly and the medical staff do a great job of keeping up with updating the cats on their vaccinations, treatments, and other medical needs. Through the Hermitage, I have learned a lot about the health and care of my cats and have gained a much greater appreciation of our feline friends.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hermitage is such a wonderful place. I love cats and have always cared about their well being. All shelters try their best but the Hermitage has created an atmosphere that is centered around cats' needs. They are very caring, do their best to love the cats and keep them healthy. They take in unwanted cats and find adoptive homes for those who can be adopted. Those who are too sick get extra special care and the Hermitage is a no-kill shelter, so cats are taken care of no matter how sick or what type of behavioral problem. They understand cats, and do all they can for them. This is the main charity of have donated to over the years, and will continue to as I am able. This place is an inspiration to me and it blesses me to know about this place and the people who work and volunteer there.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I moved away from Tucson five years ago, but when I was there I was a volunteer, a donor, and a happy adoptive parent four times over. When I think about The Hermitage, I'm always blown away by the dedicated staff and the fact that they do sooo much for sooo many kitties with a fraction of the resources of, say, Best Friends in Utah. A homeless cat that finds itself at The Hermitage is a very lucky cat -- it will have all of the love and care it needs, with all of the fun, food and friendship it wants. The Hermitage is a great model for any kind people who want to start a shelter. They are always in my thoughts and heart -- so much so that I'm planning to "be" The Hermitage for Halloween this year. (Even though I now live in North Carolina, I'm going to be happy to explain my get-up and rave about the former home of my 4-footed kids!)

1 Susan77

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a donor to The Hermitage in 1998, soon after moving to Tucson. In 2002, after my 20-year old cat died, my adopted son and I went to The Hermitage to find a kitten for him and an older (preferably tortoiseshell) cat for my husband and me. My son picked out a wonderful grey tabby kitten and I found a crazy half-Siamese tortie. They are wonderful cats. Three years ago, I joined the Board of Directors and have been impressed by the care the staff members and other board members show to the cats. I'm pleased that the shelter limits the number of cats to about 200, as that permits better care for the cats. The board members and staff are committed to serving the cats who are permanent residents due to medical conditions, and finding forever homes for the others. The Hermitage also has a Trap-Neuter-Release program to reduce the number of feral cats in Tucson, which is a great community service.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I went to the Hermitage to talk about bringing in a stray cat that was hanging around our house. We already had an old female cat who did not take kindly to strange cats. However, the staff at Hermitage talked to me about things I could do to help the cats get used to each other. I never wanted to have another cat while my old girl was still alive, but following their advice made it possible for us to care for the stray which turned out to be a very affectionate and gentle cat. He's now part of our family and is very respectful of our elderly cat. Having toured the Hermitage, seen how the cats were cared for, and interacted with a staff who clearly love cats and care about their well being, I decided that the Hermitage would be my charity of choice because I love cats too, and am so glad that there is a no-kill, compassionate shelter like the Hermitage. We need more places like this!

Donor

Rating: 5

I originally donated to this organization (I am a fundraising in another state) because a dear friend, now deceased, was involved. She volunteered, donated, and cared for the cats...and I respected her opinion. Being a no-kill shelter is important and this shelter maintains this policy with integrity.

1 Penni M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hermitage Cat Shelter is just awesome! As you walk through, it is obvious they care for their kitties. The cats are always well cared for and have very nice quarters to live and play.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hermitage is a fantastic shelter and such a lovely place for all the kitties who live there long-term or short-term. I adopted my furry pal, Chester, from The Hermitage in September 2005. I was so happy to find this shelter while looking for a new kitty to share my life with. I would love to adopt another cat or two but I am not able to take care of more kitties at this time. One day maybe that will change! I also am not able to volunteer in person at the shelter due to my health situation, but I support it with donations of various sorts regularly and love keeping up with what is going on at The Hermitage. It's one of the most amazing places for cats I've ever seen and very deserving of everyone's consideration as the place to go for sponsoring and adopting cats, as well as supporting with monetary donations when possible. The staff and board members and volunteers are all to be commended for the good job they do and the loving care they provide for so many feline residents!

Cheri T.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became acquainted with Hermitage three or four years ago when I saw the cutest You Tube video of a kitty named Missy. I contacted the shelter and was happy to be able to sponsor her. Soon after Missy was adopted :) and I have sponsored four or five other kitties since then - and continue to. I have never visited the shelter because I live in Boise, Idaho but I read their posts every day, see their pictures and just feel the love and such caring that these volunteers have for their little buddies. Three years ago my husband and I adopted two five month old brothers from our local shelter. They were picked up from the streets when they were four months old. They are the most loving, personality-plus cats I've ever had. Every time I see a picture or story of a Hermitage cat I look at my guys and say a little prayer that that Hermitage kitty's "forever family" discovers them soon so that their life will be as blessed as ours have been.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was hard to choose just one "Role" above as I am a donor, volunteer, and I have been helped (immensely) by Hermitage. My relationship with them, however, started when I, as so many others, had a sad story to tell them. My sister died in June of 2011, leaving me to find another home for her senior, deaf cat. I already had two of my own and I knew from prior experience that my sister's cat and one of my own did not get along. I called Hermitage with no other options, and even though they were filled to capacity, they agreed to take her because she was deaf, and the family was willing to sponsor her. At that moment, I decided to volunteer. A short time later, my sister's cat was adopted into her new forever home. Finally, a little bit ago, someone left roughly 20 kitties on their front door and instead of doing anything else, they took them and asked for donations. I jumped at the chance; I only wish I could l do more. The people are caring, the place is clean, and the kitties are happy. Not only that, but they see countless examples of the WORST mankind has to offer the animal world, and they keep going every day. Hereos, that is what they are.