Zach’s story. Beautifully written by SAVES volunteer, Mary O.

IMG_7194Many of you have followed, on facebook, our relentless efforts and success in placing a 10 y/o Tabby male cat name Zach. But few know what his life en”tail”ed . We would like to share with you ….. Zach’s story.

Like all feral kittens, Zach entered this world in an uncomfortable and unsafe environment. Where his small life actually began, is not known for certain, but what is certain is that it began with hardship.

Unlike most feral kittens, Zach was lucky to fall upon good fortune when a family took pity on him and provided the 3 most important necessities a feral cat needs… food, water and shelter. Before long, Zach won his way inside a” real” home and was given the name “Tiger.” All those months of battling the elements, parasites, ticks and fleas were over for this good boy. Life couldn’t be better.

Until….. 5 years later, when Tiger’s family , which now included 2 young children, decided to sell their house and move into their dream home. A dream that did not include Tiger. On moving day, he was put outside and left behind for the person, who was renting this house, to feed while it was on the market for sale.

Tiger found his way back into the neighborhood feral colony, that was TNR’d and cared for by a SAVES volunteer. But Tiger was now an outsider. Feral colonies establish their own system of rank, and Tiger was put through the required initiation. He was found, one day, by the SAVES volunteer, thin, dehydrated and sporting several apparent injuries from fights. A torn ear and a large swollen foot the most visible. Our volunteer brought this unknown suffering colony cat to her vet, and was told he required surgery to drain the multiple abscesses found on his body. She was also told that he was neutered and DECLAWED!!!!! Our volunteer went on a search for the his owner, certain he must have escaped from his loving home. Only to discover the sad story that was first presented.

Zach was cared for by this volunteer and named “Bigfoot” as his swollen right paw took so long to resolve with soaks and antibiotics. Bigfoot was fostered for over a year, with good hearted people, but still had no place to call ” home.”

Then, as an answer to a prayer, Father Constantine, Pastor of the Greek Orthodox Church, approached a SAVES volunteer seeking a cat for companionship. Father owned a parakeet, named Billy, as well, so this would be a hard order to fill. All hope lied with Bigfoot, since he was declawed, he may fit well into this feathered, manly environment. Father, Bigfoot, and Billy bonded beautifully and Bigfoot once again had a “real home” and a new name Zach… aks … Zacharias, named after the father of the Biblical figure John the Baptist. Life for Zach couldn’t be better, filled with blessings, and love and special treats.
Until….. 4 years later when Father Constantine was reassigned to another parish, in another state. The saddest news to soon follow was that Zach could not go with him. Letters were written and appeals made, but to no success. And on a very tearful and sad day Zach and Father parted forever.

Since this happened in the height of kitten season, there was no foster care available. The only holding place for Zach was a large, refurbished outdoor pen, once used as a chicken coop. It was big enough for him to free roam and offered the necessary protection he needed as a declawed cat. It was a difficult for Zach, as he had been separated from Father’s good care, a nice warm bed and a lap to sit on at night. All replaced now by unfamiliar outdoor sights, sounds and smells. But staying true to his nature, Zach quickly adjusted and lovingly waited for his caretaker to come to feed and pet him each day. It was decided, by the SAVES VP, that a full effort was needed to find Zach a home. Many of you followed his story on our website and facebook. But more than this, Zach needed exposure and was soon placed in PETCO. Once again, this now fully blessed angel, was uprooted and had to adjust to new sights, smells and sounds. the hardest of which was barking dogs.

So many wonderful people stopped and talked to Zach each day. All wished him well on his life long journey to a good home. Zach accepted their pets and waited and waited and waited. Many prayers and novenas were said. As the 3rd week was coming to an end it was decided that Zach needed a change of environment and a place to free roam. In the final hours, on the day that Zach was to leave PETCO, SAVE’s VP received a call from a lovely woman named Laura. She was standing in PETCO, looking at Zach, and feeling in her heart that he would be a perfect companion for her father Lenny, who was struggling with his own sadness from the loss of his beloved wife and his Brindle Boxer dog, Lizzie who was his best friend.
Lenny and Zach met that afternoon and bonded instantly. Tears of happiness filled the store from the eyes of Lenny, his daughter Laura, our SAVES volunteer, and all of PETCO’s staff and customers. The only one not crying was Zach, as he knew deep within his soul, where all wisdom dwells, that he was finally leaving behind a life of change and uncertainty for his Forever Home.

Thank you Lenny….For giving Zach what every stray and feral cat deserves… a good home. And thank you Zach for giving Lenny what every person deserves…Love and Companionship.


In Memory of Sue Farrell

It is with great sadness to have to announce that our beloved Sue Farrell, has passed away from cancer at the young age of 47.    She was the heart and soul of SAVES and will be greatly missed by us and everyone that knew her.    She was a very kind, warm, generous, and caring person and always had a smile for all and a warm cuddle for all of her feline friends.    Our hearts are broken but we will remember her always.

“Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; it simply means we’ll miss you until we meet again.” Sue

How your donation helps…


Saves is a 501c3 non profit organization and is dependent upon donations. All contributions go directly to providing care for rescued cats TNR, and the care of feral cat colonies. All our support comes from the generosity of individuals like you.

See how your financial contribution can help:

Your donation of:

$10.00 can feed a hungry stray/feral cat

$25.00 assists in providing shelter for a homeless cat.  Also can help to pay for medication for a sick or injured cat.

$50.00 can pay for a spay or neuter surgery for a stray/feral cat which will in turn help to reduce the overpopulation of kittens & cats in our communities.

$75.00 can pay for a humane “tru catch” trap which is the “T” in TNR! (trap, neuter, return)

$100.00 can help to keep this organization going!

We thank you and so do our furry friends!

A message from SAVES

The growing number of stray and feral cats on Long Island is astounding.  Just take a look at this poster and see what one unspayed cat can amount to in just a short time.   As much as SAVES would love to be able to assist people with this problem in their community, we have limited resources and sadly not enough volunteers.      What we can do, is help by lending out humane traps and offering advice on how to safely trap the cat (s) and where you may be able to obtain low cost spay/neuter in your area.    Here is a link to a very good resource with information on how to conduct TNR (trap, neuter, return)  in your community.  They provide very useful information.


Interested in Volunteering?



These are some of the ways in which you could help SAVES…


There are so many managed feral cat colonies on the North Fork/Riverhead area.  We could always use assistance with daily feeding of these colonies.

Trapping/Transport/Post spay-neuter recovery

We could always use more assistance in these areas, especially during kitten season.

Foster kitten caretaker

If you love being surrounded by adorable furry little things-and won’t fall completely in love with them all-ask about foster opportunities!

Cat socializer

If you think you’re great with cats, you can help by “socializing” them before they go up for adoption.


We are always in need of food for our feral cat colonies that SAVES volunteers oversee.  We also accept monetary donations that will go to the care & welfare of the kittens & cat colonies.

Contact SAVES for more info!



Colony Cats.

These are just some of the cats that are being taken care of daily by SAVES volunteers.  They have already been altered and were returned to their colony where they are given food, water & shelter in inclement weather.     We need & welcome donations to help these and other cats that unfortunately do not have the luxury of a real home.  The colonies are their homes.  Please visit our “contact us” page to donate.   We thank you and our furry friends do too! IMG_1339