Happy Endings No Kill Cat Shelter

by Darlene Rager
(Milwaukee, WI)



Founded in 1994, Happy Endings is the oldest no kill cat shelter in the Milwaukee area.


As a no kill cat shelter, our mission is to promote the humane and ethical treatment of abandoned, unwanted, and abused cats through active implementation of the mission and community education.

We are an ALL donation and ALL volunteer organization. Funds are generated by donations and countless fundraisers such as pet expos, Valentine Pancake Breakfast, a photo contest/calendar, merchandise sales, etc.

Each year we place around 200 cats in loving homes, all out of 800 square feet. We are in dire need of larger space.

Our cats go through over 800 pounds of litter per week, over 300 pounds of dry food per month and over 150 pounds of specialty foods. Over 85 loads of laundry are done each week. Volunteers are always needed, especially on the cleaning crews with daytime hours.

We are not afraid to take the hard cases and often take feral or semi-feral cats/kittens even though we have limited space. Our feral rehab program includes a cross country truck driver who takes them with him in the truck as they cross the country together.

During this ‘journey’ they have 24/7 contact and learn to trust humans, albeit slowly. In fact, the Glenwood Elementary first graders even wrote a book about him based on his blog, Trucking with Feral Cats.

We don’t give up - take the story of Carmen and Calypso! These two feral sisters were brought to the shelter in 2004. They were over 6 months old, so they had missed that critical period where bonding with humans is quite easy.

Our volunteers at the shelter worked with them to establish trust and help them become accustomed to indoor living. However, their wild nature continued to be strong and adoption seemed close to impossible.

Fast forward ten years... yes, ten years. Carmen and Calypso are sent with Jessica and Mark Wiesner’s mobile feral rehab for a whirl around the country for nearly a year as part of Mark’s trucking route. This confined environment and constant human contact helps feral cats adapt to humans and builds a much needed trust and connection.

After much therapy, Carmen and Calypso were brought back to Happy Endings and adopted to a loving couple, along with their buddy, Cleo.

That's three "happy endings!" The trio is inseparable, with their parents commenting that they look like one cat with 12 legs because they huddle together so closely.

Please visit our webpage at Happy Endings

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My feral life
by: Leslie Peters

Thank you for all you do for feral and semi feral cats. I personally support and have under roof 34 rescued cats ages 7 months to 15 years. It all started on 2001 with a litter born under my porch. I am an attorney in one of Illinois's poorer counties in the southern portion of the state where the cats are over populated and neglected. I relocated here 16 years ago with my one cat from Chicago to help poor people and ended up taking on the project of rescuing and domesticating feral cats. I have 16 in my office who enjoy interaction with my staff and clients. Four share my home and an addition on my house is the home to 14 others. I consider them all family and they have bonded in these 3 separate groups. I am their sole supporter and take no donations. I work hard to provide food, shelter, medical care and love for "my children". I appreciate learning about others who have taken on the responsibility of saving and sharing their lives with these interesting and intelligent creatures.

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