Golden Years Sanctuary, established in 2023, is nestled on 5 acres of both cleared and wooded property. It is certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The area offers super senior cats peace, tranquility, with an abundance of wildlife watching within their safe and secure Catio attached to the rescues Cat Cottage.
Provide a safe, loving, and comfortable environment to super senior and hospice cats in need, who are surrendered, abandoned, or abused. The mission of Golden Years Sanctuary is to give a comfortable space for cats deemed to be in their “golden years”. Our organization will support and be part of the mission of South Carolina to become a "no kill" state by providing space to super senior and hospice cats in need.
Our long-term goals include:
Establishing a community pet food pantry for families in need, during times of hardship. This pantry will serve the Cottageville, South Carolina area. This will be an honor system based pantry, no questions asked, no paperwork to fill out.
Implementation of a foster and adoption program by 2024.
At Golden Years Sanctuary, we recognize animals come from different backgrounds. Many times, animals coming into the shelter system have an unknown history, often found as strays. At times they are surrendered for various reasons. Cats, like us humans, have their own personalities. We do not know all of their backstory, but we can take time to learn what brings them joy, how they wish to be shown affection, and even where they prefer to sleep. It is important we respect an animals’ boundaries while providing space and care as they age.
Golden Years Sanctuary will not tolerate any form of abuse, mistreatment, mishandling, or neglect of any animals.
We believe elderly, hospice, and palliative care cats all deserve a quiet space that enables them the opportunity to enjoy their time. We also encourage play, interactive toys, outdoor stimulation, and treats.
Many years ago, our family made the decision to visit our
local animal shelter to adopt a cat. Most shelters were
bursting with kittens, and this was no different. Sprinkled
among the endless choices of cute little faces were a few cats ranging in ages from 1-8 years old. Two stuck out to me. One was 8 years old and another was a guestimate of 4-5 years old. As a family we mulled over the choices. My heartstrings were pulling toward the older cats. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a complete softie for kittens but I also know they get scooped up quickly. A gentleman was there looking for a cat as well. He had his brother with him who was an adult with cognitive delays. It warmed my heart to see they were going to adopt the 8-year-old cat. This was his companion animal. The love I saw beaming from that guy’s face was priceless.
Being in the room with so many cats and kittens, we discussed the pros and cons of adopting an older cat. There may be health issues, he/she may pass away sooner rather than later or may have already established bad habits. Even with those minor concerns mentioned we adopted the other cat who caught my eye and committed to providing him with a home. We paid the $20 adoption fee and off we went. Our new family member became known as Stewie. He brought so much love to our family. Everyone who met him said “what a cool cat”. A few years into his adoptive life we brought home two puppies, brother and sister. Stewie quickly showed them the ropes along with demonstrating who exactly was the boss, which was him of course.
He spent life playing, meowing, frolicking in our fenced in yard, basking in the sun, and taking turns sleeping in all our beds. Christmas was one of his favorites. He absolutely loved jumping in the crumpled wrapping paper, sitting in boxes, waiting not so patiently for treats from his stocking, and sleeping under the Christmas tree with the twinkling lights. Stewie enjoyed his last Christmas with us in 2019. During this time, he was showing signs of aging and slowing down. His bathroom habits changed along with his eating routines. He slept 95% of the day. A visit to our vet made us aware he was nearing the end of life. In March of the following year, after another visit to our vet, confirming it was time to make a decision for Stewie. I reached out to Lowcountry Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia. Stewie had lost much of his weight and muscle mass, was having difficulty walking, struggled to use the bathroom, and became a bit out of sorts cognitively speaking.
We choose the gift of letting him go in our own home, where he was most comfortable. In passing, he was held in my arms, family surrounding him, whispering how he was the best cat ever and that we loved him. Stewie was 21 years old when he went over the rainbow bridge.
Golden Years Sanctuary was created in his memory to inspire others to give older cats the opportunity to thrive and live out their lives in a comfortable environment.
Jennifer Larson, Founder
Golden Years Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization further classified as a public charity. Tax ID# 92-1809546
The organization is organized in accordance with the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act, as amended. The organization has not been formed for the making of any profit, or personal financial gain. The assets and income of the organization shall not be distributable to, or benefit the trustees, directors, or officers or other individuals.
If you would like more information regarding Golden Years Sanctuary, in accordance with the IRS guidelines, you may make a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 14 business days for processing of your request.