Rain or shine, snow or sleet, this U.S. veteran feeds and cares for approximately 68 feral neighborhood cats.
Meet Willie Ortiz, an all around good guy who has cared for feral cats in his neighborhood for the past twenty-two years – rain or shine, snow or sleet. According to GoodNewsNetwork, the 75-year-old activist collects recyclable scrap metals then sells them at a nearby salvage yard.
With the money, he purchases cat food for approximately 68 local felines in Hartford, Connecticut. To help cut down on the feral cat population and to ensure they all live as good of lives as possible, Ortiz captures any new cat he spots, transports them to the vet and pays for them to be spayed or neutered. Then, the feline is returned back to the streets where he/she feels most comfortable.
A friend of the U.S. veteran, Kathleen Schlentz, commented:
“Willie’s cats are all very healthy because he makes sure they get what they need to have as good a life as possible. New cats wander in or get dropped off by people that won’t or can’t care for them, and unfortunately some existing cats get hit by cars, don’t survive the winter, or even worse.”
14 months ago, Kathleen set up a GoFundMe page for Willie to help offset his financial burden. The funds are intended to pay for cat food, vet visits, feline medication and gas money. For a long time, the campaign went unnoticed. Then, one of Kathleen’s friends shared the story on Reddit and contributions poured in. Over $27,000 has been raised thus far.
“He collects and sells scrap metal everyday, no matter the weather. He relies on donations so he can continue his mission,” commented Kathleen. “He has not missed one night of feeding despite the rain, snow, freezing weather or his own health issues.”
When Ortiz was surprised with the good news, he reportedly couldn’t contain his excitement.
“He was so excited and when he gets really excited, I have trouble understanding his accent. He was so happy and so relieved! He really wasn’t sure how he was going to make it through the winter,” says Kathleen.
“He said ‘Do you think I should take a day off from scrapping?’. I told him: ‘I think you should take 2…’” she added.
The world needs more activists like Willie Ortiz. If you agree, please share this news and comment your thoughts below!