Grand Rapids no-kill cat rescue and shelter holding open house at new sanctuary

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Crash’s Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary, a no-kill, free-roam rescue and placement center for at-risk stray cats, is hosting an open house and tour of its new facility on Saturday, July 9.

The shelter, located at 3433 River Hill Dr., helps adult cats get off the streets who have had a rough life and in need of a loving home while waiting for a permanent one.

“We would like to share the shelter with more of community members,” said Keller, Kayla Keller, director of fundraising for Crash Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary. “I’ve realized since starting my work with Crash’s Landing that much of the West Michigan community don’t know that we exist.”

The new shelter is broken into two sections. Crash’s Landing is the main facility for adult cats. Big Sid’s Sanctuary is for cats who test positive for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and the most common infectious diseases of cats around the world.

Officials say the shelter is the only place in the state currently accepting cats with those infectious diseases and is working to educate people that it isn’t a death sentence for cats.

Keller said that the 80 cats they currently house deserve to find a “purr-fect” family.

She and her colleagues agree that the sanctuary allows every cat to be cared for, regardless of their neglected condition.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Jenn Gillum started the shelter 20 after she was inspired by a tiny, 8-week-old kitten left to fend for itself after being struck by a car. She took him in and decided to name him Crash.

Ever since that rainy day in 1999, Gillum looked to do something to save more cats like Crash. The shelter relocated from off Diamond Avenue but officials say the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented them from showcasing the new space.

“The horror stories I can say about some of these cats and the conditions that they come in, it makes you lose faith in humanity,” Keller said. “We want to get the word out to more people to hopefully find more homes for some of these cats.”

The open house is from 1 pm to 4 pm Guests can tour the facility, meet furry friends, purchase fun items, officials say. Donations are encouraged. Light refreshments will be available.

To donate monetary gifts or purchase items off the shelter’s Amazon/Chewy wish list, visit the website for more information here.

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