Mt. Pleasant couple provides aid to cats in need
When Jessica Litzinger began feeding a stray cat about five years ago near her home, she had no idea the direction her caring ways would eventually take her.
Today, Litzinger runs Beautiful Feral Felines, an organization devoted to caring for stray and feral cats, out of her home in Mt. Pleasant, with the help of her husband, Dan.
The couple currently cares for approximately 35 cats in need and is seeking non-profit status.
“I think caring for ferals is very important,” she said. “They need help. They didn't ask to be feral.”
In addition to ferals, felines in the Litzingers' care include kittens being fostered for adoption, she said.
They also watch over cats that have tested positive for feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus, which have to be housed separately due to their conditions, she said.
“I wouldn't be able to do this without all the help that I receive from some very generous people with kind hearts,” she said. “I am truly blessed, and I really appreciate all the help.”
The organization's Facebook site, www.facebook.com/beautifulferals, has more than 2,000 followers from across the country and enables the Litzingers to continue their efforts, she said.
“I have someone from Florida who auto-ships stuff all the time, and even one from Canada who contributes,” she said.
Litzinger works with local veterinary clinics and animal shelters to ensure the cats are healthy, and she also sees that they are spayed or neutered, she said.
“It's always the plan to catch and release them,” she said.
She has found, however, that sometimes the cats are friendly enough to be socialized and adopted.
Officials at shelters such as the Animal Friends of Westmoreland in Youngwood assist the Litzingers in the placement of adoptable kittens and cats that find their way into her care.
“Jessica and her husband Dan are amazing,” said Robin Stewart, shelter manager of Animal Friends Westmoreland.
“They have hearts of gold when it comes to cats,” she said.
The Homeless Cat Management Team in Pittsburgh is another organization that assists Beautiful Feral Felines.
That group provides discounts to the Litzingers to have the ferals altered.
“Having them fixed is the most important thing we can do,” Dan Litzinger said. “It's a major misconception that you only need to have the females fixed. Males need to be fixed as well.”
According the Humane Society of the United States, 80 percent of kittens born annually in the United States are from unaltered, feral cats.
The Litzingers are currently conducting a “Save a Life — Adopt” T-shirt fundraiser sale, the proceeds of which benefit the organization.
Shirts can be ordered at: booster.com/beautifulferalfelines3.
Litzinger said her efforts could mean the difference between life and death for some of the cats for which she cares.
“At times it's stressful but it's so worth it in the long run,” she said.
Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Pleasant-area arena nets $10K in county tourism funding
- Mt. Pleasant-area association aims to provide mining industry education
- Mt. Pleasant Public Library event invites all to ‘let winter go’
- Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society makes its mark for Civil War veterans
- Mt. Pleasant-area company donates $10K to University of Pittsburgh facility
- Lenten luncheons at Mt. Pleasant church draw hundreds weekly
- Mt. Pleasant Area student fundraiser tops $5K since 2012
- Easter egg hunts to occur throughout Mt. Pleasant area