Update, Sunday September 11, morning


Everyone is tired, but just fine. The facility withstood the hurricane and the crew is handing out breakfast and cleaning pods, just like any other morning.

Sarasota's County Government urges people to stay where they are for now. It isn't safe to venture out yet, and people going out on the roads may impair the work of emergency responders - as well as put themselves in danger. Manatee County still has a curfew in place, at least until 3 PM this afternoon.

Stay safe, and follow recommendations from the authorities!

We will be closed tomorrow Tuesday as well, open regular hours from Wednesday September 13. Our regular hours are weekdays 11-7 and weekends 11-5.



Kitty breakfast at Cat Depot, the morning after Hurricane Irma

Nothing better than breakfast!


Handing out breakfast to the kitties

Handing out breakfast to the kitties


Morning cleaning

The pods must be cleaned, just like any other day.

Cat Depot isn't its normal pristine self, but it will to its regular orderly look soon.

Cat Depot isn't its normal pristine self, but it will to its regular orderly look soon.

Playtime for the evacuees.

Playtime for the evacuees.

Many water bowls to fill

Many water bowls to fill.

Morning cat care

Morning cat care

Everyone's tired, but cheerful

Everyone's tired, but cheerful

Just a kitten under my arm...

Just a kitten under my arm...

Morning cat care

Morning cleaning

Morning cleaning

Morning cleaning

Tracking the hurricane

Joe and Cody tracking the hurricane


Update, Saturday September 10th, afternoon


The crew staying at Cat Depot says hi and hopes everyone stays safe. Don't go outside until the storm has really passed you - the storm surge lurks behind the winds.

Tonight everyone gets Fancy Feast. A special Thank You to the Petco Foundation for donating supplies to the evacuees!


The crew staying at Cat Depot Preparing dinner for the kitties



Update, Saturday September 10th, morning


Everyone is doing well. We must have an additional 50 dogs and cats here brought in by staff and volunteers who are helping care for the animals. Everyone is very respectful, working diligently to do everything we can to prepare and help the cats.

Our generator had a couple of hiccups, but the service man is here now. What an example of how everyone pulls together! CoFounder Ken Slavin and Vet tech Deb DeVogt made everyone breakfast today.

We expect the wind to gain strength tonight and through tomorrow morning.


The offices have turned into bedrooms and spaces for personal pets.

Offices have been converted into bedrooms and space for personal pets.

Offices turned into bedrooms and spaces for personal pets

There's around 50 personal pets staying at Cat Depot with their owners.

They should let us out of this cage and let us run around!

"They should let us out of here, I want to run through the corridors!"

Making breakfast for the crew

Co-founder Ken Slavin working on a meal for the crew.


Joe helping care for the cats

You may recognize Joe from live broadcasts on Facebook. He's good at caring for cats too!

Bringing breakfast for the kitties

Breakfast-time for the kitties

I find a good hiding spot. I'm staying in here!

I found a good spot, and I'm staying in here.

I'm practicing looking cute!

I'm practicing looking cute. I intend to be 'dopted when all this is over.

Volunteer Rita taking a break, it's a good idea to be rested when the storm arrives.

Hanging out with the cats. It's a good idea to be rested when the hurricane arrives.


Co-founder Ken Slavin and Vet Tech Deb DeVogt preparing lunch for the crew

Co-founder Ken Slavin and Vet Tech Deb DeVogt preparing lunch for the crew.


Cody Carlson working on emergency plans

Cody Carlson working on emergency plans.



Update, Saturday September 9th, evening


We have finished hurricane preparations and many spots in the facility have been converted to staff bedrooms. It's a good idea to get some rest before Irma comes to visit.

You can see us live on Facebook several times every day, as long as we have Internet connection. The videos are saved there too, in case you miss the live transmission.


Ready for a nap

Napping with a foster kitten

 Napping with the kitties.






Napping in a pod with the cats



Update, Friday September 8th, evening


A huge Thank You to the Petco Foundation - they reached out to offer assistance with all the evacuees, and donated a bunch of cat food, litter, and other supplies to care for the extra kitties.

The kindness and support from people in the community and other organizations warms our hearts!

Irma has gained strength and shifted west, but we are as ready as anyone can be.

Thank you Petco for donating to the evacuees! Thank you Petco for donating to the evacuees!



Update, Friday September 8th, afternoon


We have almost finished preparing Cat Depot. The kitties that came in last night have settled in. We are boarding up windows on the education center - Cat Depot's main building is hurricane resistant - covering computers, and moving goods up high - images below.

If we have power for the phones and access to the Internet, we plan to go live on Facebook the following times during the weekend, so everyone can see what's happening and how we are doing:

  • Saturday – 8 pm
  • Sunday – 9 am, 2 pm, 8 pm
  • Monday – 9 am, 2 pm, and maybe once more in the evening

Stay safe!

Boarding up the windows Boarding up the doors Moving everything up high



Update, Friday September 8th, morning


It has been a challenging week for weather and cats. Cat Depot has had a disaster plan in place since 2011, but this is the first time we have needed to put it into action.

On Tuesday, September 5th, we confirmed "Plan A" to evacuate all Cat Depot cats and several staff members to Jacksonville Humane Society. Then, the forecast changed and we went to "Plan B."

We have a team of staff members and volunteers who will stay at Cat Depot and ride out the storm, and we have carriers prepared for each cat, in case the building floods and we need to get them off the floor, maybe even upstairs.

We will close at 5 PM on Friday afternoon for final preparations.

Jacksonville Humane Society needed to evacuate all their animals and requested our assistance. Our team has brought in cats and kittens from Jacksonville along with cats from Sarasota Animal Services.

We have also heard from the ASPCA, asking if we can assist with deployment of our emergency response team if needed, and if we can help with intake of cats from other Florida shelters.

Our shelter vet and techs have been helping the clinic veterinarians to provide vaccines for the many client requests - personal pets cannot enter a community shelter without proof of a rabies vaccination. We have also lent out carriers to other local humane groups. This effort has been made possible through a generous donation from Greater Good and Rescue Bank. In addition, Petco has offered to help with supplies for the cats coming in from Jacksonville.

Cat Depot's store still has carriers and other cat care supplies available. The store also closes at 5 PM on Friday and will remain closed until the storm has passed. If you need something for your pets, act now.

We are so very grateful for all the help offered for Cat Depot and other rescue organizations.

We are making every preparation to safely ride out the storm and provide assistance and resources to others in need.

Please have a plan in place for your own personal pets, supplies and carriers for each, and a safe plan for yourself!

Counting incoming cats... Incoming kittens, evacuated from Jaxonville
Keeping track of incoming cats


Update, Wednesday September 6th


Hurricane preparationsIn the midst of hurricane preparations here at Cat Depot. We are so grateful for the volunteers who showed up this morning to help us prepare, and for Greater Good and Rescue Bank who have provided cat crates.

Click on the images to see them in a larger format.





Putting togehter cat crates! Hurricane preparations
Hurricane preparations Hurricane preparations