Providing education, support
and resources to our
community to help more cats
live full and cherished lives


We're always looking for foster

care providers and volunteers

to help with transportation and

staffing adoption events! 

Please see the page 'Volunteer/Foster' on this website!

If you have already signed up as a volunteer, please sign and return the Waiver, below.



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Pirate Needs Eyelid Surgery! 
Can you help us with Pirate's surgery?

We take them for granted. We flutter them when coy or playful. We squint against the harsh elements, the sun and wind. We shut them tightly against that which we do not want to see, that which is, and close them gently to dream and to imagine what might be.

If eyes are windows to the soul, then eyelids are the shutters.

When we first met Pirate, he was a 4 week old, tiny kitten, eyes so crusted shut we weren't quite sure what was going on with them. What we did know is that he was in a public shelter and the staff told us he needed to get out if he was going to have a chance and get the medical attention he needed. So we took him into our care. We got him cleaned up, into a foster home. We took him to our regular vet for evaluation, then to our ophthalmologist as quickly as we could. What we learned is that Pirate has what is called congenital eyelid agenesis. What that means is that he was born without eyelids. Along with the expressive functions of eyelids, they serve a critically important purpose, which is to protect the fragile eye against dirt, irritants and injury. Unfortunately by the time we got Pirate, one eye was already irreparably damaged, he had already been blinded in that eye which will need to come out. In addition to environmental debris, the very hair, the fur, around the eye itself is abrasive and will over time cause irreversible harm and blindness rubbing against the eye. So what will need to happen with the remaining eye to try to save it, prevent further damage and preserve some vision for Pirate is a procedure called cryoepilation. In this surgery, performed under sedation, the hair follicles in the skin around the eye are frozen off using precise cryosurgical instruments so that the hair will not regrow.

We want to make sure Pirate gets to live his best life, so we need to raise $2200 to get this surgery done. His foster family tells us he is a delightful, friendly, playful kitten who loves the other cats in the house and people, too. One of his favorite toys is chasing the laser light. If we can, we want to help make sure he can still do that.

Donate Today! As of 1/16/21, we are a little over half way to our goal.

We are celebrating Benny’s 3rd Birthday! Join us via Zoom on Monday, August 24 at 7pm and Support Helen Sanders CatPAWS and Wise Place while we celebrate Benny & support survivors of abuse and domestic violence.

Benny’s kittenhood was filled with terror and pain. When a family member finally took him to the shelter, fearful that his abuser would eventually kill him, he was suffering from the latest attack which had broken his jaw and fractured his pelvis, but examination revealed injuries old and new. His ribs had been broken, skull fractured and more, and had not received any medical care. Held as evidence for 10 months, he could not walk and shelter medical staff worked diligently to stabilize him and make him comfortable. Once available for release, Helen Sanders CatPAWS, took him in and he underwent another surgery to help him walk more comfortably. He was adopted by his loving foster care provider, Beverly, who nursed him through surgery and took him to his many medical appointments.

Following a lengthy and diligent investigation, a determination was made, for a variety of reasons, not to prosecute his abuser.

Despite the horror he endured, the assaults on his tiny kitten body, Benny was one of the lucky ones. The sad fact is that many domestic violence survivors report that their pets were harmed or killed by their abusers before they eventually sought help to save themselves, and that fear of leaving a pet delayed their decision to leave. Nearly 50% of domestic violence victims have delayed leaving their abuser out of fear of harm to their animals. 71% of pet-owning women entering women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims.

This year, we are celebrating Benny & raising awareness about an important topic: domestic violence. It is estimated by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence that nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. On a typical day there are more than 20,000 phone calls to domestic abuse hotlines.

Wise Place in Orange County provides women with safe transitional and emergency shelter, counseling and mental health services, case management and addiction recovery, and employment assistance to help rebuild their lives. Nearly 60% of women that come through Wise Place have experienced domestic violence.

For Benny’s birthday, we are asking that you donate to Helen Sanders CatPAWS, in whatever denomination you can, and participate in Benny’s online birthday party!  Our goal is to raise $2500. A portion of the funds that we raise for CatPAWS will also be donated to Wise Place to bring awareness to this important issue. All donors that participate in our party will be eligible to win a $100 AMEX gift card. Petique will also be donating a Tippy Peak Cat House valued at $35. Check out their other products at: will also raffle a "Justice for Benny the Cat" t-shirt and lapel pin during our party.

Along with our other speakers, Red Rover and the Purple Leash Project will speak about the work they do that helps people and animals escape abuse together. Once registered for our event, you'll receive an event confirmation email with the Zoom party instructions. 

Register for Benny’s birthday party today!


Birthday party program

7pm- Benny’s mom, Beverly Leiferr, will give us an update on “Justice for Benny the Cat” and how he has overcome his specific challenges.
7:20- Petique will discuss their wonderful products!
7:30- Wise Place & Development Director, Elizabeth Hendershot, will join us.
7:40- Red Rover will share information about the Purple Leash Project
7:50- We’ll all sing Benny Happy Birthday!
7:50- Q&A With Benny
8pm- Event Concludes

Redemption, hope, and inspiration are a few of the words that Helen Sanders CatPAWS uses frequently to describe cats and kittens that come to the organization with serious medical issues, abuse, and neglect. Taking on cats with medical challenges, CatPAWS will do everything in its collective power to save another innocent soul. Wizard is no exception.


Wizard came to CatPAWS from Long beach shelter as a tiny kitten.  He had been sick much of the time he was in foster care, visiting the vet several times with no clear answers on what was really going on. With some hope and specialized care, Wizard started to make what his foster considered some recovery- even though there was still no clear indication of what his medical issues entailed. At that time, Wizard was at the age where it was time to start to seek out adoption families. However, something was still off. He was not gaining weight and he was not playful, something he would always do when he was feeling well. Taking this issue seriously, his foster and a volunteer for CatPAWS got him into a local vet to get bloodwork analysis. Both were suspicious of FIP but dreaded even thinking that. After further observation and tests, the veterinarian concluded that Wizard did indeed have the horrible virus.


FIP is difficult to diagnose. There is no definitive test. There is a test which detects the presence of exposure to feline coronavirus (different from the one which changed our world and not transmittable to humans) but that virus is common and usually produces some cold-like symptoms, so just having the coronavirus doesn't mean the cat has FIP. Many cats have it and are fine. However, the cat cannot have FIP without having had the underlying coronavirus. In about 5% of the cases, the virus mutates into this vicious, lethal form known as FIP, but there is no specific test for that. There are two forms, effusive, known as 'wet FIP' and non-effusive, known as 'dry FIP'. The former causes fluid build-up in the abdomen and lungs and kills quickly. The latter takes longer, typically attacks the nervous system and is characterized by neurological symptoms such as ataxia, ocular changes, possible seizures.  The diagnosis is a presumptive one based on observed symptoms.  Typically striking young cats, often kittens under 6 months old, it was inevitably lethal and heartbreaking.


Thanks to decades of groundbreaking research by the renowned Dr. Neils Pedersen at UC Davis, now there is a way to fight back. The medication is not yet readily available through vets, and it is expensive, with a course running several thousand dollars. For all the cats lost over the years, and those who loved them who watched helplessly as their lives slipped away, CatPAWS chose to fight. The medication is expensive, with a course running roughly $3000, and sometimes another course or additional medication is needed.


Wizard has undergone treatments for FIP that cost roughly $3000. CatPAWS is raising money to cover these costs and another dose of the treatment which he may need in the future. Donate today to Wizard's care!

Helen Sanders continues with adoptions
during COVID-19!

With so much attention to the corona virus and the consumption of news that primarily covers the current pandemic, our organization continues to bring hope and cheer to the communities we serve. Turning to our pets for reassurance and some amount of cheer is a natural reaction when many feel hopeless and scared.


While the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services is currently closed to the public, adoptions can still be done via appointment! The Long Beach Shelter has some wonderful cats that are looking for their forever homes! These sweet kitties are ready to fill your home with comfort and joy during these unprecedented times. Interested adopters can email us at and we can facilitate connecting you with the Long Beach shelter for more information. 


And, for those of you who helped us with Moxie, thank you! We were able to get her the vital surgery she needed. She is comfortably recovering with her foster family!