With over $100,000 of damage, your help is vital to our recovery


By | April 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm | No comments | General


In the 13 years of running this Sanctuary, I’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s been a whirlwind, after a severe storm dumped over 2 feet of ice and snow on The Wildcat Sanctuary.   What a devastating few days!

Inside view of enclosure that concaved

The good news is all

of our systems worked perfectly – from the overnight coverage, to morning rounds, to our crisis communications and recovery plan.  But, more importantly, the design and construction of our facility worked.  Our enclosure system is designed to withstand the Minnesota elements, but in some cases, Mother Nature wins.  Guess what?  We planned for that, too.  Any roofed enclosures were designed to concave in, should they ever be compromised.  This

is exactly what they did, preventing even the smallest domestic cat from being able to exit.


The big cat areas and all perimeter fencing were unaffected by the storm.  And, even though it was stressful for the humans, the Sanctuary cats never seemed the wiser.  We found them all curled up in their indoor buildings, probably wondering what all the fuss was about?

Enclosure roof with snow load

It will take months to reconstruct habitats.  But, with such dedicated staff and volunteers, we were able to crate over 20 displaced cats, bring them indoors and locate them in dry temporary areas within just 24 hours. It was a Herculean task!










Concaved enclosure in Quarantine area                         The structure concaved per our design

bungalw7The worst affected area of the Sanctuary was Hybrid Haven, home to our domestic/hybrid cats.  One was destroyed, two need extensive repairs and three needed minor repairs. The pictures tell far more than words ever could.

Hybrid Haven #7

In all, five habitats will have to be completely reconstructed from scratch and nine will need repairs.  We’re already dealing with the reconstruction of our Small Cat Track area, both the building and habitats, due to a mold issue uncovered there.  This has impacted 17 cats that we recently had to move from that area while it is being rebuilt.

domestic enclosure

Hybrid Haven #7 destroyed

When it rains, it pours – or maybe we should say, when it snows, it really piles on!

For the last 13 years, we’ve been blessed with no significant repair issues.  So, I guess Mother Nature decided to pile it all on in one season!  As I write this, we’re in the middle of preparing to be hit with yet another 7-10″ of snow as another storm approaches.

These are the unexpected things you deal with when you provide sanctuary to animals that depend on you. As difficult and tiresome as the next few months may be, I’m confident that we’ll recover just fine.  Why?  Because we have you!   Thankfully, you’ve always been there for the cats, as have our phenomenal volunteers and supporters. There’s no way we could do this alone.








Domestic cats and hybrids crated in hospital, then relocated into constructed temporary areas

The storm damage total:

  • 5 habitats need to be rebuilt from the ground up
  • 9 habitats need repair
  • Staff and contractor hours needed for demolition and rebuild
  • Materials  and supplies to repair and rebuild
  • Over 20 cats have been displaced from their homes
  • Cost: $100,000

Can you please help us begin the road to recovery?  Your gift will help us begin reconstruction of the habitats damaged by this unprecedented storm, as well as the Small Cat Track building.  We honestly can’t do it without your help!

You can help with the recovery by donating today!  Or you can mail your gift to TWS, PO Box 314 Sandstone MN 55072


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Wish List Items

Menards gift cards

Home Depot gift cards

Read the first snow damage report here.

Storm update:  Thanks to countless staff and volunteer hours, we were able to salvage many of the enclosures by jacking up the ceilings, adding additional supports and patching holes.  In the end, only one enclosure was a total loss.  This quick response from so many saved us from having to demolish and rebuild which was our initial assessment and would have been devastating to us financially.

Thank you to our staff, volunteers and all of you who supported us through this recovery!  It is so much appreciated.  Your gifts will continue to help the cats and their daily care!

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