Paul Santell, also known on Instagram as “Paul the Cat Guy” took a class from the ASPCA, to learn how to properly rescue stray cats. This organization is a leader in animal rescue and protection. Many people donate to the ASPCA because they love animals and believe in its cause.
Paul Santell devotes 30 hours of his time each week in feeding stray cats in New York City. His mission started five years ago when he saw a stray cat one night on his way home. There was a can of cat food beside the cat so he fed it to the hungry feline. The next night, he did the same thing, not realizing that his simple gesture would lead him into a wonderful mission and change his life.
“After about two months of feeding them, I said, ‘You know what? I want to do more to help them,” Santell said.
Santell didn’t notice at first that there were so many cats in Queens and he knew nothing about animal rescue. However, this did not hinder him from pursuing his cat feeding mission. Santell attended a free ASPCA class where he learned more about handling community cats.
This cat management is called Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR, where the cats are trapped and later vaccinated by a veterinarian. Once they have fully recovered, they would be released back in the street or put them to adoption if they are friendly.
“You learn how to use a trap. You understand what colony cats are. And once you get certified, you’re able to use the free spay-neuter service at the ASPCA,” Santell explained.
What he learned from the ASPCA helped him a lot with his feeding journey. The money that people donate to ASPCA enables them to spread their mission of protecting animals nationwide. Now, Santell spends 30 hours each week feeding stray cats around New York City though he has a full-time, regular job. He has been doing it for three years now and has fed nearly 2,000 cats.
“My nightly rounds of feedings are usually after midnight, and I trap any newcomers to my colonies during these late hours,” Santell said.
“On weekends I try to check out new colonies at the request of other people in the community and see if I can help them, I rescue kittens as often as I can to get them off the street and adopted into forever homes. I work full-time and basically rescue full-time as well.
Santell said that his favorite part is when he rescues dirty, starving-looking and out-of-place cats. Though the idea that the cats were abandoned and neglected hurts him a lot, Santell feels great seeing them rescued and fed.
To help more cats in other places, Santell set up an Instagram account with the name “Paul the Cat Guy.” Here, he promotes his adoptable cats and encourages people to contact him when they come across stray cats that need help.
Earlier this year, Santell helped a sick cat and after using the trapping technique on her, he realized that she could be ideal for adoption.
“We weren’t sure how she was going to be socially,” Santell said. “But she just blossomed into this funny, rolling around cat.”
Another admirable thing about Santell is that he doesn’t give up on cats; even they got away from him. He always does his best to help them until he succeeds.
Santell also takes care of rescue cats at home: Nino, Vita, Luca, Milani, Olivia, and Onyx. Nonetheless, he still regards every cat in New York City his and he would help every stray cat for the rest of his life; not for fame or commendation but because it is his genuine passion.
“It would be a dream to do cat rescue and TNR as my primary, full-time job,” Santell said. “I have truly found my passion in life.” If you want to donate to the ASPCA. Go here.
To learn more about this hero, watch the video from CNN below: