The Pueblo tragedy

Along with the large shelters you may have seen in news reports, Happy Cats Haven was one of several smaller rescues who took in animals from the CASP shelter closure in Pueblo. By the time we finish our transfers, we will have rescued 28 cats and kittens. Over 3/4 of all the cats rescued were taken in by just 5 small rescues: Happy Cats, Wild Blue, Steel City Alley Cats, Maxfund Adoption Center and SoCO Spay Neuter.

We agree the treatment of animals at CASP was tragic. It was also preventable. Good people in the trenches were hamstrung by inexcusable management and medical practices.

It should go without saying that proper housing, food, medical care and appropriate shelter should be the basic minimums for any rescued animal. The Five Freedoms also list Freedom from Fear and Distress as well as Freedom to Express Normal Behavior as essential.

These behavioral issues are the larger ones. If homeless animals–cats in particular–are not treated with species-appropriate handling, they will appear unadoptable. Their chances for being euthanized will increase.

What all cats in shelters need is:

  • Fear free handling to lower their stress, by everyone involved.
  • As much room as possible to express normal cat behavior.
  • Quiet, safe environments that also lower stress, not increase it.
  • Time to recover from the trauma of losing everything.
  • Support to make sure each cat saved stays in their home…both at adoption and after if needed.
  • Transparency to our community about what we do.

Commitment to each cat’s full life cycle has always been the Happy Cats Haven goal.

While Happy Cats Haven meets the definition of no-kill by euthanizing only those kitties with serious health or behavior issues, we have always maintained there are bigger concerns than labels. The polarization around semantics used to describe any creditable shelter should not distract from the larger goal of ensuring that every animal becomes–and stays—adoptable, no matter the label used.

As a small rescue, the impact of taking in 27 kitties all at once is huge for us. Along with the usual upper respiratory infections, we are also looking at some longterm parasite issues, dentals, surgery repairs and of course, spays or neuters for most of these cats and kittens. Thanks to each of you for supporting us to step up to help in this heart wrenching case.

Every dollar counts, so if you’d like to help, please click here to donate:

Now we roll up our sleeves and do the work needed to find them purrfect homes! Here are some of our new Pueblo friends. We’ll be uploading more as we can.










Jack & Jimmy

Paris & babies


Jupiter & Pluto

Please click here to fill out an Adoption Application for these or any of our other kitties!