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We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 81-4059184. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law. No goods or services will be provided in exchange for contributions.
R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats is a 501c3 animal rescue organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Founded in 2016, over the past 7 years we have placed over 1000 cats and kittens (and several dozen dogs as well) into loving homes; we've also TNVRed (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return) over 5000 feral cats. In early 2021, we began supplying free cat food island-wide to members of the community who feed feral cats but cannot afford to purchase supplies. And in late 2021, a game-changer, we acquired a 5-acre property in Christiansted and began making plans to build a major cat sanctuary. This means a much needed safe haven for potentially hundreds of homeless cats on island.


The goal of Phase 1 is simply creating a clean and safe habitat for approximately 100 cats. This means landscaping, constructing fences, building feeding stations and shelters, and creating the medical infrastructure to keep the cats healthy. These cats are in the nearby Altoona Lagoon and need to be moved as soon as possible to enable and protect the re-introduction of the critically endangered St. Croix Ground Lizard - by moving large colonies of cats into this controlled environment, we will be able to both keep them healthy and potentially find them homes while protecting wildlife on the island.

Landscaping will be done mindfully in consultation with the USVI Department of Planning & Natural Resources division of Fish and Wildlife and St. George Village Botanical Garden. By carefully planning the enclosure, we will be able to protect native birds from the cats. Fencing the upper portion of the property will require approximately 1730 linear feet of 10-foot high coated welded steel fencing on bent steel posts (to keep cats in) and metal flashing around the base (to keep endangered reptiles out.) Feeding Stations and Shelters for feral cats will ensure proper nourishment and give cats shelter from the sun and rain. We will move cats to the Sanctuary after being combo tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia (FeLV), microchipped, and spayed/neutered as needed.  This will give us the basis of an ongoing database to keep track of all of the cats and keep them up to date with flea preventatives and vaccines. 

Additionally, we will build safe enclosures for FeLV+ cats so they can live happy lives and be cared for, without any risk to the rest of the cats. Intake areas will be constructed to screen new animals and triage senior and at-risk kitties who need extra medical attention. We are partnering with the veterinary teams at STX Vets, St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, Progressive Veterinary Hospital and Sugar Mill Veterinary Center.

This is an ambitious undertaking, one that will fundamentally change the feline situation on the island. But it's just the beginning of what we'd like to do. Looking forward to Phases 2 & 3, we hope to build a Residence for a caretaker and volunteers and a Visitor Center

The Seaside and Lagoon are currently used daily by locals, and we will not restrict access to the public at all in the lower portion of the property, but rather make that portion of the property more accessible. By doing this, we will also help to protect the mangroves that are on the property and line the lagoon.

Cat5 Builders, LLC will be helping us with planning and building, donating labor and materials at cost to help us with the actual physical construction. 

We estimate the cost of Phase 1 - obtaining permits, clearing the land, cat fencing, bringing water and electricity into the property, and building feeding structures and shelter for the cats throughout the property, while also purchasing and renovating a mobile spay/neuter unit - to be approximately $115,000. In our first year of operation of the sanctuary, we estimate the direct cost of care for the cats to be approximately $30,000 for food, water filtration, combo testing, vaccination, preventatives, spay/neuter when necessary and microchipping. On top of that we estimate about $15,000 in miscellaneous veterinary costs and medications. In total our goal is to raise $160,000 to establish the sanctuary and support these cats through the first year of operation.

Aside from raising funds, we plan to start a "Voluntourism" program to bring volunteers - everyone from cat lovers, carpenters, welders, landscapers, veterinary students and veterinarians - to St. Croix to help build and operate the Sanctuary.  To make this program successful, REAL Cruzan Cats will solicit St. Croix homeowners to donate a 7-day, 6-night stay at their home, condo or villa, as a charitable donation that will directly support the programs of the Sanctuary. The Volunteers will be responsible for getting to St. Croix, but in addition to housing, REAL Cruzan Cats will also engage other local companies such as rental car agencies, restaurants, sightseeing and sporting activities, etc. to offer special deals and discounts to volunteers. These donations will be used to offset costs and allow REAL Cruzan Cats to generate more proceeds that will be used to cover operational costs.

We are 100% donor supported - our rescue is completely made possible by YOUR generous contributions. Thank you! 

Enormous THANKS to our Corporate Sponsors!