Forever Home Feline Ranch (FHFR) is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with a sanctuary near Rochester where cats live in a no-cage, no-kill environment. Typically, there are more than 50 cats on site. About half will live out their lives at the ranch. The other felines are in need of fostering or adoption. Last year, 378 cats were adopted through Forever Home Feline Ranch.

Volunteers are always needed to help care for cats and kittens, assist with fundraising and marketing, sew cat mats and toys and help with off-site adoptions. FHFR hosts adoption events on the first and fourth Saturdays of the month 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Ace Hardware on Wabash Avenue and on the second and third weekends of every month noon-4 p.m. at PetSmart on Veterans Parkway. The cost to adopt is $50, which includes having the cat spayed/neutered, vaccinated, Feline Leukemia/FIV tested, microchipped, dewormed and treated for fleas.

FHFR was founded in 2009 by Cheryl Johnston and Brenda Barton with a mission to provide every cat in need a forever home. It is rare for being a no cage/no kill sanctuary. FHFR is committed to making central Illinois a no-kill community by ending euthanasia as a method of controlling feline populations. Cats come to the ranch from animal control, other local animal welfare agencies, individuals and shelters across the state where the cats would otherwise be euthanized. If for any reason someone who adopted is no longer able to continue, FHFR will take the cat back, no questions asked.

FHFR is hosting a trivia night fundraiser Sept. 23. For more information about donating, fostering, adopting or volunteering, go to, or email [email protected].

About The Author

Karen Ackerman Witter

Karen Ackerman Witter started freelance writing after a 35-year career in state government holding various senior leadership positions. Prior to retiring she was associate director of the Illinois State Museum for 14 years. She is the past president of the Kidzeum Board of Directors and is an active volunteer...

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