April is blooming with wonderful cats looking for "furever" homes. Please come visit us at Petsmart!


Paisley is a 9 year old dilute torti. She has been in foster care for a long time. She is shy, but loves people and gets along with other cats. She likes to follow her foster around. When she first came in the PetSmart adoption center she was shy, but with quiet talking and head rubs she quickly started responding with paw squeezes. We have no doubt she will blossom in her forever home.



Marina was rescued with her littermates as a kitten. She was adopted then returned when her people moved. This sweet tabby is now 2 years old and loves a soft gentle touch. She is shy at first but becomes comfortable and loving once settled in. She is looking for her forever family.


Let me introduce you to Jerilyn. She is a beautiful domestic short hair tuxedo with a cute beauty mark. She was born in July, 2014. She is very playful, sweet and gets along well with others. She makes a good bedtime snuggler. She has a salivary gland cyst which gives her a “chipmunk” cheek. It is not painful and does not require any treatment. We are hoping that with time it will go away, but it has not changed in 3 months.


Julius and Blueberry

Julius is a 1 year old, black, domestic shorthaired, boy, who was found with his litter mates at a car lot in town. He is the quiet one that likes to follow you around. All of his siblings found their forever homes and now it's his turn.

Blueberry was found as a stray when she was a kitten. She is a dilute torti who is as sweet as can be. She can be a little shy at first, but quickly warms up and is affectionate.  Julius and Blueberry do not have to be adopted together, but they have been such close friends, that we would love to send them to their new home together. Are you looking for two sweeties to share your love with?



Please meet 6 year old Dixie. She is a short haired calico. She was first adopted when she was a kitten and returned when her people moved away. She lived with another cat at that time. Then she was adopted again and lived with an elderly man for the last year, but he has passed away and the family could not keep her. Dixie is looking for a quiet and loving home. She is very affectionate and wants her third home to be forever.




Click the logo for more info!  


 Celebrating our 8th Year of Helping Cats

Our Mission-“Improving the lives of cats through humane care, spay/neuter, adoptions, education and support services.”

We are growing and working hard to continue to make a positive difference for the cats and their families in our area. We would love to have you join us in our efforts. Be a Feline Friend and lend a hand to our wonderful kitties. For more information, please call 352-840-0663 and choose option 3 to be connected to our volunteer coordinator!




Updated adoption area! Please come visit us and find the feline love of your life!


To celebrate the improvements in our adoption area, we have reduced our adoption fee to $50 for all cats and kittens! This represents a wonderful value for our adoptive families. All cats and kittens are spayed or neutered, have age appropriate vaccinations, have received a medical checkup and are microchipped! However, the biggest value is the love they can add to your home. Be a hero to a cat that needs you. Come find your feline love!

Although we will not have a regular Board meeting in April, we invite you to join us at our next Board meeting on Friday, May 15th at 5:00pm. Our meeting is held at the Sheriff's substation on State Road 200. The address is 9048 SW HWY 200 (near Oak Run). Everyone is welcome to attend. Agendas and minutes of prior Board meetings can be found under the Board of Director's page.





Penny Stanley

With bright eyes and a big smile, Penny Stanley talks about her new position as the Adoption Supervisor for Sheltering Hands.  “I’m excited to get started,” she states with enthusiasm.  “With the new procedures for fosters and adoptions, I believe we can accomplish more adoptions and attract more wonderful volunteers to serve at the PetSmart Adoption Center.”Just a few minutes of conversation with Penny reveal her wide-ranging experience and her sense of adventure.  Born in Davenport, this Iowa native majored in education and opened a child-care center for the local community school district after college.  After this success, she relocated to Michigan with her husband, Mark.  She found work in a veterinary clinic, which suited her love of animals and her skill in helping people.Next stop for the couple was Ocala in 2003, where Penny was a staff member at Brick City Cat Hospital for seven years.  “Most of what I know about cats and their care I learned at Brick City,” Penny states.  “I received a wonderful education there, and I tried to learn everything I could”. 

 More recently, she has been a staff member at PetSmart in Ocala, and became a support manager, then dog trainer.  Her familiarity with PetSmart and its policies as well as her friendly interactions with Sheltering Hands volunteers made her especially well-suited to the position of Adoptions Supervisor. As the loving guardian of three dogs and one cat, Penny is particularly interested in increasing adoptions while taking the time to consider all factors of the cat’s personality and the adoptive home and family.  “It is important to avoid poor matches,” she states.  “We at Sheltering Hands are here to help each person and family pick the cat that will fit best for their situation.  Folks may not realize that you don’t adopt a cat by pointing to it and saying, I’ll take that one.  People need to learn about the cat’s personality and background. They need to hold the cat and interact with it.   And we, as adoption assistants, need to consider whether there are children in the home, other animals present, and many other factors that will determine the quality of the cat’s life.”Penny is hopeful of increasing adoptions and helping Sheltering Hands become better known in the community.  “We don’t need to re-invent the wheel, but we can step-up our presence on social media and participate in more events in Marion County.  And I would love to see more of our adult cats placed in homes with senior families  in the area, to be companions in a non-stressful environment.”

Penny also enjoys developing her creative side by making items to sell in her Etsy shop, “Shadows of Love”.  Pet memorial jewelry is especially popular with her customers: necklaces with pendants holding some hair or ashes of a beloved pet that has died.  “I make shadow boxes, book marks, and other inexpensive decorative articles for fun,“ she says, “but the most popular items are the pet memorial necklaces.”

As she assumes the duties of Adoption Supervisor and dives in to improve several aspects of the adoption center, Penny’s primary goal remains increasing adoptions while helping to make the best possible match between cat and adopter.   Summing it up, she says, “If you really are committed to bonding with a cat you are going to love and keep forever, let us at Sheltering Hands help you find that cat."


String Toy Caution

Many cat parents use toys that include enticing objects at the end of a string, usually attached to a wand of some kind. Please be aware that ANY toy that has a string or cord can be a potential strangulation hazard. One of our adoptive parents lost a dear cat recently to a wand toy that got knocked down from its place on the refridgerator and then accidentally got wrapped around the cat and a tipped over chair, tragically stragulating the poor cat. Please be extra cautious about any stringed toy or, in fact, blind cords. Be aware that cats ( as well as small children) can become entangled in them. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Benjie and his family.



Special Fundraising Events in Cedar Key!

From our friends at Faraway Inn

Book Sales to benefit TNR/Sheltering Hands- click here

Want to learn how to better communicate with your dog (yes, we love them too!)- click here to learn how you can communicate more effectively with your dog AND benefit Sheltering Hands at the same time.



Our Spay/Neuter Voucher Program is now available! In addition to spay/neuter, we have a variety of low-cost services. Please check out our "Voucher Information" page for more details.




Welcome to the online home of Sheltering Hands, Inc.

We are delighted that you have stopped by to visit with us and we hope that you will come back often. On our site you will find information about our organization's activities and lots of information on cats. Our "Prior Headlines" page will take you to great information we showcased in the past. Please click here to visit our Prior Headlines page. To  find  resources about cats, please click here or in our sidebar to the left.

If you are looking to add a feline member to your home, we have many wonderful cats to choose from. Pet adoptions take place at PetSmart on State Road 200 just east of I-75. You will find a friendly adoption specialist there Wednesday from 11-2, Thursday and Friday from 12-3, Saturday from 11-3 and Sunday from 12-3. We are not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. In addition to the cats we have at PetSmart, we also have many other cats available who are being fostered in local homes. Please ask if you are looking for a specific type of cat.

We have lots of information for families who are considering adopting a cat. Click here to go to our "Adoption Resources" page to help you both before and after you adopt. Want to know how to introduce a new pet to your other companion animals? We have some suggestions. What can I expect when I bring my new cat home? We share some insights.


Not ready to adopt? We have several special needs cats who would love to have a sponsor! Please see our sponsorship page for further information.

In addition to adoptions, we offer the Sheltering Hands Community Cats Program. This is a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for homeless feral and stray cats in Marion and Levy counties. For further information, please see our section on TNR.

Lost your cat or want to help prevent them getting lost? Visit our new page- Lost Cat Tips.

Have you found a cat you are unable to keep or do you possibly need to rehome your cat? Please check out our newest page, Re-homing Your Cat for help and suggestions.


When can my cat get pregnant? Four months of age!!! Check out the informative site Fix By 4 for more information. Click on "Get My Fix" for a search feature that will help you locate low cost spay/neuter options in your area.



New Phone Number- 352-840-0663

To better serve you and get your call to the most helpful volunteer, we have implemented an auto redirect system. When you call our shelter headquarters number- 352-840-0663- you will hear a series of options to choose from. Please select the option you need and your call will be routed to the person best able to handle your question. This will allow for a more timely response. Our old number, 352-817-0663, will direct you to call our new number. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to better serve you and your cats.


We would love to have you join our group of dedicated volunteers. There are many ways you can help. Please visit our "how can I help" page for more information. We look forward to working with you to help our community cats. Thanks for caring.


How about a "no-work" fundraiser? It's true. If you shop online at Amazon, you can help Sheltering Hands EVERY time. Log on through Amazon Smile and they will make a donation of .05% of your purchases to Sheltering Hands. You don't have to do anything and there is no additional cost to you. For more information, please click here. All your Amazon info carries over-wish lists, addresses, etc. Just use Amazon Smile as your bookmark after you first log in and you are set.


Help "fix" our companion animal overpopulation. When you purchase this specialty license plate, funds go to help spay/neuter companion animals in Florida. Please consider purchasing one of these plates. You can click here  for more information about these license plates.



Sheltering Hands, Inc. is a volunteer based, limited intake, live release rescue formed in 2007. Our mission is to help stray, homeless and relinquished pets to find loving, permanent homes and medication attention when needed. A network of foster homes and residence facilities provide the care until a home is found. Sheltering Hands also participates in education progams about responsible pet  care as well as conducting programs and assistance for spay/neuter and injured animal needs. Sheltering Hands, Inc. is a 501c3 corporation.