By John Lauritsen

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A sanctuary that saves more than 400 animals a year may soon find itself without a home.

Gentle Touch Animal Sanctuary, located in Brooklyn Center, is a no-kill shelter. But the business complex it is located in faces mortgage default and property owners recently informed them that the building may no longer be an option.

Every cat at Gentle Touch Animal Sanctuary has its own bed and seemingly its own story. Take BJ for instance, who prefers to sleep in the sink.

“When he was a kitten he needed to have two blood transfusions. And he was so tiny and he was really, really, really sick,” said assistant director Stephanie Mraz.

Gentle Touch has found homes for more than 5,000 animals since 2003. They get money through adoptions and donations and work with PetSmart to get cats like BJ adopted.

The sanctuary’s lease is up in July and unless they are able to raise $10,000 by then to move to a new location, their future is uncertain. Especially for the animals that have made the sanctuary their permanent home.

In reality, that’s about 20 cats who are known as the house residents. Because of various health reasons, they can’t be adopted. So in a matter of speaking, volunteer Suzanne Thompson says this is their lifeline.

“These animals already came from an euthanasia list, so this is it. Their future is bleak … if we cannot find a spot,” said Thompson.

And that’s where the $10,000 would come in. Volunteers believe that’s how much it would take to relocate and sign a lease with a place that would allow this cat community to move in.

“Without these things falling into place, it’s doubtful that we would be able to continue,” said Thompson.

Gentle Touch will be holding a Valentine’s Day sale at their Brooklyn Center location on Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds will go towards re-location.

The Valentine’s Day sale runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be also a craft sale as well. Gentle Touch Animal Sanctuary is located at 4900 France Ave. North in Brooklyn Center. Click here for details.

John Lauritsen

Comments (10)
  1. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    Why? So they can all get hit by cars?

  2. Brenda says:

    It’s that kind of thinking that has brought animals to shelters. Injured and ill having more puppies.

  3. Steve says:

    Sounds like you had a personal conflict, and you’re still angry about it. Interesting how you say animal you adopted “was” a good cat…?

    I’m one of the many volunteers there. There are two buildings. There is no single room with 30 cats. The animals only come from other shelters where they were about to be euthanized.

    Its a very professionaly run shelter, kept clean. Animals are taken each week to PetCo and PetsMart for adoption events, and they stay there for a whole week. Pets are constantly being adopted.

  4. Victoria says:

    I have been volunteering at Gentle Touch for several years and I also am an animal rights activist. I purposely chose an animal shelter that was cage-free and no-kill, which most shelters cannot claim. The staff and volunteers of Gentle Touch deeply care about all our animals and follow a strict adoption policy in order to ensure our animals only being adopted to caring, loving forever homes. Our adoption policy is similar to many other animal shelters. Since we are run almost entirely by volunteers, it is best to leave a voicemail message or send an email to reach one of several people who can authorize adoptions. I’m sorry “Been There Done That” felt they had a poor experience with Gentle Touch, but that is typically not the case. Gentle Touch has saved hundreds of cats from being put down simply because they did not have a home. It would be a shame for Minnesota to lose a no-kill animal shelter.

  5. Carl says:

    Been there done that. I fiind it very hard to believe that your check was held for 4 months. Bit of a stretch on that one as no organization with limited funds is going to hold on to your money for that length of time. Also don’t think any of the animals at Gentle Touch would ever have been adopted to the Vet next door. Seems like you need to re-visit your memory as all doesn’t seem right with what you are remembering. Somethihg most definately a miss. I adopted my cat from this organization and it was a wonderful experience. Nothing like what you are saying at all.

  6. AJ says:

    I was very moved by this story. Minnesota has few no-kill shelters like this. They’re so important. We need to come together at a time like this to support no-kill shelters.

  7. Sharon Anderson says:

    Great place, great people. We adopted a cat from Gentle Touch, and the place was as spotless as could be for an animal shelter. Thanks so much for getting the word out.