JACKSON TWP — Linda McCrady loved cats.
The Hartmann Road resident adopted dozens of feral felines in her lifetime, according to her children. She fed and cared for them, giving them shelter during cold times. She also spayed and neutered them.
However, about a dozen cats are in need of a new home.
McCrady passed away earlier this month, meaning the cats are without someone to take care of them. Her children, Jim, Chris and Mitchell live in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which makes it difficult for them to relocate the cats.
“It wasn’t surprising,” Jim McCrady said. “She would never let an animal go without food or shelter.”
The brothers started an online fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com called “Save Linda’s Kitties!”
“We’re trying to get animal rescue people there to maybe trap the cats,” McCrady said. “She (Linda) is not going to be there to feed them anymore. I’m not sure if some of them can be re-homed because they have been outside their entire lives.”
As of Thursday afternoon, $180 has been raised. Although the campaign has a goal of $1,000, McCrady said more will be accepted.
While funds are being raised, the clowder are being taken care of by Linda McCrady’s friends.
One of these friends is Cathy Zellner, a Lancaster Township resident who knew McCrady for about 17 years and worked with her for a time.
“She was very smart. She had a big heart and was very generous,” Zellner said of her late friend. “I have so many things in my home that she gave me.”
Zellner helps feed the cats, which live under the house. A duck also visits on occasion and eats the food.
“At one time, there were about 30 cats,” Zellner said. “But friends helped foster and socialize them.”
Linda McCrady was a lifelong member and contributor to the World Wildlife Fund, the Humane Society and the ASPCA.
“She never tired of helping animals in need of food and shelter,” her obituary states. “Until the end, most of her money went to feeding and caring for both domesticated and feral cats, dogs and wildlife.”
She moved to Zelienople in the mid-’80s and then in the township since 1994 until her death.
Jim McCrady described his mother as “uncompromising,” but at the same time, caring and giving.
“She pretty much lived by her own rules,” Jim McCrady said. “She was a very strong, outspoken person and into women’s rights. She had little time for shallow and petty people, but all the time for people who needed her help.”
Jim McCrady said the family always had pets growing up, including cats, dogs, fish and reptiles among others.
“We had just about anything you could think of,” he said.
McCrady said he and his brothers moved to Florida between 1986 and 1990 at separate times.
Extra money from the fundraiser will be donated to the Humane Society.
Those who wish to volunteer to help with removing the cats from the home can contact Mitch McCrady at email@example.com.