Sara Swanson

Feline rescue shelter in Freedom Township may be forced to close

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Callie, one of Happy Hearts Feline Rescue’s cats currently up for adoption. Visit for more information about the shelter.

Happy Hearts Feline Rescue, a shelter that rescues, provides veterinary care for, temporarily houses, and then provides adoption opportunities for up to 40 cats at a time faces an uncertain future. Freedom Township officials have notified the property owners, Jef & Jeanette Spencer, that because their operation is not in compliance with the Township Zoning Ordinance, in order to continue operating, they require a Conditional Use Permit. As part of their application for this permit, the Township will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Freedom Township Hall located at 11508 Pleasant Lake Road.

Happy Hearts Feline Rescue is located at 10905 E Pleasant Lake Rd and has been operating in Freedom Township since 2014. The 501(c)3 organization is licensed by the State of Michigan. All of their cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and parasite-free. Most are ready for adoption. All shelter cats are kept inside the shelter 100% of the time. Additionally, the shelter provides services to remove and rescue cats from where they are not wanted or allowed, re-homes feral cats to farms, and provides cat food to feral colonies as available.

The facilities are donated to the organization by the Spencers. Jeanne Spencer explained their operation, “Too many cats are euthanized or abandoned each year because of lack shelter space. Happy Hearts Feline Rescue provides a safe haven for these animals until a forever loving home can be found for them. Happy Hearts is a “no kill” facility. Each year Happy Hearts rescues approximately 80 cats and kittens and adopts out about the same.”

“There have been no complaints against the shelters,” she stated. “We are asking for public support at this meeting because if the Permit is not granted, Happy Hearts Feline Rescue will be forced to close its doors.”

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