Cat advocacy community is mourning transporter killed while driving rescued cats to SC sanctuary

The cat rescue community is in mourning this week following the tragic death of one of our own. A well-known and beloved cat transporter of death row rescues was killed in a traffic accident over the weekend.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Janice Lockamy, 60, was killed in a car accident July 2 while transporting 21 cats from Tampa Bay Animal Control in Florida to Suzy’s Zoo Sanctuary for Special Needs Kitties in South Carolina. Her husband, Kent Frank Lockamy, 69, was seriously injured. The Brandon couple were both wearing their seatbelts and alcohol wasn’t involved in the crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at 3:29 p.m. their 1999 Toyota 4Runner was traveling northbound on I-75 near Brooksville in the outside lane when it left the roadway. After entering the east shoulder the 4Runner then traveled back across the roadway where it collided with the concrete barrier then crossed back onto the roadway. The vehicle overturned and came to rest upright on the shoulder.

The injured cats were taken to Hernando ACC. I have a tentative list of the missing cats from Cindi Tanksley who is in contact with Suzanne Melton of Suzy’s Zoo. Gavin, Trixie, Jackie, Jade and unnamed kitten are known missing at this time. Animal Control in the area is trying to help set traps for them near the Sherman Hills Golf Course in Hernando County. It is unknown if undocumented cats were also on board. Suzanne will likely make a post to update.

Frank was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with what are described as serious injuries. He has a long road to recovery ahead, both physically and emotionally. Please help this family if you can and feel free to leave a comment below to remember her. Janice never asked for a dime and wouldn’t even accept gas money for transport.

bottle baby survived the crash (safe in foster care)

Her dedication to getting the cats to where they needed to go will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

This article will be updated as information becomes available. The fundraiser link was removed. It was someone trying to profit from Janice’s death. Anyone who gave is asked to submit a fraud request for a refund.

Click here to follow Elisa on Facebook.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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101 Responses

  1. Gail L Panici says:

    did you make the trip?

  2. Anonymous says:

    did you make the trip?

  3. Melanie says:

    Have they found any of the missing cats?

  4. judith malone says:

    Thank you Elisa!

  5. Dee (Florida) says:

    So very sad.
    I live less than 30 miles from Hernando.
    I wish that someone had reached out to all the rescue groups around before ever calling any county animal services.
    Yes, rescue groups are insanely busy, but I ( and, I know others) would have volunteered to help in most any way if contacted.

  6. Janda ziemba says:

    God bless you my friend and saving kitties and more. She is blessed now with her fur family is my only consolation.
    Kent there are no words losing your best friend and love. My heart goes out to you and family. I’m sorry for your tremendous loss. I’ll always remember you and T.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thank you very much for commenting. Your sentiments are those of many many thousands of people who feel exactly the same way as you.

  7. Jodie says:

    I should add, as a point, that I am in no way shape or form making any judgements in this case. From what I have seen, Suzi’s zoo is a reputable organization. Sorry, I guess I just worded what I said above badly. Keep up the good work.

  8. Jodie says:

    I am so very sorry about the loss of Janice. I did not know her but it sure sounds like she was a wonderful person and valued rescuer. I have seen the comments about Suzi’s zoo. A few months ago I was the person who led the rescue team on the Roxanne Wing center street cats hoarder trailer house of horrors in Beaverton Oregon. After finding two dead cats and rescuing 5 sickly cats left behind when they moved it changed my life. She had a cat I rescued and trusted to her care that I now believe is dead. Roxanne was a personal friend whom I trusted and whom many rescuers trusted. After making entry in her house of death I am much more careful about who I trust these days. We, as rescuers should be the first to question and the first to be transparent. I make no judgements in this case but I am certainly more careful than I used to be. I really hope the missing cats are found and her husband heals quickly. So very sorry.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks Jodie for your valued thoughts.

      • Kitty A. says:

        I looked up the tax exemption with IRS. Why would the 401c3 currently be REVOKED?

        Revocation Date (effective date on which organization’s tax exemption was automatically revoked):
        Employer Identification Number (EIN):
        Legal Name:
        Doing Business As:
        Mailing Address:
        516 HARMONY LN
        SAINT STEPHEN, SC 29479-3730
        United States
        Exemption Type:
        Revocation Posting Date (date on which IRS posted notice of automatic revocation on
        Exemption Reinstatement Date (effective date of tax exemption, determined by the IRS
        after the organization’s exemption was automatically revoked and the organization applied for reinstatement of exemption.): aka (None)

        • Michael Broad says:

          Thanks Kitty. Good research.

          • taylor says:

            i’m a retail-level tax preparer, and this particular deal COULD just be “nobody on staff/volunteer/in the community can figure out how to properly fill out and send in the Form 990”, although not finding somebody qualified for three years straight is a little “things that make you go hmmmm……”


            let’s just say *I* never want to try doing one. i’ll stick to doing the best for my working poor and majority-Latinx (demographics of my neighborhood) tax clients that i can and coming home to cuddle my cats afterwards.

            also, i sadly have no trouble whatsoever believing that rescue workers have a jacked-up suicide/depression/mental health issues rate. (they’re basically the animal equivalent of first responders in a lot of cases, and last i heard the PTSD rate for first responders who mostly deal with humans is about 30% and they’re more likely to suicide than die in the *official* line-of-duty.)


    • terri wolfe says:

      Oh Jodie your story is heartbreaking, I am so very sorry, it is always much worse when it someone you trusted and believed in.

  9. Leslie Hill says:

    My heart hurts. You were definitely a silent hero, and even though I didn’t know you you’ll be missed. Sympathy to you family.

  10. Susie Martin says:

    Susie Gibson Martin Suzanne Suzy Melton, my soul sister, you truly are an angel on Earth. I went off of Facebook, mostly because of all the unnecessary drama that I have no time or tolerance for, but I came back on to support you and help spread the word about this tragedy and ask for prayers and donations. I have not yet seen the negative posts but stand ready to counter them. I know of one person who has attacked you for years, and there probably are others. Yet, I don’t see those big mouth “nay sayers” stepping up to help when help is needed, small or large scale, as you do. I trust you to the zenith, and I know God has a very special place in Heaven for you, as he has for Janice. Now, if those trolls, as someone accurately called them, really want to do the right thing, if they even have the skills to do so, they’ll go down and search for the missing five!

  11. Karen Earle says:

    I am a transporter for our rescue here in NC. I find it very rewarding to travel thousands of miles to get these kittens to loving homes from our kill shelter.
    Check with local shelters for rescues in your area.

  12. T. Gibbs says:

    Completely deserving of people who are spreading even more disease infested invasive species vermin across the planet to destroy every last ecosystem on earth. Good riddance, and none too soon. They should have never been born in the very first place, nor anyone else just like them.

  13. Brandi C says:

    Transporting is never easy. It is something to be taken very seriously. I am so sorry for the loss of such a loved person and valuable driver. I have never met Janice, but have driven many miles for rescue…may she rest in peace. To her husband, may you find peace and comfort in your memories together. I wish you much strength on your upcoming days.

  14. Melody says:

    A tragedy beyond comprehension. I am so glad to see people donating and sharing her husband’s plight. I saw in one of the original posts a comment about all of her cats needing to be rehomed , and thought, I sincerely hope her rescue friends in that part of the country will aid her husband in caring for those they both loved most, while he recovers, so that he will be able to keep such an important part of their life together, intact. If that is his wish.
    It should make every serious rescuer or sanctuary owner’s blood run cold if they do not have plans and insurance in place to care for those that depend on them. I know I will be doing some serious re-checking of my own plans. It’s our worst nightmare, but my husband and I don’t travel together, I’m too big of a wreck even thinking about it. A sacrifice to know one of us would hopefully still be here to care for those left behind. I am so sorry for this man, to lose such a caring partner, but I hope in time, their cats will bring him comfort and peace.

    • Michael Broad says:

      You make a very good point Melody. It is a story which makes one re-evaluate.

      • Melody says:

        I am quite concerned to see the fundraising page suddenly dissapear overnight, especially since it had already reached over $10,000? I pray it was someone who will truly give the money to this poor woman’s husband to help rebuild what is lost to him. Does anyone know why it was taken down?

        • Melody says:

          Where is the follow up story on the persons involved in collecting that money, and how people can help Frank directly? Now that the sensationalism is past, will the media go on to the next poor soul, or help get the funds people intended headed in the right direction. If it was fraud then the police should be pressing charges for embezzlement, right?

          • Michael Broad says:

            Melody, I tried to find the crowd funding page but the link always goes to the website’s home page and not the specific one. I tried to find it to see how much money had been pledged but failed.

            • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

              I heard it was removed and people are asking for refunds because the description of how the money would be used was changed. I took the link out of the article because of that. The person said they’d be giving the money to the family but too many people are suspicious.

              • judith malone says:

                I thought I had read “somewhere” that one purpose was to help with re-homing and medical care for the animals that remain in the home. But it was worded in such a way that no one could have know just how much would go to that and how much to help with the house/car/funeral and I don’t recall what else.

            • terri wolfe says:

              $10,900 was the amount when Janace
              friend Jen had all the abuse she could take she closed the fundraiser and gave the husband every cent. The fundraiser Jen set up was discussed in advance with Kent the husband and he agreed to set up a seperate fundraiser for funeral and personal expenses as this one was to be used to # 1 vet all of janaces cats and when healthy rehome them,plus all the dogs except the 4 they kept, # 2 get a professional cleaning and sanitizing crew to come in and clean and sanitize home to “livable” condition # 3 Repair leaking roof, and after the animals cared for , house cleaned , exterminated , and sanitized , house roof repaired any remaining funds would be released to her husband to use as he seen fit. Fl PIP insurance pays $5,000 death benefit per person , it is the law . Her husband has a regular job and health insurance policies also have death benefits , the 2 of these will cover a nice service in general. which is why it was for him to use as needed. Janace had a heart of gold resulting in local rescues and cat savers , crossposters , the ones up all night begging people to adopt or foster off the euth list. These cat savers can be aggressive and pushy making a good hearted person feel guilty like it will be “their ” fault if the cat dies! When they discover someone to kind to refuse they never stop pushing cats on them . Rescues too, they get pledges and foster gets cats. once they take one they never let up. I know of fosters right now in Tampa bay with 20 plus cats dropped on them then forgot about.This is what was done to Janace, I noticed cats being fostered awaiting transport getting very sick, many died , and the very cat savers which were trusted to keep these fostered cats safe and healthy for the adopters waiting transport would get very angry if questioned by the adopters about what was happening to their cats. Suzy of Suzys zoo had one of these cats , it was FIV pos. but showing no signs of illness when left shelter and was sent to Janace. It was so bad when it arrived at Suzies Zoo Suzanne had to have it euth. and the cat savers blamed Suzanne. After that it was a long time before Suzanne would help Tampa Cats again. I wouldnt have ever went back if that was done to me but eventually she did. A couple others died after exposing adopters cats to the deadly virus. One adopter well known in rescue has her cat alive after well over $1,000 plus in vet bills which are still ongoing. I personally asked Janace to bleach and sterilize but she refused to see she had a problem. I dont think she could allow herself to have such a horrible thought, in her heart and mind she believed she did not have a problem. I made it well known to the cat savers in my group of this problem as did 2 of the members of our group as they both had problems, one cat died and 1 very sick. We were ignored and cats were continued being forced on Janace, and Janace didnt have the heart to say no. Animal control paid a visit , it was not good, they gave her a deadline to do a major downsize, get healthy, and get house in order. the deadline was the last of this month, Janace reached out to a few of her dearest friends for help, and just a few days later she was killed doing what she loved best , saving cats, heartbreaking, . This was not easy writing this but it was not right what happened to the friend who ran the fundraiser, That lady promised Janace she would help her get her house in order to make compliance, she was doing her best to full fill her promise. I believe it was the next day after the accident the husband was asked what could be done to help him and his reply was he wanted the cats gone, all of them, he agreed to the fundraiser. 10,900 and growing when from my understanding “the family” noticed the amount and demanded all funds be sent directly to the husband. leaving nothing to vet, clean, or make home liveable, and they made it look as the good friends working to help Janace get her cats well and safe look like a bunch of scammers. I have nothing to do with the fundraiser, nothing to do with the family, I am not part of the team planning to fix the cat situation. My work concerns feline viruses which are evolving into super viruses becoming killers. I am still working on the one i was working on when these cats started becoming deathly ill. I felt you deserved a explanation . Janace was a person with a good heart, she could not control what happened, she just couldnt sleep at night thinking a cat died because she said no. I am very angry at the ones who kept overloading her, the ones so addicted to the nightly pat on the back for saving all the cats, they prey on the ones unable to say no and they take advantage of them.I know you have seen this happen in your town, this is what happens. Janace is no doubt looking down and very sad at this outcome. This is all I have to say, hope it helped in some small way. Her friends are doing the best they can, a couple rescues agreed to take the kitties as they had to”be gone” and the dogs went to a dog rescue kind enough to help out, no doubt a burden on these kind organizations and we are very blessed to have them. I wait in the shadows for the KARMA bus to make its stops, hope it is on time. Terri Wolfe

              • Michael Broad says:

                Many thanks for taking the time, Terri, to explain things. It helps me understand what has gone on. There is not a bad word for Janice. It is a shame the fundraiser went wrong but a good amount was raised.

  15. Lisa Marie Cross says:

    God bless her soul, prayers for her injured husband, his recovery and for the injured, missing kitties.
    I felt bad hearing of the accident, felt worse after reading some comments.
    Where is the moderator to delete all the factless comments? Some will believe it without proof or ponder it and be discouraged from further helping. Get rid of those bc it does not help anyone, esp. the kitties.
    Rest in Peace to Janice. What a sad happening. Such a person is not easily replaced, if ever.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Lisa I am the moderator. I have not seen bad comments. Sometimes one might not agree with the comments and so on but that does not mean they should be censored. The overwhelming mood from the comments is one of great sympathy and loss.

      • If people don’t provide proof of their allegations, that is a bad comment, I’m sorry. There are people out there, some who even claim to be “rescuers”, who do nothing but sit behind their computer screen and make up lies about true rescuers either out of jealousy because someone else is getting the attention, or because they’re bored, or because they’re sick, or because they’re just plain MEAN, but NONE OF THEM are doing it out of concern for the animals. If they were, they’d be in the trenches right beside us. By posting – and reposting – their unsubstantiated allegations, you’re just contributing to the problem and feeding the troll. Whenever someone tries to make unsubstantiated allegations on my Facebook page, I ask for proof. If they can’t provide it, then their post gets deleted. I moderate a number of groups and I use the same criteria. I don’t believe in censorship either, but I believe in cyber bullying far less, and by participating in it, that makes you a cyber bully to. I am happy to put my name on this post. If you are the responsible moderator you claim to be, you will do the same with your posts.

        • Susan says:

          Denise, thank you. All the “people say” “I’ve heard” posts need to come down. If you are going to make allegations of some kind of abusive or unethical conduct, provide the corroboration. Last year I heard the “selling cats” crap and a well-known person in animal welfare told me that she was intended to use her contacts and influence to put Suzanne out of business. And not a thing has happened. Guess why? And for all the people complaining because they or someone they heard about went to the Sanctuary and couldn’t get in, here’s a surprise. A cat sanctuary has a lot going on. People who run it aren’t going to be able to stop doing their jobs to accommodate your desire for an unscheduled, unexpected tour. You ain’t all that so next time, make an appointment. And meanwhile, unless you can produce something to substantiate your allegations, STFU and GTFO.

        • Vet Nurse says:

          Denise ; Well said here you are right, I have seen it time and time again where a bunch of facebook idiots gang up on a rescue group for no reason when they have never even been to that rescue group or seen ANY of their animals. I hope the KARMA bus hits them all in the ass real soon LOL

  16. Joyce Brennan says:

    Thank you okay thank you I don’t have to worry about my email been passed around like I said have some flyers up have a little parade barbecue whatever and change the shelter’s name to her name that would mean a lot to her husband

  17. Joyce Brennan says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss of a person try to transport cats freeways get pretty crazy and crazy drivers I know she tried her best to get this cats over to the shelter safely you should name a cat after her I put flyers everywhere of her and with some cats I think her husband would love that I hope he’s okay she deserves that always remembered you should change it shelters name put her name there that would be something then when she’s in heaven she can see it from Heaven how much you cared about her and how much you meant how much you meant to you and everybody hearts she touched

  18. Margaret says:

    I’ve been a Rescue volunteer for years. I once transported 6 felv cats directly to Suzy’s sanctuary in SC. It was clean, organized, maintained. You can tell she works hard for the cats. She helps cats who have life limiting health issues. If you haven’t been there first hand, don’t judge.

  19. Tracy Walkup says:

    First of all I think those turning this into a bash Suzy campaign are truly pitiful human beings. This article is about a tragic loss of life, of a person who was out there making a difference. Yet some want to beat their chest and try to get attention. Really? How sad a person/s you must be. Suzy does more good than many will ever do, taking the hard cases that many won’t. Rather than bashing Suzy, go be productive. And have a shred of decency – someone lost their life.

  20. CINDY MOHR says:

    How dare these anonymous who do not even have the guts to post their name, use such a tragedy to start drama about a rescue. I probably can guess who you are, because I have been on those threads. For your information, you will never hold a candle to Suzanne, the heart, the knowledge, the hard work that her and her family, friends and fosters put into her shelter. Why don’t you take a damn week and spend it with her and see if you can keep up with do all she does. And YES SHE HAS ADOPTION EVENTS AND YES, SHE DOES ADOPT OUT. MY SISTER JUST ADOPTED 2 A FEW DAYS AGO. YOU NEED TO SHUT YOUR TRAP AND GET OFF THE THREADS SPREADING BULLSHIT. Think of the time you waste running your mouth which kills. DRAMA KILLS. GOSSIP KILLS. Go see for yourself before you badmouth while kittens and cats are dying and needing YOU to help.

  21. Lisa Roberts says:

    This is completely not true about Suzy! She knows where all her cats are and she allows visitors. I’ve been there on several occasions and have been updated. She takes time sometimes to respond because she is very very busy!! Some people just don’t get that! Rescue people are very very busy and can’t drop everything to respond immediately!! She loves everyone of the cats and goes beyond what normal people would do to take care of them!!

  22. Sharon says:

    God bless Frank and bring him healing in mind, body and spirit. I help in dog rescue and have 3 rescued Iggies. Last year we adopted our first cat and have fallen in love with her. I never knew I could be a cat person too.

  23. jmuhj says:

    Though I live in L.A. Metro and have never met the Lockamys, I feel a personal sense of loss because each and every one of us in the feline advocacy community is “family” and the loss of any one is the loss of a hero. My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Ms. Lockamy, as well as *PRAYERS* for Mr. Lockamy, their beloved cats, and all of the cats in transport including those I pray will soon be found, unharmed, and gotten to loving safe haven. This is a devastating loss and I personally hope that we all remember Ms. Lockamy and be inspired by her legacy as we continue our work for the cats and kittens we all love so much.

  24. Desiree says:

    So sad rest in peace

  25. judy freed says:

    so sorry for your loss to the family and to the community especially the kitties rescue and transports and to the sweet babies hers and her hubby and also to the ones hurt in accident and to the ones still missing.ive had 5 kitties come to me from shelters and I thank God everyday for them and also for both the transporters and safety for kitties. so heaven gained another angel.

  26. Jeff Emmons says:

    You do realize that with 100+ cats on site that the last thing in the world she has time for is being online answering every inquiry she gets. They DO give tours but you have to schedule them, not just show up. She adopts out the ones that can be adopted out, with vet and reference checks on every single one. You say you don’t know her, but yet, you seem to think you’re qualified to judge her?

    • Before making dangerous comments that bash a well known rescue get your facts. Fake News! Have you met Suzy? Have you been to her place? I have spoken with Suzy for hundreds of hours. I live several hundred miles away and we have found the time to get together several times. I have personally observed Suzy rescue a feral mama cat and her kittens. Calmly, using a towel she was able to pick up the scared mama and put her into a kennel with her kittens. I have seen numerous followup photos as the kittens have grown. I did have to ask Suzy a few times for pics. She took plenty and is super busy. When you are living and breathing cat rescue day and night, organizing pictures and posting or emailing them is NOT a priority. I have numerous photos of mamed, beaten, tortured cats and kittens that Suzy has taken in. I have seen X-rays of severe fractures caused by people. I have never sued anyone in my life. If someone posts lies like this about Suzy please identify yourself using your REAL name and I’ll have my attorney take action. This is unproductive and the time and energy is needed to help these cats and kittens rather than try to interfere with helping them.

      • Allison Marcus says:

        Suzanne Melton is by far, one of the most transparent, sincere and HONEST rescuers I’ve met in over 15 years of being involved in hands-on special needs cat rescue. She is meticulous in her practices which are all in line with veterinary and rescue SOP’s and will directly answer any questions she is asked about the cats or her sanctuary and it’s operations. To besmirch her good name in a time of grieving is not only morally reprehensible behavior, but it is also immensely cruel. I challenge any and everyone to go and see for themselves, speak to her local ACO who does unannounced site inspections or ask suzanne directly any question you may have…. she is the “real deal” and a true asset and blessing to the many cats who society would otherwise shun.

      • Terri Tobkin says:

        I agree. This post is suppose to be about a valued life LOST. Get it? SOMEONE D-I-E-D. Why dont you start a new, whole other pisy & discussion about the validity of Suzy’s Zoo, names of hoaders, and all things similar. That IS much needed. BUT not here.When my Mom passed 2 years ago, I would have been very hurt and upset to see people arguing about stuff on her death notice which was suppose to be about her. I get that you needed a platform to launch and I WOULD like to hear about it, BUT NOT HERE, POST A LINK TO YOUR PAGE discussing it. Would you like people doing this to YOUR Mom’s, or loved one’s article? I doubt it.

  27. Michael Broad says:

    This is an anonymous comment. It is not from me but it is interesting but I have not checked whether it is factual correct although the source sounds very fair and believable:

    Janice Lockamy was a wonderful person, I knew her personally, not just on facebook but in person. We are all shocked by her loss.

    Thank you for your kind article honoring her. I am praying the rescue community comes together to help her personal pets, all of whom are rescues. She has always had many pets and fosters.

    Suzy’s Zoo, however, is another story. I hear from numerous rescues, shelter volunteers, fosters and other transporters, that she has received hundreds of cats from Florida shelters, and she refuses to give updates on these cats’ outcome. No one knows where they are, where they went, if they are alive or dead. She refuses any update on the Tampa cats, when asked where they are now.

    She takes many healthy animals (not just special needs) and these vanish as well. No one is allowed to visit her “sanctuary”, of any who have asked. Few photos are posted, certainly nothing showing the hundreds of cats she has “rescued”.

    Are they still there? (That would be literally hundreds upon hundreds of animals from numerous states) Are they being fostered? Adopted? Are they being sold to research labs (after their pledge money has been collected from their kill shelter rescue)? Are they being released outdoors after being house pets?

    Literally over 200 from the Tampa bay area alone have gone there, many more from other shelters.


    There is another story here with a possibly less happy tone, with Suzys Zoo.

    If Suzys is a real rescue, she should have an outcome on every cat, who is fostering it, who adopted it, names of the people, contact phone number and real address, and a paper trail on every single cat she has taken in.

    Janice she saw the good in everyone.

    She also unknowingly drove a lot of cats to what are very likely hoarding situations at best and killing centers at worst. Not just Suzys. Other places too.

    God bless her, we will miss her friendship.

    • Melinda says:

      I whole-heartedly agree with your expressed concerns about the “sanctuary”. The numbers are staggering … the expenses … the time and energy, it’s all beyond reason and common sense.

      There are no adoption events, no posts for adoptions, no “available” albums. Transporters are met away from Suzy’s property, and while it is stated that an open house will occur, or people can visit, neither happens. Ever.

      Just this one transport contained over 20 – ONE transport! Where are these hundreds, maybe even thousands, of cats??! How are they given any individual care and love? Are the healthy stored with the unhealthy??

      Come on advocates, how many YEARS will you blindly continue believing that a couple of humans never reach a limit to how many cats they can properly handle??? It’s so illogical, yet so few want to question the future of cats sent to Suzy’s!!

      • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

        A news reporter from the upstate has visited her sanctuary. So has animal control on the many occasions they’ve been called by concerned cat advocates who were suspicious of whether the cats were being cared for. I’ve seen the reports where she passes every time.

        She has dozens of photos on her personal Facebook page where she’s also explained healthy cats are in a different area than the positive kitties. I’m not sure how large the sanctuary is but like I said before the article is to honor Janice and not to bash Suzy.

        • Melinda says:

          Yeah, once she posted pictures of where some cats were housed ~~> pictures of the ceiling.

          She has time to post photos of the jewelry she makes …

          Another time, 3 – 4 concerned rescuers, transporters drove a very long distance and were turned away. They witnessed blocked windows (from their car), and cats running loose. Tell me, since Suzy is so busy, why does she pick up cats herself, or meet and transfer to her own car? Because she doesn’t want others on her property! Why not request that the transports arrive at her sanctuary??? We insist on home checks, yet show me where anyone of late has been welcomed and has posted pictures of this so-called sanctuary. Does Suzy solicit volunteers to help??

          BLIND TRUST – can a couple of people take care of 1000 cats, or if there aren’t 1000 cats, then where are they?

          Sorry, but one day this sanctuary and extensions of this dumping ground will all come to light. Until then, naive humans will keep moving cats to an unknown fate.

          It’s gone on for years.If a place can’t afford a new washing machine, then how can she vet, feed, house … bowls, litter … for hundreds??

          • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

            All I see is what she posts on her Facebook and she shows where the funds go for vet bills. I hope I’ve convinced her to think about posting to Instagram. It would be a quick way to show the cats are taken care of.

            I’ve invited her to comment on this article and address all of this since this article has had more than 36000 page views in 2 days. It would be a great time for her to set the record straight about what happened to all the cats.

          • Jeanne B. says:

            You do realize, Melinda, that many of the cats Suzy takes in are FLV positive, would be killed immediately in a shelter, and have a very limited lifespan anyway, right? Surely you know this, since you seem to know everything about Suzy’s Zoo and how it operates.

            You want to know where those “thousands” of cats went? If they weren’t adopted out, they passed naturally from their FLV or other disabilities–or, they continue to live happily being well-cared-for.

            Not sure why you’re so quick to judge. Have YOU been there? Have you visited, walked around, met Suzy, met the cats? Or are you just forming an uneducated opinion based on what you may have scrolled past on Facebook?

            • SWG says:

              Wow. You sound like the person who RUNS the place..maybe?

            • Mari Valentenyi says:

              Jeanne, Melinda’s point is that there is no transparency at the sanctuary,so of course she hasn’t seen what is going on. Lack of transparency usually means trouble for the animals. If Suzy has nothing to hide, she should act like it. Anyone to deposits cats or dogs to a situation like Suzy’s is playing Russian roulette with the animals’ welfare. That is totally irresponsible since there are too many bad rescues and hoarders. If she is a nonprofit, I think she would need to file an annual report wiyh the state. That may yield skme information. I recommend that anyone who is concerned not be shamed about it. I applaud your concern. That is what intelligent animal lovers do. I wouldn’t hesitate to call the head of animal control in her county, express my concern and ask for a new inspection. They should know what is happening at Suzy’s. If everything is as it should be, then Suzy should have no problem showing them around!

        • Dolores Craw says:

          Could it be that people are still upset over Julian Westbury and Barb Hart-less? I met Barb Hart-less several times and never knew she was mistreating cats and dogs. I almost transported cats to Westbury. I have transported to a cat hoarder in Greensboro,NC and he still has cats. I fought like hell for those cats and nothing changed. I have enemies because of Thomas the cat hoarder. I don’t know Suzy and I stopped transporting because of the horrors I saw. There were good foster homes and good rescues too. Look at Fostermom Debby in Charlotte. Wow her own vet called RCAS and told them to not let her rescue anymore animals. I called AC on her and her cats went to Thomas in Greensboro. So nothing changed for those poor innocent cats. God knows what happened and people will be held accountable. Christina the cat rescue from hell in Locust,NC is another horrible nightmare from hell rescue. Ugh!! Ask people that have been to the homes to the rescues. If anyone warned me about Christina’s house of hell nightmare rescue my cat Niki the American Curl mix would be with me right now. #catslivesmatter

          • Dolores Craw says:

            Niki the cat is DEAD thanks to Christina Marie E locust,NC rescue from hell. I am sure Fostermom Debby has another house of horror. If you want to know who you shouldn’t send cats to PM me on FB. I refused transport cats to snow camp,NC. There is a great rescue in Boone,NC and I would trust her with my cats. Christine Z is a trustworthy rescue.

            • Dolores Craw says:

              I don’t understand why someone is bashing Suzy when a woman lost her life and there are cats missing and her husband is hurt. I have my hands full with my 4 RCAS cats,Bill’s 2 and my daughters 3 plus her dogs. Schedule an appointment for a tour, go check her out and then make a decision. Get off your behind and be proactive. Help transport, donate money,share the fundraisers and pictures. Pray for that woman’s family. They suffered a loss and I know how that feels.

    • Tracee says:

      This is absolute crap. It’s someone who’s jealous of Suzy’s Zoo, and seems to think that because Suzy isn’t on FB 24/7 giving updates on EVERY SINGLE CAT ALL THE TIME, she’s a hoarder/liar/whatever. It’s just ridiculous, and I’m tired of seeing it.

      • Mari Valentenyi says:

        Tracee, have you been inside Suzy’s to see what is going on there? No one expects 24/7 updates but it sounds like this place has no transparency. That should be unacceptable to all but ghe most naive among us!

    • Susan says:

      This is crap, Michael. Anonymous accusations should not be given the time of day. ‘No one is allowed to visit her “sanctuary”’ is a lie. “I hear from numerous rescues, shelter volunteers, fosters and other transporters,…” Who?
      And if you want to know if these things are true, get off your dead bum and go there. But make an appointment first. You won’t get in my house if you show up unannounced either. “…she refuses to give updates on these cats’ outcome.” Did you ask? Who did? Who can produce evidence of Suzanne’s refusal to give updates? Michael, giving a platform to an anonymous basher lowers you to the same level. You should be better than that.

      • Michael Broad says:

        Susan, I don’t believe that this person is a ‘basher’ because there is a lot or praise in the comment. He/she is not a troll. You are being far too harsh in calling my decision ‘crap’. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

        • Susan says:

          Really? Quote me one comment in that anonymous diatribe you shared that praises Suzy’s Zoo. There is praise for Janice, yes, but that was not my focus. They are bashing Suzanne and they are being far too harsh. I stand by my criticism.

          • Teresa says:

            I agree! Wrong place and time to post anonymous’s misinformed comments!

          • Michael Broad says:

            I think, on balance, it is relevant and newsworthy to report on the shelter to which the transport was heading even if it is a sensitive subject. After all transporters create this network. They are part of the network. It is important that the shelters they serve are of good quality. As long as we are sensitive towards Janice and her husband I think it is acceptable.

    • Vet Nurse says:

      This Anonymous comment here is just plain BS !!
      NO rescue group gives out WHO adopted what cat with the adopters phone number and addresses !!
      That is STANDARD practice when you do animal rescue and adoptions, simply because the adopters dont want to be hasseled or victimized by these facebook nutcases that always want to scream WHERE DID THE CATS GO ??
      The cats where adopted out PERIOD thats where they went.
      And its no ones dam business to WHOM they where adopted out to. Every rescue group does adoptions and has all their paperwork where each cat is sent and all adopters are subjected to a background check and home check usually again standard practice, but that still does not mean that a rescue group has to publish publicly their adopters names or other info. In fact a adopter can sue a rescue group for publishing their names phones and addresses.
      But I guess these facebook nutjobs didnt think about that did they?? Again, unless you have physically been to that rescue groups facility then do not cast stones PERIOD !!! Because all you are doing by bashing rescue groups WITH NO PROOF of wrong doing is harming innocent cats and making it near to impossible for a rescue group to keep saving lives!!
      I am so sick of these nutjobs that forever grow in numbers that are just down right plain evil scumbags preying on rescuers that are only trying to save lives and get little thanks as it is for Gods sake !!!

  28. Laura says:

    My heart is hurting for Janice, her husband , the kitties, Suzy Melton and the cat rescue community. I didn’t know Janice personally but our paths crossed sharing and networking shelter kitties and I know she was a very large presence in their rescue! Having transported kitties myself I know the importance and we will all miss her very very much !!

  29. Whispurring woods says:

    Such a huge loss. To her family and to the family of rescue. Soar with the angels dear friend. Many babies are there to greet you.

  30. gail L panici says:


  31. Kathy burns says:

    As a rescuer and small time transporter..i can say what a loss for the whole community..tranporting is a hard job physically and emotional and financially…they did it all..i will b praying that he will recover quickly..

  32. Susan E Hileman says:

    I never knew Janice and don’t know Frank, but I am truly crushed by this news. In my opinion, anyone who takes time out to take rescued kitties,some who have been abused and
    some who have special needs or maybe it’s just a kitty that is going to a new home, all of these people are angels. R.I.P My Sweet Angel—–You Were Definitely Doing Gods Work,
    and you, Frank I wish Peace, Joy and Comfort as You Go Through This Extremely Difficult Time of Your Life. I know it won’t be easy for you, but through time the physical aspect will get easier. Lastly, I pray that all 5 of the fur babies are found alive.

  33. Dian Bohanon says:

    So sorry for your loss, I do rescue and transport some. It is a hard thing. Prayers to the family.

  34. Michele S. says:

    This is such terribly sad news. My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Janice. Best wishes to her husband Frank for a full recovery.

  35. Robin S says:

    The admin of the gofundme needs to raise the goal so people will continue to donate.

    • Susan says:

      Check that gofundme again, Robin. She needs to take it down.

      • Bella Donna Doolittle says:

        Why take it down??? It’s not available now, I think it may have been removed?

        • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

          That is strange. When I first wrote the article it was set at $5,000. When I checked again it was set for $10,000. Now I’m hearing the money wasn’t going to be used for burial and family expenses and that people are asking for a refund. Sounds like someone got a bit money hungry.

  36. Dorena F Henson says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.

  37. Tami says:

    contact your local shelter or humane society. They have need for transporters and can give you links to follow on the web and on FB. Also search for Imagine Home or The Catz Meow Transport service on FB. Or on the internet.

  38. Angie ebel says:

    I’m praying for you dear Frank .I’m so sorry for your loss Janice was a lovely lady with the most beautiful heart ever she had a big love for furbabies and that is a beautiful thing .we will never forget Janice for all the great work and caring she did . My prayers for you will never condolences to you. Xx

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks Angie.

      • Deborah Mogica says:

        Does anyone have any updates on the missing kitty’s ? Or how the others are doing? Such a sad situation when people are transporting animals to go to a better life I would pray that where they are going is far better than what they came from . If all these people that are rescues are harming these animals then something needs to be done about it there was a woman and her boyfriend that were getting cats from the pound on the pretense of being rescues and were taking them and throwing them out different areas of Nc and Va most if these cats were from indoor only homes these despicable people have gone to trial and their punishment was next to nothing she uses a lot of different aliases it is so heartbreaking to see this happening Mrs Janice and her husband did all they could out of the goodness of their hearts and love for animals and the cat community has lost their angel . I pray that more can be do e to regulate and keep an eye on some of these so called rescues paperwork inspections and photos updated should be readily available when asked for the thoughts thst one of my cats could go to a situation like that is devastating . Prayers for all the transporters out there and for all of Janice’s family

        • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

          I read on a thread somewhere that he’s home now. I’m not sure about the situation with their personal cats. I don’t know if he’ll be able to care for him or if they’re going to temporary or permanent rescue.

  39. Donna Johnston says:

    And these are the things we will never understand. How can tragedy fall upon someone so loyal and dedicated to saving the lives of animals? May she RIP and may God hold her husband safely in His arms while he goes through numerous recovery stages.

  40. Lisa says:

    Kent, Prayers to you and your family and for your full recovery.

  41. LauraT says:

    This just breaks my heart to hear!

  42. Elisa Black-Taylor says:

    Trappers near Brooksville, Florida are needed. Suzy has more on this post

  43. Deepa Prusty says:

    What a terrible tragedy. I am in Boston, MA and will help in any way that I can.

  44. Linda Shkuratoff says:

    This makes my heart ache. Your labors of love will never be forgotten. Rest in peace sweet angel. Frank, praying for a speedy recovery for you physically and emotionally. Thank you for all your labors of love. Bless your hearts.

  45. Frances A Danna says:

    This is so sad. Janice and her husband are very special people. Sending prayers for Kent Frank, their family, and the injured and missing cats. :'( <3 <3 <3

  46. Marilyn mccarver says:

    So sorry , what a careing, loveing couple, sending prayers & strength to family.

  47. Irish says:

    Oh my gawd no,my heart is wrenched!

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