Internet Community Pulls Together to Save Cats Left Behind by Rescuer Who Ended Her Life

This is a story about the strong community spirit amongst cat rescuers. In times of need they are very supportive of fellow rescuers and their cats.

Deb Smith
Deb Smith. Esteemed cat rescuer.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

A much loved and sorely missed Charlotte-based cat rescuer, Deb Smith, ended her own life on 7th January. She had cared for over forty cats with her mother Pat. Deb cared for 23 cats and her mother owned 20, we are told (update: January 16, 2016 by Emma Fahy).

The cats are and were very vulnerable on her death as they would be considered as “owner surrenders” by cat rescue organisations which effective means that “they can be killed at any time” (source: Elisa Black-Taylor on

However, enough individual cat rescues have come forward to take in the cats. All are saved. I believe a lot of credit can be given to the active network of women in cat rescue who use the internet, primarily Facebook, as a hub through which to communicate about urgent matters such as this. Although we should admit as a visitor and contributor states that, “FB can be a good source of information and it can bring out the worst in people – people who “rescue” animals for the money”.

In addition at the time of writing this page approximately $4,000 has been donated by sympathetic people on two funding websites to help cover funeral costs and the continuing care of the cats she had cared for. The webpages where, I believe, set up by her son Josh and Emma Fahy (see links below).

Josh and Deb
Josh and Deb

All the cats in Deb’s care were neutered except for a litter of recent arrivals. The cats need vaccinations and microchipping. It is hoped the monies raised online will fund this veterinary work.

There is a lot of sympathy for this cat loving lady. Deb Smith founded the Cat Rancher and Cat Herder Rescue. At the time of her death she was caring for over forty cats with her mother. The initial reports were of 57 cats but updates indicates that in all there were 43 cats.

The kind people who have stepped up to the plate and rescued the cats include: Brenda Thrasher (25 cats), Nicole Novak, Suzy’s Zoo. There are other people but the updates are understandably unclear at present. The situation is still fluid. I am not sure of the situation regarding Deb’s mother Pat.

These are the two fundraising sites. They have almost reached their target on one site an exceeded it on the other.

Her son writes:

“She was a fantastic person with a huge, kind, caring heart. She would bend over absolutely backwards to help someone or do for someone before she would do for herself. She was a huge help in the cat rescue community….”

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P.S. a cat hating troll (probably Woody or one of his acolytes) writes that she killed herself because of a toxoplasmosis infection. This is the level to which these nasty cat haters and haters of those involved in cat rescue will stoop to. They are foul people who like to use toxoplasmosis at any opportunity to denigrate all cats and those who care for them.

6 thoughts on “Internet Community Pulls Together to Save Cats Left Behind by Rescuer Who Ended Her Life”

  1. From what I heard she had lost a leg due to being diabetic and was recently told she would lose the remaining leg. I haven’t tried to verify this but it would be a hard thing to deal with.

  2. Feel sad whenever i read about pet owners committing suicide for various reasons. Isn’t their pets a source of inspiration to loving their own human life to the fullest ? I am more worried as to what would happen to my cats if i die a un-natural death as in these times of terrorism life all over the World has become unpredictable.Her cats should have kept her busy and happy.R.I.P Deb.Smith.

    • Sandra, it is America, after all! That’s her son sitting next her on the truck bed. Could be his truck or anybody’s. Looking at her FB page she leaned to the Left. Not too important here but there are plenty of cat advocates who are Rightwing….even ‘vegan terrorists’. RIP Deb Smith thank you for all you did.

  3. So very sad.
    She looked fairly young.
    I always wonder what could have been so horrible in someone’s life that they would want to get out of this world.
    One of my biggest fears is that I would die and my cats would be left to “a who knows what” situation.
    Thank goodness for the support given.

    And, a big P.S. to Jimbo-Woody – F-ck you!

    • I like the PS! People who are very tender towards vulnerable cats are sensitive people and the modern world is hard for that sort of person. Although we don’t know what happened or why.


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