Tags: antonio Garcia | homeless man | alley | cat

Antonio Garcia: Homeless Man's Alley Cat Colony Saved

Antonio Garcia: Homeless Man's Alley Cat Colony Saved
(Iryna Zhuravel/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 05 March 2018 11:21 AM

Antonio Garcia was a homeless man who cared for dozens of alley cats, and after he died, Chicago community members rallied to save the colony of cats.

It began a decade ago when Garcia discovered a small kitten in a West Loop alleyway and ended up caring for her, WGN-TV noted.

Dozens of other wild cats moved into the alley and Garcia ended up looking after the colony as best he could. When he died of hypothermia in January, the felines were left cold and hungry without their protector around.

Moved by his kindness, local resident stepped in to care for Garcia's colony of cats.

"These cats were his family, they were all he had," said Cynthia Doepke, a friend of Garcia's who was involved in animal rescue, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch. "They meant the world to him. The thought of being separated from them brought him to tears."

Before Garcia died, Doepke had connected with an animal welfare society to trap, neuter and return the cats and had played a pivotal role in helping raise money to help the animals, the Chicago Tribune reported.

She understood how important the cats were to Garcia, and upon his death, joined a small group of residents to help feed and regularly check up on the colony.

"We had to honor his memory," she said, per the St Louis Post-Dispatch. "Being rescue workers, we were like, 'We're going to throw ourselves straight into this and take care of them.'"

Doepke has since set up an online fundraising page, which has gained national attention and drawn thousands in donations to support the cause.

"Thank you everyone for your support and generosity," the page reads. "Antonio is smiling down on us."

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A colony of alley cats in Chicago that had been cared for by homeless man Antonio Garcia has been saved after Garcia's death, thanks to community members.
antonio Garcia, homeless man, alley, cat
Monday, 05 March 2018 11:21 AM
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