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Cat sanctuary gets helping hand from realty office in El Dorado Hills

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA - Volunteers from the El Dorado Hills office of Prudential California Realty turned out Friday to help out at a local animal sanctuary.

Oct. 26 was set aside by the real estate office for its annual Community Service Day. The office chose to spend the day cleaning up and lending a helping hand at Fat Kitty City in El Dorado Hills.

Realtor Jill Lubarsky said the sanctuary is the perfect place to volunteer.

“We decided to come out here and work. I thought it was a shelter, but this is an amazing sanctuary for these cats,” she said. “They get to live here their entire lives unless they get adopted. I’m so amazed by the (owners) and by what they do. It’s fantastic.”

Cindy and Ed Minghelli founded the non-profit Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund in 1998, dedicated to ending animal suffering, through spaying, neutering, socializing and adopting. They have operated Fat Kitty City on 20 tree-studded acres for the past five years.

“We started by rescuing 73 cats that we were unable to place in animal shelters,” Ed Minghelli said. “We rescued them and built a little city for them on our property.”

There are currently five little shed-sized “houses” in the city as well as a barn for the less socialized feral feline.

Take note, the feline housing development is not a shelter. It is a sanctuary where neglected, abused and unwanted cats receive food, shelter and plenty of love.

Running such a large operation is a full-time job for Minghelli. The sanctuary relies 100 percent on donations and volunteers.

“Having these volunteers out today is a good deal,” he said. “We don’t have the money to pay for workers and there is a lot to be done around here.”

Lauren Lovell, a realtor with Prudential, along with her partner Don Hunter, has been donating a percentage of each home sale they make to Fat Kitty City.

“More people need to do this. It is a good organization and every penny (the Minghellis) have goes to this project,” Lovell said.

Minghelli said the sanctuary is always in need of donations. For more information about the sanctuary and to donate, visit www.fatkittycity.org.