The Furry Felines of Fonda’s Foundlings

Story posted December 9, 2014 in News by Leah Polakoff


For four years, 79-year-old Shirley Fonda has said she was going to stop taking in abandoned cats. Yet on Oct. 28, 2014 Fonda collected a litter of seven black kittens. She said it was just her luck, taking in black cats right before Halloween.

The State College local has been running Fonda’s Foundlings, a cat adoption center, out of her home for 20 years. During that time, she has rescued over 1,600 cats. Fonda says her adult children think she’s crazy, but she says she’s just happy to use their old bedrooms as space for more cats. In her Park Forest home, Fonda currently has 52 cats of all ages, breeds and size. Volunteers are in and out of the house to help care for the cats, but Fonda has devoted her life to finding homes for her furry friends. As a former biology teacher, she says she is comfortable caring for sick or injured cats – she knows how to deal with medicine and shots. Fonda is very strict as to who she will adopt to, which means no students and nobody who considers declawing the cats.

Fonda, who is actually allergic to cats, says she hopes to find homes for the rescues soon. Her health is declining and she wants to spend time with her husband, preferably without the smell of litter.