Veteran Feeds Over 70 Strays With Money He Earns From Selling Scrap Metal

Written by: Julie Hunt
| Published on April 12, 2024

Despite being retired, Willie Ortiz, a former soldier, mechanic, school bus driver, and welder at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, continues to dedicate his life to a unique cause. His greatest passion lies in caring for stray cats. Each night, Willie fills his old minivan from floor to ceiling with cat food and sets off on a feeding tour across the city. For the past 22 years, Willie has faithfully fed stray cats, making 16 stops each night to feed a total of 68 cats. Impressively, he has never missed a night in all these years, driven by a deep commitment to these animals.

His journey began in 1995 when he encountered a starving cat outside a friend’s auto body shop. While others overlooked the needy animal, Willie felt compelled to help and started feeding it. This act of kindness led him to discover several stray cat colonies around the city, all in dire need of support. Willie doesn’t just feed the cats; he also takes responsibility for their health, managing veterinary visits for sick or injured cats and covering the costs of spaying, neutering, and vaccinations. He even works to find permanent homes for them.

To fund this mission, Willie spends his days gathering and selling scrap metal, and although community members often contribute by donating metal, he accepts financial donations too. However, he insists that all money received be spent solely on the cats’ food and medical care.

Despite his age, Willie remains unwavering in his commitment, driven by a boundless compassion for the stray cats he considers his extended family. His determination ensures that these cats are well cared for, exemplifying his profound kindness and dedication to their well-being.

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