Octavio Feline Foundation
Octavio Feline Foundation has been successfully rescuing cats and kittens in the Miami-Dade County for over 15 years. But its President/Founder, Silvia M Valles have been helping them for over 35 years.
On October 9th, 1999, Mrs. Victoria Guanchez, also known as "Lolita" and the pioneer of spaying and neutering cats in Miami came upon a four weeks old kitten in one of her colonies close to what used to be, the Orange Bowl. Unable to bring her to her work, she took him to the clinic that she was using for the spaying and neutering and gave him to the owner to care for him while she was at work. Like every afternoon I passed by the clinic and when I saw him I fell in love. When Lolita finished work and came to pick him up I asked her if I could keep him until he could eat on his own. She agree and I took him home. When he was about six or seven weeks old and eating on his own Lolita called me to get him back. I was devastated because I bonded with him but I had to keep my word to give it back to her. I was supposed to give him back to her they following day and I was extremely sad but that's when I miracle happened. Early that Saturday Lolita called the clinic and told the owner that I could keep the kitten because she realized that she had way too many and was not able to provide what he needed. When the owner of the clinic called me I would not be happier, I immediately took him to the clinic to start the vetting process which includes FIV/FeLV test, vaccination and deworming. We looked for a name and we decided to name him Octavio. To our surprise and disbelieve, he was positive for FIV which is like AIDS in humans. At that time very little was known about that virus for cats and we found out that a doctor at the University in Gainesville was doing a study about the virus. Next Monday we contacted her and explained the situation, since the vet was kind of my adoptive father, he spoke to her and Octavio was going to join her study so we agreed to wait 6 months to retest him again an informed her of the result because he was part of the study. Six months later we retested him and he was negative! I was extremely happy and in a way to thank the universe for this miracle, I went to my bank and I opened a bank account on his name so we could start helping other cats and kittens in the community. Then on November 1st, 2005, Octavio Feline Foundation was incorporated, registered and fully legal. We opened mainly to help elderly, low income and handicapped citizens with their cat's needs. We have been providing spay and neuter surgeries, medical care food and litter to countless cat colonies feeders in the Miami Dade County area.
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