WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita State University faculty member and former nun has hit an animal rescue milestone, saving or rehoming more than 6,000 pets.
“All you can help is the things you come across in your life, and we have done a lot,” said Pat Morriss.
Morriss, 65, is the owner of Hallmark Kennel and Lifeline Animal Placement and Protection, Inc., a no-kill nonprofit.
She opened the animal rescue in 1996 after moving to Kansas from a California convent and beginning her career at WSU.
“I had stray animals, and I thought if I don’t stop, I will have a house full of cats,” Morriss laughed.
She found some land in north Wichita and set up shop.
“We have added some temporary buildings mainly, but it has grown from five animals that I had that were kind of my own little strays that I was going to take care of to about 500 usually,” she said.
With the help of several employees and numerous volunteers, Morriss has managed to find homes for thousands of cats and dogs in her 25 years of work.
“I only find the time because I have such great volunteers,” she said. “These people are overtaxed. They shouldn’t be doing as much as they are doing.”
One of those volunteers, Sharon Kincaid, has been with Morriss every step of the way. The former paralegal helped Morriss get the rescue nonprofit status in the 90s.
“I just started by coming and visiting the cats and then just kind of helping the girl clean, and we got more cats and more cats and more cats, and then it just grew,” said Kincaid.
Kincaid, 76, eventually took over all things cats. She takes care of their shots, their photos and adoptions.
“My husband put on our answering machine, ‘This is the Kincaid cat house,'” she laughed.
The pair has no plans on slowing down anytime soon. Their goal is to save as many animals as they can in their lifetime.
“I will do it until I drop, I’m sure,” Morriss said. “As long as they don’t give in, I am not giving in.”