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Maria Fuertes, a 92-year-old woman who loved cats, was killed and sexually assaulted by 21-year-old Reeaz Khan in South Richmond Hill on January 6th.

Ms. Fuertes was from the Dominican Republic. She lived with her son and collected cans and plastic bottles for a living. She was a cat lover and owned ten cats.

Upon reading about the unthinkable tragedy, North Shore jumped into action. Laura Arendt from North Shore’s Community Outreach Dept. reached out to Ms. Fuertes’ son with an offer of assistance for Ms. Fuertes’ cats.

It is often the case, when an elderly person passes away (albeit not so tragically in most instances) that the animals they loved so much and who showed them love and companionship in their final years, are left behind. Because cats do not need to be walked like dogs do, cats are more often than not the pets left behind. Then, because there are millions of cats in need of homes, it is not easy for remaining family members to place cats that they themselves aren’t able to keep.

So, kudos to North Shore for honoring Ms. Fuertes memory by offering to assist with the cats that she loved. And for any reader who thinks they don’t have room in their home for an animal, your lives will change for the better if you open your heart and your home to a dog or a cat.

Stop by North Shore to view their 14,000 new “Bianca’s Furry Friends” facility and take a look around. I promise that you will leave with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart.

Rest in Peace Maria Fuertes and may God continue to bless North Shore and its amazing team of support staff.

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Article by Diana Clemente

Diana Clemente is President of the Black Car Assistance Corporation and Big Apple Car.

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