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Sarasota woman rescues cats from Morocco, starts nonprofit to help with adoption process

One woman from Sarasota has made it her mission to rescue cats from Morocco.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Saving cats from Morocco has become the mission for one Sarasota woman.

It all started when she saw a video about The Yass House on social media. In the video, a man named Yassine Harouchi shared how he rescues cats and tries to find them homes.

"I was looking to adopt another cat and I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco," Kendra Simpkins said.

For Simpkins, her goal was to fly to Morocco to Harouchi and adopt a cat. Instead, she came back with three cats to foster here in Florida.

"In Morocco, there’s cats and they’re everywhere," Simpkins said.

After seeing what little resources are in Morocco, Simpkins decided to help Harouchi. She took three cats to Sarasota and already found some homes. She already plans to go back to Morocco early next year to do it again. 

This time, she is all in on the efforts to save cats. She and The Yass House started a nonprofit to help the cause. Simpkins also created a GoFundMe to raise money to fly cats from Morocco to the United States. She explained it also takes a lot of money to care for the cats.

"To help somebody who has such a kind, caring heart to want to help animals when no one else is, I’m on board with that," Simpkins added.

Simpkins said now is the time to help. People in Morocco are recovering from a 6.8-magnitude earthquake. Communities are coming together after being devastated. Simpkins said even before the earthquake, there were no resources for animals. Now, any resources there are will be used to help the people.

Harouchi currently has around 90 cats in his care. Simpkins explained all of them are in dire need of homes. 

"Adoptions are actually more critical than the donations right now," Simpkins said.

Both are tremendously helpful for The Yass House, but right now the focus is finding cats homes. For anyone looking for a Moroccan adventure and to rescue a cat, Harouchi can add a foreign feline to your family.

"They literally have zero hope in Morocco. Unless they have the help from people like Yassine or people here in the U.S. who want to adopt," Simpkins said.

Cats can be flown to the U.S. if you don’t want to travel to Morocco. That can be arranged by The Yass House. For anyone looking to help monetarily, there is a fundraiser online

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