Ridgefield student makes rescue runs to save cats lives

Loving cats can mean more than pouring milk in a bowl, or dragging a tin-foil ball around on a string. For Ridgefielder Anthony Raduazzo, it means helping save cats’ lives — a lot of them.

“Probably 150 is a good amount of how many,” he said.

Anthony participates in a driving chain that transports homeless cats from shelters in the south that have high rates of euthanizing animals to shelters in the north, where more time and effort is put into finding them homes.

“We go and we take the cats off a big truck and we put them in a car and we take them back where they can be adopted and fostered,” he said.

“It’s a really a great feeling because all of the cats that we pick up, most of them would have been put down otherwise,” Anthony said.

“There’s a lot of ‘kill shelters’ in the south...

“Knowing that you’re bringing them to a better place where they’ll be able to go to good families — it’s a really good feeling.”

Rock n’ Rescue

The son of Ridgefielders Mike and Maria Raduazzo, Anthony takes the cats to Rock n’ Rescue, a non-profit group based next door in South Salem, N.Y.

Rock n’ Rescue handles boarding them, transferring them to other shelters, or putting them in temporary foster homes, and then finding them permanent homes.

Anthony, his little sister Isabella, and his mother also volunteer regularly at the shelter.

Anthony has taken part in several runs to pick up cats from another volunteer driver, and bring them to South Salem.

On one run he and his mother got a minivan, drove to Pennsylvania, met a driver with a truck and took on a major delivery.

“We picked up 77 cats on that one — kittens and the moms, too,” he said.

“Just me and my mom, there was no space for anyone else,” he said.

There are often other people meeting the trucks from the south.

“There’s other shelters that will pick up from the same truck,” he said. “There’s people that come for the dogs, and other shelters that come for the cats, too. But we usually take the majority of the cats.”

A junior who commutes to Archbishop Stepinak High School in White Plains, Anthony went to Veterans Park School through the fourth grade, then went to St. Mary’s in Ridgefield through eighth grade.

The start

How did he come to be driving to Pennsylvania to pick up homeless cats?

“It mainly started about a year ago when one of my cats went missing, so we ended up getting involved with this shelter when we were looking for him,” Anthony said.

It’s probably no surprise that the Rauduazzos have cats of their own.

“We have eight right now. That’s the highest its been so far,” said Anthony. “All rescue cats. We love our cats here.”

So he’s happy to drive down, meet a truck from the south, and deliver some cats and kittens into the hope of future lives in the good homes.

“Other than it being a good thing to do, it’s fun for me,” he said. “I enjoy doing it.”