'Every animal deserves to be loved': Becker woman aims to save 800 stray cats

Maddie Oscarson is in college and planning a wedding but is still doing all she can to take care of stray cats. (FOX 9)

While working full-time, planning a wedding, and getting ready to graduate from college next month, a woman in Becker is dedicating the little free time she has to try to get stray cats off the streets.

"My friends and family are supportive of it," Maddie Oscarson told FOX 9 on Tuesday. "They do think that I’m crazy, [for] some of the things I’m willing to do to save an animal."

When Oscarson moved to her new home in Becker a few years ago, she immediately noticed that the woods across the street were teeming with stray cats.

"So that’s when I really got into cats," Oscarson said.

Over the last three years, she’s welcomed them in her home with open arms.

"At one point we had 14," Oscarson said.

Now, her house has two kinds of rooms, some for people and some for cats

"We kind of just locked the garage doors and turn the garage into a cat sanctuary," Oscarson said.

Her home has become an animal rescue of sorts, and already she’s been able to find new homes for 80 cats in the area while reuniting another 15 lost cats with their owners. The Twin Cities college student is focused on a different kind of spreadsheet compared to her classmates - a list dedicated to cats.

"I don’t have room or time or funds or resources to help all 800 cats on my list at once," Oscarson said.

But she has gotten some help. Over time she’s received $10,000 worth of donations and supplies. She’s also added another $5,000 of her own money. 

"I have projects lined up for next spring in Wheaton, and in Hinckley," Oscarson said.

Each week, she devotes up to 15 hours to put out live traps and shelters to catch strays. Then, she gets the cat's medical attention, before using her connections to find each animal a forever home.

"No matter how hard it gets, that’s the goal - that every animal deserves to be loved and deserves to be safe," Oscarson said.