A woman who devoted her life to caring for abandoned and mistreated cats has died suddenly - leaving the future of the charity she founded in doubt.
Jackie Longley, founder and patron of the Cat Abuse Treatment Society in Firth Park, Sheffield, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 68.
CATS, the organisation she founded in 1983, is now in the hands of trustees and volunteers, who are struggling to deal with the loss of its patron.
Pieter Wing, a volunteer at CATS, told The Star: “Jackie devoted her life to CATS and we volunteers are missing her terribly.
“Volunteers have had to step in to care for the cats and the whole future of the charity is at stake - it’s a very sad state of affairs.”
A statement on the charity’s Facebook page read: “It’s hoped that others will be able to continue with the work that Jackie started, and that other cat shelters may be able to help those cats that she saved.
“We continue to care for the cats, handle the legal affairs relating to the passing of the patron, and grieve for our dear friend.’
Mourners took to forums and websites to express their shock and devastation at the sudden passing of Jackie on Sunday, August 11.
Jackie was considered by many to be a Sheffield institution. Pieter added: “I know that Jackie’s family have stated the funeral will be an open service, and we’re so grateful for their kindness in this matter.”
The funeral will be held on Friday, August 30, at 2pm in North Chapel, Grenoside Crematorium. n Opinion: Page 8