Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Brigid’s Crossing

The Gift of Giving

Heather Burch

Heather Burch

Nestled on six acres in a quiet community in Naples is a unique, nonprofit cat rescue and holistic sanctuary called Brigid’s Crossing. Founder Heather Burch began caring for the animals on her own more than a decade ago. After a few years of nurturing the abandoned or homeless creatures, she realized that something within her was changing, opening up her heart and mind in a whole new way.

“The sanctuary has been a deeply spiritual experience for me,” explains Burch. “The animals are obviously grateful and provide such a deep, unconditional love. You can’t help but be better for it.”

The beauty of giving back, she says, is the incredible gift one gets in the process. Sharing that gift with others has become the center of Brigid’s mission. Burch and a group of volunteers and staff members now care for homeless, sick and abandoned animals, while also teaching about the path of service and the ways in which it enhances life. In many ways, Brigid’s Crossing offers as much to those who watch over the animals, as it does to the animals themselves.

The team strives to research, study and record animal behavior, with a focus on its contribution to the Earth and the human race, and to demonstrate the healing that can occur in a meaningful relationship between a person and a companion animal. Because the sanctuary is a nocage, no-kill, nature-oriented center, cats are free to roam the property. Plenty of shelter is available, from homes that are on the property, to custom-built spaces just for the animals. A natural approach is used throughout, from organic fertilizer and pest control, to a raw food diet and the use of alternative healing methods.

Brigid’s Crossing will welcome Dr. Jane Goodall for a special members-only event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., February 13. For more information about events, cat adoptions, membership, the volunteer program or donations, call 239-591-8425 or visit

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