A vacant, city-owned building that is sometimes used for shelter by the homeless will be donated for one year to the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats to house its 80 felines, the City Council unanimously decided Tuesday.
The foundation's animal shelter on Laguna Canyon Road was destroyed in the Feb. 23 mudslides. Since then, the cats have been living at several area animal shelters.
City officials offered the foundation the building at 450 Glenneyre St., which is scheduled for conversion to affordable housing. The rehabilitation, though, isn't expected to begin for a year, City Manager Kenneth C. Frank said. He also said that the cats would deter visits from the city's transient population.
Dr. John Hamil, a Laguna Beach veterinarian and a member of the Blue Bell board of directors, said that the vacant building needs only a few repairs to make it livable for the cats. The foundation will begin rebuilding its Laguna Canyon property, he said, though it is as yet unclear where it will get the money.