About Us

Shadow Cats is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of abused, abandoned, feral, stray, and injured cats in Round Rock, Austin and surrounding areas. We do not take in owner-released animals, but instead focus our efforts into helping un-owned stray and feral cats and kittens through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). We also support community and feral cats through the One Life Fund, the Community Cat Medical Fund and other community outreach efforts.

Shadow Cats Mission:

Shadow Cats provides long term care to special needs cats in a cage free Sanctuary environment while also providing compassionate and humane resources to effect positive change in community cat populations through Trap, Neuter and Return program and spay/neuter programs.

Shadow Cats Vision:

Shadow Cats will respect and show compassion to all animals. We will improve the lives of abused, abandoned, feral, stray, and injured cats. We will promote spay and neuter programs, promote Trap, Neuter and Return as the most humane method of effecting positive change in feral cat populations, provide educational and informational assistance to the public, re-home socialized cats and kittens and provide medical care to those cats under Shadow Cats guardianship. Shadow Cats will further our mission by expanding our reach beyond our immediate community through designated fund programs and through motivational and inspirational leadership.

Shadow Cats Core Values and Culture:

We are mission-driven individuals who bring our best selves to every endeavor, working respectfully with each other to collaborate on giving the best possible care to our feline residents and those in the community. We are committed to our mission and achieving it in a kind and inclusive manner.

We respect life in all its diversity.
We listen to others and acknowledge their needs.
We practice patience and tolerance for others.
We demonstrate care and understanding of people and animals.

We are trustworthy and strive to do the right thing.
We observe, follow-through, and honor our word.
We make thoughtful, informed decisions.
We are transparent.
We are not easily influenced by others.

We consider other’s perspectives and remain open-minded.
We work as a team, include and lift up one another.
We see each life as important.

We guard and protect all animals with compassion.
We are committed to our mission.
We persevere.

Shadow Cats Racial and Cultural Equity Position:

Shadow Cats affirms that we are all equal and deserving of the same considerations, regardless of any racial or cultural differences. In this we are committed to an inclusive approach in all that we do as hearing diverse voices enriches our organization and strengthens our connection to the greater community whom we serve as our core mission.

Shadow Cats works diligently to ensure that all of our policies, programs, staff, committees, and Board appointments uphold our ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. To further this commitment, we maintain an openness to identifying weak points and to work towards implementing any processes that will help us ensure these values are upheld.

Board of Directors

Sheila Smith, Co-President/Founder

cat sanctuary austinSheila Smith and Shadow Cats have been at the forefront of feline welfare and community cats for over twenty years. Founded in 1997, Sheila has worked diligently with city leaders in several Texas towns to change ordinances to legalize TNR and provide more humane outcomes for community cats. She also collaborated with city officials in Taylor, Texas, to dismantle their gas chamber and assist them in their No Kill efforts. Sheila continues to be as passionate today about the welfare of community cats, special needs cats and feline leukemia cats as when the organization was founded over 20 years ago and has received several awards for her activism. Sheila spent her career as a practicing Registered Nurse for over twenty five years and now devotes a majority of her time to animal welfare.

Jacki Quaile, Co-President

round rock cat rescueGrowing up, there were always cats in her family, there are cherished pictures of grandparents in the 1920’s with cats in their laps. Her very own kitten was given to her by her dad at the tender age of five. The kitten became very sick shortly after arriving home and she stayed with him around the clock to get him healthy again (with the help of her mum and dad) and he lived until he was 20! The love of cats was going to be part of her life from then on.

Jacki is a trained floral designer and event planner and owned her own business before moving to Texas. She has won many awards for her floral designs. Since being in Texas she has co-owned and built a successful commercial cleaning company with Steve ‘the love of her life’.

She was thrilled when she had the privilege of becoming a volunteer with Shadow Cats in 2008 and then invited to be a Board member and later Co-President of such an incredible organization. With her commitment to the Shadow Cats mission, Jacki has been a driving force behind Shadow Cats.

As life changes, Jacki looks forward to dedicating more time to Shadow Cats in her role as Co-President, as well as enjoying time with Steve and her own feline gang.

Susan Vande Voorde, Secretary

Many years ago, Susan had a problem – there were a LOT of community cats finding their way to her backyard for some much needed food and shelter. She was happy to oblige, but knew that there must be something more she could do. A quick Google search later, she found Shadow Cats, and she and her husband became Shadow Cat volunteers. Not too long after that, all those community cats lost their ability to procreate!

Susan majored in Computer Science and Statistics, then worked for a large computer corporation until retirement. She has been a volunteer since 2010 and handles many of the computer-related activities for the organization, including our website design/maintenance.

Bryant Barager

Bryant joined Shadow Cats as a volunteer in 2019 and through his willingness to take on more behind-the-scenes projects was brought on board to maintain the plethora of records databases.

As a vegetarian turned vegan, he is focused on reducing his personal impact on animals and supports various charities and animal welfare organizations in Central Texas.

Bryant works full time as a designer for a landscape irrigation consulting firm in Round Rock, Texas. In his free time, he enjoys running, baking, and nature photography.

Leandra Contreras

Leandra didn’t grow up with cats or animals but it didn’t take her long to realize that she had a love for them. Leandra adopted her first cat in 2014 and immediately after realized that she had a love and passion for them. She recognized that there was a big need in her local community for fosters, advocacy, fundraising, awareness and education about animal welfare. She used her administrative background skills and long standing residency in her community to network and create a personal mission of helping the cats in her area. She transfers her love and passion of cats to her family, neighborhood, friends, and even her professional life.

Leandra received a double major degree in Sociology and Political Science. She has worked for the State of Texas for 24 years and has lived in Hays County her entire life. She has a 25 year old daughter whom she is very proud of and who is also a feline advocate.

Leandra is looking forward to working with Shadow Cats in all areas of the sanctuary.

Executive Director


Chelsea Cohen began her career in animal welfare in 2012 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in Chicago. Her first exposure to the industry was for a breed-specific rescue that focused on the rescue and rehabilitation of at-risk animals in Los Angeles’ high kill shelters. Years later Chelsea moved to Arizona to be closer to family and transitioned into a career with the humane society as the Director of Animal Care and Adoptions where she focused on creating holistic wellness programs, behavior modification implementation, and developing animal care protocols to reduce stress and increase adoptions. Most recently, Chelsea was part of the Austin Humane Society’s team where she collaborated with the medical staff and worked alongside their doctors to ensure the rehabilitation of animals needing medical and behavioral assistance.



Dr. Todd Murphy is a 1995 graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.  He completed his surgical residency in 2000 at the University of Pennsylvania and obtained board certification from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2001.

In addition to his busy practice at Sam Bass Veterinary Wellness, Dr. Murphy oversees the medical care of the cats at Shadow Cats and supports a variety of animal causes.  He has a special interest in regenerative medicine, rehabilitation, and conditioning therapies. In his rare off time, he enjoys time with his family, working with large animals, hiking, and spending time with his dog, Scout.

Steve Block owned and operated a successful Austin business for 10 years. Prior to this he was Chief Information Officer for a Fortune 500 Company. In addition to advising Shadow Cats on business matters, he also manages Shadow Cats’ fiscal and budgetary needs.

Steve supports the mission of Shadow Cats with great passion.

John Pearce is both an attorney and certified public accountant. In addition to a busy practice, John prepares Shadow Cats taxes each year in addition to providing legal support.

John has served on multiple boards including his current positions as Treasurer of Rotary International District 5870 and the Business, Corporations, and Taxation Section of the Austin Bar Association.

In his spare time, John pilots a Beechcraft Bonanza 36.

Rich Segal, long-time central Texas broadcast meteorologist and public speaker brings his knowledge and love of all animals to Shadow Cats. Rich has been involved in animal advocacy through his work with area shelters.

For the better part of three years, he did a bi-weekly segment that aired on a local 24-hour news station. The segments featured a puppy or kitten … or dog or cat .. that were looking for Forever Homes.

Rich met Shadow Cats in 2016 and after touring the facility and getting to know the work of Shadow Cats, he became involved with the organization and has served as emcee at the majority of our gala events.

He serves in an advisory capacity for media-related events and with the other members of the Advisory Board to give guidance and the benefit of their experience to the Shadow Cats Board.

Our Friends

Shadow Cats depends on the partnerships of individuals, businesses and other animal organizations who make it possible for us to do the work we do. We are truly grateful and appreciative for their continued support and we would like to extend a special thanks to them.

We invite you to learn more about our generous partners.