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Life After Disney: ‘They’re so fluffy!’ at Kingdom Cat Rescue

by Susan and Simon Veness

When a global pandemic means the loss of your employment, and the cancellation of your wedding and honeymoon, what’s a couple to do? Open a kitten rescue center, of course!

life after disney

Jessica was a performer at Walt Disney World Resort and with Disney Cruise Line. Having been raised in a “Disney family,” she began her career only a week after she graduated from high school. Landon also performed with Disney Cruise Line after training in musical theater at East Carolina University. When they met, Jessica and Landon realized they were “royal counterparts,” with Jessica performing the female lead on land at the Magic Kingdom to Landon’s male lead at sea with Disney Cruise Line, and the spark ignited.

life after disney

After 10 years in roles they loved, their journey as cast members came to an end when the pandemic brought Orlando to a grinding halt – and so did their upcoming wedding and honeymoon plans. Determined not to be down for long, they eloped and used the money that would have gone into their big day to start a non-profit kitten rescue.

To honor their careers with Disney—specifically Jessica’s time spent “in the company of royal princesses” and Landon’s regal roles on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder—they named their new center Kingdom Cat Rescue, and, as 2020 wound down, they had already rescued and rehabilitated more than 200 kittens, turning their personal losses into forever homes with loving families.

life after disney

News about Kingdom Cat Rescue has spread quicky, and each day the center receives calls from people who have found orphaned kittens. Being among the few centers with a dedicated neonatal kitten ICU and the ability to provide 24-hour care to sick or injured kittens in need of heat therapy, oxygen administration, or tube feeding, Jessica and Landon are able to care for the most vulnerable animals. But the life-saving doesn’t stop there. They have also partnered with local shelters to take in kittens on euthanasia lists.

Their mission statement says it all: “Kingdom Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Entertainment Cast Members heavily affected by Disney’s mass layoffs. This organization was our way of continuing to make magic as the curtain unexpectedly closed on our Disney careers. We saved over 200 cats in our first year, and found them safe and loving forever homes. The joy and magic a beloved pet brings reminded us all of the Disney magic, and we are proud to carry on that legacy in a different way.”

life after disney

Adoptions and meet-and-greets take place at the center in Windermere and at Saturday adoption events. All kittens are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and are up to date on vaccinations, deworming, and flea prevention. A pre- and post-adoption health care exam are included in the adoption fee.

Saturday adoption events take place at PetSmart at The Loop in Kissimmee, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

To find out more about this rescue center, or to foster, adopt, or donate, visit KingdomCatRescue.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. To contact Kingdom Cat Rescue, email kingdomcatrescue@gmail.com.

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13 comments

Amanda January 19, 2021 - 3:36 pm

None of this is true. I fostered for this “rescue” after approaching Jessica to offer some guidance as they have NO IDEA what they’re doing. They don’t actually care about most cats, they cherry pick sociable kittens close to adoption ready and kitten flip. They leave behind cats who need rescue the most and DONT provide vet care, TNR for moms, or socialization. They don’t rescue adults. Please support an actual rescue, not people trying to avoid getting actual jobs by turning a profit through their non profit and getting tax deductions on their home.

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Casie January 19, 2021 - 7:30 pm

I have witnessed their care and adopted from them. They are a fantastic and caring rescue. Whatever your bitterness and disdain comes from, keep it at your house and stop trying to destroy a good thing, there is too much negativity in the world today. You sound like a bitter person. Maybe you didn’t meet their standards for care.
Did you ever stop to think that maybe they have a limit to how many they can rescue at one time? They choose to concentrate their rescue to kittens, and there is nothing wrong with that; there are other places that will help grown cats.
I have seen them provide vet care. We love our kitten we adopted from Kingdom Kats and will continue to support their cause!

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Amanda January 19, 2021 - 8:48 pm

I fostered for them. I have rescued cats they have abandoned. I know exactly what their operation looks like. And it is the opposite of genuine rescue. I currently have in my care two kittens they were fine with abandoning back to a trailer park with no feeder because they deemed socializing these 9 week old kittens to be a waste of resources. They simply needed some dedication. They kitten flip. They don’t rescue. If they did we wouldn’t have had to rescue almost a dozen kittens from their neglectful care.

If you want to patronize genuine rescues In the Orlando area who give rescue their all and are living out their passion, please adopt from: pet alliance, the way home rescue, saving Livy cat rescue, liberation cat house, all paws on deck, cats can inc, new beginning cat rescue…

They’re all doing their part in rescuing cats of all ages, TNR, and not just avoiding getting jobs and flipping kittens (half of which aren’t fully healthy) for top dollar. They also refuse to document or share how many cats are under their care at any given time and be transparent about the number they take in and the outcomes of them all. A dozen kittens died in their care in the first month I knew them.

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Shea January 19, 2021 - 9:00 pm

I have considered this. We are rescuers, too, and have worked with them. Fixing ferals and rescuing adults and fixing adults is part of rescue. They refuse to do that.

There are plenty of legitimate rescues in the Orlando area that manage to do ALL of this while working full time jobs.

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Cassie January 19, 2021 - 8:41 pm

Knowing both Landon and Jess, I have a hard time believing the negative comment left about this organization. They (and Destiny) are some of the most selfless people I have ever met, the entire reason I know them is because they stepped in to get me through one of the hardest moments in my life. I was a total stranger to them, we had never met, but their beautiful spirit,empathy, and genuine character led them to a random act of kindness that I will remember forever.

Up here in OH there are several rescues that only take in younger cats, that doesn’t make them bad organizations. This is a new venture and to try and discredit it because your assistance was turned down says a lot to me.

To anyone reading this, take the time to get to know these fabulous people, throw them a donation, volunteer, foster/adopt, and support. By doing these things you can make them grow to a point where they can expand to rescuing all ages! Nobody’s perfect and we can always learn something new to become a better business, but these are amazing people doing amazing things and I want everyone to know that.

Best of luck, my angels!

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B leBellot January 23, 2021 - 3:11 am

Agreed. I was a foster and had a very bad experience as well. kitten flippers Will never foster for them again

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Patti January 19, 2021 - 9:33 pm

This is a caring , loving, and wonderful rescue. I fostered for them over the summer and saw all that they do in their own home abs at adoption events to help the kitties . They go above and beyond to provide vet care and the best living situation. By far a 5 star rescue!

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Michael January 20, 2021 - 9:22 am

I echo the other positive sentiments mentioned about this rescue. Landon and Jessie are incredibly kind and thoughtful individuals and that is reflected in the work they’re doing, how they run their organization and most importantly, how they treat the animals.

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Kenneth January 20, 2021 - 9:44 am

I’ll foster for KingdomCat Rescue every time they call – I’ve seen first hand how much Landon and Jessie do for their cats – the attention and compassion they put into taking care of them is extraordinary. Jessie in particular does more than any other adoption organization I’ve worked with to make sure their cats go to homes where they’ll be properly loved and cared for. I cannot speak highly enough of these two and their amazing work.

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Katie January 20, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Landon and Jessie are two of the kindest people I have ever met in my life. I have seen first hand the love and care they bring to their rescue. They care about all cats and work to find them wonderful homes and they take care of the ones who need it. I have found that they provide the best possible care and compassion anyone could give to these beautiful rescues. If the day comes anytime soon that I am looking to welcome a new furry kitty into my family Jessie and Landon’s rescue will be the first that I go to! Congratulations on this wonderful article.

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Allison January 21, 2021 - 1:52 pm

Landon and Jessie have always gone above and beyond to care for these cats. I send all of my friends and family to them for a new furry companion and will continue to do so. I have lived in multiple states and they are by far THE BEST cat rescue I have ever worked with

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Allison January 21, 2021 - 2:17 pm

Wonderful rescue, cares so much about the safety and health of all the kittens. Would highly recommend them!

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Jordan Martin Jones January 21, 2021 - 6:44 pm

The world needs more positive and loving people like Landon and Jessica! Keep up the great kitten care!!

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