Barbara Lemmon has made something good of a terrible situation by creating The Bob Lemmon Memorial Cat Sanctuary in the room her husband once studied and worked in at their Rapid City home.

Barb’s husband, Robert, passed away in April and left Barb alone in a long-time family home the two had shared since moving to Rapid City in the summer of 2014.

But after Robert passed away, Barb found it difficult to use his workroom for the home business. Time passed and Barb got involved with the Humane Society of the Black Hills, and at the urging of her daughter, decided to give cat fostering a try.

So one day in August 2017 Barb visited the Humane Society to fill out an application to become a cat foster and found out that things can move pretty fast at the Humane Society and there’s always a need for cat foster parents.

She didn’t even get out the door, she said, and she was approached about taking cats.

“I went there to fill out an application and God provided me that same day with two solid black kittens and a lactating adult female (not their mother) who was also solid black and who willingly nursed the kittens,” she wrote in her story about the cat sanctuary.

Her first fosters in August 2017, Onyx (mom), Mica (male kitten) and Raven (female kitten).

“So here I went home with these three cats,” she said. “And it hasn’t stopped since.”

Since August 2017, Barb has fostered 10 cats and shows no sign of letting up, nor would she. Fostering cats provides her the comfort of taking care of animals in need as well as taking care of herself after the loss of her husband.

“As I finished my work in the large room downstairs, I gradually turned it over to the cats and it didn’t look like a workroom anymore,” she wrote. “Then, it was fun to be down there. The kittens made me laugh and helped me a lot emotionally. We were good for each other.”

Today, Barb’s cat sanctuary is a comfortable room for both her and her fosters who have it pretty good with warm places to sleep, toys, movies and music, and plenty of love.

Getting ready to watch Garfield =^..^=
After their brother went back to the Humane Society for adoption,


Tony taking a nap last October.

Barb keeps photos of her foster cats and knows all of their stories.




Barb said she was having trouble getting a good photo of the sanctuary sign which was going on the door of the former workroom but one of the kittens decided to help by holding up the frame while Barb took this photo.

(To learn more about the cat foster program at the Humane Society of the Black Hills, visit