Big Biscuit

Biscuit the cat takes a break from eating his Easter dinner on Sunday at the Shannon Foundation in rural St. Clair.

We’re talking about one big “boy” here. ...

Biscuit the cat, a 33-plus-pound feline who already has shed a few pounds, is on a diet and hopes to lose almost half of his body weight in the next 13-14 months.

That is the goal, anyway, of Rhonda Stephens, president and owner of the Shannon Foundation, a not-for-profit organization located outside St. Clair that serves as a rescue and retirement shelter for difficult to place animals. Stephens took ownership of Biscuit about a week ago as a “last-ditch effort” to help him, she said.

“He’s a chunk,” Stephens said.

Biscuit weighed about 37 pounds last month when he was taken to a shelter in St. Charles after his family decided it could not care for him anymore. More than 110 people then offered to adopt him, Stephens said, before a couple from Eureka took him home.

“Biscuit has violent tendencies,” Stephens said. “He has some aggression issues. He has problems with people and other animals.”

The family that adopted Biscuit had some problems with him, and the feline fought with another cat in that home.

So, the Shannon Foundation came to the rescue, and Stephens brought the cat to her shelter, which is located on about 100 acres off of Cross Creek Valley Lane along the Meramec River southeast of St. Clair.

“We brought him here and had him completely ‘vetted’” Stephens said. “He’s in pretty good health, but needs to go on a diet.”

So, dieting has been what Biscuit is doing and will continue to do, Stephens said.

“It’s our goal to get him down to about 14.8 pounds,” she said. “That’s where he should be.

“So far, he’s doing well.”

Stephens said the Shannon Foundation’s purpose is to give animals housed there every opportunity to live out their lives enjoying the peacefulness of nature, including spacious pastures, acres of woodland, a pond and a running stream.

The farm is a permanent sanctuary for most of the animals that mainly come from rescue situations ranging from abuse and abandonment to pets whose owners have passed away leaving them homeless.

“One of our main goals is to help our animals adjust and grow into the beautiful, happy animals they were meant to be,” Stephens said.

She said currently the shelter has about 70-80 animals, including horses, llamas, a pig, goats, sheep, donkeys, dogs, cats, chickens, parrots and other birds.

“We’re 100 percent volunteer,” Stephens said.


The foundation is preparing for its next fund-raiser, a trivia night, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the American Legion Post 162 at 9305 S. Broadway in St. Louis. Proceeds will be split with a shelter in St. Louis that also is participating in the event.

The cost to attend is $25 per person.

For more information, Stephens can be reached at the Shannon Foundation at 636-629-4800. The organization’s website is