Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is what a shelter pet looks like...

For a while I was volunteering at the local animal shelter walking dogs and cleaning kitty cages. From time to time the volunteer coordinator sends out emails about special needs animals at the shelter who need foster or just to help get the word out on a new animal looking for a home. I got this email the other night and it broke my heart, if you want to know what kind of animals are at the shelter read this story, because it's not uncommon right now. If you have room in your family right now for another pet, please visit your local shelter and bring home an amazing animal looking for a forever home. If you can't take in another animal, find a local pet panty/food closet in your area and donate pet supplies that will allow families in need to keep their pets until they get back on their feet.

This is Precious and here is her story...

It’s probably not fair to call this kitty’s situation special, because the sad fact is that we see so many just like hers every day. However this is one story that really touched me. Late last Saturday night, a couple knocked on the Admissions Door, and when I opened it I was met with a very nice couple toting two suitcases containing the last of their belongings, and a pet carrier with their most prized possession, their 2 year old cat named Precious.

The couple became homeless a few weeks ago and had been living in a motel until Saturday, but could no longer afford to stay there. They were crying uncontrollably because they had gone as far as they could with Precious, and knew life on the streets was not going to be fair to her. They had looked tirelessly for someone to take her, but with no luck our shelter was their last resort. This couple looked like anyone you might know, they could have been your next door neighbors, your brother or sister, aunt or uncle, and they loved this cat beyond words.

Although Precious was a little nervous about what was taking place, she was purring and affectionate with her people as they cried while completing the surrender paperwork. Having her whole world turned upside down, she is now hiding in the back of her cage and barely eating. Her people told me Precious had been exclusively an indoor-only cat whom they had since she was a kitten, and whose favorite thing to do is to play with bottle caps on their tile floor and sleep with them on their bed. Precious is a very petite girl, maybe 5 lbs, is litter box trained, uses a scratching post and is used the being someone’s “baby cat”.

While Precious is only one of many thousands very deserving pets that come into our care every year, this inconsolable couple and their cat were a vivid reminder to me of all the devoted owners whose life circumstances have placed them in a horribly painful position of having to give up their beloved pets and holding hope that someone else will be able to help provide them a better life. In this case, I made a promise to this couple and myself that I’d try to be that person as best I could.

Attached is a photo of Precious. Please share it, re-post on your social networking sites and remind everyone there are millions of Precious’ in every shelter who are all looking for the same thing, a loving place to call home for the rest of their lives. The couple left me with a cell phone number, unsure of how much longer they’d be able to keep it, and I hope to be able to call them very soon to set their hearts at rest and with good news of Precious being adopted into the most perfect home. In the absence of an immediate perfect forever home, I’d like to get Precious into a calm foster home where she can de-stress and feel safe while her search continues.

Precious is a lucky girl, the dedicated volunteers at the shelter were able to find her a foster home and in a few days her potential adoptive family is coming to meet her and hopefully take her home to start her new life with them.



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