by Paula Hunsaker
Feral Paws Rescue Group in Fresno shares with us some of their animal rescue adventures every month. Check out KRL’s article about Feral Paws to learn more about them.
Our rescue pulls cats from many high-kill shelters throughout California. Our rescue is known for not just looking for perfect cats that are at these shelters, but we also look for cats that just aren’t going to make it out of the shelter alive. I wish I could help all the cats that aren’t going to make it out of the shelter, but that is impossible to do. When we pull one cat, their empty shelter kennel is full within minutes. At times it’s like an endless battle that just keeps going with no end in sight. There are many things I personally look at while walking in a high-kill shelter, however, let me share with you something interesting about another aspect of walking the shelters, and that is our interest in senior cats, and our senior-to-senior program. We have had amazing success with this program for many years now. It’s been rewarding for the senior citizen and the senior cat, and our hearts our full of joy when an adoption of this kind happens at our rescue. Not only joy for us, but also for the adopter and the senior kitty. What’s extra special are the photos we receive of seeing the joy and love at the new home setting.
We place our senior cats with seniors who are living in senior housing facilities, and work with the facilities to make sure the cats will be secure there. We really look at our senior-to-senior program as fosters/adopters, and we are always there for the senior if they have questions about their senior cat. We have an amazing vet that will look at the cats in our senior-to- senior program regarding any concern of the senior adopter with no charge to them. Most of the seniors in our program do have vehicles or drive. If we get a call from them about a concern, we will even go over and pick up the cat and take it to our rescue vet if needed. We will help with food and litter if needed. Our many goals are to place the seniors together to live out their lives with each other. So often a senior adopter sadly is put into these type of living styles with little to no visits from their family, except now they have a senior kitty in their life, one that would have never made it out of the high-kill shelters. So many people don’t want to adopt a senior cat. We work hard to match the senior citizen with the best senior kitty for them. Many people are on medication and need to have a declawed cat. We make sure that we place them with a cat that we have pulled from a high-kill shelter that has been declawed. We do not declaw cats at our rescue!
After placement of a senior kitty with a senior citizen, we always check on them, and we’re always a phone call away for them. A lot of rescues just want to adopt a cat and move on. And, many shelters/rescues today will not adopt pets out to senior citizens, or even anybody over sixty years of age. We do not agree with this philosophy. We take a lot of pride in our senior cat placements. At times we do stop by and check on them both and make sure it is working out. I have been told so many times by the senior citizen/adopter that having a cat in their life has changed their life and given them a reason to live and something to care for. For many this is a feeling that hasn’t been in their lives for awhile, and it’s a good feeling for them to feel needed. They have someone to talk to, watch TV with, and sleep with. It’s so rewarding to us at our rescue to see what love has brought into both their lives.
Awhile ago, we placed on cat named YoYo that was totally deaf. A senior lady contacted our rescue and was looking for a senior cat that had special needs. When I went over to visit them and see how it was going. I was amazed the senior lady had been reading and studying books on teaching deaf cats hand sign language. She showed me how she and YoYo were able to communicate. It was amazing the time and effort she had put into working on a way to communicate with YoYo. Hearing stories like this is amazing and so rewarding to a rescue group. Especially, finding that perfect placement for senior cats.
Our policy for our senior-to-senior program is that if the senior adopter should pass away, our rescue will contact the family of the senior to see if they want to adopt the cat. If not, without any question, we will pick up the senior cat and work on a new placement in our senior-to-senior program. We have had senior adopters travel as far as San Francisco for placement of one of our senior cats! When you open up your heart and home for a senior cat, the reward is amazing. Thank you to all senior citizens who choose to adopt a senior cat.
To everybody, stay well and safe during these unusual times, and hold your pets near to your hearts.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Feral Paws every other month, and we would love to have you join our KRL Pets Facebook group. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Feral Paws.
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