–by Penny Edwards, ARC Shelter Manager
This year began like all the others before, wrapping up an old year and getting things organized for the new. The first couple of months are typically quiet as far as the intake of animals, since it’s not kitten or puppy season. Thankfully, the beginning of the year moves on at a slower pace, which helps in the busy phase of scheduling and planning events for the year, renovating the shelter and getting all our records together for tax season. This year has had its ups and downs so far. Thanks to the contributions of donors, we’ve been able to renovate the basement, but some unfortunate things have happened as well.
One event in particular stands out as life-changing for me.
Two of our volunteers, Missy and Madison, let us know that there was a small black cat that was injured in Radcliff.
Now, I need to keep this rated “G”, and I don’t mean “G” for “Graphic”.
After speaking to some people who knew about this kitty, we found out that this little girl had been dragging herself around for a year or more. It seems that she was hit by a car as a kitten: her hind legs were destroyed, and she had been unable to walk since. The worst part of the story is that the people who feed these feral cats did nothing to help her. Worse, they saw nothing wrong with the sight of this little cutie dragging herself through the neighborhood. After I heard this, I was furious.
After 25 years I have seen a lot, but this little girl affected me profoundly. Cookie was only with us for 24 short hours before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but the impact that she had on me was extraordinary. It’s saying something when the first thing your veterinarian asks is:
“What is the plan for this kitty?” and they look relieved when you say, “Euthanasia.”
Cookie was caught on a Sunday and our veterinarian came on Monday. Cookie was frightened at first, but she enjoyed her canned food and probably for the first time in her life she enjoyed sleeping on a soft, warm and–most of all–clean bed. She looked on us with an expression on her sweet little face that would melt your heart. We knew how tough it was for a little girl like this one to survive out on the streets. We said she was one tough Cookie, and the name stuck.
Needless to say, that was one sleepless night for me, and many more nights of bad dreams followed. I fretted over the fact that this little girl may have never known kindness, that she was not able to have a lot of dignity in life.
It was important to me that we show Cookie that someone actually cared about her. It was very important to me that Cookie’s death would not be in vain.
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We know we can’t
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah says the three main reasons why the United States can NOT go No-Kill right now are:
- Community (Feral) cats
- Breed-specific laws against Pit Bulls, etc.
- Puppy Mills
Look at #1 on this list: It’s time we stand up for cats in this country, but for now, let’s start with Hardin County. With your donations, we would like to help our volunteers and
others in the community save lives with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release).
Trust us–it saves lives!
To ensure that Cookie will help other feral kitties out there, we have established “Cookie’s Legacy”. These donations will go to help spay/neuter and care for other feral cats in Hardin County. We can spay a cat for $45 and neuter for $30. Please give generously so we can help as many community cats as possible.
For now we are working on trapping Cookie’s family before the population explodes. We would like to make this a staple program through ARC. I would like to think that from here on out, every time a trap door snaps shut on a feral cat, another homeless cat comes home–
…and Cookie will smile down on us from above.
If you want to make a lasting donation to Cookie’s Legacy, please make a pledge online via Paypal or credit card and know: Your contribution has just saved a life.
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National Feral Cat Day
“On National Feral Cat Day, we celebrate the growing movement to protect the lives of outdoor cats with humane and effective programs like Trap- Neuter-Return (TNR),” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.
In the video, Jackson reminds viewers that feral cats are
- not socialized to people
- cannot be adopted
- and says that “TNR helps reduce the number of cats being killed in our shelters each year—and that’s something we all want.”