Being on the Best Friends Animal Society email list, I have been receiving their newsletters and email alerts for years. Each and every time I was sent a plea for help from a rescue in trouble, or for a recently discovered group of neglected animals in jeopardy, my heart hurt for them. Yet it never occurred to me that I, myself would some day be one of those asking for help – someone with a plea of my own.
I recently read somewhere that the Phoenix Valley is the second worst place in the nation to be a homeless cat in jeopardy. I was also told that at least some, if not most, of my cats would likely not survive this crisis. And although at first the situation indeed seemed hopeless, that did not stop me and others from praying for a big miracle. Then, on January 10th I placed an ad on craigslist, and on January 11th I sent an email plea for help to just five random rescues. I followed my heart and stepped out blindly in faith, and from these two simple steps God opened up a floodgate through which every one of my cat was saved.
In all, well over 100 people became involved in some way because of a heartfelt desire to help. — This letter is my personal thank you to all of you who played a part in turning a potentially dire situation into a beautiful second change.
A Thank You To Our Case Worker
- To Lezlie Sage, the Community Animal Assistance Specialist at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah who immediately took on our case when I contacted her at the end of October. I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure exactly how to start. You gave me both direction and hope. Thank you Lezlie for always being there with your guidance and advice, and for initiating that Best friends email alert on January 24th for cat transport which led to over 50 offers of help from caring souls throughout the valley. From that one alert I got to know some really great people with really big hearts.
A Thank You To All The Rescues Who Stepped Forward
- To Sun Valley Animal Shelter for taking in Frankie & Johnny, Cotton & Ditto, Georgie Girl and sweet little Twinkie.
- To Alyssa Fallert of Arizona Maine Coon Cat Rescue for requesting Issabelle and Samson.
- To Dawn Kavanaugh, C.E.O. and Founder of All About Animals Rescue for accepting Emma, Cubby and Nickie.
- To Megan Andersson, Director of Paw Placement Animal Rescue for saving Spudski, Tinker, Tippy, Jack and Sunny, and for sending me that wonderful email update. I appreciate so much getting to hear how the kitties are doing.
- To Samantha Brown of Paws For Love Cat Rescue and her crew for taking in Ally, Peaches, Lilly Bella, Carmella, Marmi, Mikey, Jesse, Roscoe, Mouse, Pippy, Sqeaks, Charlie, Phoenix, Lacey, Lizzy, Chloe, Dodger and Mia — 18 kitties in all! And a special thank you to you Sam for thoroughly studying our situation and getting to know all of our cats so well, and to your mother for agreeing to foster so many of them in her own home, and to Kate who happened to find my craigslist ad and immediately brought our story to your attention.
- To Claire Sollars (and Corey) of Saving One Life for accepting Buddy, Sheba, Buttons, Missy, Abby, Pumpkin, Gracie, Louie and Clarabelle, and for spending the time talking with me during that first visit. It meant a lot. Thank you both for your kindness.
- To Beth Montes, Founder and President of Casa de los Gatos in Tucson for accepting with open arms Simon (FeLV+) and Dudley (FIV+) along with their special needs – even though right now times are difficult. Thank you Beth for your dedication and your caring heart.
A Thank You To All Those Who Adopted From Us
- To Christy Schreiber and her mother, Kimberly Beebe for adopting Monty and Banjo respectively.
- To Alicia Santiago for adopting Opie and Kibble.
- To Kimberly Haugen and Tazo for adopting Tigger. Thank you Kimberly for you kindness and prayers.
- To Perry and Poppy for adopting Purrl.
- To Sundee’s mother’s friend Barbara for adopting Wendy.
- To Tara Kramer for adopting Daisy.
- To Kimberly McAndrews for accepting Muffins and Suzy-Q into her family despite their special needs, and for being willing to transport four of my cats to Ajo and working so hard to try and find homes for the rest. You have become a very dear friend.
A Thank You To Our Transporters
- To Coinneach Fitzpatrick for driving me to deliver Daisy and for giving me a jar of his epic spaghetti sauce. Thanks buddy.
- To Susan Christoph for transporting Mia.
- To Sandy Ruffin and Ann Chadwick for not only transporting Simon and Dudley, but also for taking them to the vet and for graciously paying the vet bill out of their own pocket. Thank you Sandy and Ann.
- To Stan for being my backup Tucson driver.
- To the 50+ others who also stepped forward and generously offered their service. In my heart you all felt like a massive army of supportive friends. I thank you all.
A Thank You To All The Other Rescues and Individuals Involved
- To Heather Allen, President and CEO of HALO Animal Rescue for her efforts to help me place my last two special needs cats.
- To Cheri Minauri, Director of AJ’s Best Friends Rescue for her willingness to take in a couple of our cats and for contacting AZ Maine Coon Rescue on our behalf.
- To Debbie Morrow of Pima Animal Care Center in Ajo for also being willing to accept four of our cats.
- To Jodi Polanski, Founder and Executive Director of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation for offering to provide courtesy listings.
- To Susie Bell of Benji’s Buddies Animal Rescue for also offering to provide courtesy listings and for forwarding my January 11th plea to her email list, which led to two adoptions.
- To Annie Dunn of Cow Cats Pet Adoption Center, Shelli Tepe and Barbara Beck for also forwarding my plea.
- To Maureen Judge of Sparkie’s Magic, Desa Baker, Julie Schisler, Noemi Galli, Leslie Benshoof, Steve Shochet, Cindy Keas, Andrea Traganza and Linda Salazar for reaching out to me with helpful suggestions and ideas. Thank you all for your caring efforts on behalf of a stranger in need.
- To Frizbee Allen for offering me a last-resort feral-colony-placement alternative if I needed it.
- To Eileen Fiedler and Ann Kittredge for offering to foster some of our cats.
- To John Greer for his powerfully uplifting attitude and desire to see to it that every one of our cats was saved.
- To Charlene Tipton of Living Water ranch Rescue, Janie Heide, Deborah Ivester and Elizabeth Flynn for their desire to help us out with cat food, litter, vet expenses and February’s rent.
- To Trish Roman, Rachel Berge and Sue Kassap for sharing my plea on Facebook.
- To Pastor Kenny of Elevation Church, Michelle Whelan, JoLynn McMackin, Linda Bendele, Caleb Boulier, Gail Dennehy and Veronica Soto for their prayers, best wishes and words of support and encouragement.
And lastly, I would like to say a special thank you to all those who’s names I do not know – who work hard behind the scenes caring for that misfit bunch of precious kitties who were my friends. — Thank you for loving them every day.