Ark Animal Sanctuary – week of January 24, 2018

In animal rescue there are good days and bad days. There are stories that make you laugh and those that break your heart and make you cry. Every animal that we come in contact with touches our hearts and even though many don’t survive, you know you did your best. You take comfort in the fact that each and every animal had a name, they were inside where it was warm and they were surrounded by love.

Just about two years ago we received a call about two cats that were in a hoarding situation. They were at the vet where they tested positive for feline AIDS. Because they had AIDS they were due to be euthanized.

A very caring individual who knew about our organization made the call.  It was Christmas Eve day and it was hours before they would be euthanized. We did not hesitate to say “yes” when asked if we would take them. That day two orange males were delivered to us. One was named Pumpkin and was in relatively good shape while the other, Bandit, had a severe upper respiratory and his his ears were all tattered and torn.

That Christmas Eve the boys received the best gift of all — a second chance at life. The boys thrived in their new environment and their personalities soon melted our hearts.  Bandit’s health continued to improve and and he wore his battle scars proudly. He had earned those scars after everything he had been through. Pumpkin was just a social butterfly.  We knew in our hearts that they would be a hard adopt, if they even got adopted, but we were okay with that because they were in a place where they were loved and cared for.

Almost two years later a couple visited the sanctuary and the gentleman saw Bandit sitting in the room. He was drawn to those battle scars … those tattered ears and just a sweet looking cat that looked like he could use a home. Once he heard Bandit’s story he knew he was the one.  Despite the fact that he had aids the couple were willing to open their hearts and their home to him.

But wait what about his brother Pumpkin? Well they couldn’t separate the two so Pumpkin found his “furever” home as well. Though Bandit and Pumpkin’s Christmas present came a little late this year. This time they received the beautiful gift of a home. Not bad for two cats that were due to be euthanized two years ago on Christmas eve. These are the stories that push us to do more and to go above and beyond. These are the stories that we will carry forever in our hearts. Thank you to Bandit and Pumpkin’s new owners for giving these boys the life they so deserve.

Feline AIDS is not a death sentence.  We have eight cats at the sanctuary with AIDS and they are some of the most healthy looking cats that we have.  AIDS in cats cannot be transmitted from cat to dog or cat to human — only cat to cat. It cannot be transmitted through the litter box or food dish — only through the exchange of body fluids. It affects their immune system so when they get sick they need a little extra help getting over it. AIDS kitties need to be indoor cats only but can live long and healthy lives.  Just ask Keith one of our AIDS kitties who is now 13.

We have two cats at the vet clinic — Hattie who is 15 and Molly who is a younger cat.  Both cats are very sick and we are not sure what is going on with them so they will be staying at the clinic for a few days.  We would ask that you keep Hattie and Molly in your thoughts and prayers.  If anyone would like to make a donation towards their vet care that would be greatly appreciated.  Donations can be made to our pay pal account or mailed to  70 main Street Houlton Me 04730.

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.

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