A few years ago I noticed a lot of cats and kittens running around my neighborhood that were skinny, having kittens and looking for warm shelter. I thought I would try to make a difference. I learned about VNR for vaccinate, neuter, return which helps to reduce the amount of kittens on the streets and that end up in over crowded shelters.
Through this work my husband and I adopted 2 kittens and a dog. They have given us so much joy, love and pure enjoyment over the years that I could not imagine life without my little furry friends.
This is beautiful, feisty Bella. I found her crying in my neighborhood on a cold November day. We had lost our beloved Mollie who lived to 21 years old just a few months earlier. When Bella came along she filled our hearts and our home again with her playfulness and attitude. She plays fetch and she brings back items to toss for her over and over. She is the queen of our household and quite sassy.
Neko, our sweet boy was rescued from a neighbor who had been feeding a colony of community cats living around his home. I volunteered to help this older couple (VNR) vaccinate, neuter, return all of the adult cats and with help I took the 11 kittens to foster and find them good homes. Neko was one of the 11 kittens and we just bonded when he was 5 weeks old. He was a sweet addition to our home.
When we brought Neko in to meet Bella she was not too happy about welcoming a little kitten. But soon Neko charmed her with his cute playful plays, and before long Bella was accepting of this cutie. Life was good having a buddy around.
Then Sofia came along as I was volunteering for our local pet adoption at Petsmart. I stopped by the kennels where this little 8 pound 3 month old pup was timidly looking up at me. Later that day when she still had not been adopted, I called my husband to come to the store and meet her. He walked around the store with her and it was a done deal. Her high energy of a miniature Greyhound mix with Jack Russel Terrier adds quite the energy to our home. We have loved watching her and Neko become best buds and well, Bella tolerates her. And growing up with 2 cats has made her rather cat like. She is the one that always vies for lap time.
Adopting an animal from a shelter gives the animal an opportunity to live a full happy life. They will give you years of enormous love and gratitude for choosing them. Please go to a local shelter and adopt a friend if you are able. If you cannot adopt a new member, consider donating or volunteering your time. Even a couple hours a month can make a difference.
For me, the biggest joy is to volunteer and help reduce the amount of animals that end up at the shelters. It has been proven that spay and neuter helps reduce the amount of kittens each season within the community. Setting up adoption events helps more pets get out of the shelter environment and into forever homes. Fostering some kittens or a dog helps to relieve some space at a shelter and it is often a better environment for them. I have participated in each of these opportunities to help save lives. It is so heartwarming to see a person connect with an adopted animals and glow with the love for their new found best friend.
Just by approaching an elderly man in my neighborhood who was feeding some cats on his porch, I was able to help make a difference by reducing the small and growing community to just a few adult cats through spay and neuter. By fostering a couple of litters and adopting all the kittens into good homes makes a difference to each of those kittens. Helping animals is one of my favorite ways to help save lives.
I have learned so much by helping people in my own neighborhood that a couple of years ago I partnered with Boyd Steele and started a non-profit group called Grand Valley Pets Alive.This nonprofit has allowed us to share the message of spay & neuter and adoption through programs that help save lives in our community.
When you rescue an animal they bring so much joy to your life – they rescue you too! Like the modo goes, “help someone and it helps you.” A great life lesson.