by Sarah Kimbro
INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
FOR THE ❤ OF ANIMALS · June 9th, 2021
Each year, more than 1.5 million dogs and cats are taken to shelters and never find a home because too many potential pet owners don’t consider adoption. Thankfully, the caregivers in our community are always working to change that.
In honor of Pet Appreciation Week (June 6-12), we are spotlighting the stories of those sweet souls who after a hard life or harrowing experience, found love because of the people in our own community. The five pets featured here were abused, abandoned, or just unlucky, until they met one of our caregivers – and their life changed for the better.
Gary lived on the street as a puppy. After he was taken to a local shelter, he had trouble finding a home (one potential owner even returned him). And then he met the people at PetSuites Northshore. As a resident foster puppy, the entire team fell in love with him, but resort host Loren had a real soft spot for Gary, who she affectionately called “GareBear”. As much as he wanted to bring him home, her building did not allow pets.
When a brutal winter storm struck the South in February, Loren volunteered to spend the night at PetSuites to make sure Gary and the other boarding guests in their care were safe and comfortable through the blackouts and cold weather. That night was a preview of a bond that would be forged forever.
Soon after, she looked for a new apartment and knew it couldn’t be one that didn’t accept Gary. “We’re so thankful to have such a kind, loving, and compassionate person working for us,” PetSuites said of their teammate Loren. “We are so happy these two found each other. We wish you guys a lifetime of tail wags, puppy snuggles, long walks, and lots of kisses.”
Minnie was loved and cherished by her owner for most of her life. But after her owner became ill, and passed away, Minnie was on her own. When the team at White’s Pet Hospital heard about Minnie, they knew they had to help. While she lived in their clinic temporarily, she quickly became part of the White’s family. The team fell in love with her friendly and gentle personality and were determined to find her a home.
Meanwhile, PathPoint, a local organization that partners with people with disabilities and mental health diagnoses, was looking for an emotional support animal for one of their members. As an employee of the Santa Barbara Zoo for over 20 years, Bill absolutely loved animals. The team arranged a meeting, and it was love at first sight.
Bill needed Minnie as much as Minne needed Bill. He was overjoyed to adopt her and bring her home. “We are honored to be a part of Minnie and Bill’s life,” said the team. “This sweet loving kitty has become a beautiful symbol of hope to us and everyone who hears her story.”
When he was only two days old, Bosco’s life changed forever: His mom bit off his right arm at the elbow. Immediately, he was rushed to the emergency room, where doctors recommended amputation. After the surgery, his owners knew they couldn’t bring this traumatized puppy back into their house. That’s when he was introduced to Kelly.
Veterinarian Technician Kelly instantly fell in love with this sweet boy. Because he was separated from his mother so early, Kelly bottle fed the newborn every two hours until he could eat on his own.
Nine years later, the two are best friends, and Bosco lives a normal and happy life with Kelly as a three-legged pup. “Bosco, AKA Sketchball loves to play tug of war and to burrow himself under blankets,” said Kelly. These two remind us that even in the worst situations, you can end up finding your best friend.
Fury was thrown from a moving vehicle when he was only a few months old. The fall caused him to lose his vision in his left eye, but thankfully his life was spared.
Hospital Manager Valentina first saw Fury on a friend’s Facebook page and knew two things immediately: 1) he needed to be part of her family 2) after all he’d been through, he needed a true superhero name. “As huge fans of Marvel’s The Avengers, our family named him after Nick Fury’s father who fought with Captain America.”
Fury, short for Sergeant Jack Fury, has been the perfect addition to Valentina’s family. “He has graciously stepped into the leadership role after we lost our senior cat, and I can’t imagine my life without him.”
For more than a decade, Veterinarian Technician Richelle has been working to give sick or injured shelter cats the care that they deserve – and need. Richelle heard that animal control had picked up an injured cat that had likely been hit by a car and immediately jumped in to help. “Richelle, a real-life angel, picked her up from the shelter and rushed her to the vet,” said the team at Holladay Veterinary Hospital.
Ruby was suffering from a diaphragmatic hernia, meaning the barrier between her chest and abdomen had been traumatically ruptured and her organs were crowding her lungs.
After Ruby’s life-saving surgery and some follow-up care from Dr. Crawford, Richelle knew Ruby could continue to thrive under her care and made her home Ruby’s forever home. “Ruby acts as a feline alarm clock, jumping onto me every morning and waking me up,” said Richelle. “It’s just one of her quirky behaviors that makes up her endearing personality.”