RESCUE

Sometimes Love Means Letting Go

The idea of giving up a pet is unimaginable for most of us. However, there are individuals who find themselves in dire circumstances where this becomes their only option.

In early May, we received a heart-wrenching call from a woman who had been living in her car with her six cats, Tigger, Fluffer, Linus, Lucas, Major, and Cutie Pie. Despite her best efforts to care for them, she knew that their current living situation was unsustainable. She made the agonizing decision to surrender her cats with the hopes of us finding them new families, an act out of pure love.

Although it was an incredibly difficult decision, we are grateful that she placed her trust in us. Our hope is that by having her kitties under our care, she can find peace knowing they will be okay. 

Now, just a few weeks later, Tigger, Fluffer, and Linus have been adopted and moved into their forever homes. While leaving their mom must have been hard for them, they are going to be well cared for and loved – which is all their mom wanted for them. We know it won’t take long for the others to find their forever homes. We have called the woman to check on her situation as well and look forward to helping her in whatever ways we can.

Fluffer and his new mom

Tigger goes home

Linus and his new dad!

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Mother-Daughter Superstar Fosters Approach 100th Foster Animal

Meet Tiffany and Jeanne, the mother-daughter duo, who have fostered dozens of bottle babies! These two superstar fosters have fostered 89 animals in total. That’s incredible!

Of those 89 animals, they’ve had 2 mama cats, 8 older kittens, and 3 puppies, with the remaining 76 all being bottle babies. In addition to fostering these 89 animals, they constantly help out when other fosters are out of town. That’s a lot of fostering!

Tiffany and Jeanne learned about Planned PEThood of Georgia years ago, when Jeanne, the mom, was driving by and saw an opening sign outside our building. She stopped by to ask if we took volunteers. That’s when it all began.

One February during an extremely prolific kitten season, when Tiffany was volunteering at the front desk, someone dropped off a solo bottle baby at the front door and drove away. Elizabeth, our Executive Director, started calling all of our bottle baby fosters, desperately searching for someone to care for this bottle baby. While Elizabeth was making these calls, another staff member was showing Tiffany how to feed the bottle baby. Her mom walked in and asked, “What’s that?”. Tiffany explained the situation and her mom said, “She’ll take her.”. And so, they brought home their first bottle baby. That’s when their fostering all began. Another litter showed up the next day and their first bottle baby suddenly turned into three.

A few years later, Tiffany and Jeanne switched over to fostering bottle babies full-time. Bottle babies are a tremendous amount of work, but over the years, they have created the perfect system. Jeanne takes the day shifts and Tiffany covers the nights. This way no one loses sleep. They even have their own incubator at their home for the bottle babies.

Natsu, one of their foster fails

Not only have Tiffany and Jeanne helped dozens of animals find their forever home, but they have also adopted several animals of their own. That first kitten they ever fostered was their first foster fail and became a permanent part of their family. These two do more than fostering. Jeanne constantly helps out with our Wednesday shelter days as a part of our Go Fix Georgia program and Tiffany does bottle-feeding demonstrations at various events for Planned PEThood.We asked Tiffany a few questions about her experience fostering with Planned PEThood of Georgia. Below are her answers.

Why do you continue to foster with Planned PEThood? Planned PEThood keeps calling us with kittens!

What is your favorite part about fostering? The reward of seeing a little 80g bean grown into a lively kitten and go to a forever home.

What advice do you have for someone interested in fostering? Think of being a foster like being a Kindergarten teacher. You provide the education and nutrition until they graduate to their new homes. Yes, it is hard to let them go, but there’s a new class waiting for the same opportunity to grow! Every cat that ‘graduates’ means another you can save after that!

What do you get out of fostering with Planned PEThood? I get a lot of purpose out of fostering. I’m disabled so that limits a lot of options in employment. Working with animals gave me something meaningful to do with my time. I got inspired by some of our medical challenges with the little ones to go to Vet Tech school, so I could do better and save more kittens. Turns out that my disability is a barrier there too, but I might be able to be a Vet Assistant. Fostering has also inspired me to look into building my own neonatal nursery. I hope to continue to work through Planned PEThood if that ever comes to fruition. 

Volunteers and foster parents are vital to our success. The animals depend on our efforts to place them on solid ground. If you have even a tiny bit of time to spare, a unique talent or trade to offer, or a spare bathroom/basement to occupy, consider contacting Planned PEThood today. 

Apply to become a volunteer.

Apply to become a foster home.

If you have any questions about fostering, email foster@PEThoodGA.org

If you have any questions about volunteering, email volunteer@PEThoodGA.org

Fostering and volunteering are rewarding experiences. Your life will be filled with more hair, but your heart will be happy!

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Walton County Residents and Their Pets Get the Help They Need at Our First-Ever Walton County Outreach Event

Our first Walton County Outreach event was a complete success! On January 14th, 171 pets received much-needed assistance in Walton County. Planned PEThood’s outreach team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Walton County Animal Control and Best Friends Animal Society to provide free vet care and supplies to pet owners in need. In total, we were able to help 123 dogs and 48 cats and provide:

  • 137 rabies vaccines
  • 150 distemper vaccines
  • 158 microchips
  • 120 spay/neuter vouchers

These events ensure the wellness of pets in the community and reduce overpopulation through free spay/neuter. The need for outreach events like this was obvious as people lined up early in the brutally cold morning. There were two urgent medical cases mixed into the crowd. Just days after the Walton County Outreach event, our vet team was able to perform two lifesaving surgeries. These kitties and their owners would not have gotten the help needed without the outreach event. Watch the video below to hear more about their incredible stories.

So many amazing organizations and volunteers came together to help make this event successful. THANK YOU ALL! Our Go Fix Georgia team could not have done it without our event sponsor, Best Friends Animal Society, or without the assistance of Walton County Animal Control. We hope to work with Walton County Animal Control to help more pets and people in Walton County in the future.

Event Sponsor: Best Friends Animal Society

Other Assistance Provided By:

Walton County Animal Control

Atlanta Humane Society

Petco Love

Bissell Pet Foundation

GA Department of Agriculture

Fi Nano

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The Rescue World is Small, We Have to Stick Together!

Planned PEThood is helping keep 22 cats safe after a burst pipe at Barrow County Animal Control this Christmas!

The day after Christmas we received a call from Barrow County Animal Control’s director. Their pipes had burst, causing damage to several rooms in their shelter and leaving them without running water. They needed to move all their animals out of the shelter ASAP!

When we got their call, we were more than happy to help. Fortunately, our barn cat room was temporarily empty so we had lots of room for their kitties. 

Barrow County was able to transport their 22 cats to our Duluth clinic where they were met by staff, volunteers, and board members who all stepped up to help get these kitties off the van and settled into their area. We are so thankful for all who stepped up to help these kitties out! (especially on our day off when our clinics  and offices were closed)

While the original plan was to keep these kitties with us for a few days, giving Barrow County time to work on repairing water damage from the burst pipes, things changed! We are now bringing 8 cats into our foster program and 4 cats into our working cat program. These kitties will go through their quarantine period, receive any vaccines or spay/neuter surgeries needed and then start their search for their forever homes. The remaining cats will be sent back to Barrow where they will be adopted. 

Plus, our friends at Java Cats helped placed one of the senior kitties in a new adoptive home. The kind adopter had been thinking about adopting a kitten to keep her 11-year-old cat company when she saw a posting on Java Cats about the senior cat and instantly fell in love. 

While the cats from the shelter are currently safe, they are in desperate need of placement for the remaining dogs in their shelter. 

Please reach out to them if you can help by fostering or pulling if you are a licensed rescue agency!  kpoe@barrowga.org 

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Kitty Claws Makes an Appearance

Kitty Claws made an appearance at this month’s KIRA Club meeting. These meetings are for kids interested in rescuing animals. Our rescue kids had a great time making ornaments from the Orphan Kitten Club and decorating kitty and puppy-shaped cookies!

They also learned lots about one of our recent rescue dogs, Sasha, and helped write thank-you notes to supporters. We love our little helpers! Have a look at the precious pictures from the event!

Animal rescue, compassion, and kindness can and should be taught at a young age, which is why we developed the Kids Interested in Rescuing Animals (K.I.R.A.) Club, named in memory of Kira Serisky. Thanks to a grant from the Orphan Kitten Club and Kitten Lady in Kira’s memory, we were able to start this program. 

We have monthly meetings to discuss certain topics and educate/inspire children on the importance of animal rescue. These meetings include crafts, projects, speakers, presentations, and opportunities to meet a few special furry guests. Children ages 5 to 17 are welcome to join.


Visit https://pethoodga.org/kiraclub/ to learn more about the club and sign up for meetings.

 

 

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Third Time is the Charm for Westley

It’s been quite a journey for Westley, but he finally found his perfect forever home (again)!

Westley came back to us in March 2022 after nearly five years with his parents. He was adopted as a kitten, and sadly his sweet owners both passed away from COVID. 

As if that wasn’t sad enough, he had several different medical issues that needed immediate attention including a heart murmur, kidney issues, and a mass in his throat. At first we thought the mass was cancer and he would be a hospice case.

The mass in his throat needed evaluation, and he ended up visiting the UGA Veterinary Clinic for extended scans and tests. After a biopsy and time, that tumor actually disappeared. Our vets were stunned. We were all so happy about the miracle of his disappearing airway lump!

On top of all his medical issues, he has a VERY large personality. He’s VERY bossy and will tell you when it’s time to eat, go to bed, or pet him. He doesn’t get along with dogs, cats, or kids so finding him a home was a challenge. He’s been in many of our fosters’ lives and was most recently our wonderful office cat. He’s been searching for his forever home for months with no luck or prospects.

Finally, after months and months of searching, he found his perfect match. One of our tech guys had met Westley quite a few times while working on different projects around the offices. He connected with Westley immediately, but he wasn’t sure if he was ready to adopt. While our offices were closed over Thanksgiving, he offered to pet-sit Westley, and the rest is history. Westley will have a home all to himself where he will be the king of his castle and get all of the attention he deserves.

Happy life Westley. We will miss seeing you around the office!

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Holiday Miracle: Cali Returns Home Thanks to Microchip

They may be tiny, but the impact of microchipping is great. Whether the reunion comes after days, months, or years of being separated, it means everything to a pet and its family. These reunions are proof of just how important microchipping can be.

Lost Kitty, Zach (rescue employee), Hadyn O’Hara (office manager)

A few weeks ago, a kind lady trapped an outdoor kitty that had shown up recently to bring into Planned PEThood. She was planning to get her fixed through our Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program for community cats. While prepping the kitty for her surgery, we found out she was already fixed, PLUS she was microchipped. We immediately knew she was someone’s furry kid.

Thanks to her microchip, we were able to track her chip number to a local rescue group. She had recently been adopted, and they were working to contact her owners. Her name was Cali! They arranged to pick her up at our clinic in hopes of reuniting her with her family.

Thankfully, the the owner was located and they had been searching for Cali for days. The kitty had somehow escaped while the owner was moving. A scary thought for any pet owner. Now she’s reunited with her family, and they are all overwhelmed with joy!

Microchipping is a beautiful thing and stories like this remind us of the importance of making sure your pets are microchipped. Without a microchip, on average, only 2% of cats are returned to their owners. 

Microchips save lives by reuniting lost or displaced pets with their families. Not only is having a microchip important but keeping your registered contact information up-to-date is crucial. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats who are microchipped are over 20 times more likely to be reunited with their families.

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Keep the Mama, Not the Drama!

Earlier this year, a family reached out to Planned PEThood for help. They needed assistance with their kitties, Pumpkin and Reesee. Reesee had an accidental pregnancy and the family did not know what to do. They loved their animals so they wanted to do whatever they could to keep their kitties healthy and safe, but finances were tight. 

Thanks to our Keep the Mama, Not the Drama Program, sponsored by Orphan Kitten Club, we were able to get both pets fixed and take their two baby kittens, Jamie and Claire, into our rescue program.

The goal of this program is to help struggling pet owners with accidental litters keep their cats while we spay, vet them, and find homes for their babies. This ends the cycle, saves lives, and prevents future unwanted litters.

Their family is so grateful that we were able to find loving, forever homes for the kittens, plus they do not have to worry about their pet’s health anymore! No more babies! Yay!

Jamie and Claire found their forever homes quickly. Just look at their faces, how could they not! Sweet Claire was adopted at one of our Pet Supermarket adoption events and Jamie was adopted at one of our Petco adoption events.

If you or someone you know needs help from this program learn more or apply here. 

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Kittens Stuck In Drain……AGAIN!

Our Feral Cat Manager, Amy, is at it again, rescuing kittens from storm drains. But this time, it was a bit tricker. 

A kind lady reached out to Amy asking for help. She had found a kitten laying in her backyard, asleep in a nice sunny spot. While this kitten was safe, another was in trouble. The lady heard the cries of another kitten coming from a storm drain. The kitten had somehow stumbled into the storm drain with no way to get out. Amy searched for the mama, but she was nowhere to be seen. 

With the kitten stuck down there and no way to get into the storm drain, Amy had to get creative to help the kitty out. Thankfully, with her quick thinking, Amy was able to put together a net using rope, a lingerie washing bag, and some metal wiring to catch the kitten. Amy had to meow to the kitty to get her to move toward the net. After several minutes of meowing, the kitten finally crawled her way into the net and Amy was able to lift the kitten to safety. 

After rescuing these kittens, we brought them into our foster program, hoping to find a foster who had the knowledge and skill to bottle feed these 2-week-old babies. One of our amazing, long-time fosters, Zarya, stepped up and took them home. Now, several weeks later, these kittens are living happy and healthy lives at their foster home. Once they are big enough, they will be microchipped, vaccinated, and spayed/neutered, before becoming available for adoption and starting their journey to find their forever homes. 

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Celebrate National Feral Cat Day!

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. It’s the perfect day to celebrate these kitties and learn what you can do to help them!

You’ve probably seen a feral cat roaming near you. They are found all over the country – around neighborhoods, apartment complexes, work, shopping centers, gas stations, schools, highway rest stops, warehouses, and any little hiding place you can imagine.

They often get a bad reputation and are labeled as mean, aggressive, and even unadoptable. In reality, they are just misunderstood. 

These cats live outside and fend for themselves. They fear and hide from people because they’ve never been properly socialized with humans. They may have been born outside, abandoned, or just wandered away. Often, they don’t want to be a pet and just prefer an outdoor lifestyle. No matter where they came from, they deserve a chance at life! Whether a cat’s home is in our houses or in our communities, they deserve our care, our support, and our love!

Without getting spayed or neutered, these cats can quickly multiply and become unmanageable with kittens, kittens, and more kittens. Just one female can have up to 24 kittens a year and 100 in her lifespan. 

The statistics can be overwhelming sometimes – how many cats are euthanized in shelters, how many kittens one unaltered cat can have, how many cats must be spayed/neutered before we can see a positive change in our community – it goes on and on. BUT – the best thing you can do to help these kitties is Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR)!

TNR is the most humane and effective method known for managing these feral cats and reducing their numbers. During TNR, cats are trapped and brought into a veterinary clinic, such as Planned PEThood, where they are spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped. After they’ve recovered from their surgery, these cats are returned back to their original outdoor homes. When left unaltered, these cats can reproduce, and before you know it, there will be dozens and dozens of cats living in your neighborhood. 

We strongly believe in TNR and we want to help you help these feral kitties! This is why at Planned PEThood of GA, we offer a variety of ways to help these community cats. We offer humane trap loans at NO CHARGE to the public plus we can teach you how to set up the trap and tell you some of our tips and tricks for TNR. We want to help you go out there and help these feral and community cats.

These cats deserve the world. TNR is the most loving thing you can do to help a feral kitty live their healthiest outdoor life. We hope you will TNR to help these kitties!

MAKE A GIFT TO HELP FERAL CATS

For additional questions, visit our TNR resource page or email communitycats@PEThoodGA.org

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