Surely a frightened little blind cat might have difficulty adjusting to being taken from her home by a Humane Officer and taken to strangers in a building full of other animals and unfamiliar noises and smells. A shelter might not be the best place to take a kitty with such special needs, who might not be considered adoptable, who might not even be given a chance at finding a forever home better than the one she’d been taken from.
Open door shelters take in any animal who is presented to them, whether they think they may be adoptable or not—it’s their mission to shelter any animal who needs it. Many open door shelters have undeserved reputations as death traps for any animals, especially those with needs the shelter isn’t prepared to fulfill, and some don’t offer anything for cats at all. But many more work very hard and go to great lengths to meet the needs of all the animals who come into their care, including cats like little Lydia, who is frightened and confused and trying to adjust.
The Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) is one of those shelters that uses every option to give each animal what it needs to find its forever home. BCHS is a small shelter in rather rural Beaver County just west of Pittsburgh, and doesn’t have the financial resources larger shelters do, yet it takes in animals with the same needs. Its staff is compassionate and creative in handling each animal, whether it came to the shelter with a dozen others taken from a hoarding situation, or it was surrendered as a stray or a family pet. The shelter works with foster homes and rescues, offsite adoptions like pet stores, attending events where pets for adoption are welcome, finding grants and programs to participate in that help the shelter care for their animals and promote them. They also work work with each individual person who comes in to surrender or adopt an animal, advising them on the best options for care so that pets are sure to stay in their home and not end up back in the shelter.
Lydia, as mentioned, was brought in by a Humane Officer, so her story is private right now and there is no information on her prior conditions or how she became blind. However, seeing her emotional condition it was clear that she needed another option aside from a cubicle in the shelter. BCHS is one of the shelters that works with the Homeless Cat Management Team/Pittsburgh C.A.T. as an option for cats and kittens who have physical, emotional or medical needs that can’t be fulfilled by the shelter and are better served in one of our foster homes. In return, BCHS will also take cats we’ve rescued and put them up for adoption through the shelter when they have space to do so.
Foster or “foster to adopt” Lydia
Lydia will be surrendered from BCHS to our rescue once we find the right place for her to either be fostered and then adopted, or under a “foster to adopt” agreement. “We don’t usually offer this, but in this kitty’s case, we would like to decrease the number of times that she is moved from home to home. So, if the opportunity exists for her to potentially only have one move, that would be amazing.”
Response to Lydia from people who have lived with blind cats has been heartening, and Pittsburgh C.A.T. is still taking applications. Lydia is one to two years old, spayed, negative for FIV/FeLV, and up to date on shots. She is said to be scared, but friendly as soon as you pick her up.
Please share Lydia and help us find her the perfect home.
Pittsburgh C.A.T. is thankful for the partnership with them because together we can save more lives!
About Beaver County Humane Society
The Beaver County Humane Society was founded in 1950 has been committed to helping animals in the Beaver County area. Sixty-five years later, more than 4,000 animals receive comfort and care each year. In the past several years they’ve built a brand new shelter to replace the 1950s era cinder block cages and reached out to the community for adoptions and support, instituted a TNR program and training, and work with rescues like Pittsburgh C.A.T. to ensure each of their animals as the est chance at finding a forever home.
County grant cut completely resulting in budget shortfall
Unfortunately, the $50,000 annual grant they received from the county was cut to $13,000 in 2016, and is completely eliminated for 2017. It’s clear they may have some difficulty meeting the needs of their animals this year. Their only way to make up for this shortfall now, when it’s desperately needed, is through donations. It would be a shame if this shelter that works so hard in so many innovative ways had to cut back on all it does to save and adopt the animals in its care. If you can help BCHS, please donate even just $10.00 You know it will go directly to the animals’ care.
Also read A Small Shelter Doing Big Things, originally published in Pittsburgh PetConnections, June 2014 issue
Read other articles on The Creative Cat about Beaver County Humane Society.
For more information or to donate, please visit www.beavercountyhumanesociety.org.
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