The issue of stray dogs and cats roaming the streets is growing. The situation is getting worse as the lockdowns from the Covid-19 pandemic have ended, and people are free to get out and socialize with other humans again. Many turned to pet owners to ease loneliness when forced to stay in their homes and limit contact with others. Some families and individuals maintain their commitment to the pets under care. Those less socially responsible grow tired of the pets and turn them out in the streets. It’s difficult for pet rescue shelters to keep up with the demand for space for all the animals in need. One pet shelter specializes in a unique group of cat rescues. The Santa Fe organization rescues and saves special needs cats and attempts to find them forever homes.
Filling the gap for a high-risk group
We heard about the Santa Fe organization called Feline and Friends, NM, in a story run by KOAT. Feline & Friends NM is an organization that accepts feral cats with special needs. The organization accepts donations to fund the rescue of cats at an extreme disadvantage because of their unique needs. The rescue maintains a home for a minimum of thirty adult cats and kittens. It helps to prepare them with socialization and other necessities with training to become suitable house cats eligible for adoption. The husband and wife team started their rescue as an organization for dogs until they discovered that there were no shelters for cats. The need was great, and they focused on providing the only rescue of its kind in the area.
Making a difference in Santa Fe
Feline & Friends NM is an organization that has grown to over forty volunteer shelter workers. All staff members don’t their time to help cats in need of saving. The organization works with pet foster homes to rescue special needs cats and place them in loving homes. They work with cats that have both physical and social challenges. These cats would otherwise be hard to find homes willing to provide for their needs. Some of the cats in the shelter were born with issues. Others sustained injuries. They’re all vulnerable for one reason or another. The shelter organizers believe in the inherent value of each cat and its potential to provide love and companionship for the right family or individual. Some cats require treatments and medications. Others eat special diets. The rescue provides a home for every animal under its care until someone qualified adopts them. It’s reached the goal of helping over 5,000 cats, placing them in their new adoptive homes after two decades of service.
The plight of special needs cats
Cats that are not physically or emotionally perfect are more difficult to place in adoptive homes. They often sit in animal shelters until their time at the temporary home expires, and they are euthanized. Many of these cats have a lot to offer the right family. They’re capable of providing love and companionship. Cat Tales confirms that most adoptive parents prefer healthy young cats over older cats or those with health issues. Special needs of a cat range from those with paralysis or bladder issues to cats missing limbs, an eye, deafness, blindness, or cats with health conditions that require daily medication. The cats are taken in and socialized. They receive regular medical checkups and treatment to bring them to an adoptable state. Many volunteers foster them in their homes until a permanent home is found. Not just anyone can adopt a special needs cat. The rescue screens applicants to ensure that the prospective pet parent is willing and able to provide whatever extra care is required. It means a commitment of time and energy, but the benefits are knowing that you’re making a difference in a vulnerable cat’s life and giving as much love as you receive. It’s a reciprocal situation for the right person that brings many benefits.
Rewards of adopting a special needs cat
MetLife Pet Insurance points out five reasons for adopting a special needs cat. The first reason is that you add a new member to your family. Special needs cats are more resilient than some would believe. They can live a more normal life with a loving family. Most are adaptable and grateful for a loving family that provides for their needs. Most cats just want to be loved and to share their love with others. They’re social creatures that require affection and attention. They add to your family with their unique personalities. No two are alike. Adopting a special needs cat saves a feline life. Most special needs cats do not emerge from shelters alive. They’re usually euthanized or remain unadopted in the shelter to live out the remainder of their lives if there is a no-kill policy. Adopting these cats makes room for other animals in need. Special needs cats are inspiring. When you see an animal overcome its physical or emotional challenges, it inspires humans to realize they’re fortunate. Cats are amazing and resilient creatures and they can teach us many life lessons. You will learn more about his unique health condition from the vet, and how to care for him and improve his quality of life. It’s a learning experience for the entire family.
You can find a new relationship
Special needs cats are capable of bonding with their caregivers and forming deep connections. You can have the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in an animal’s life and get to know the pet on a deeper level. These situations help us to gain a new and deeper understanding of the pets we care for, and we get the chance to form deeper connections with greater understanding. You can be the one to provide support and comfort during difficult moments. There are many reasons to consider adopting a special needs cat.