ENAH, Inc.

EveryoneNeedsAHome, a 501(c)3 animal welfare organization

Three Little Girls

by Peggy Miller Sheffer - December 20th, 2009.
Filed under: Rescue Stories.

The Green County Humane Society (GCHS) is the closest shelter in proximity to ENAH. We often work together, whether it be a spay/neuter day or fostering sick or injured animals. I wrote this piece back in 2003 when I helped the GCHS foster a family of very ill kittens who had been found starving and near death. Even though the saga of these 3 little kittens happened several years ago, the story plays out every day for many more animals; animals whose only hope of survival depends on the caring staff and volunteers who work at shelters around the country. The following is a true story. I believe it was published in the GCHS’s newsletter:

When you walk into the GCHS Adoption Center, you’ll see all sorts of animals ready to come home with you and give you love.  There are dogs and cats of all different sizes and shapes and at different stages in their lives.  You might see an elderly dog with cataracts as well as rambunctious puppies; aged cats that would love a soft, sunny place to nap all day and kittens that want to pounce on your shoelaces.  The one thing these homeless souls have in common is that they’re all healthy.  The GCHS doesn’t want you to adopt animals that aren’t healthy: it’s not fair to the people adopting them, and it’s not fair to the animals themselves. 

However, getting an animal to that point of health where they’re ready to be go to their forever home (perhaps yours?) can be a long, expensive and heart-breaking road.  Every year, we see an overflow of kittens.  They are rarely ever cute and cuddly.  Most are malnourished and skinny, and there are some who are so weak and ill they don’t survive.  This year, GCHS took in a litter of kittens that was unlike any we’ve ever seen.  People who were moving into their new home were surprised to find kittens in the basement, the mother nowhere in sight.  These babies were lying in a pool of water and oil, too little to move very far themselves, completely dependent upon others for survival.  They were so hungry that they were sucking on each other, creating wounds that cost the two little males their lives.  As I write this, I can remember how terrible they smelled (their coats, ears and eyes were matted with their own diarrhea), and how I held them to my heart willing myself not to be repulsed, thinking, “they don’t even look like kittens, what am I going to do?”  

It took several veterinary visits and many, many hours of loving care by volunteers to nurse them to health.  The little ones had to fight for their lives every day for the first few weeks.  What remains out of that litter are three little girls who will soon be ready for adoption.  They are finally out of the danger zone and eating like there’s no tomorrow!  Here’s a little introduction to the three cuties:

The littlest girl, “Halle” is pure white with a dark mark on her head that makes her look like she’s wearing a beret.  Her big, dark, beautiful eyes stand out on her white body.  It is amazing that she’s here with us today because she was on her way out at a very sick 4 ounces.  She probably had less than an hour left when Dr. Lind revived her with fluids. 

The middle girl, “Sheena” is a very pretty, delicate gray-black tiger.  Early on, she was healthier than the little white girl, but we almost lost her when an infection took hold in her lungs and brought her near death within just a couple of hours.  She was revived in an oxygen tent and had to be on strong antibiotics for three weeks.

The biggest girl, “Gracie” is a gorgeous, loud-colored calico.  She should be in pictures.  It took us a week to get her cleaned up to the point where we saw she had pretty white feet.  Now that all of her nutritional needs have been met, she is more interested in playing than anything else, but isn’t that the point?

By all accounts, these little girls shouldn’t have survived.  They have seen enough suffering to last the rest of their lifetimes.  However, their spirits are not broken, and each one will make someone or some family a wonderful friend.  They could not be more loving. 

The GCHS won’t turn away cases like these, but they are costly.  These little girls would not have made it if they hadn’t had supportive veterinary care several times.  It would have been very easy to put these little creatures to sleep, but the GCHS believes that every life has value, and they all should be given a chance.  That is why we are a no-kill shelter.  But we can’t save lives without your support.  It is our hope that, with your generous donations, you’ll continue to support us as we work towards eliminating animal suffering.  Also, please come and see the three little girls when they’re ready to make their debut! 

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