Arts & Entertainment
New Beginnings for neglected cats
Animal rescue efforts has happy ending
Originally printed 2/23/2012 (Issue 2008 - Between The Lines News)
ROYAL OAK -
New Beginnings Animal Rescue is offering a group of neglected cats a new lease on life. Over two dozen cats, many of them Persians, have been rescued from a terrible hoarding and neglect situation in Western Michigan. The cats were living in their own filth, resulting in skin burns, matted coats and illness.
"Normally we only take owner surrendered animals, but we were contacted by another rescue who needed our help. When we learned about the situation, how could we say no?" said Jennifer Fritz, NBAR vice president.
"We found out about the situation via email," she said. "The group that initially rescued the 31 cats was just overwhelmed with the sheer volume and condition of the animals. They sent out an SOS to any rescue they could, and we were fortunate enough to be in a position to help, so we took 10 of the cats.
"They all had to be shaved down to nearly their skin because they were so badly matted and some had urine burns and lesions from living in their own filth; some even had tears in their skin where the mats were literally ripping their skin.
"We've had them now for over a month and the wounds have all healed and their coats are starting to come back in, although a lot of them are kind of patchy. They look pretty rough, but they're at least clean and smell a whole lot better. We can't thank Bingo Pet Salon (in Royal Oak) enough for letting us take over their salon to get them all cleaned up."
The animals are Persians that had been trapped in one room most of their lives. Fritz said they have been able to adopt out three of the 10 animals, and the remaining seven are in foster care. "The cats are overall doing really well. We have them in great foster homes and some are really starting to blossom. Freddie and Jason are doing excellent in their foster home - they are friendly and love to snuggle; they play and love to get into mischief like typical boys! Cora is also doing very well; her foster mom is crazy about her and is always sending pictures and videos. Cora loves treats and will ask for more. She head-butts for attention and purrs like a maniac.
"Nora and Bowie are doing OK; their progress has been a bit slower, and they're both being a bit more stubborn. Chickpea and Fury are progressing more slowly; their foster dad was finally able to pet them without them hissing or growling. They are still hiding, but at least they're eating, drinking and using the litter box."
Some of the Persians (Freddie, Jason and Cora) will be on hand at a special adoption event 3-6 p.m. at Berkley Animal Clinic (3996 W. 12 Mile Road, Berkley) on Feb. 25.
"When I think about the conditions these cats were in, it brings me to tears. They have spent their entire lives living in one room with little to no human affection. We're so glad we were in a position to help," said Lisa Hill, NBAR president.
Partnering with Bingo
"Bingo has been an incredible partner with us. Many of our cats have found their forever homes after modeling in the front window at Bingo on Thursdays. When I approached Brian Lane, promotions manager at Bingo, with the situation, everyone at Bingo was ready and willing to help," said Hill.
"It's a shame the condition these cats were living in, and I was horrified when I heard their story," said Lane. "We are just glad we can offer our facility to help and we hope that these cats can get cleaned-up and into a new home ASAP."
Before-and-after pictures will be available on the Facebook pages of both New Beginnings Animal Rescue and Bingo Pet Salon. Bingo is located at 108 W. Fourth St. in the heart of downtown Royal Oak, near Main Street. They will be accepting donations, food and kitty sweaters; people are welcome to inquire about the adoption and fostering process as well.
New Beginnings was started by Hill and Fritz in 2010. The couple and the other volunteers typically only handle single-owner adoptions. They also run a Pet Food Pantry that allows approved pet caregivers to supplement their food supply in times when money is tight. They give out over 1,000 pounds of food each month. "My partner and I shared the same dream - to have our own animal rescue," Fritz said. "We are lucky enough to be living our dream."
To find out more about the animals available, visit the NBAR website at http://www.nbarmichigan.org.
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