Last year, 2020 was difficult is so many ways. In the wake of the health and economic turmoil left by the pandemic, Paws and Love was focused on keeping our Sanctuary residents safe and well leaving us less able to help community cats in need. Petco stepped in during these difficult times with life-saving funds. Because of these funds we were able to spay/neuter 27 extremely vulnerable cats and kittens. Thanks to Petco these cats are now safe and doing well!!
Stevie the Wonder Kitten was one lucky kitten who was spayed thanks to Petco's grant! You can read about her story here.
A group of 16 cats/kittens were able to be helped thanks to Petco. You can read more about their story here.
Stevie the Wonder Kitty
Her eyes, however continued to worsen…we got her back to the vets but they felt she was still too small for surgery so back to the Sanctuary she went – but not for long. Her eyes would not heal. Stevie was now 1-pound 8ozs, she had gained a pound in a week – but was still shy of the 2 pounds we hoped for - the vet decided that if Stevie was going to make it at all surgery was a must. While surgery was in progress we held our breath knowing that it was risky.
Stevie’s surgery was a success!!! We had made it out of surgery!! Now we will have to take it slowly and one day at a time.
Stevie had other plans... she came back and was famished! She drank her formula for a full minute and a half. This was a particularly good sign. Then she went to take a well needed nap... and so did I!! I got up, prepared more formula for Stevie and had some snuggle time. She had her dry food in the cage from the days before and I put in some fresh canned food. When I was sitting in the room with her, I hear drinking... what? Has she found her formula all by herself? Yes, she did…then I get a closer look and see she is eating her wet food!! HUH?? She has refused it for 3 days. THEN she found her dry food and began crunching on that! This was amazing! Stevie had not only just had surgery, but she was back to her normal diet!
That night she was running all around as if nothing happened. From that point forward Stevie was her own advocate – exploring her environment, playing with her foster Dad Bryan, “looking” out the windows – and fearlessly climbing the mountain of pillows on the bed so she could slide back down!!
We are so very happy to share the great news that Stevie our little blind kitty has officially been adopted. After she recovered from surgery here at the rescue she was put into foster care with a lovely couple. With all of the updates and pictures, we knew this was a match made in heaven!! Even before the adoption, Stevie had her very own Christmas stocking!!
We are so very happy to share the great news that Stevie our little blind kitty has officially been adopted!!!!!
Stevie has other fur siblings (dogs and cats) and is doing great with them. Her mama says she is a climber. She climbs her legs and gets onto her shoulder. She says she is a very brave kitten!!
Yay Stevie!! You did it girl!!
Thank you to all of our awesome friends and supporters who made donations for her surgeries and medical expenses.
Special thanks to Petco whose lifesaving grant helped to make sure that Stevie survived!!!
A Rescue Gone Right
If you every wonder if you have made a difference…just think of these guys whose lives were saved because of Petco!!
A New Colony Needs our Help!!
Paws and Love was contacted with an urgent plea for help with a new colony of feral cats. The caretaker reported that the mama cat was not walking right. She was very unsteady; her gait was shaky, she could not hold her head still, and she would fall when she tried to use the stairs. He said he had seen her splayed out in the yard unable to move. He could not understand what was wrong and was very worried. Audra, Director of Paws for Love went immediately do a welfare check.
Audra, “What I found made my heart sink! The landlord is a plumber and had discarded old toilets in the back yard that fill with rainwater. To prevent mosquitoes, he then fills them with a colored bleach solution. I was very fearful that mama may have been thirsty and that she had swallowed this water.”
In addition to mama there were several other cats and kittens in the colony. Given the setting, it was clear that this was not a safe place for these kitties to be. Because the mama cat was no where to be seen, Audra went back at around 7:30 when the caretaker feeds the cats. Mama did come out and she was just as wobbly and shaky just as we had been told.
That night we set up a drop trap to try and rescue Mama, but unfortunately a male cat entered followed by two tiny kittens who probably did not even weigh a pound. They were all after that chicken!! Then mama made her appearance. She walked under the drop trap, but the feeding bowl was occupied, and she looked like she was going to leave.
Audra, “I had no choice but to pull the cord with 2 cats and 2 kittens underneath. I hooked up the transfer cage and babies and mama shot in it instantly. Since I was there for the ill mama cat, I only had the transfer cage. I had to release the male (I did go back for him) and I kept mama and her two babies.
Unfortunately, at the vet, the worst possible thing was discovered, mama was not going to make it. I was devastated!! I knew the only thing I could do now was to help her pass with peace and promise to help her babies.”
The next time we came prepared with MANY traps for the remaining kitties and we were able to trap 4 other kittens who were quite “spicy” little things. They were appropriately named, Fennel, Mace, Nutmeg, and Saffron. The females were a bit more challenging after seeing all the trapping they were skittish. Audra kept going back to this location to trap all kittens and ended up with an additional FIVE!! A total of 11 kittens rescued from this location. The 11 kittens became temporary residents of Paws and Love while they learned to socialize, use inside manors, and live with a forever family!!
Two adult females were trapped as well as three adult males. The five adult cats were fixed, vaccinated, and returned to their home creating a much more manageable colony for the caretaker to feed and look after. We also informed the caretaker of ways to make the area safer for the cats.
We are so truly fortunate to have a wonderful network of supporters and fellow rescuers who we can count on to help our community cats. We still have three of the kittens, though they are now almost 7 months old, and HUGE! They have not quite decided they are ready for adoption. Until then, they are being loved, as they desire, and inside preparing for a wonderful healthy life!!
Thank you, Petco, for assisting with the cost of spaying/neutering these precious cats which allowed us to save the lives of 16 cats and kittens from this one location! Your support made all the difference!!!
We are facing a difficult time with the Coronavirus rampaging across the world leaving destruction and tragedy in its wake. As we all “shelter-in-place” it may be helpful to reflect on what was happening last year…as we faced another challenge: the destruction of Hurricane Dorian. We offer the following summary of these events in gratitude to all of our Paws and Love family and to the Petco Foundation for their support of the Sanctuary’s recovery. It is a reminder that we are all in this together and that we can all “Pause and Love” our neighbors – even while we are socially distant! Be safe and well!
Hurricane Dorian downed trees, damaged Sanctuary buildings, and destroyed much of the perimeter fencing needed to keep the cats safe. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian’s destruction, the outpouring of community support included: donated generators by Phil and Mary Ruth Coleman, volunteers to move cat food and supplies to a safe area, help with removing tree limbs, and patching the fence to safe-guard and protect the cats.
As a result of the quick community response, no cats were lost or hurt. The remaining property, however, was left with serious damage from downed trees. Thanks to a generous donation from the Petco Foundation, Paws and Love was able to restore the Sanctuary. We are grateful to the Petco Foundation for this support!
Paws and Love operates on a small budget and without the Petco Foundation’s support, the tree removal and needed repairs to our property would have jeopardized our ability to care for the 115 Sanctuary residents, cats with high needs (i.e. seniors, cats with disabilities, cats who are extremely shy/feral, and those who would not likely survive a typical feral-colony). The Petco Foundation’s support allowed us to repair the Sanctuary while continuing care for the Sanctuary residents and our commitment to TNR efforts across our county (in 2019 our TNR included over 460 cats). We are very grateful for the support of the Petco Foundation in response to Hurricane Dorian’s impact on the Sanctuary and our Eastern North Carolina communities. We all continue to shelter-in-place!
Thanks to The John & Christine Tortorella Family Foundation & our amazing donors!
In fall 2019, we were able to completely renovate a room into a laundry/bathroom facility and additional inside space for cats who reside at the sanctuary. This room was a much-needed space to provide a safe inside space for our older kitties as well as ones needing additional socializing and/or medical attention. The laundry room has provided an on-site service that was desperately needed - we go through a lot of laundry in a week when caring for the ~100 cats within our sanctuary. The bathroom replaced the porta-potty we had been renting for our volunteers to use. So many wonderful upgrades came out of this project!
We are grateful for The John & Christine Tortorella Foundation for sponsoring a large portion of this project with so many other wonderful and amazing donors stepping up to cover the other costs. We are truly humbled.
We are just humans who have a love for animals and want to make a difference through spaying, neutering, sharing knowledge and our experiences!