Hey everyone, Rachelle here from Hearts 4 Paws. I had a request to do a quick podcast about Jack and I can tie that in a little to explain a little more about our rescue, our struggles and the inspiration to start it.

Jack 4 year old tabby, came to our rescue with his brother Albey, just two of the many cats we have taken in over the past year. Unfortunately the owners where in a difficult situation and regardless of their attempts to try and rehome Jack and Albey they were unsuccessful. The majority of the calls I get of people needing to surrender their cats, mostly seniors have been turned away by our local shelter, making this one of the primary reasons I initially formed Hearts 4 Paws rescue to bridge the gap. I was told by a representative at the shelter, they reserve the right to refuse surrenders and they are not a boarding facility. That is certainly logical and understandable if they are full and at max capacity. This unfortunately leaves people who find themselves in emergency situations with minimal options and people often turn to taking their pets to their vet to be euthanized or worse dumped in the country, which is ultimately a death sentence for a domesticated cat. Approx. 75% of the cats we have taken in are Senior Cats who were going to be euthanized due to their owner’s falling ill, going into long term care facilities or just cannot physically take care of their cats anymore. They had exhausted all options including trying to surrender to the local shelter. Hearts 4 Paws was the last resort. When we are full and don’t have any space or fosters, I have a list of rescues that I provide. But the sad reality is that they are almost always full and maxed on their resources due to limited funding.

About 10% of the other cats we have had to rescue off the streets in Stratford after members of the community could find no help. The remaining 15% of our intakes are of various ages including some kittens that people experienced significant life changes. Some sadly due to allergies, new babies coming or getting a new pet. The responsibility also lies with our community in regards to the kittens being thrown to the streets. People need to be responsible, spay and neuter pets to decrease suffering.

The call volume we received over the past year exceeded our capacity and was overwhelming. At many times we couldn’t get bonded pairs adopted fast enough and our rescue and fosters where full. Sadly some slipped through the cracks.

After all our mission was to reserve our spots to save senior cats. But we had been taking in all ages due to the lack of resources for animals in stratford.

We had taken in two cats for people that where going into shelters because there was no one that would take them temporarily. Both of which would not leave their situations because they would not leave without their cat and had been turned away by shelters. This of all things should be made priority for emergency situations. People going into hospital was another one, where I once thought someone was set up to help in these situations there is nothing. Something has to change.

In the next coming weeks we will get others to weigh in on this conversation, what their thoughts are and how would could all potentially work together to ease the burden on smaller non-profit rescues that have minimal resources. I am a big supporter of our local animal networks and our local humane society as there is a need due to so much demand. And unfortunately the demand is human created and has caused a lot of suffering that could have been avoided if people would just spay and neuter their pets. Again being the past chair of the Stratford Perth Humane society community council I was heavily involved in fundraising organization and efforts, promoting community relationships including the transition to the new shelter until they no longer needed our board.

There is a lot to discuss here that I haven’t yet touched upon. But it has been otherwise an amazing experience to be a part of saving so many lifes. The wonderful foster families and volunteers have been a part of this, all the donors and who support our cause, it is truly amazing. Thank you.

Getting back to Jack, for those who have not been following his story, he has a condition where his eyelids are turned in which causes him a great deal of pain and discomfort.

He is currently being cared for in a foster home under the care of a veterinarian. On March 11th he will have his first, hopefully the only corrective surgery. Thank you to everyone who donated for his surgery.

We hit our mark in a day thanks to so many caring people. Jack may have to go back a 2nd time as the Dr. does not want to take off too much at one time which could cause other issues. But we will do whatever we need to do to help Jack. Once is well enough we hope to find him and his brother Albey their forever home together.

Stay tuned for a new podcast in the near future. Thanks for listening.

Rachelle Hearts 4 Paws Rescue Founder

Hearts 4 Paws
Author: Hearts 4 Paws