JOHNSON: Thankful for animal loving community

Published 10:26 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jacque Johnson

Johnson is a volunteer with Selma’s Purrrfect Pals

Early this summer, the staff at Swift Drugs heard a frantic meowing under from under a neighboring building, sounding like several kittens in trouble. They called the fire department, the police and friends. No one could get to the tiny critters. So, they called Selma’s Purrrfect Pals, our all-volunteer troop who care for kittens and cats from the Selma Animal Shelter. I sent my husband, a bona fide cat lover, and son over to Swift’s to see if they could help the pitiful trapped kittens. Using some PVC pipe and other materials, Dan rigged a snare pole and Quinn pulled out the trapped kitten. Yes, it was just one kitten. One very LOUD kitten. One very cute, very dirty, very emotional kitten, whose eyes were matted shut.

We called one of the local vets –– they are all so supportive –– and he prescribed eye drops, from Swift Drugs. In a few weeks, with lots of TLC and bottle feedings by his foster family, the kitten, “Oreo” found a new home with Kaylee Swift McWherter from Swift Drugs. They fostered Oreo and another cat extricated from a car engine down on Water Avenue until they were spayed/neutered and now have adopted both of them.

I wish every story had such a happy ending. Sadly, they do not. We see hundreds of homeless kittens and cats every year and despite our best hopes and efforts, we cannot help them all.  We are not a local rescue organization –– SPP was created to make life better for the shelter cats and increase adoptions.  Those we do assist often need medical help, which is costly. One nursing mother cat “dropped “ at the shelter with her kittens had an injured leg. Turns out, she’d been shot and her leg had to be amputated. Many kittens have matted eyes, which left untreated can cause him/her to go blind. In just three months –– June through August –– we paid over $3,700 in medical bills for the shelter felines. But we don’t want the story to end there. We want each and every one of these sweethearts to find a “furever” home. Each of these cats and kittens are “vetted.” That means they are up to date on all their shots, spay/neutered and microchipped. More importantly, they are healthy and “socialized” to live well with a family.

We couldn’t do it without some wonderful animal lovers in Selma. We are grateful for our foster parents, our volunteers, generous donors, local veterinarians and businesses, for generously helping us assist more than 250 homeless kittens and cats since we were founded in 2013. Thank you especially to David Pearce, owner, and Kim Morris, manager, of The Sand Bar, who have been hosting Bingo Tuesday since June. Please join us. We play bingo from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each week for 50 cents a card. Winners get cash prizes, and Selma Purrrfect Pals and the Humane Society of Central Alabama gets a percentage of the evening’s total. It’s a win-win fun family activity.

Please consider opening your heart and home to one (or two) of our sweet kittens or cats. Sadly we have only had 38 feline adoptions from the shelter this year.

You are welcome to visit the cats and kittens at the Selma Animal Shelter any weekday, 10 to 4. Or come to one of our special adoption events, like this Saturday at the Shelter, 10-2, or next Saturday at Tractor Supply Company, 10-2. All adult cat adoption fees are reduced to $25 and kittens are “Adopt 1, get 1 Free” for $50. We promise to make your adoption experience simple, smooth and memorable. We want you and your new companion(s) to be happy together! Hopefully we will have another a purrrfect storybook ending to share.