What would it take to change a pet’s life?
By Lena Hart, Suncoast Humane Society Marketing & Event Planning Manager
What would it take to change a pet’s life? If you asked me, I would say to give that pet a chance at a happy and healthy life. January 24 is recognized as “Change a Pet’s Life Day”, so naturally, many shelters across the nation will put more effort into promoting adoptions on that day. Some adoptions happen rather quickly and easily. “Aww, you won’t last here long,” is a phrase often heard around kittens, puppies and certain highly-desired breeds. The opposite happens for many mixed breeds, adult and senior pets. People say “silence is golden,” but it isn’t for those pets who are overlooked by visitors due to their age or the stigma of their breed. This dark, cold silence of those who pass by often lasts for months, and for some animals, years of residency at the shelter.
For example, one of Suncoast Humane Society’s alumni, is a beautiful, 11-year-old cat named Lucy. Lucy arrived at Suncoast Humane Society in September 2018, due to her owners not being able to keep her during the process of moving. Lucy’s days at the shelter turned into weeks, then into months, and on her 11th birthday, she was officially at the shelter for a whole year. As the time passed, this sweet, shy cat’s spirits began to dampen, which affected her demeanor. Many of the shelter’s staff knew that if you ever heard a kitty screaming, it was Lucy, and she was not impressed that she had to move while her kitty condo was receiving its daily cleaning. Only certain staff and volunteer members were able to handle her warning swats and displeased disposition.
On Lucy’s 11th birthday, the stars finally aligned for this feisty senior. “Lucy has left the building” came across the PA system, as many cheered. Lucy’s human mom, Brittany, says “The absolute best part about having my little old feisty lady at home is that she fits right in with my other oldies. She is grateful for being in a home and being loved again. She never stops purring.” When Lucy can’t find a way to be next to her human, she gets the zoomies. That’s right! A senior kitty that zooms around with the energy of a kitten – an agility that she had never shown in the year she was at the shelter.
There are many ways to change a shelter pet’s life: adopt, donate, volunteer or raise awareness. If you’re ready to welcome a new pet into your home and life, consider visiting Suncoast Humane Society or another shelter. And as you walk by the kennels and kitty condos, keep in mind that there is a “puppy” or a “kitten” inside all of them. You just have to decide that this is the day you will commit to changing that pet’s life. For more information about Suncoast Humane Society’s adoptable animals or different ways to help, please visit www.humane.org.