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Pima Animal Care Center: Cat Castles Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Last year, you made an incredibly generous grant of Cat Castles to our shelter. We are so happy to say that your generous gift is STILL making a difference in the lives of our homeless cats like Toph and Azula. Their story, as well as a photo of them in their new home hanging out next to their familiar Cat Castle, are below.

It saved us thousands of dollars on cardboard cat carriers, which we otherwise would have had to buy. That meant we had more money for medical care for injured and sick pets like Toph.

How many pets did this grant help?

We estimate this donation helped us save over 3,000 cats.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

During the middle of summer, we often take in more than a dozen mewling, orphaned kittens every single day. It was during this time that a Good Samaritan brought Toph to our back door. He was just a palm-sized, weeks-old stray, and his eyes were completely crusted shut from a painful herpes virus. Two years ago, we would never have had the staff or supplies during the height of kitten season to save an extremely sick baby animal like Toph. But because of the support we’re getting from friends like the Petfinder Foundation, in 2015 our medical team can and did.

Our doctors immediately started treating Toph with donated eye drops, and they gave him antibiotics to cure his upper-respiratory infection (it’s like a kitty cold). After six weeks of steady care, Toph’s cold was gone, but his eyes had still not improved. The medical neglect he’d suffered in his infancy meant there was no other option for us except to remove his eyes.

And because we have such a caring community that supports our work, we were able to do just that – as well as neuter him, of course, so he does not contribute to our community’s profound pet-overpopulation problem.

After Toph recovered from his surgery, our volunteers paired him with Azula, another young kitten who’d also had a rough start to her life. One of our Animal Care Officers had saved her from an apartment where she’d lived with a dozen other cats. Like many of the hundreds of pets we save each year from hoarding situations, Azula was fearful, under-socialized and going to be hard to adopt out. But it turns out she was just what Toph needed: A seeing-eye guide. And Toph was just what Azula needed: A friend – and, since they were marketed as bonded pair who must leave the shelter together – he was also her ticket to a forever home.

Roselia Sosa fell them both. Azula, she says, is slowly coming out of her shell. She really loves spending time with Sosa’s children, who are small like she is, and therefore less scary than their household’s adults. She continues to enjoy the Cat Castle that came home with her from our shelter. And as for blind Toph, he’s not only figured out how to get around Sosa’s house and onto her furniture, but he’s wiggled his way firmly into the family’s hearts.

“The kids just love him,” she tells us. “He’s so cuddly.”

Some might argue we went “too far” by saving Toph. But not Roselia Sosa.

“He is just as worthy of our help as any animal – or any person, really,” she says. “If something or someone needs help, you give it to them.”

“He is just such a sweetheart,” she adds. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”

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