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St. Sophia's Forgotten Felines: Grant Report

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

The funds from the Petfinder Foundation's New Year, New Home grant helped us reduce and waive adoption fees on some of our long-term cats.

At St. Sophia's, we work to have low adoption fees; but even so, some cats, for some reason or another, stay in our care longer than expected. This grant helped us reduce our adoption fees for cats who had been in our care more than 90 days (some of whom had been with us over 300 days!). For the month of April, we ran a "Not Spring Chickens" grant to reduce the adoption fee down to $30 for cats in our care who fit the above long-term stay requirements. About 30 cats were selected for this promotion -- and each day in the month of April, a different cat was featured on our website and on our social media platforms.

How many pets did this grant help?

The goal was to have 30 cats adopted at the reduced rate of $30. So far, of the 30 posted, 11 have found homes and 19 are still looking!

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

A few success stories include: Aesop (first photo)! This boy came to St. Sophia’s as a terrified young kitten. He could hardly be interacted with, but loved the company of other cats. To top it off, he had extreme diarrhea that just wouldn’t get better no matter the testing, treatment, and medications. After a long six months, Aesop not only got his potty issues resolved, but became more and more trusting and comfortable around people. One of our previous adopters saw his story and came and scooped him up.

Ghostly (second photo)! This handsome lad, roughly 3 years old, was in our care for a whopping 195+ days! You can tell by the photos how happy his new adopter is to have him in her life now. Ghostly is a LARGE boy and deaf. He also is very rambunctious and loves to play, but doesn’t always realize how big of a lug he is and how loud he can be. Being deaf, he had no fear, but that meant he could also be a bit mischievous. He needed just the right home that would understand his personality and needs, and we’re glad he found it!

Rasputin (third photo)! Rasputin was surrendered by his owner, then adopted, and then returned for not getting along with another cat, so we knew that finding the right home for him was going to be a challenge. He liked other cats — albeit only certain ones — and there was no rhyme or reason to why he was okay with some cats and not others. After 190+ days, Rasputin went home to a very loving family — where he’s going to be the ONLY kitty.

Sweetums and Woozie (fourth photo)! Surrendered to Chicago Animal Control as part of a multi-cat hoarding situation, Sweetums and Woozie were a young, but very bonded, pair of boys, so we really wanted to find a home for them together. Woozie was very outgoing, but Sweetums was shy and always looking for Woozie to show him the way. Both boys went to a home together after 94 days in our care.

Graceful (fifth photo)! My favorite story of all; this sweet girl couldn’t have asked for a better life. Graceful was surrendered by her owners along with another cat to Aurora Animal Control. On arrival, she was normal and healthy. Three days later, she couldn’t walk. Not knowing what to do, Animal Control slated her for euthanasia (her friend was healthy and adopted out). We took Graceful in, and after a battery of tests that all came back normal or inconclusive, our vets determined that the best course of action was to try a steroid and see if we got any improvement. And we did! Within a few days of her injection, Graceful was up and trying to get around. At first she couldn’t eat unless you held the dish AND her head (otherwise she’d just face-plant and then vomit it back up because of the nausea from all the bobbing and weaving) — but within a week, she was up and walking (albeit like a tin soldier) and eating (while her legs were splayed to prop her up). The hardest part was the litter box — but once we climbed that hill, Graceful was ready for a home. A loving family who had just lost one of their cats who’d had neurological issues saw our plea to find the “right” home for Graceful and they immediately contacted us. After 214 days, Graceful found her forever home! We’re so happy that we get updates on an almost weekly basis! She can now drink from a water dish!

Of course, these are just SOME of the stories! We can’t wait to continue this promotion to help our other cats get adopted as well.

We posted the 30 cats in our 30 “Not Spring Chickens” campaign on our website and social media. The link to our Facebook album with the photos of the cats and their descriptions is available here: (this link only shows the ones in the promotion that are still available; please note, Flakka is pending for adoption this Friday, June 1, 2018, and Micah is being transferred to the care of another rescue that specializes in FeLV+ cats).