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Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home for Cats: Kia Pet Adoption Grant Report

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

Gifford Cat Shelter has a number of cats who have been at the shelter for many months -- some for more than a year. They may have behavioral issues or have a specific medical condition and are not the most desirable for potential adopters to consider due to these issues. All they need is a little more patience and attention, but it’s sometimes difficult for adopters to understand that, and these cats are looked over for friendly, healthier cats.

The grant funds are being used to waive the adoption fees for these cats, which makes them stand out a bit more from other cats in our care. Saving the cost of the adoption fee can be a great incentive for potential adopters who may be willing to adopt a cat that is a out of the ordinary and requires medications. The money they save from not having a fee can help with affording those medications.

How many pets did this grant help?

Six cats

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

Margie and Matthias did not come to the shelter together, but both came from similar circumstances. They were survivors of separate pet-hoarding situations and were removed from those homes and came to Gifford.

They did not trust people and were wary of other cats. It took a long time to gain even a small amount of trust. Matthias (first photo) would react to attention by hissing and growling and it was tough to even get near him without a negative reaction. Margie (second photo) was scared but a little more trusting.

They were eventually housed together in one of the shelter’s colony rooms, where cats are allowed to interact freely with people and other cats. They both settled in and it became clear that they preferred to be around each other more than other cats in the room.

Over time, staff and volunteers were able to gain their trust. Some were even able to pet Matthias, who would reward them with purrs and some “chittering” if you said sweet things to him. Margie sometimes allowed pets; she was still not sure about interactions, but she liked toys and felt secure enough to snooze in the sun. Both even spent time in foster care during the pandemic.

Recently, an adopter fell in love with the pair and decided to give them a home. Having two adoption fees waived was the icing on the cake. We look forward to updates from their new family as Margie and Matthias settle into a loving home.

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