Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Petco Foundation Grant--Richard

Richard...A Story of Shelter-Rescue Cooperation

Sick Richard, showing his third eyelids.
Picked up as a stray just before Thanksgiving 2011, Richard was a sick old black cat—three strikes against him. But, the shelter in Maine knew this little old man was a true charmer. Still intact, Richard was calm, loving, and as sweet as they come. And sweeter than they expected when they found Richard was diabetic.

Through a local contact, the shelter’s director found her way to Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN). DCIN offered advice and free supplies to help get Richard healthy and adoptable. DCIN also offered its strong Internet presence to find Richard a home. Because the shelter was overcrowded and understaffed, the director was unsure how long she could house Richard.

Richard at the shelter.

The shelter started Richard on a grain free diet and borrowed insulin. DCIN helped the shelter obtain more insulin and sent blood sugar testing equipment and other necessary supplies.

Healing at the shelter.
With better diet and his diabetes regulated, Richard blossomed. He charmed all, including an experienced diabetic cat caregiver in Washington state. Although smitten with Richard when she saw DCIN’s posting, the potential adopter was concerned that she might be taking on a hospice case. Her fears were allayed when the excellent care he received at the shelter, facilitated by DCIN’s medical assistance, improved his body condition and helped him gain weight.

Even though Richard found his new home, winter weather became a transport problem. Richard left the shelter in mid-January 2012 and stayed with two DCIN-arranged temporary foster homes before boarding his flight in Boston. Richard was to fly to Houston and connect to a flight to Washington.

Unfortunately, a snag developed. The airport in Washington closed because of snow, cancelling Richard’s flight from Houston. The DCIN air transport coordinator arranged with a DCIN adopter near Tulsa to foster Richard until he could again fly. It is DCIN’s policy not to leave “stranded” insulin-dependent diabetic cats in airport veterinary boarding facilities overnight (or what in this case would have been several days). Richard boarded the last flight out of Houston to Tulsa that night. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, DCIN was able to pay for the second air cargo fee this re-rerouting required. Richard got to his new mom six days late, but he was healthy and safe when she finally was able to scoop him up.

Two diabetic cats +
One Papasan chair =
A Sugar Bowl

Richard is now looking forward to his second winter holiday season with his new Mom and his fur siblings, one of which also is diabetic. Mom says Richard is as sweet as she hoped. He is now off insulin because of his raw diet.

The shelter director thanked DCIN for caring for Richard and finding him a new home and transporting him there saying "I have not experienced such dedication and care from any rescue group as I have from DCIN. Richard's outcome would not have been as wonderful had DCIN not been so willing to help."

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