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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trailer park trio gets second chance in new home

Bennett and Pandora minus Celeste by Mitzi Brabb

As most of you know, I am more of a dog person than a cat person.

I have had cats in the past, and The Consort’s Himalayan Kleo is a full-fledged member of our family. But the rest of our family is comprised of two humans and three dogs – so Kleo is a distinct minority.

Having said that, I am devoting this column to three kittens who recently found new homes thanks to a front page article in the Mogollon Connection about overcrowded conditions at the Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) – (“Homeless animals face hard times”).

As you know, the Gazette Blog and the Connection have an affiliation of sorts. Our columnists allow their outstanding work to be published in the Connection and we share stories between us whenever we can.

It makes for better coverage for our readers, and working together helps us in our competition with the giant Kansas corporation that owns the Roundup. If this were paper/scissors/rock, the bear would trump the pine tree every time, but in the real world money talks. So the more we can pool our resources, the better.

Of course, I posted the story about the overcrowded shelter on the blog, and in the process Correspondent Mitzi Brabb sent me the photos she had taken to accompany the article. Not just the two you saw in the Connection, but some others that didn’t make the cut.

They were all excellent, and space in cyberspace is not as precious as it is in the finite pages of a newspaper, so I posted two additional photos – including the one you see above.

Connection Editor Matt Brabb picked two outstanding photos to run with the article, but the picture of the two kittens was, in my humble opinion, the most compelling of all.

Take a close look and you’ll see what I mean. If a photo of animals ever gripped at the heartstrings more than this one, I’d like to see it.

In fact, I believe Mitzi has an award-winning photo on her hands, and I believe HSCAZ has a photo that it can use in a variety of ways to convey what its shelter is all about.

As you Rod Stewart fans know, “Every Picture Tells a Story,” and this one, you will be pleased to find out, has a happy ending.

I said there were three kittens adopted, and the third was in the photo but off to one side. While we sacrificed him in the interest of photographic composition, you’ll be happy to know they all went to their new home together. Here’s how it happened:

The Siamese kittens, named by Shelter employees Bennett, Pandora and Celeste, were turned into the shelter as strays on June 16. They were found without their mother in a trailer park on St. Phillips Road. Shelter employees guess they were born around April 28.

A lady and her daughter from Mesa came up to see the kittens. They wanted to adopt a couple kittens to help socialize a feral cat they cared for.

They settled on the Siamese kittens, but because they only wanted two, HSCAZ employee Sasha Parsons asked them to pick out which two. Of course the mother and daughter couldn’t resist taking all three and, we are told, they are living happily ever after – except for the god-awful heat down in the Valley.

“I take them into Iso(lation) and she looks at them and (the mother) goes, ‘How much would it cost to adopt all three of them?’ I thought she was kidding,” Parsons recalled. “Apparently she felt real bad about leaving one behind, so she adopted all three of them and fell in love.”

Sometimes animals from the Valley end up at our shelter, and sometimes animals from our shelter end up being adopted by people from down there. Animals just don’t understand geographical boundaries, and it all seems to balance out in the end.

It’s also well worth noting that the three kittens spent about a month at the shelter before being adopted. Many shelters euthanize animals after 72 hours.

HSCAZ is working very hard at becoming a total no-kill shelter. Our new dog Radar was at the shelter over a year before we adopted him. In most shelters, he would have been long gone.

And there’s even more good news that came from Mitzi’s article. All of the five little dogs featured in the front page photo have been adopted or have been spoken for.

And best of all, Frank, the forlorn looking dog pictured in his chain link kennel on the jump page was also adopted by some Valley folks, saving him a trip to a Petco adoption event.

Once again, the Rim Country (and a mother and daughter from Mesa) have responded to a plea for help from the shelter. But conditions are still overcrowded and resources are tight.

If you can’t adopt an animal right now, maybe you can spare a few bucks for food or some old blankets or towels. Remember, it might not be a coincidence that g-o-d is d-o-g spelled backwards.

I wouldn’t take a chance.

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