Sometimes, saving lives means going the extra mile… Or the extra 2,100 miles. Rescued from a neglect and abuse case, five lucky cats made it safe and sound to Austin Pets Alive! after a cross-country journey from Monroe, WA.
Pasado’s Safe Haven, a Washington-area animal rescue, saved 23 cats from a hoarding situation in January. Single-digit temperatures, grisly living conditions, and a shortage of food meant all odds were stacked against these animals. And of those rescued, many of the cats tested positive for feline leukemia (FeLV).
“We have the most robust feline leukemia shelter program in the country, so when we were asked to help these cats and fly them here from Washington, it was an immediate ‘yes’ from us,” says Austin Pets Alive!’s Cat Program Manager, Monica Frenden. “After all they have been through, it was important to us to welcome these cats to Austin and give them a new life.”
A diagnosis of feline leukemia is a death sentence for a cat in almost every shelter across the country, but APA! strives everyday to stay true to its mission of saving every possible life. At APA!, we even have our own adoption center, a spacious and bright building where felines of all shapes and sizes can be found happily lounging or playing.
And the verdict? APA!’s FelV program is working. Last year alone, 65 FelV-positive cats were adopted from the shelter by loving families.
What’s more, APA! isn’t stopping at rescue. Today we are on the cutting edge of feline leukemia testing and treatment, with a robust research program spanning many months(#ThankstoMaddie!). This is yet another reason we were able to help the Washington cats.
“An added benefit of our No Kill programs is that we learn a lot about the conditions we are treating because we handle them in such volume,” said Frenden. “APA! has partnered with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine on a groundbreaking study to advance testing and treatment options for feline leukemia cats. The study actually makes it possible for us to help more FeLV cats than ever before. It’s win-win.”
For these five special cats, once their travel ended, their journey had just begun. George, Rory, Nacho, Harley, and Victor were all seen by APA! veterinarians and got some much needed rest after their long flight.
“They got here just in time to celebrate Austin’s 6 year No Kill Anniversary and are a perfect example of how far we’ve come as a community,” said Frenden.
Since arriving, Rory and Victor have been adopted into loving homes. And Harley has made himself at home in our FelV Adoption Center.
Harley is learning to trust people more everyday, and is being well-cared for and well-loved by staff and volunteers. He is also enabling our research team to learn more about Feline Leukemia Virus.
George and Nacho also arrived safe and sound, but after a time it became clear that that the barn life was the life for them! Both have already gone to their forever home with an APA! staff member, where they can happily chase mice and never want for food, warmth, or care.
Barn or at the foot of someone’s bed, these five cats are bound for happier days—thanks to Austin Pets Alive!.