2013 Happy Beginnings Grant Recipient #3

Posted by Jennifer on July 10th, 2013

A huge thank you to all the many shelters and rescues who are applying for grants, with their wonderful stories and photos of the abandoned pets they are helping go from homeless to adopted! Since we can’t publish them all, we’re just sharing the grant recipients’ stories here on our Shelter Blog. Here’s our 3rd recipient…

Congratulations to the 3rd $1,000 grant recipient from the 2013 Adopt-a-Pet.com Happy Beginnings FundHere’s how this grant will help their adoptions program create more Happy Beginnings for homeless pets… like the Gia, Gigi, and Pixie, don’t miss the photos at the end!

half the way home, inc.
Marietta, GA

  • Describe how a $1,000 grant will help your adoptions program create more Happy Beginnings for homeless pets:

half the way home (htwh) rescue pulls cats and kittens from high-risk animal control facilities in the metro Atlanta area. As in all high-risk animal controls, these cats/kittens can be “put down” for any number of reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. Feral kittens are at an even higher risk, simply because they are deemed “feral”.  We include them in our program whenever we have space in one of our foster homes. Amazingly, once they are in a foster home, these feral babes quickly become socialized, thus, breaking their cycle of fear and allowing them to engage and become part of a loving family…the effort is minimal, the result is fabulous!

Not just feral kittens, but all of our cats/kittens reside in foster homes. Since we do not have a physical shelter, we utilize adoption sites – such as pet stores, pet boutiques, bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other cat friendly businesses – to give the public an opportunity to meet our kitties.  However, not all of our cats/kittens are able to attend adoption events due to shyness, anxiety, lack of transport, and other reasons.  Therefore, many of our kitties are not seen by the adopting public on a regular basis. We want to remedy this so that all will have the opportunity to be seen at adoption events.

We would like to use this grant money to purchase an electronic tablet/digital photo device on which we can upload a series of still photos and videos of our cats/kittens in their foster homes. This photo presentation will be edited then looped to run continuously throughout an adoption event. By doing this, kitties that cannot be there will still be seen and have a chance of finding a home too.  We will also include home videos of the cats present at each event so adopters can get a glimpse of each cat’s personality (which can be very different from the caged kitties they are meeting at the moment).

As you know, in general, cats do not show as well at adoption events or in cages.  They often become fearful or anxious, making it difficult for potential adopters to see their true personalities.  We feel confident that by showing the cats in their home environment through still photos and videos, we can increase our adoption rates at our events.

We have been operating since September of 2012 and to date have placed 110 cats and kittens in loving homes.  We have pulled and sent upwards of 40 more cats/kittens to other local rescues (when we had no room) so they too could be safe and find loving homes.

  • Tell us your favorite “Happy Beginnings” story about a pet you adopted into a loving home!

One of our favorite “Happy Beginnings” stories:

It was Sept. and the middle of kitten season in the south.  half the way home had just completed all paperwork for set-up and was ready to help. The responsibility, results, and reality of animal rescuing lay before us…we were nervous.

I (Vicki) went to the county animal control facility, as I had done for several years, but this time was different. I could now help instead of simply plead for help.  In the isolation room, awaiting their fate, were the bite cases, eviction cases, arrest cases, feral cats, feral kittens, and orphaned kittens. I went in to see who we could help.  Smooched up against the back of the cage, behind the litter box, were two sets of tiny ears…I never saw their faces…just their ears. “I’ll take those two,” I said. The animal control officer said, “There are three of them.” “Okay, I’ll take all three then.”

Gia, Gigi, and Pixie, three little feral kittens, were now half the way home. The three kittens went to a foster mom who had retired from the Dept. of Natural Resources –a woman well-versed in working with wild creatures of all sorts. A month later, the girls were attending adoption events. Gia came to an all-day, outside art show one Sat. in November. She was such a hit! All the kids pet her and played with her. Gia was so very gentle and affectionate – nary a feral bone in her body. A young girl named Karma fell in love with her; but her mom said, “Not today, Honey”.  Mom took one of our cards and we all parted ways.

Two weeks later, we got an email from mom…she said she and Karma had been looking online at bunches of kittens but Karma just kept saying she wanted Gia!  Mom wanted to know if Gia was still available. She was. She and her sisters were set to be spayed and would be ready to go soon. Pixie had already found her home and went a couple days after her surgery. That was perfect because mom wanted to surprise Karma on Christmas with Gia and Gigi! Their foster mom kept the two girls until Christmas Eve and then delivered them to mom. Karma was not only surprised…she, Gia and Gigi were all very happy girls!

Three little feral kittens ALL the way home…what better way could we start.

Thank you again for your consideration of our request.  We look forward to hearing from you and are happy to answer additional questions should they arise.

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