Save an animal and enrich your life | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

Save an animal and enrich your life

Uploaded: Mar 26, 2010

This is the subtitle of a presentation Elise Stewart and I are giving at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center (also known as the San Ramon Senior Center at 9300 Alcosta Blvd.), on Wednesday, March 31 at 10 am. The presentation is free. If you want to learn more about how you can help cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and even potbellied pigs, please come.

Elise is the President and co-founder of Safe-Cat Foundation. We were both members of the Tri Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR) for several years when Elise started Safe-Cat to rescue older and special needs cats from the Dublin and Martinez shelters. Safe-Cat has provided for medical and surgical needs of several very sick or injured cats that have pulled through to lead happy lives.

I joined Safe-Cat after one of my TVAR fosters was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. He had to have his left hind leg amputated and there was no guarantee the cancer wouldn't spread. TVAR was willing to pay for the amputation if I adopted the cat, because he could not be put up for adoption with a possibly fatal condition. I adopted the cat, whom I named Ivan, and he lived for 2-1/2 years until the tumors returned and he had to be put to sleep. He was the sweetest cat I've ever had, and he had two happy years on his three legs he would not have had if I had not kept him.

There are so many rewarding stories of animals who need help and can be rescued from a shelter or a hoarder (someone who takes in too many animals and cannot give them proper care), or in one case 20 cats were found almost starving to death on an island in the Delta. Safe-Cat found a safe place for them until they could be adopted.

Elise has wonderful before and after photos and videos of cats we've saved. We even found a lost cat in the Dublin shelter that someone in San Ramon advertised was missing. I put together the description from the ad with the description from Safe-Cat, and reunited the kitty with his family. His owner was thankful for getting him back.

"Thank you so much for re-uniting 'Jakey' with our grandchildren," said the owner in an e-mail to Elise and me. "We met Elise at the Animal Shelter this morning to pick him up. He wasn't at all happy to be put in his Animal Express Carrier but boy was he happy to be home. As soon as we walked in the front door it was as though he could smell he was in the right place. He was adopted as a kitten, along with his brother, as Christmas gifts for our granddaughters. As soon as the 'two boys' saw each other this morning they rubbed noses and bodies and were very happy. Thank you again for keeping Jakey safe. We appreciate all you did."

It doesn't take much to volunteer to help animals in need. You don't need to spend money, although donations are always needed. You don't need to take in animals, although fosters to care for animals pulled from the shelters until they can be adopted are also needed. You just need to be willing to spend a little time doing whatever you can to help. Safe-Cat needs volunteers to recruit fosters or donors, take cats to adoption events, or visit the shelters to socialize frightened animals and help reunite lost pets with their owners who are looking for them.

Contra Costa County could save over $37K per year if a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) policy was used in instead of killing all the feral or unidentified cats picked up in the County. TNR is proven to be a more successful method of reducing feral cat populations over a period of years than trying to kill them all off. The State Assembly recently voted down a bill requiring pet owners to spay and neuter their pets, which would also reduce the number of unwanted litters. If enough of us write letters or make phone calls or elect pro-animal candidates that might help save more cats and dogs and money in California.

So please stop by the San Ramon Senior Center on Alcosta Blvd. on Wednesday, March 31 at 10 am and tell us your stories of animal rescue and find out how you can help animals in need. We should all work together for the good of our furry friends.