Friday, March 18, 2016

Today at Rescue TV!

Puppy Mill Rescue: Daniel Walks Again!
Daniel was rescued from a puppy mill in Arkansas, among 295 dogs. When we found him, he was unable to walk using his front legs. See Daniel's progress, after only 2 days in our care!
This Incredible Jail Doubles as a Sanctuary to Help Rehabilitate People and Animals. Jail isn’t exactly a place you want to visit, but the Stock Island Detention Center in Florida has turned its facility into a rehabilitation center for both people and animals as it doubles as a sanctuary for abused, neglected, or confiscated exotic pets and farm animals.

The sanctuary was first established in 1994,as a refuge for injured ducks who were regularly hit by passing cars. The small sanctuary was located below the jail, which sits 11-feet above the ground as per hurricane safety regulations. When word spread that the jail was taking in animals in need, it quickly became a haven for all sorts of species including wild animals that have been sold into the exotic animal trade. One of the farm’s most famous residents is Mo, an adorable sloth whose become the unofficial mascot of Stock Island Detention Center.

The facility is also home to an alligator who was kept as a pet before his guardians no longer wanted to care for him, an abandoned tortoise, a half-blind miniature horse and more than 150 other animals, including farm animals. Five of the 596 prisoners (all non-violent offenders), as well as a veterinarian, work with the animals, caring for their needs

Jeanne Selander, who has a background in marine biology, is the caretaker for the facility. She said that for the inmates, the animal care is a way to make daily breaks from life in jail to feed, clean, and build the animals’ trust. For the animals, it’s a forever home, where they will no longer be mistreated.

Farmer Jeanne, as she is nicknamed, teaches visitors about the importance of not keeping wild animals as pets with the help of the jail’s resident sloth.
She said that while the farm is open to the public twice a month, the animals are not forced to interact with people. “Some of them love attention and will come up to people, others don’t and no one is allowed close to them,” she told Care2.

A huge part of the sanctuary’s mission in showing the public the animals is to teach families, including children, that wild animals are not pets, no matter how cute they are. Too often misguided owners who purchase exotic pets realize they’re in over their heads and the animals end up neglected or abandoned, like those at Stock Island.

If you would like to help contribute to this incredible sanctuary that is helping both humans and animals, click here.

Check out the sanctuary in action below.
Image source: Marathon Florida/YouTube

When Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) heard that a concerned local had obtained a Malayan sun bear from a nearby hunter, they rushed over to rescue the cub. As would be expected, the worried citizen, though their intentions were honorable, hardly had an adequate space for the young and rambunctious creature. When WFFT arrived at the house, they found the bear, Bowie, squished into a very small cage with barely any space, and with a tight rope around her neck which completely restricted her movement.

Bowie is one of the thousands of sun bears in danger of being commercially hunted. In this particular case, the reason for the hunting is not known, but generally sun bears are killed to either: prevent crop damage, settle qualms about bears living near villages, or acquire sun bear cubs for the pet trade. The bear population has also been significantly reduced due to the commercial exploitation of these animals for the grotesquely invasive bear bile farming industry which painfully extracts bile from animals’ gallbladders for medicinal use.

Local hunters in one area of Thailand even estimated that 50 percent of the sun bear population has been reduced in the past 20 years! In addition to these dangers, sun bears also have to deal with major losses to their habitat. In the past 30 years, large-scale deforestation throughout Southeast Asia has left sun bears with but a sliver of the amount of land they used to rely on.

Clearly this extensive problem cannot be solved overnight. But organizations like the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) are doing their part, one bear at a time.

Upon rescuing Bowie, WFFT workers transported her to one of their hospitals for a much-needed checkup.
Bowie 2 check up
Bowie was understandably scared, but the gentle nature of WFFT’s workers made the process go as smoothly as possible.
Bowie 4 climbing
Rescuers estimate that Bowie is about four or five months old. Due to her young age, she is currently receiving special care from the foundation’s vet team.
Bowie 5
They’re keeping a close eye on Bowie.
Bowie 3 exploring
In the wild, she would still be extremely dependent on her mother, drinking her milk and following her every move!
Bowie 6
While the loving presence of her mother is irreplaceable, she still enjoys taking walks with the WFFT vet team.
Bowie 10 walking with WFFT worker
Her caretakers hope to introduce Bowie to a group of sun bears when she grows up so that she can play freely like she deserves!
Bowie 8
Thanks to the amazing work by WFFT, this sun bear is getting a second chance at life and is receiving the love and care all she, and all animals in general, deserve. We hope that she makes a full recovery from her traumatic experience, and is able to share the companionship of fellow sun bears in the future. To learn more about Bowie, and the other animals rescued by WFFT, visit their page! All images source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

Rescued orangutans are weighed in the forest
This group at Forest School have now become so independent that they no longer show any inclination to return to their cages at night. They are building nests to sleep in and so the team has decided to leave them out in the forest day and night.

Baby Rabbit Rescued After Being Terrorized for Weeks by Pen Mate in a Filthy Cage. Not every rescue tale involves a big team, lots of equipment or getting down in the mud and grass to bring a rabbit life to safety.  Sometimes the rescue itself seems simple — we arrive, we save, and everyone lives “hoppily” ever after.  Despite the perceived ease of a rescue case, the impact is no less vital to the animal.  One rabbit, named Savannah, is an ever-important reminder of that.

In early January 2016, Long Island Rabbit Rescue was contacted by a concerned mom of multiple animals and humans. The family had a rabbit, whom they loved.  So when a friend’s rabbit had an “accidental litter,” they decided to take in one of the babies.  They thought, since their first rabbit was such a great addition to their family, why not add another?  And that’s where the situation got complicated…

Rabbits as companion animals are often misunderstood.  They are not low-maintenance.  They are not cuddle toys.  They are never aggressive or mean to people, even if they seem that way.  And, as prey animals, they do not typically make friends easily with another rabbit (though once they do, friendships can last for life).  It is possible — but there’s a process.

When this completely well-meaning family brought home the baby and plopped her in the cage with their current rabbit, everything changed.  The rabbits began to fight.  The little one would lunge and display behaviors that the family perceived to be aggressive.  These behaviors got so intense that the family felt they couldn’t approach either rabbit or their habitat, thus, their cage went uncleaned for weeks and their access to food was irregular.

The mother of this family emailed us in desperation.  She said she needed someone to take one or both of her rabbits, as she couldn’t manage their care.  She had called her dogs’ vet, who told her that “rabbits just behave this way — let them fight it out,” but she knew that either wasn’t the right answer or, if it was, that wasn’t something that should be happening in their living room!  Our volunteer Lauren and I arrived at their home on a Wednesday afternoon in January with the intentions of assessing the situation, setting up a separate enclosure for the second rabbit to keep both safe and educating about rabbit care.  With no shelter facility and the alarming number of unwanted, abandoned rabbits on Long Island, we can’t just “take” someone’s rabbit.  However, within moments of our arrival, we knew that we had a serious scene on our hands.

The baby rabbit, a beige lopped-eared girl, was so incredibly stressed and terrorized by the other rabbit that she was crying and nearly screeching.  I handle more than 20 rabbits per week at our main foster homes, and I could barely get near this little lop.

Her back was scratched and bloody.  She was underweight.  She was living in filth and in fear.  We knew we could not leave her there.
Her skin was red due to constant attacks from the other rabbit.
I excused myself from the room as Lauren was educating the family on rabbit care and trying to coax the scared little lop from the cage.  I called our director, explained the situation and she immediately began to search for a foster space while giving me the go-ahead to save this bunny.

I do not “blame” the family in any way.  Yes, they could have done some research on having multiple rabbits before adding a second to their home, but they were trying: they gave a rabbit in need a home; they contacted a vet, just not a rabbit-savvy one; they reached out to a rescue group — and thankfully it wasn’t too late!  For reasons like this, our volunteer group works tirelessly to educate the public on rabbit needs and care.

Lauren named the little beige rabbit Savannah.  It took Savannah a few days to stop crying and cowering.  Even our director, with decades of experience in rescue, had a difficult time handling this formerly-terrorized rabbit upon arrival in our care!

Now, a few weeks have passed, and Savannah’s wounds are healed.  She has stopped screeching and lunging.  She’ll accept treats and some gentle snuggles (and even gave some rare and very treasured bunny kisses to our volunteer, Taylor last week!).
Savannah’s personality is blossoming in her foster home.  She hops and plays with the perfect mix of cuteness and sass.
Her fur is even growing back quite nicely.
She’ll be spayed soon and will be looking for a forever family who will keep her safe and loved. While she’s becoming far more social with people, it’s unclear if Savannah will ever be comfortable with another rabbit, due to her past trauma.  She will fit in well as a solo pet in a family who respects her initial tentativeness and allows her some time to warm up.  Once she feels comfortable, expect some playful fun with this little lady.

Her rescue itself seemed simple—we arrived, we got her in a carrier, we got her to a foster home.  But to Savannah, leaving filth and fear, this seemingly simple act gave her a chance at life.

To learn more about Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group or read more happy “tails,” click here. All image source: Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group.

Turtles Rescued From Keetham Lake. 52 Turtles were found trapped in a 20 ft long poachers net in Keetham Lake, located in Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra. 42 turtles were found dead and 12 were in grave conditions when rescued by Wildlife SOS and U.P. Forest Dept. Catch a glimpse of the turtles being rescued and released.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBC) has been rescuing illegal captive sun bears from a lifetime of misery in cages as pets, in private displays or from being sold for bear parts. Many orphaned sun bears are rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department and are brought to our Centre. These orphaned sun bear cubs have been separated from their mothers at a very young age. Sun bear cubs are really cute when small but they become quite dangerous when they are grown up.

Sun bears are found throughout mainland Asia, Sumatra in Indonesia and Borneo. The exact number of sun bears in the wild is unknown and has led to sun bears being classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The sun bear is classified as a “totally protected species” under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Under the Enactment, those caught in possession of any parts or keeping a bear in captivity will be fined, serve time in prison, or both. Despite this ruling, sun bears are often exploited for the illegal wildlife trade or put in horrific bear bile farms.

They are often kept in small cages, without proper care. The arrival of any new cubs always gives us concern as their immune systems are weak, and they are vulnerable to variety of ailments.

Like many young bears, Kala was probably snatched away from her mother who had been killed by a poacher. She was then became a victim of the illegal wildlife trade.
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Kala was purchased by an individual with the intention to rescue her. She was sent to BSBCC in January 2015. Kala showed signs of being emaciated, dehydrated and malnourished. Due to her poor condition, the bear care unit cared for her around the clock through providing a better diet and enrichment. She was given time to recover from the trauma until she is began rapidly gaining in both weight and confidence. Generally sun bear cubs remain with their mothers for two to three years, learning how to survive in the forest and to avoid dangers. Their time with humans can ruin essential survival skills.

Unfortunately for little Kala, she would have to learn by herself how to survive in the wild. She still has a long way to go, but this beautiful bear will never again live in darkness and fear. Instead she will have a bright new world to explore. Here at BSBCC, rescued sun bears get a chance to live in their natural habitat. Home for these bears is full of trees for them to dig for termites, play, climb, and rest in.
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Wong taking possession of Kala from the Sabah Wildlife Department.
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At just three months old, Kala was tiny, dehydrated and malnutrition. She weighed just 8 pounds.
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The cub unit began to take her out on forest walks in late February.
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Kala made her way through the forest. Look at the determination and confidence in her eyes!
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She lives for every single minute of her life.
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Kala keeps busy by digging and tearing dead wood in search of yummy termites – just like a wild bear.
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Sun bears are arboreal and are superb climbers. But when it came to climbing trees, Kala was a bit wary. The bear care unit had to teach Kala how to climb a trees as being confined in cages she knew nothing of freedom until rescued.
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Kala has put her trauma and pain behind her and now enjoys her new life in forest.
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Kala loves skimming the tree tops in search of any interesting insects and invertebrates. Over the year since we rescued her, she has grown so much and is now learning how to live a wild sun bear life. The change in the rescued sun bears has been incredible to watch as they learn to dig for grubs, sniff for honey bees, sunbathe, rest on logs, play together, build nests and climb trees, it is undoubtedly one of our greatest pleasures.

Sun bears consistently remind us why they are so important. They are a marvel of natural engineering, act as a forest doctor, forest engineering and forest planter, and play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem and equilibrium of the forest.

Very little was known about sun bear biology and their behavior. But Malaysian wildlife biologist, Wong Siew Te, has dedicated his life to rescuing and changing the lives of sun bears. Wong founded the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in 2008 through a holistic approach collaboration with the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) to promote Sun Bear conservation, rehabilitation, education and research. BSBCC is creating the capacity to rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears back into the wild. It is providing a long-term living environment for captive bears that cannot be released, supports further research on the species, and increase public awareness on the importance of the sun bear. To learn more about BSBCC or help support their efforts, visit their website.

Beautiful Reunion of Former Trekking Elephants in Their Sanctuary Home Will Warm Your Heart. There’s nothing better than running into an old friend after years of separation. Well, when Nam Fon the rescued elephant returned to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand’s (WFFT) Elephant Refuge and Education Center after six years, she was reacquainted with her old pal Pai Lin. Their interaction is truly beautiful!

Nam Fon lived at the WFFT Elephant Refuge from 2004 to 2010, along with her mahout (keeper). But after six years of living happily, her mahout demanded more money from the refuge. Unfortunately, WFFT was not in a position to pay him, so she was taken away from the refuge in the middle of the night. Along with a few other elephants, Nam Fon went right back to the tourism industry.

Each year, millions of tourists flock to Thailand in hopes of interacting with Asian elephants. Eager to take a selfie with calves, or ride on a pachyderm through the jungle, travelers are lead to believe that these excursions are normal and – worst of all – acceptable. Yet these interactions are anything but natural.

Elephant are taken from the wild and sold into ”camps” where they are forced to work nonstop giving tourists rides, performing tricks and even in some cases giving massages to paying customers. In order to render wild elephants docile enough to perform all these feats, elephant trainers subject young calves to a six-month “breaking period.” During this time, the baby elephant is shackled, beaten, and abused by humans until they lose their will to fight back.

Luckily, despite spending the last six years at an elephant camp notorious for their cruel abuse,  Nam Fon is still alive at 45-year-old years old. Now, she’s back at the refuge, where she’ll have a beautiful life of friendship and love!

Before being taken from the refuge, Nam Fon and Pai Lin were close friends. WFFT fought to raise sufficient funds through an Indiegogo campaign to bring Nam Fon back to the refuge … and they succeeded!
Aww! Rescued Elephant Reunion!
According to WFFT, the initial introduction went well. They touched and smelled each other, showing true interest!
Aww! Rescued Elephant Reunion!
In the wild, elephants can live in herds that range from eight to 100 elephants. These herds form complex social groups that bear a strong resemblance to human groups in that they love one another, play and chat, and even mourn each other. We’re so glad Nam Fon and Pai Lin can now bond and connect with each other!
Aww! Rescued Elephant Reunion!
They’ve been together for three days and are certainly on their way to true friendship.  “We are hopeful they will become life long friends,” WFFT wrote on their Facebook.
Aww! Rescued Elephant Reunion!
We’re so happy that Nam Fon will never have to go back to an abusive elephant camp again, and that she can now live in the company of her dear friend! If you were inspired by WFFT amazing work, visit their website and consider making a donation. All Image Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

Rita is quite the heroine. As she was transported down a highway, Rita broke free of her flimsy metal cage and took a jump for freedom. What a brave pig! Will you take a minute to watch this video about Rita’s daring escape?

October 23 2015 Piglets A (1 of 1)
It soon became clear why Rita made her decision. She was not just saving herself - soon after her rescue, she gave birth to fourteen piglets at a dog shelter! Nine survived...when we saw their story, we drove to the shelter to pick up Rita and her babies.
The family has recovered and is doing well!

Rita is one of the more than 4,000 animals we rescue each year. Some become permanent residents at our 600-acre sanctuary in the California Sierra Foothills. Others head to our adoption center, nestled in a canyon on 60-acres in the greater Bay Area of California.

For one pig, jumping from a flatbed truck traveling down the highway would be the best decision of her life.

Drivers on Highway 50 near downtown Sacramento reported seeing the pig break free of her flimsy metal cage, leaping from the moving vehicle. Amazingly, the pig landed on grass and was left unharmed by the fall.

Animal control officers wrangled the petrified pig and transported her to the dog and cat shelter.

We wanted to save the pig, but by law the shelter had to give the “owner” time to reclaim her.

And then came more news – as if leaping from a moving truck wasn’t stressful enough for this pig, she gave birth to 14 piglets! No wonder she was trying to escape!

Five piglets did not survive, but nine did…and the whole family needed safe haven fast!

By this point, the pig and her brood remained unclaimed by any “owner” and we were free to rescue all ten pigs.

Now it was our turn to take a leap of faith. We had already taken in several other animals and had limited space, but we knew we needed to help this pig (now named Rita) and her babies.

We rushed to the shelter. Rita and her piglets were loaded up into our trailer (the piglets safely in a crate where mama could see them) and brought them back to our Grass Valley sanctuary.

It took a few days for Rita to become comfortable with humans around her babies, but she is  warming up to her caregivers…especially when we bring her grapes and cantaloupe!

The piglets are thriving under Rita’s gentle care. They enjoy special heat lamps at night and frolicking outside with mama during the day. Watching them grow, enjoy life — all under the watchful eye of their mom – is heartwarming.

It is unbelievable anyone could look at Rita or her babies and see “bacon” or “pork” instead of intelligent and sensitize individuals.

Right now, Rita is eating around 5 pounds of feed a day! And soon, the piglets will all need to be spayed and neutered as well as vaccinated and de-wormed. Your donation towards their care will help Rita and her piglets thrive!

We spay and neuter all of our rescued pigs for a few reasons. One, to prevent breeding and accidental litters. As cute as piglets are, we would be unable to save more lives if we allowed breeding to occur. Two, spaying female pigs greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections, common in intact pigs. And three, spaying and neutering reduces potentially aggressive behavior toward both other pigs and humans.

FOUND DOG in South Central Los Angeles. Do you know who this dog belongs to? The story:
In Pakistan, there are still an estimated 40 bears trapped in the brutal sport of bear baiting. We urgently need your help to save these bears and other animals that are suffering so greatly. 

What is Bear Baiting? 
First, a bear, often just a baby, is poached from the wild and torn from her parents. 

She has her teeth pulled out and her claws filed down, making her utterly defenseless.

Then she is tied to a post in the middle of a dusty ring, where she is surrounded by an audience, cheering and gambling on what's to come. 

Finally, a pack of fighter dogs is set on her, with a sole aim to tear her apart.

Sadly this won't end quickly. She could suffer through these fights, solely for entertainment purposes, for years to come. This is no life. 
Gemma was used for bear baiting for several years. Gemma just after being rescued, at the World Animal Protection-funded Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan
You could help us rescue the remaining 40 bears by donating now. Let's get them to the World Animal Protection-funded Balkasar Sanctuary in Pakistan, where a life of joy and peace awaits. Please, make an urgent donation today
Nearly 700 Rescued Animals Will Be Available for Adoption in NC This Weekend: Will You Open Your Home to Just One?

Great news: Nearly 700 cats and dogs rescued by the ASPCA in January are ready to find loving homes! The animals were suffering from severe neglect at the site of an unlicensed, 122-acre facility in Raeford, North Carolina. Over the past several weeks at the ASPCA’s temporary shelter, they have received much-needed medical attention and behavioral care to prepare them for adoption. The ASPCA will host a three-day event in Sanford, North Carolina, to find homes for these adorable pets, and we hope you’ll consider adopting! Here are all the details:

What: ASPCA Adoption Event
When: Friday, March 18 through Sunday, March 20 from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Where: ASPCA Temporary Shelter
2215 Nash St.
Sanford, NC 27330

More Info: Potential adopters should bring one government-issued photo ID (i.e. driver’s license, passport, military ID or non-driver ID), proof of address and an appropriately-sized pet transfer crate, if possible. The ASPCA has provided all basic medical care, including spay/neuter surgeries and microchips, for all adopted pets. All adoption fees will be waived during this event.

There will be hundreds of cats and dogs of all shapes, breeds and sizes available for adoption at the event. Here are just a few special animals who would love to meet you:
Sunshine (female, 6 months to 1 year old): How can you resist that face? Sunshine is an active pup who is full of love, gives plenty of kisses and will always make your day brighter. She is big fan of belly rubs, toys and playing with her friends.
Katie (female, 6 months to 2 years old): At the temporary shelter, we set up colonies for cats who thrive with other cats—and Katie is one! This tortie kitten has the loudest purr of the group—talking is her thing. Aside from her voice, Katie’s beautiful markings make her stand out. She would be great in a home with or without other cat siblings.
Louie (female, 2-5 years old): Louie is a timid, gentle girl looking for a special friend and a quiet home. She loves treats and walks very nicely on her leash, staying close to your side. Louie was extremely shy when we first rescued her, but now she will happily greet you with her wagging tail, eager to say hello to a friendly face. 
Sarah (female, 6 months to 2 years old): Sarah loves the company of her feline friends! This black-and-white kitten is one of the quieter kittens of the group, but she is a playful and curious cat nonetheless. She would be great in a home with or without other cat siblings.
Clover (male, 2-5 years old): Meet Clover, known affectionately as “Clo”! This handsome boy loves to be pet and stroked. Clo is very smart and has already learned how to sit nicely for a treat! His dream home would have plenty of space to run and play outside.

We hope to see you on March 18, 19 or 20 in Sanford! 

Shamrock’s Lucky Day: Kitten Survives Shocking Wound, Finds Loving Home
Shamrock’s Lucky Day: Kitten Survives Shocking Wound, Finds Loving Home
This St. Patrick’s Day, we’d like to share the incredible, heartwarming story of a stray kitten named Shamrock who found luck on the streets of New York City.

When Carmen A. and her children noticed a kitten limping kitten on a pathway near their home in the Bronx, New York, they took action and brought her back to their home. It was then that the family—who has four cats and two dogs of their own—saw the kitten’s injury, which left muscle, tissue and bone exposed. “She looked like she was split open,” said Carmen.

Carmen’s family rushed the six-month-old tabby to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where despite the tennis ball-sized hole in her left side, the cat remained calm, ate the food she was offered, and even tried to stand up and walk.

At the Hospital, veterinarians determined that Shamrock had an open fracture on her left hind leg that required amputation. She also had bones in her stomach—a common consequence of foraging for food in trash bins and dumpsters—which required surgical removal. Shamrock also underwent a spay procedure.
Shamrock at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
Despite her ordeal, Shamrock was friendly with ASPCA staff, especially Mercy Alvarado, an ASPCA Animal Care Technician who spotted her the day after her surgery.

“The fact that she allowed me to ice her incision with no resistance, even after an amputation, foreign body surgery, and a spay, spoke very loud words to me,” says Mercy. She often stopped by the ICU just to give Shamrock head rubs, which the cat loved. “I knew the second she trusted me that I had to bring her home with me. She is a very strong soul, a survivor.”
Shamrock and Mercy
Once Shamrock recovered from her operations, Mercy officially adopted her (she calls her Shammy for short), and took her home to Queens, New York. Shamrock gets along well with Mercy’s resident pets, which include a young female Siamese mix named Luna, a male white-and-orange tabby named Ginger and a female pit bull named Bella. Shamrock is also coping quite well with three legs.

“She runs faster than my four-legged cats, if you can believe that,” Mercy says. “She climbs her cat tree with no problem, chases her toy mice up and down the stairs, and opens drawers on her own to nap in between my clothes.”

Mercy doesn’t consider Shamrock a “special needs” cat by any means.

“She is so resilient. Her canine sister as well as her feline sister and brother love her and have taught her such tricks as knocking things down every morning at 6:00 A.M. to indicate they’re ready for breakfast.”
Shamrock at home
And Mercy is grateful for Shamrock’s rescuers. “Their deed was life-changing. They gave Shamrock a second chance at life, and she loves every single day of it.”