On Friday, April 16, Houston PetSet celebrated our 100th transport since our program was established in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey. More than 75 animals will get a second chance at life, and one of them is Tuck. We could try and summarize his story for you, but we think it’s better that you hear it from his foster and advocate directly. Read more about this heartwarming rescue effort below.
I first met Tuck at a small, underfunded shelter outside of Houston. He had crammed all 12 pounds of himself into the back corner of a box placed in his kennel. I almost did not know there was a cat inside. I skipped over him as I was told he was extremely timid and I was there to take cats I thought I could get into adoption programs.
Three weeks later I returned to the shelter only to see his sad little face still crammed into the dark recesses of his den. I asked the shelter staff about him, and they said he had been turned in with two other cats on January 14, but the other cats had since been adopted. She told me that on intake he would come to her, but after losing his buddies, he withdrew and would no longer engage with anyone. He had received zero adoption interest. I saw Tuck’s intake photo and his body language was that of a confident, friendly boy. Nothing like what I was seeing. My heart shattered. I asked the shelter to please move him into a bigger room to see how he did while I waited for space and the right foster to become available, as their shelter has no foster program.
Two more long weeks passed by until March 13 arrived and I had an opportunity to get all of the shelter’s cats altered through the amazing Empty Shelter Project. Fortunately, the feral cats had a safe release spot. The shelter instructed me to tip Tuck’s ear, as he was probably not house cat materiel. However, there was no safe release spot for Tuck. His intake photo and story of being with cat friends continued to eat at my conscience. I knew he wanted to be part of an indoor family, I just felt it.
Finally, the perfect foster home opened for him. She knew what she was getting. I said, “Just see what you can do.” The report was that he was terrified, hiding, but the interest was there. He couldn’t resist the soft words, gentle touch, and toys. Slowly, a brand new Tuck emerged – playful like a kitten, seeking attention and brushing, wanting to meet the resident cat in the worst way, helping you with your office work, desiring full run of a big house, walking with his tail up and chirping to his friends.
On Friday, April 16, Tuck left his devoted foster family to transport to Minnesota with Houston PetSet and their fantastic big red bus to find his forever home with Angel of Hope Animal Rescue. He leaves as a confident boy knowing he is well-loved and ready for his happy ending.
This is the power of a foster home. The power of seeing past a scared face and imagining what the future might hold for a sweet soul. This is an entire rescue community working together across the country to make magic happen.
Tuck’s foster mom will worry, she will miss him, she will know what she did mattered and she will rejoice when she sees him thriving in his new home when the time comes! #ForTheAnimals