Monthly Archives: November 2012
On Monday, I was made aware of a cat (named Ben) that had been found in the Blue Springs area. The cat had been scanned and a microchip was found but all of the information for the owner was outdated. Most of my friends know to contact me when this sort of thing happens because I have a “knack” for finding owners. One of my best reunion stories was the one of Chumley (which you can read the first story here and read about the reunion by clicking here), where I tracked down an owner who had relocated half the US away. Chumley was missing for many months and his home was in Colorado! Anyway, when someone tagged me in the Facebook post, I was happy to help.
Monday night, I started running through websites that house public information. This includes (but isn’t limited to) Pipl.com, Spokeo.com, the Missouri court records system, various county Assessors and Recorders offices and by utilizing very specific terms in Google. It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to specify Google searches, just by using quotations around what they search for. After plugging in the owner’s name and putting it in quotations, I found a link to a possible Facebook profile. The name of the owner is NOT a common name and the fact that I found someone who matched the name and city, I was sure that I had found who I was looking for. I roamed through every single photo on the person’s Facebook, searching for signs of the kitty. No kitty pictures. I then moved on to reading the person’s posts, saw where she had tagged her mom and I pulled up the mom’s Facebook and I searched all of her posts and photos. Again, no sign of kitty. When I was done, I messaged both the possible owner and the mother. Resigned to the fact that a miracle probably wouldn’t happen, I went to bed and hoped for the best. I don’t know how many times I got up that night and looked to see if I had a response.
The next day, I started calling every possible phone number that I could find. I was met with wrong numbers and disconnected lines. When I heard that the great lady that found the cat couldn’t keep him inside, I panicked and convinced myself that I was so close to finding Ben’s owner that I couldn’t risk him getting lost again. I messaged her and asked if she could re-catch him and keep him somewhere safe because I just knew I had found the owner and would soon get a response.
When my calls to possible phones were no good and I didn’t get an answer from the possible owner or her mother, I freaked out completely. I remembered seeing on her Facebook that she worked at Quik Trip and so I set out with the task of calling every single QT from Blue Springs to Independence. No one had heard of the person that I was looking for but one man offered up a number to the corporate office. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I called the corporate number and an amazing woman answered the phone. I explained to her that I was not seeking any personal information and that I did not need a phone number or a location for an employee, I only wanted to get her a message because I thought that we had found her cat. Thankfully, the lady on the other end of the line was receptive and helpful and she promised to call the employee right away and pass along my info.
I sat and watched the clock… time kept passing and I hadn’t heard a word. Then, my phone rang. I jumped to grab it and found the familiar voice on the other end of the line. It was the lady from QT corporate again. And then she said:
I spoke to the employee and she confirmed that she did have a cat named Ben and he was micro-chipped but that she had sold him and no longer owned him and didn’t know who did. And then what cut me through to the core, “and she isn’t interested in being contacted to help”. The apologetic tone of the lady’s voice told me that she felt horrible about the former owner’s decision. She told me that the lady didn’t want to call me but that she felt compelled and that I should know. I thanked her and hung up, with anger vibrating through my body.
How do you own an animal at any point and not have one care about what ultimately happens to them? How can you know that they are in need and ignore it? Refuse to help? I can’t understand it and don’t want to.
After trolling Craigslist, I found a post from October which matched Ben’s description. Unfortunately, the post was not for a “lost” cat but rather a “found” cat that had been staying around outside someone’s home. The lady that found Ben called around to the local shelters and no one had reported a cat missing. Craigslist has nothing. If the owner didn’t care enough to change over the micro-chip info, do they even want Ben back?
The lack of compassion of some people just really irks me. I can’t believe that the health and safety of a prior pet isn’t of concern.
Ben is now looking for a new home. He’s been a stray for at least a week, confirmed. Ben’s an orange tabby male who is already neutered. Right now he is located in Blue Springs, Missouri. If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping this poor fella, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I mentioned before, the lady that found Ben can’t keep him inside because she already has two cats who will not accept him. She has made him shelter and a bed outside of her home, she’s giving him lots of love and attention and Ben is still hanging around, waiting for someone to love him.
Come hell or high water… Hurricane Sandy made “high water” hell for countless American’s on the East coast. While I’ve been watching and waiting to see where my help was needed the most, I happened upon a post from one of my closest friends. Up until that post, I had played the “horrible friend” role and I had completely forgotten that he was born and raised in Jersey. (I’m sorry, Jeremy) When he originally asked me how to set up a ChipIn account and I asked him why, he proceeded to tell me that it was for his aunt and uncle whose house flooded. My stupidity didn’t fail me, it took at least a minute for the whole thing to sink in and for realization to dawn on me. His family lost their home because of Sandy.
I pointed Jeremy in the right direction for his fundraiser to help his beloved aunt and uncle, steering him to ChipIn, a fantastic website that I use for all of my countless “needy” causes. ChipIn allows people to set up an online fundraiser where they can receive donations via Paypal. ChipIn has saved numerous dogs and cats from death at the shelters and I’ve been able to use it to raise funds for some people who were in great need. Last Christmas, I raised over $3,000 for a man and his dog. While it’s easy to see only the horrible in people, it’s amazing when you catch a glimpse of some amazing good at work. When I spied on Jeremy’s ChipIn this morning, I was happy to see that he had raised $285 on his own! Great work, Jeremy! Well, you know me… and while $285 is great, we can do better!
Jeremy’s Aunt Trish and Uncle Ed lived in New Jersey’s Brick Township, the 3rd most populous municipality in all of Ocean County. Things were great until the largest Atlantic hurricane on record obliterated their township and sent 4 feet of flood water through the Dobrzynski home. The family rode out the storm at a neighbor’s house across the street and they watched and waited until the high-tide receded. When they were able to safely leave their neighbor’s and return home, they were met with darkness and complete destruction. All of the family’s belongings were under water. They lost their home and 2 vehicles thanks to Sandy.
The Dobrzynski’s are just one of the thousands of families who are trying to gather the pieces of their shattered lives. Since the storm, the days have been spent sifting through their life and what’s left of their home. Friends and other relatives have showed up and offered help in removing items from the house and adding them to a pile in the front yard. Clothes can be seen strung around their home, one last attempt at salvaging what remains. Trish told my friend,
““You know, this will sound weird but we are okay! The support and love that we have received already in this horrible thing, it just makes it okay. I have had my moments of tears and frustration but we are okay and that is all that matters.”
Trish said that in the wake of the disaster, the residents in her community are coming together and helping each other out. Trish and her friend Cindy have spent quite a bit of time on the phone with FEMA and the insurance companies but they all remain strong and hopeful that the process will be short and they will endure.
I encourage my faithful blog readers (and those of you who are new) to lend a hand to a family in need. While this post was aimed to help people who I know (through my bestie), I want this to be a reminder to us all. Be thankful for what you have and if you are in a position to offer help to Sandy’s survivors, please do so. The Dobrzynski’s ChipIn page can be viewed by clicking here. Donations are made via PayPal and funds will be transferred from Jeremy to his family. The family (and most other’s effected) is in need of:
- Cleaning Supplies
- Plastic Storage Containers/ Boxes
- Newspapers (for wrapping items)
- Volunteers to Help in Brick, NJ
Brick has received another mandatory evacuation order in anticipation of the Nor’Easter set to arrive on Wednesday. The storm is expected to bring winds over 50 MPH. 1.35 million homes and businesses were still without power according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
If you would prefer to make a donation for Trish & Ed via mail, please email me at email@example.com and I will provide you with a mailing address. For any offers to volunteer, please email me and I will direct you to Jeremy’s family and you can contact them directly.
Don’t want to donate to someone you don’t know? I trained with the American Red Cross as a disaster relief worker and I always encourage donations to Red Cross. You can visit their website at http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.
To help some of the animals who are victims of Sandy, please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/rebuildshelter. Most have heard of Rescue Ink, a 501c3 animal rescue made famous by their show on National Geographic. Their shelter was destroyed but they aren’t giving up!
Thoughts and prayers are with all of the families and animals dealing with Sandy’s aftermath.