Anyone looking to bring an animal companion home this holiday season has many to choose from at the Headwaters Animal Shelter in Park Rapids, including two dogs and a cat with special needs who are waiting for a forever home with the right person.
Rescue cat CeCe needs extra TLC
On a cold day last January, a call came in about two cats who were abandoned and living in a house with no heat. One of the cats died. CeCe was found frozen to the floor, dehydrated and very weak. She also had ringworm.
“CeCe was on the brink of not making it,” Holly Packman, who is the cat manager at the shelter, said. “We had to give her fluids and hand feed her using a tongue depressor stick so she could lick the wet cat food off because she was too weak to get up and eat. She was dehydrated and her ears were frostbitten so they had to be cut back by Dr. Olander. She had to take a lot of medicines. She also had to learn how to use a litter box, but she’s really good with that now.”
After a few weeks, CeCe started rubbing up against shelter staff and looking for petting. By March, she had recovered fully and was available for adoption. She’s still waiting.
“CeCe sometime hides and seems a little untrusting of people,” Packman said. “That’s very understandable, but if you go to her she enjoys attention. She knows us coming means food and attention, something she went quite a while without.”
Packman says CeCe is not really a lap cat. “She’s a little more independent,” she said. “She’s more of a couch kitty who likes to lay around. An older couple with a quiet place would be good for her. She’s really sweet. I think she would blossom in the right home.”
Ollie needs an indoor home with a fenced yard
Ollie is a 2-year-old white pitbull who is easy going with a gentle spirit. He is also deaf and has been at the shelter since July.
“He’s playful, friendly, kind hearted, likes other dogs and is ok with cats,” said Lorena Flom, the dog manager at the shelter. “He runs up to anybody like he’s known them forever. We require that whoever adopts him has a fenced yard for safe exercise. Otherwise he could get hit by a car, because he can’t hear them coming. He needs to be an indoor dog most of the time because he has really fine fur and is sensitive to the cold and sun.”
Ollie needs to work on leash training. “He keeps trying to play tug of war with the leash, joshing around to see what he can get away with,” she said. “You can use a flashlight to get his attention or use hand signals.”
An ideal home for Ollie would be adults or a family with older kids.
Ollie was adopted from a shelter in Kansas and surrendered by a family here who was moving and not able to take him to their new home.
Luna is looking for an energetic companion
Luna is a 3-year-old, high-energy German shepherd-husky mix who has been at the shelter since August.
“She is great with people but is kind of in her own world,” Flom said.
Luna was surrendered by a family who had her since she was a puppy in a household with kids, dogs and cats.
“She’s not a cuddly dog,” Flom said. “She likes some pats but she likes to be active and she pulls like a truck when she’s on the leash. When she’s in our gated area she will go potty and come back to the gate, but if you leave her in there she will jump right over the six-foot fence to come back to us at the door or to go see another dog.”
Luna’s ideal home would be with someone who has an active lifestyle and could take her jogging and work on leash training.
“Either a home where she is the only pet or with another active dog would be best,” she said. “Having someone at home during the day or who could come home to visit during the day would be ideal. Someone that has a lot of acreage out in the country, I think she’d be fine there. You’d just have to keep an eye on her. She wants to please and looks to people for praise and approval. Then she’ll jump right up and hit you in the face with her face because she’s so excited.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, anyone interested in adopting a pet must set up an appointment to visit the animal shelter.
“If it’s nice we can meet outside, or if it’s cold we can meet in an isolated room we can clean and disinfect afterwards,” Flom said.
A special on adopting cats 6 months or older for $50 runs through the end of December. There is not a two-week trial period with this special.
Packman said there are benefits to adopting an older cat. “You get to avoid a lot of the kitten issues,” she said. “And you save them from sitting in a shelter because more people want a kitten their kids can grow up with and form that bond together and it takes longer for cats to get adopted.”
The shelter’s goal is to find indoor homes for cats unless they are feral. Those cats may be adopted as outdoor cats at a place with good shelter available.
An adoption certificate for an older cat purchased by Dec. 31 will extend the special into January so the person receiving the gift has time to choose their cat. “If they can’t find a cat by then, they can use the certificate toward the regular price of adopting either a dog or a cat,” Flom said.
The adoption fee for dogs is $185 and the fee for kittens is $125. Fees include vaccinations, spay or neuter, screenings and treatments for various conditions and microchipping.
There are a number of kittens at the shelter. “Five of them are already spoken for,” Packman said. “There are 14 in our nursery that will hopefully be ready in January. If you are interested in one of those, call the shelter and we can hold one for you until they are old enough to be adopted. We have a variety of colors for kittens and typically put their pictures on the website a couple weeks before they are ready to be adopted.”
Pets available for adoption are featured at headwatersanimalshelter.org.
Other ways to help
Donations of paper towels, toilet paper and air fresheners may be dropped off at the shelter. Call 237-7100 first and a staff member will pick them up outside. Dog toys and cat toys are also needed, especially tug ropes for the dogs. Chewable treats or Greenies for both dogs and cats are also appreciated. The shelter does not give rawhides or bones because of the risk of choking.