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Two abandoned cats rescued in Pontiac
By Shannon Coughlin
Special to the Daily Tribune
Thursday, March 21,2013
Pontiac bus driver Wayne Nealis was waiting for his shift to start in his usual spot behind VG’s grocery store when he heard a noise that sounded like a crying baby.
He searched the garbage bins behind the store three days in a row until he found the source.
Crammed together underneath the coils of a transformer box were two cats.
“It was wet and they were soaked — their pads and their paws and their tails — and I actually thought it was one cat but it ended up being two little kittens huddled together,” Nealis said. “They were relying on each other because there was no heat coming out of the box.”
Nealis said he suspects the cats had been seeking shelter in the alcove behind the store for several months.
“They probably have been surviving on just what would be around the grocery store or in the garbage containers,” he said.
Nealis and his girlfriend, Katie Porcelli, called Animal Care Network manager Pam Porteous, who they say is the unsung hero.
It’s Porteus’ job to rescue abandoned pets and bring them to a location where they can be brought back to health and put up for adoption. In this case, that location was the Michigan Animal Rescue League in Pontiac.
The league, which is celebrating its 60th year, houses around 140 animals at a time.
“We have a lot of cats here with similar stories. They’re just waiting around here waiting for their forever home,” said Rob Parmenter, shelter supervisor at the Michigan Animal Rescue League.
When animals are brought into the shelter, employees get them spayed and neutered, get their shots up to date and make sure they’re well fed and in good health.
“After that period, which is usually about a week or two, they become available and it can be anywhere from a couple days to a year or more just to find that right home and get people in here to adopt these guys,” Parmenter said.
The shelter relies on the standard adoption fee and donations, including both monetary funds and supplies.
“With as many animals as we have, we place between 15 and 20 upwards cats a month,” Parmenter said.
Adoptions have been slower than in the past, but the shelter usually places at least 240 cats each year.
“It kind of gives and takes, especially right now with the way the economy has been,” Parmenter said.
Nealis, who comes from a family of cat lovers, says he and Porcelli would have adopted the rescued cats themselves if they didn’t already have two dogs and a cat at home.
“I cry. I want to take everyone home,” Porcelli said.
Nealis said the cats, named after him (Wayne, Gregor, Nealis) by the shelter, are already looking much better, even though they’ve only been out of the cold for a short while.
“Their hips weren’t 3 inches wide, and they certainly didn’t have the little bitty belly that they’ve got now,” Nealis said. “They’ve been really taken care of well.”
More information about the shelter can be found at www.michigananimalrescueleague.org. All of the cats and dogs are listed and kept up to date on www.petfinder.com
To report an abandoned or neglected pet, call the Animal Care Network at 248-678-2756.
© 2013 Daily Tribune (http://www.dailytribune.com),Serving Serving Southeastern Oakland County, MI.