The Incredible Healing Powers Of A Pet
CARE Packages from Vettons
Why do so many people treat pets as their human equals? Let us illustrate by telling you Annie’s story.
Annie is a domestic shorthair. She was abandoned when she was just a few weeks old and brought to a shelter in June of 2007. It is believed that her mother had a litter of three. Her siblings were adopted but she was left behind at the park as she had a slight crook in her foreleg.
Annie had grown by months when Wendy was introduced to her. Wendy was drawn to the shelter after she had spent more than half a year grieving the loss of a childhood friend in a drowning incident. Wendy had withdrawn herself from family and friends, blaming herself, and taking the blame, for not paying enough attention when her friend was wading in a disused pond at an abandoned site.
Wendy fell in love with Annie instantly, but for the feline, trust was not familiar ground, as yet.
“If a prospective adopter is a little unsure, we would pair them with the potential pet for a trial adoption from two to four weeks,” says Lily Leng, Administrator of SPCA Penang. “This allows prospective adopters and the pet to get to know each other and to ensure they are suitable companions.”
Annie’s journey took an unusually long time though. She suffered separation anxiety, chewed on everything, including the hard wood frames.
Determined not to give up on Annie, Wendy dedicated all of her time to the 10-pound cat. Annie scratched, snarled, hissed her way past Wendy each time some form of affection was shown. Wendy was determined to foster Annie’s trust. She knew exactly what Annie was going through as she too had lived through resenting life, an onslaught brought about by feelings of abandonment and despair.
“It was about eight months later when Annie finally gave in. She snuck up to my side on the sofa, curled into a ball and allowed me to give her a belly rub. I sometimes wonder if she is really a dog. All that time I was working towards building her trust, Annie was healing me too. She was teaching me to love again, and conditioning me back into real life. She was breaking down the walls I had up for too long,” Wendy says with tears welling in her eyes.
“You never give up on family,” Wendy concluded.
Not everyone can own a pet even though adopting one is high on the list.
Maybe they live in an apartment complex that is not pet friendly, or live with others who are allergic to pets.
Whatever the reason may be, kindness towards animals comes in many forms. Much like when Vettons, the technology and digital ecosystems provider, offered to carry care packages for as low as RM30 on their app to help nurture the pets in our care.
The packages include a combination of kibbles and soft food for cats and dogs from pet food specialists like ProDiet, Pedigree and Whiskas for kittens. This is a timely effort because SPCA Penang has been operating predominantly on donations which has reduced considerably since the onset of the pandemic.
SPCA Penang has a total of about 80 dogs and cats currently, with each dog requiring about RM10 per day for two to three meals, veterinarian checks twice a week for those in need, and a weekly bath which includes deticking. The cost of caring for a cat is slightly less.
“If there was one constant I have observed over the more than 35 years I have spent in animal welfare, we all seem to share love for another living being,” says Lily. “Caring for animals builds character, and instills leadership qualities, especially when cultivated from a young age.”
It is key therefore for children to learn to be comfortable with animals, and treat them as a part of nature, and the environment. When this is cultivated, children will grow to believe that it is normal to like animals, and anything that is created. They won’t frown upon strays, and will likely end up adopting a pet.
Support SPCA Penang. Download the Vettons app on Google Play or the Apple Playstore, search for CARE Package, and select SPCA Penang before checkout. Give our furry friends a fighting chance at survival and a whole lot of love.
*This writeup was inspired by a true story and is used with permission. Annie and Wendy are not their real names.
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