Christmas Day 2011: Alana Mouery was celebrating Christmas with Fink, her recently rescued four month old kitten.
An independent but sweet boy, he played and bounced around the house, as if he had completely forgotten being a homeless kitten just months earlier. She had always wanted an orange kitten, and when she saw him, he was just perfect. She took him home and they began their life together.
They had two more happy Christmases, but in September 2014 before they would celebrate their fourth holiday season together, Fink went missing. Alana was devastated. She did everything she could to find him: walked door to door with missing cat fliers, contacted the police department, called and visited every shelter she could think of. She poured over stories of reunited pets to keep her hope alive that he might come home.
Over the next few months, all the way until late Spring 2015, she left his crate outside, in case he found his way home, but he never came. In May of this year, an opportunity came for her and her husband to relocate to Olympia, Washington and it was then that they had to face a hard reality: after eight months missing, Fink wasn’t coming home.
Around September of this year Fink was found by a Good Samaritan who cared for him for a few months. They gave him a warm place to live and food to eat. Unable to keep him long term, they helped him gain a few pounds and brought him to WHS to find a new home for him.
This was December 20th, 2015: fifteen months after he went missing. We gave him food and warm blankets, vaccines and a microchip scan. We were all happily surprised when we found a microchip! Alana had taken him to the vet as a kitten and asked them to implant a microchip in case he ever became lost. It contained her address, phone number and an emergency contact.
December 21st, 2015: We called the microchip information and we were able to connect with Alana who was scheduled to be in Oregon for the holidays. She excitedly arranged to bring him home.
December 24th, 2015: Alana came to Willamette Humane with her husband, Tom, and picked Fink up. Within an hour he was purring as he got belly rubs by the Christmas tree. He was with his family at last.
So often we see stray cats that look so happy and healthy, they really look like they’ve had a loving family. We scan every animal that comes in to our facility as a surrender or a stray, to ensure the animal is accounted for and allow us to reunite them when possible. We post their picture on our stray pages and look at lost cat reports trying to find any owners, but without a microchip, it is more rare that stories like this have this particular happy ending. We provide a chip to every pet we adopt out of our facility, but for those animals adopted from other sources, it is important to get your cat or dog a microchip and visible tags. Important still is updating this information when you move or change phone numbers, so that we can find you should your animal show up. In our 2014-2015 fiscal year, we took in 1,565 stray cats and dogs, and had 163 Return to Owners for only 10% of them going back to homes.
In honor of Fink this holiday season we ask of you this:
- If you choose to add to your family outside of Willamette Humane Society, don’t forget to get a microchip implanted and keep that information updated.
- Won’t you help us care for our pets as they wait for their new homes?
We thank you for your support!
We hope for happy returns to all of our lost community pets, and we will do everything we can to bring them back home to you.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Fink!
Rachel enjoys connecting with customers, hearing their stories and happy tails, getting to know the members of our community, both 4 legged and otherwise, and posting to Willamette Humane Society's social media pages, sharing stories of the good stuff happening here.
When she isn't at work, Rachel spends her time covered in cat fur with her 4 (almost 5) kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, darling husband and a partridge in a pear tree.