Upon visiting the website of PAWsibilities Rescue, you’ll find included under the list of hours: “Open Sundays: By appointment or chance.”
That’s because, chances are, even on a Sunday one or more of the dedicated staff members at this non-profit, no-kill shelter in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, will be there working hard. In fact, the caring staff has a goal to save and improve the lives of sick, injured, stray, and abandoned cats. According to Emily Broschart, a shelter volunteer, many of the cats come to PAWsibilities from local kill shelters that are about to euthanize them. Some cats are dropped off by owners who can no longer care for them or by people who find them abandoned in or around their yards.
However, “meows” aren’t the only sounds you’ll hear coming from the property at PAWsibilities!. When visiting, you may be treated to the occasional “Maah-Maah” or “Cluck-cluck-cluck,” as the shelter has a barn on property that houses chickens, goats, and other farm animals. Also, there are often guinea pigs and rabbits available for adoption. These animals are taken care of in the lower portion of the barn so as not to cause unnecessary stress for their feline friends. As we all know, the cats rule the roost at any house!
One of the many cats in charge at PAWsibilities, as his name implies, is Sergeant Pepper. A two-year-old handsome fellow the color of graphite in a number two pencil, Sergeant Pepper came to PAWsibilities with the rest of his litter. In spite of his laid back, affectionate, and ready-to-please personality, he is sadly the only one of his litter who hasn’t yet found a home. Because he is FIV positive, many people write him off due to their lack of knowledge and subsequent fear of the disease. Little do potential adopters know what a little snuggler they’d be treated to, if they’d just bring him home.
Another notable special-needs cat waiting patiently at PAWsibilities for his forever home is Trey, a sweet, gentle, and smart nine-month-old kitten. Trey is challenged with a heart condition that causes his blood oxygen levels to drop when he is under stress. Because of this, Trey cannot be neutered and must be placed in a safe home setting. Trey’s sister, Snow, rivals him in both looks and demeanor. She is white as untouched snow, affectionate, and playful. Both of these little snowballs would make a wonderful addition to any family, just in time for winter!
Amongst Sergeant Pepper, Trey, and Snow are many other loving cats with unique personalities just hoping the next person that walks into PAWsibilities might be their new mom or dad. When I adopted my cat, Tulip (formerly named Azra), from PAWSibilities in April of 2012, she chose me. As I took in all the adorable cats around me, petting them, letting them sniff me, and chatting with the volunteers, Tulip gently brushed at my ankles. Several other cats jumped around and displayed their more assertive personalities, but she quietly followed along, peering up at me curiously with her olive-green eyes.
Not one to make snap decisions, I decided to come back the next day to make a definite choice about adopting Tulip. The next morning at the shelter, when she immediately sauntered over in recognition AND she let me pick her up, I knew it was meant to be.
At PAWsibilities, the staff members not only provides medical attention for their animals, but they grow to love and care for them as if they were their own pets. All this is done in hopes of finding loving families to give the animals the nurturing homes they deserve.
I remember asking one of the volunteers chasing Tulip around the room to put her in a carrier so I could take her home, “Is it hard letting the cats go when someone adopts them?” The volunteer sighed as Tulip slipped away from her for the second time and replied with a smile, “It’s bittersweet.” All pet owners fondly remember the day they adopted their pet. Although they can’t express it, I also think in some way pets remember the days they were adopted. PAWsibilities is the type of shelter that believes every animal deserves a chance.
Unfortunately, PAWsibilities is currently at risk of being shut down. I have begun a fundraiser to help it stay open and continue to do its life-changing work. Please consider making a donation — even $10 helps the staff take care of more animals. If you’d like more information about adopting a pet at PAWsibilities or the organization in general, visit its website or follow it on Facebook.
If together we can help this wonderful shelter stay open, just imagine the “PAWsibilities!”
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