McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

January 5, 2014

Furever Friends in need of funding

ENID, Okla. — It took Hobbit four weeks after he was rescued before he could open his eyes.

But on Sunday, when the now-6-month, snow-white cat wasn’t investigating the entire News & Eagle conference room, piquing with curiosity, he was crouching low on the table, quietly purring and rubbing his head against the closest hand to scratch his ears.

“He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover,” said Stacy Wilson, who currently is fostering Hobbit, along with numerous other cats, at her home in Hillsdale for the Furever Friends animal rescue program.

Veterinary bills for Furever Friends, which runs entirely on donations, currently total around $9,000, after the group recently rescued six puppies all with canine parvovirus.

“This organization and ones like it can’t survive without donations,” Wilson said. “We don’t make a profit, we save animals.”

Vet costs for each animal hit about $200-$400, which includes shots, worming, rabies, heartworm check, neutering/spaying and flea/tick treatment. Other costs include $500-$1,000 vaccinations for canine parvovirus, or “parvo,” which infects young puppies’ heart or intestines, fatally if left untreated.

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The group often takes in unhealthy animals that need the extra medical care.

At 3 weeks old, Hobbit and his siblings, Cutie Pie and Spencer, had upper respiratory, skin and eye infections when they were found by a volunteer leaving the Enid Animal Shelter. A man had entered with the three kittens in a box, saying he didn’t want them anymore. All three were emaciated and malnourished — too ill not to be put down at the shelter, Wilson said.

Wilson, who took the cats into her home, said it was the worst case she’d worked with.  Everyone had to enter their quarantined room with scrubs and shoes. Hobbit’s eyes were so infected, they were swollen from the inside-out, she said. His eyes now have to be cleaned daily and can’t open entirely.

Eventually, the cats gathered enough strength that they started climbing anything and everything — hence their name, “the Monkeys.” Today, Hobbit’s adoption is pending, and his siblings have been adopted.

“He has a potato fetish. He sneaks anything potatoes,” Wilson said.

“Oh, and French fries,” added her son, Dakota Wilson, who helps his mom take care of the cats around the clock.

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