Whether you are a horse lover, a feline fanatic or a true pup parent, there is nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet–something these Alachua County residents are more than aware of! From rescues to therapy animals, these pet lovers are sharing what makes their relationship with their animals so special!
with owners Nicole and Julia Sands
Zoey was rescued from a hoarding house. By the time rescuers got into the house, she was one of only a few cats left alive. She was severely malnourished and had ear and eye infections. She was taken to the ACAS where she stayed for a month but was not adopted. A rescue operation spayed her, clipped her ear and took her back near the house where she was rescued with the intent that she would be a feral cat, but she’d never lived outside. My friend who lived across from the hoarding house found her there, frozen with fear. She took her in and posted a picture of her on Facebook. It was love at first sight for me.
I wasn’t sure if I could keep her because I already had another cat and wasn’t sure they’d get along. I took her home as a trial and took her to the vet. They told me she is a special needs cat with chronic health issues from her first year of neglect. I wept for her, for all she’d been through and with not knowing if I could keep her, who would? Luckily my cat came around, I knew I would keep her and I’d never let anything happen to her again.
After a few months I learned she would need to have all of her teeth removed. The vet warned me that if she didn’t learn how to eat soon after, she would need a feeding tube. Within 20 minutes of coming home after her surgery, Zoey was at her food bowl eating. That’s who Zoey is. With every challenge, and every excuse to be miserable, she always chooses joy.
She is now fat and happy and a joyful companion. I’m the luckiest person to have her in my life.