Tom Sawyer’s life story so far has been one of misery, abandoned, frost bitten, hit by a car and left on the side of the road to die.
But on Saturday the tale of the three-year-old orange tabby cat, who still needs $1,800 in dental work, had a very happy ending.
He was adopted.
That was just one of the success stories at Penticton PetSmart which hosted it animal welfare partner Critteraid and a menagerie of kittens, cats and puppies all looking for their forever homes.
They will also be at the store Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We think Tom Sawyer was just abandoned in somebody’s backyard in Keremeos – he was not a feral cat – and was just not not prepared for this,” said Jess Byer, Critteraid animal care director ruffling Tom’s fur. “He had ear damage from the cold and scares and scabs from getting beat up.
“This why we say to people if you can’t look after them call us, please don’t let this happen.”
Another part of the reason the organization was at PetSmart was for educational purposes.
“Kitten season is coming on and we’re encouraging spay and neuter also, like Tom, and to raise more funds for our dog house division as well,” said Byer.
Critteraid is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization which operates a 10-acre sanctuary in Summerland and has been around for over a quarter of a century.
Along with the more than 60 cats, other residents include two alpacas, five ducks, two donkeys and “a big old cow.”
Byer added public support is always important for needed medical treatment for animals like Tom.
According to manager Cheryl Strong of PetSmart, the company does not sell cats and dogs.
“We believe there are enough cats and dogs out there for everyone to adopt so we like to save those lives as much as possible,” said Strong. “We partner up with one or two rescue organizations. We provide the facilities for them to present their animals and the audience for them to get as many adoptions as possible.”
In addition, PetSmart has a grant system for rescue organizations to help with specific programs such as feral cat rescue, spay and neuter clinics and even transportation for someone wanting to bring their pet to the store.
We’re just very passionate about saving furry lives,” said Strong.
And Tom couldn’t be happier they are.