Meet Elden and Stewie, two who have benefited from the services of Faithful Forgotten Best Friends. Help us provide food to more loving pet parents like Elden by supporting Tackle Pet Hunger 2014! --Stewie loves to climb and play! He spends his days chewing on Elden’s arm and his nights firmly tucked in by Elden’s side. Elden had nothing but praise for his best friend:These two are inseparable and a joy to see together.--
A typical day of distributing cat and dog food got very intense. A man came to us right at the end of the day desperate for help. "William" needed our help and he needed it now. He had been taking care of a cat at this camp and now he was very, very ill. William was so ill, he needed to go to the hospital that day. However, he was refusing to go for treatment until he found someone who would help with his cat - that was in labor. Kenny Andrews and a doctor from Mount Carmel brought William and his cat to FFBF. You see, he had saved the cat, or as he said to us - "She saved me". He said he knew she would not make it without care and her soon-to-be kittens would not stand a chance. He cradled his beautiful calico cat with tears running down his cheek before he left. We contacted a local no-kill cat shelter and they took his cat. Within a couple of days, "Jillian" had her beautiful, healthy kittens. William had given her the best care he could. William had been a professional who worked with the homeless in another state before his problems began. He has been getting treatment for those issues and hopes to return to work one day. He told us that he had no money to give us, but promised he would be back to volunteer with us. We look forward to that day.
Our friends at Mount Carmel Mobile Health Unit called us to see if we could help a homeless lady at a camp. "Kathy" had been homeless for quite some time. She had been trying to get into any type of shelter / housing. But Kathy had a dog named Sassy and would not consider discarding her furry companion. Sassy is a small mixed breed Terrier / Chihuahua mix. Kathy loved Sassy more than she wanted to be warm and dry. Finally, Kathy got the chance to get a home that would allow a dog, but they would not accept Sassy until she was spayed and brought current with her vaccinations. Through the Mount Carmel Mobile Health Unit, FFBF contacted Kathy and offered to get Sassy fixed and bring up to date on her vaccinations. We have a veterinarian who offers her services pro bono to FFBF. Dr. Joy performed the surgery on Sassy and got her medical records in order. Sassy came to us never having a bath and in a sweater that she barely squeezed into. She was returned to Kathy squeaky clean, with a new sweater and collar. Kathy and Sassy are now in an apartment and is so thankful for all the help she received. We wish her the best.
Faithful Forgotten Best Friends works along with Mount Carmel's Mobile Health Unit. Kenny Andrews told us about a homeless man who desparately needed our help. A cat came to the camp where "Michael" lives and he took care of her. It soon became apparent that the cat was expecting kittens. He could not take care of all the kittens and wanted us to help him get the Mama cat fixed and find homes for the kittens. FFBF works closely with a local no-kill cat shelter. They helped us by spaying the Mama and took care of the kittens until a forever home was found for them. The kittens were spayed, vaccinated and set for adoption.
I have had the pleasure of working closely with the organization – Faithful Forgotten Best Friends. On a regular basis, they provide food, collars and leashes to the population of homeless people I serve, but they go beyond that, and have come to the rescue of pet owners living in homeless camps. I will explain further about how they helped a couple that had been homeless for over 2 years to be able to move into an apartment. The couple had first lived in a tent, and then the man built a small shanty. He was knowledgeable in carpentry and would work day jobs when he could find them. They were growing weary of the homeless lifestyle. They acquired a puppy a few months ago and loved it dearly. When my team from the Mount Carmel Street Medicine project would visit, they would always show off the tricks they were teaching her. An opportunity for an apartment became available to them, but to take their dog, she had to be spayed. I had just met one of the team members of Faithful Forgotten Best Friends a week earlier at one of our clinic sites. I called the number provided and explained the situation. Within one week, the dog had been spayed, vaccinated and dental work performed free of charge to the couple. They were able to move into the apartment and take their dog. They are settling into their new home and looking for regular work. The organization has also taken in a cat and kittens from a homeless camp when the man living there went into the hospital and later into rehab. If not for knowing that someone would truly take care of his cats, I really doubt he would have entered treatment. Homeless people love their pets. At times, it is the only companionship they have. I have seen them buy food for their animals before they get food for themselves. It is great knowing there is help out there for those that can not afford the cost of taking care of their animals and there is emergency help when there is no one left in the camp to take care of the animals that have to be left behind. I truly value the resources and dedication provided by Faithful Forgotten Best Friends.
I cannot express adequately what a blessing you and your organization have been to Holy Family Soup Kitchen and Out-Reach Programs and the clients we serve. As you know, we feed hundreds of homeless people every day (M-F) at our soup kitchen, but we do not have the ability to give assistance to some ot their very best friends - sometimes only friends. I am referring to the four-footed variety. Many of the homeless whom we serve live alone on the streets or in the woods. They, in turn, have adopted stray animals who were "in the same boat of homelessness" and also in need of companionship. Thus was born loving relationships between the homeless and their new found friends. Love is present in this bond, and although care and food is available for the humans, these things are not readliy available for the animals. This is where your good and kind organization has stepped up to answer a critical need. Those on the streets no longer have to give up some of their own food in order to feed their buddies. You make that available to them by using Holy Family as a place where people can obtain cat and dog food. Not only that, but you have arranged for medical care, immunizations, spay and neutering for these homeless four-footed friends of the down trodden. What a gift this is to the homeless, their animal pals, and the community at large. For those who do not understand the importance of animals in the lives of humans, it may be difficult to see why this is a ministry of such great import. Dogs and cats offer companionship, unconditional love, protection and loyal friendship for those who love them. People experience healing through the companionship of faithful friends and they are often better people themselves because of the loyalty and devotion that they learn from their pets. Thank you for making such a difference in the lives of our homless and the best friends who accompany them through life and its difficult struggles.
A gentleman comes to Faithful Forgotten Best Friends every Thursday to pick up food for his small mixed breed dog. "Charles" said he is so thankful that we help him with the food for Sassy. He had been sharing the meal that he gets at the soup kitchen with his four-legged companion. After talking to Ken Andrews from Mount Carmel, we found out that Sassy is actually a hero! Kenny told us that a woman was being assaulted on the ground and Sassy saw it. She immediately jumped the man and pulled him away. The woman was able to break free. Sassy probably weighs less than sixty paounds. The homeless community considers Sassy a hero and so do we! Sassy stopped by a couple of weeks later and Charles mentioned that it was Sassy's birthday. We went through a box of donated goodies. We found her a much needed collar and a fun, silly cap. Charles was so touched he was crying and thanking us for helping him and so many others.