Thanksgiving Miracle: Furkids Rescues Doomed Henry County Cats: Not One Cat Left Behind

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd

Not One Cat Left Behind

Atlanta, Ga. (November 23, 2011) — This Thanksgiving, 16 homeless cats from the Henry County Animal Care & Control in Georgia (HCC&C)  ( have a reason to be thankful.  Instead of being put to death because their time at the facility was up, they were rescued by Furkids, ( a nonprofit organization that rescues, shelters, sterilizes, and places helpless, homeless animals into permanent, loving homes.

It’s highly unusual for one organization to rescue so many animals at one time.  Furkids was able to take this step because it operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in Georgia for cats and a no-kill shelter for homeless dogs.  Furkids cares for more animals on a daily basis than any other local organization, including the Atlanta Humane Society.  Today, the homeless Henry County cats are healthy and happy, living in a temporary home with Furkids.  And Furkids will place them for adoption into permanent, loving homes.

As the euthanasia clock ticked on Sunday morning, Betsy Merchant, Lead Volunteer of the Henry County facility, sent out a desperate email, asking rescuers to spread the word and help save its cats in danger.  “If every one of you would save just one cat or kitten from this list, none would die!” she said.  “I am begging you; just take one kitty from this list.”  Furkids agreed to take one cat, and another rescue organization accepted two of the felines.  On Monday morning, at the eleventh hour, Furkids founder and executive director Samantha Shelton contacted the shelter to check the status of the remaining cats.  When she heard that 15 cats still were scheduled to be euthanized, she agreed to rescue the balance of homeless cats at the animal control facility.  Not one cat was left behind.

“We staff members at the Henry County Animal Care & Control were so happy that we didn’t have to kill any innocent homeless cats yesterday,” said Gerri Yoder, director of Henry County Animal Care & Control.  According to Samantha Shelton, many of the other rescuers on the distribution list cried with joy, knowing that all of the HACC cats were saved.  “They knew they couldn’t take any more animals, but were overcome with relief and gratitude that Furkids had the ability to save so many animals at one time,” she said.

The Furkids mission is to help end pet overpopulation in Georgia through sterilization, high-quality adoption and by providing valuable spay/neuter services and pet care education to people in the community.  Every year, in Metro Atlanta alone, up to 100,000 dogs and cats are euthanized, because they have no place to go.  “There is no reason why these animals should die simply because they are homeless,” said Ms. Shelton.  “We appreciate the concern of the staff at Henry County Animal Care & Control for their role in giving these homeless animals a chance to live.  Furkids welcomes adopters and donations to help care for these Thanksgiving miracle cats.”

Neutering remains a keystone of the Furkids program because pet overpopulation in the United States is a very real problem.  Furkids sterilizes all unaltered animals in its program before placing them in adoptive homes.  Since its inception in 2002, Furkids has rescued and altered more than 11,000 cats and dogs.

The former Henry County cats are being cared for at the Furkids shelter in Gwinnett County and in foster homes.  They will be available for adoption soon.  Photos and information on the cats are available  for anyone interested in adopting, or anyone who wants to donate to help for their care.

On November 21, Robin A.F. Olson, who rescues cats from Henry County and blogs about them on her award-winning web site, Covered in Cat, wrote about the Furkids rescue on her blog.   “Thanks to Furkids, all of the homeless cats from Henry County were rescued from a premature and cruel death.  Not one was left behind,” said Ms. Olson.  “With Thanksgiving around the corner, perhaps it’s reasonable to wish for a miracle.  A simple act of generosity can go a long way to heal hearts and give hope for better days to come.”