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Norwich Bulletin - 12/5/2004

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Okay, it's the Holiday season and you have an older family member that would love to have a kitty to share life with but there is a substantial security deposit required in their senior housing that neither you nor your relative could easily come up with.

Or perhaps you are the older family member that would love to give yourself the gift of a kitty (as well as give the kitty the gift of a home) but know you cannot pay the security deposit all at once.

Helping Paws is pleased to announce a new program, just in time for Christmas. POWER PLACEMENTS will be a way to help people overcome the initial obstacles of acquiring a pet. It will also help alleviate the problem of shelters being overcrowded and older cats being left in cages for longer and longer periods of time, due to the nationwide slowdown of pet adoptions this year.

Helping Paws is doing a lot of fundraising in order to start up this innovative program. We are willing to pay the security deposit up front and be paid back in small, manageable monthly payments if someone adopts a cat from us and cannot pay the initial pet deposit.

There will be no interest and the monthly amount will be affordable to the person. We will do this whenever our finances allow - and if we are low when we get the request, we will put you on a waiting list and as soon as we can, we will notify you. We have tried this a few times already and it has worked out very nicely for the cat and for the human!

We also will pair "Seniors with Seniors" by placing an older cat with a senior citizen. Older cats are harder to place and yet they can offer so much love and they require less supervision than a kitten. With this program, there is no adoption fee and all initial veterinarian costs will be covered by Helping Paws.

We can also supply a "Welcome Kitty Basket" for those who need a cat carrier, litter box, start up food, etc. Sometimes people on fixed incomes can afford to have a cat, but have difficulty with the initial investment necessary to have a pet. Helping Paws is finding ways to help both cats and people to enjoy each other in the winter of their lives.

We are not just limiting our Power Placement program to seniors either. A responsible younger person who could take two kittens to play with each other but cannot afford the initial vet costs as they get older could get from Helping Paws vouchers for the spay/neuter T.E.A.M. van. These vouchers are good for an adult distemper, rabies and to sterilize your kitten once it reaches four months of age. The T.E.A.M. van goes throughout the state of Connecticut, each day in a different city.

Adoptions are down everywhere and we presently have some wonderful cats and older kittens who are in need of good homes this Holiday Season. A lot of times I meet good people that tell me they would love to have a cat but can't afford the initial outlay of cash because they are on a fixed income or are in between jobs. I would rather help these people help a cat than watch my rescues live in cages day after day.

So this Christmas season don't feel like you cannot afford to bring a pet into your home. And if you are not in the market for another pet, but can help someone else offer a kitty a loving home, please consider making a tax deductible donation to Helping Paws and specify that it is for its Power Placement program. Donations to support this new program will be appreciated and will directly assist those individuals who need a little empowerment in order to offer a pet a new and forever home.

It is my wish that lonely people and lonely kitties will find each other this holiday season with a little help from Helping Paws!

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