Animal Sanctuary No Kill Raccoon Valley
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    THE REASON ONE SHOULD NEVER QUIT SEARCHING...
    RVAS PET ALERT! - Morris The Cat On March 2, 2009, 80 year old Norma Hanes noticed her feline companion of 12 years was missing.

    This old boy never had any reason to leave his posh home life, but somehow went through an open door by mistake. Morris found his curiosity leading him outdoors even though he had never really longed to be an outside kitty. Not really knowing his outdoor surroundings, instincts set in, and Morris began the search for shelter. Where that would be, no one knew.

    In the meantime, his worried owner was frantically searching the neighborhood. With minimal teeth and no claws to defend himself it became more urgent to find him. But Morris remained hidden...and day turned into night, and nights turned into weeks.

    Morris is reunited with his 80 year old owner, Norma  

    On March 13, Norma contacted RVAS. Feeling hopeless, Norma was now reaching outside her demographics in hope that Morris would have shown up, perhaps, somewhere else.

    "She was beside herself, as any pet owner would be," said Linda R. Blakely, Director of the Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue. "She had all but given up hope, and just had nowhere else to turn as people in these situations often do." But Linda told Norma to never give up hope, and that Morris was most likely very close near by. Working together, Norma and RVAS began their Pet Alert! and the word was quickly spread along with several hundred flyers.

    Shannon Rudolph, long time volunteer of RVAS stepped forward and took the lead on the search and rescue on the ground. In constant contact with Norma, the Pet Alert! was put into place, and volunteers in the Waukee area began answering the plea for help. Shannon orchestrated planned search times, mapped out areas locally, and volunteers set out to distribute flyers, go door to door, and talk to anyone who would listen and help find Morris. Before long, the entire community was searching for Morris, including local law enforcement. There were several reports of Morris "sightings", but no connections were being made. But volunteers DID NOT give up hope, and when not searching as a group, volunteers took every opportunity individually to drive in and around the area hoping for a sighting. Volunteers Help Find Cat
    And then...
    Allison & Sydney distribute flyers

    A family heard a strange "cry" under their deck. They had heard this same sound several days but when searching could not "pinpoint" where it was coming from. This time they could. Looking under the deck, they saw two frightened eyes. Carefully, they lured the cat out from under the deck, but there dog wanted nothing to do with the cat. They reluctantly contacted a local shelter, but the shelter told them they didn't rescue animals in that county. No further advice was given, so the family gave the cat to family friends who were willing to try and find it a good home.

    But the new home's canine companion wanted nothing to do with a new feline friend, and so Morris found himself in the garage until the family could come up with a better solution that was safe and secure for Morris. The same week of Morris' arrival in, what appeared to be, his new home, the family went to the local Dairy Queen. The children immediately noticed the "missing" poster, and were convinced that the feline housed in their garage was, in fact, Morris!

    On May 6 2009, two months later, the telephone call came, "I think we have the missing cat that is on the poster hanging in Dairy Queen," the voice said. Shannon quickly made the connection to meet with them and scan Morris to see if in fact, the microchip numbers matched. And they DID!

    Morris was immediately taken to the University West Pet Hospital, where he received medical care for his injuries, malnutrition and updated with all vaccinations. Once 14 lbs., Morris now weighed a mere 9 lbs, appeared tired, and a bit of relief to be in a warm place. Norma was immediately contacted, and arrangements were made with RVAS to place Morris in Shannon's care where he would have a watchful eye on him until Norma could return from out of town to be reunited with her feline companion.

    "Our Pet Alert! program works," says Linda R. Blakely. "It's the only program in Iowa that focuses on reuniting pets and their owners together, by 'doing what it takes' to make it happen. We just never give up on these lives that find themselves separated from their beloved homes," she continued.

    Morris, pounds lighter, after missing for 2 months.
     
    Volunteers were elated at the news that Morris had been found and was safe and secure. "You have no idea how wonderful of a feeling this is," said Shannon Rudolph, as she coddled Morris in her arms, watching him sleep and purr loudly.

    "Two months I've worried and searched...I feel as if Norma is family, we've talked so much about this little guy,"Shannon stated.

    Morris was returned to his owner, where he settled right back in, and appeared to be very happy to be home and safe! "Morris being reunited with is owner is no accident," Linda said. "Our Pet Alert! Program and it's volunteers go that 'extra' mile to find these lost lives and get them help and reunited. This is what saving lives is all about."

    Microchipping and continually spreading the word, is what saved Morris' lives. Many times cats can remain hidden for days, sometimes weeks, coming out only at night. Morris had been hidden for quite some time, until he began crying for help. While lucky that he was heard, it was a group of individuals working together, who chose not to let the cries for help go unheard, that saved his life! We are proud of all of those people who stepped forward and were a part of this success story!

     
    PHOTOS OF MORRIS AND HIS REUNION
    Morris, The Cat   Cat Reunited with Owner   Cat missing for 2 months
    Morris was 12 years old and declawed when he inadvertently escaped from his 80 year old owner's home.   Morris was found 2 months later, after a family noticed his poster in a local restaurant. RVAS was called for pick up.   Shannon Rudolph, RVAS Volunteer who led the Pet Alert! search shows the weight loss of Morrs' ordeal.
             
    Morris Reunited with Owner   Morris & Owner   Shannon Rudolph
    Owner, Norma was away on vacation when she got the call Morris had been found. One Week later he was reunited with his beloved Owner.   Relieved and happy her beloved companion of 7 years is home, Norma smiles.   Shannon looks on with emotion as Morris & owner are reunited. It was only a few moments before Morris was exploring his home again.

     


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