Looking for good homes

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By Kirsten Laskey

It all started with just one little black cat but, eight years later more than 200 cats receive care annually through the New Mexico Chapter of the Felines and Friends.

Bobbie Heller of the Felines and Friends explained how she found the cat during a snowstorm. It was living in an abandoned car in a parking lot. She took the cat in and started looking for a rescue organization but couldn’t find one. However, Heller said she was familiar with the Felines and Friends organization in California and decided to establish a chapter in New Mexico.

Heller said Felines and Friends is known as a second chance rescue organization.

It works with animal shelters in Los Alamos, Española and Santa Fe by accepting special needs cats such as kittens that are too young for adoption, cats that need to be socialized or adult felines that have health or behavioral issues.

Felines and Friends, she explained, is part of the Companion Animal Alliance of Northern New Mexico.

Since it doesn’t have a shelter, Felines and Friends relies 100 percent on foster homes, which is why the organization is looking to Los Alamos for help.

She said she believes there is a wealth of people in the community who would be great foster parents to cats.

To become a foster home to a cat, an application needs to be filled out to a good match between the homeowners and the cats.

Heller encourages people to become foster pet owners because “for families with kids it is great if they take a pregnant cat so they can go through the whole birthing process … or (take) one with kittens. Other (great foster parents) are people who travel and don’t want to get tied to caring for a pet, but like having a pet when they are in town.” She added that a cat makes a great pet to have in a home.

“With older people it’s been proven that having a pet is actually good for someone’s health,” Heller said.

“And I think with families with kids, they learn they need to be responsible for a living, breathing creature and for people who live alone it’s a great companion.” Plus, she added cats are easier to care for than  dogs. For more information on how to be a foster pet owner, call 505-316-2281. Or send an e-mail to ask           felinesandfriends@yahoo.com. People are also encouraged to visit www.petfinder.com/shelters/NM38.html.