Home‎ > ‎

Success Stories!

My New Year’s resolution for 2002 was to start volunteering for an animal rescue organization.  After some research, I contacted Hope Alliance and went to meet Lisa and her “children”.  Within minutes of arriving, I noticed a handsome, very striking, though extremely timid, orange cat called Terrance.  Lisa explained that he had been born feral but had been rescued and brought to Hope Alliance at around eight months of age.  I was completely bowled over by him and his gentle personality (always being partial to orange cats,  or “ginger toms” as we call them in my native country, England),  and I knew that I wanted him to become part of our family.  I then had to persuade my husband since our family already included four cats (Georgia, the Siamese, Kit, our old ginger tom, Peaches, adopted from Petsmart and Rudy, found at 10 weeks of age on the roadside).  He agreed and after a few weeks of volunteering with my then eight year old daughter, Claudia and spending time with Terrance, we asked Lisa if we could adopt him and she agreed.   

Realising how timid Terrance was, I knew his transition was not going to be easy.  For several weeks, he hid in my younger daughter’s bed, only coming out at  night to eat and use the litterbox.   We took it in turns to sit in the room with him and quietly read or talk to him.  He was known as the “lump in the bed” even letting Sarah sleep at night with him.  We kept him confined to her bedroom but put a baby gate in the doorway so that the other cats could see him and get used to his smell.  Rudy, our big Maine Coon, would always spend a lot of time sitting at the gate, just looking into the room.   Occasionally in the dark, I would catch a glimpse of Terrance on the other side. 

One morning, the lump in the bed was gone…  Terrance had disappeared!   Remarkably, after a quick search, we found him under the couch in the living room with Rudy.  He had jumped the gate and was hanging out with his friend!    This was the turning point and gradually Terrance began to come out more and more and eventually didn’t have to eat his dinner under the couch! 

Now, three years later, he is much more relaxed, more confident and extremely content with his family.  His nickname is “Mr T” and he is very vocal, always miaowing at dinnertime and even nips at my ankles if he is impatient for his dinner.  He loves to play, carries toy mice around the house, is very nosey and loves to wrestle.   He is adored by the whole family and we are so glad that we were able to adopt him!


Fergie and Fiona

After losing my cat Sunny to cancer (thymomma) on Christmas Eve day 2003, I never thought I’d be able to adopt another cat for quite awhile.  My husband and I had been living together with Sunny and his 19 year old cat Ace - the two cats were tolerant of each other at best.   After the first holiday without Sunny, I began to remember a cat I had seen at Hope Alliance – Fernando.  Since I volunteer at the rescue, I recalled when he had first arrived:  his mouth infected, bloody and swollen, missing large amounts of fur and what fur he had was discolored by nicotine.  Fernando was in some sad shape.   But given time, medical attention and love….he started to shine and plump up from his original 11 lbs to 17 lbs. 
My husband Geoff and I had been to Hope Alliance in the fall of 2003 and Lisa was ready to put Fernando up for adoption.  I remember thinking – ‘what a sweetie, I wish Sunny and Ace would love him, I wish we could have more cats'.  Geoff immediately took to Fernando…rubbing his belly, petting him, picking him up…this was a bond.  After more thought about what 'it' was all about,  by 'it' I’m referring to why we adopt animals in the first place…I realized that adoption wasn’t all about ME and my feelings….it was about the animal and giving that animal the best possibly life and care it could have while it shared my home and love until that awful word that begins with a D happens.  I had all that to give and I wanted to share it with an animal that deserved to have it as well….thus Fernando was adopted and became Fergie.  
He has been a huge part of our family since his arrival in January 2004.  Ace was a little more accepting of Fergie than he was of Sunny and a sort of friendship was born, but only for a short time as Ace died of renal failure at 20 years old that summer.   Fergie was now an only child so to speak – but got plenty of human love.   Geoff and I had visited the rescue plenty more times since Fergie’s adoption and we had our eye on Jasmine now.  She was driven from a shelter in West Virginia to New Haven, Connecticut to get help from Hope Alliance.  She had a host of problems:   alopecia, and colitis.  The shelter she was at in West Virginia was in deplorable shape and she received no care at all for her health problems that she had apparently had since she was a kitten.  After time and with many trips to the vet for steroid injections and prescriptions etc.  Jasmine was healthy and now adoptable.   Jasmine became Fiona, as in Princess Fiona, the weekend after Thanksgiving 2004.   Initially Fergie wasn’t too sure about his new friend and we worried that they may never get along…but now they eat together, sleep together, wash each other and sumo wrestle together all day long.  We couldn’t be a more happy integrated family.
Ronda and Geoff Saunders
Middletown, CT

Arrived June, 2010
Adopted September 2013

Luca came from a New Jersey shelter in a bad area with rooms & rooms of cats. When Lisa & Catherine went, they were not intending to adopt Luca, they were going for a different cat. The shelter would not let them take that cat, but instead, led them to Luca. Lisa told me upon meeting Luca, he stood up on his back legs (my favorite thing he does, he looks like a baby kangaroo) & put his front paws to look like he was praying. He was pleading for Lisa, the angel of a fur baby cat mother that she is, to take him. To where he would be taken care of & loved unconditionally, as he should have been from the beginning. 
After spending nearly three years at The Hope Alliance Inc. with Momma Lisa & other volunteers, Luca needed to be adopted.
I had known Luca for a little over a year when Lisa told me this news. My heart instantly shattered. My best friend may have been leaving me, no way!
So, Lisa let me take Luca for a visit at my house, which ultimately turned into my dreams come true.
I was able to adopt Luca! 
Not only did I get my own cat after two years of being without one, I got the cat of my dreams, my best friend, & a cat I love with all of my heart.
Just because he has a special needs, does not make him any less of a wonderful pet & companion. He is the sweetest & most lovable & compassionate cat I have ever met. He helps me so much with the struggles I face daily just by curling up in my lap. Having him helps me so much in all aspects of my life, but especially in my recovery from eating disorders. He sits with me at my table, either next to me or on my lap & sits there comfortably until I am done. Having him there is so therapeutic.
Thank you Lisa & Catherine for saving Luca & giving me the opportunity to have my best friend for life. You have made indescribable differences in my life.
Now that Luca has been living with me for nearly eight months, he is the king of my apartment for sure! He sleeps under my mom's & my blankets, he knows where his food is & he is a very spoiled baby. He's actually sitting on my lap as I type this! He has definitely left his "special" foot prints on my heart "fur" ever.
The Hope Alliance has made an incredible difference in my life & I am so very thankful to be a part of such an amazing organization.

East Haven, CT