According to the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, about 3.2 million cats are taken into shelters annually across the United States. While 1.6 million of them are adopted, 860,000 are euthanized. Meanwhile, Humane Canada estimates that approximately 81,000 cats were taken into shelters in 2018, with only 62 percent adopted.
“They may be underdogs, but they still have amazing hearts and spirits and are just as deserving of finding a home,” says Christine Mallier, Petcurean’s community relations manager. “The campaign is also one way Petcurean can support shelters in our communities and raise awareness for them because they often have limited resources in their efforts to take care of the animals in their care.”
The Canada-based pet food company invited rescue groups and shelters in the United States and Canada to nominate their most deserving cats from mid-January to February 2. From the nominees, 12 finalists were chosen in two categories — six American cats and six Canadians — with one winner selected from each country. All 12 received a major food donation, plus a commitment from Petcurean to cover adoption fees.
Online public voting took place from February 18-24, and the public’s choices for the cats they wanted most to be adopted were revealed February 25. (Due to what Petcurean calls a “technical issue,” two were picked from Canada, along with the one from the U.S.)
Here, in their own (Petcurean-provided) voices, the top three vote-getters tell their backstories and explain why they’re worthy of adoption.
- Ernesto / age 12 / Annex Cat Rescue in Toronto / 36,732 votes
“Twelve years of hard living on the streets has taught me there’s magic in the world. But it wasn’t the street that taught me that — it was the rescue people that took me in. I was haggard, toothless, infected and FIV positive. But they decided that I deserved a chance. I was so nervous at my foster house that I wished I could wave my wand and become invisible. I’ve wizened up since then and realize I really need a fur-ever human of my very own — someone who’ll look past my rough disguise and see my sweet soul underneath.”
- Bogart / age 5 / Pantry Four Paws in Hamilton, Ontario / 34,387 votes
“I’m an old soul who was loved while I lived on the streets for five years, then heartbroken once the kind lady who was feeding me passed away, leaving no one to care for me. Fortunately, someone found me at my ‘home,’ took me to a shelter and got me all cleaned up. I had a mouth full of broken and infected teeth and tested positive for FIV. Now my four-toothed smile is movie-star charming, and I get along with anyone I meet — cats, dogs, humans — I’ll head bop them all!”
- Francine / age 10 / Sacramento SPCA in Sacramento, California / 4,691 votes
“I’m a sweet and mellow kitty, and absolutely love making biscuits – especially when I’m happily getting love. I’m an evacuee from the Sonoma fires and have been at the shelter for a long time. The outgoing cats get all the attention, and I’m always overlooked. I’m quite the lap cat and I know all the cozy spots, so cuddling up is my favorite. I also know that being FIV positive doesn’t get me down, because I can still live a normal happy life! Will you make biscuits with me?”
The Petcurean campaign has paid dividends already: Ernesto has been adopted, as have some of the other finalists. For more information about Bogart, Francine and the other shelter cats that tabulated their share of votes, click here.