Being adopted by a forever family is the beginning of a wonderful journey for a cat like Andre, one that sometimes begins under the bathroom sink.
Andre (formerly known as Simon) was fostered by Friends of Noah volunteer Kathy Strommen, and he was eventually adopted by a very loving (and patient) family. Below his new parents, Emily and Brian, archive Andre’s journey from cowering under the vanity to…well, pretty much doing whatever he pleases.
At first, he was nervous and hid under the vanity in the master bathroom. He actually dusted under there for us, which was very considerate.
Then after about 24 hours, he became curious and came out to check us out. Here he is investigating his cat tree. This is the photo that inspired his name.
Later, he checked out the closet in my office, which is full of interesting things for mischievous cats.
As you can see, he’s done really well meeting the dogs. No fear at all. Here he is lounging around with our smaller dog (Maya). They are nearly the same size and color (Maya outweighs him by about twelve pounds), which we find pretty hilarious.
We were worried that, having spent about five hours building the cat tree, he would refuse to use it, but instead he really enjoys it. Here he is lounging on the top. Win!
He also enjoys checking out the screen porch.
And he spends a good deal of time now watching the birds fly by from my office window.
We love the fact that Andre has such a bold personality. Our dogs have pretty big personalities too, so it makes him a good fit, and he definitely doesn’t allow himself to be overlooked. He’s also a pretty quick learner. To encourage him to use the top levels of his cat tower, I was putting some treats on them. Now when he hears me fiddling with the treat bag, he jumps up there to wait.Andre has the run of the house, although he can still often be found snoozing under the master bed. In general the dogs are fine with him. Our big-but-timid dog, Edgar, was a bit wary of him at first, but I have seen Andre grooming him a little recently. Maybe sometime I’ll get photographic proof of this. Maya had a couple of run-ins where she got too friendly and got a paw to the face, but Maya is more respectful now!
We took him to see our vet last week, and she pronounced him extremely healthy and adorable.
—Emily and Brian
When I joined Friends of Noah last November, I instantly experienced an amazing cultural connection. I immediately started helping out with the Marketing team and with as many events I could.
Many of you may remember the most recent litter of “candybar” puppies–Friends of Noah rescued a wonderful pregnant momma “Eileen” from the cold, and shortly thereafter she had a healthy litter of puppies. I instantly took to one particular little fawn pup with a blonde stripe—she looked just like our current dog Emma!
Emma was a rescue pup from Illinois, whose mother was in a similar situation as Eileen was. Coincidentally, Emma’s mother’s name was Reese! As soon as Friends of Noah posted the names of the little puppies, I knew it was fate. And fate is what it was.
My husband and I were looking to adopt again until AFTER we got back from our honeymoon, as we knew our Emma needed a playmate. My heart was sad when we returned from our trip and learned all of the pups had already been adopted out. I was glad they had forever homes but was so disappointed ours wasn’t one of them.
On Tuesday, I received an email—one puppy was returned to Friends of Noah due to unforeseen circumstances, and it was Reece! My husband and I went over to Lois’s house on Saturday to meet this little girl, along with our Emma.
Now, it wasn’t love at first sight, as Reece (now Nala) was scared of our bouncy Emma, but after about 15 minutes, they were chasing each other all over the yard and chewing on sticks together. It was monkey see—monkey do! Emma had taught Reece to dig holes, and then we knew they couldn’t be separated. We went in with a mind set of “We’ll see” and came out with a “Can we bring her home tomorrow?”!
Now almost four months later, we have a beautiful young dog, who learns something new everyday! The girls have not been separated since and have a genuine care for each other and their people. I couldn’t imagine life without them!
This is why I’ve decided to create a small fundraiser with my Independent Consultant business—Thirty One and am donating 100% of my commission to the cause.
Written by Brittany Stoney
Lincoln came into my life at just the right time. The weekend I adopted him, I became really sick had to go to the ER. A cyst was found on my thyroid, and after further testing, I was eventually diagnosed with cancer. At first, there was an adjustment period for Lincoln– he would hide on me–but gradually he came out and began sleeping in my bed, sometimes even on top of my head! Lincoln was such a good boy during my illness, laying in bed with me after surgery.
On Tuesday, Lincoln turned one year old, and I threw him a birthday party! I couldn’t have imagined when I adopted him that I would love him as much as I do today. I miss him when I am at work, and I can’t wait to get home to all of his meows and snuggles.
I just want to thank you and Friends of Noah so much for my little guy. Everyone that meets him falls in love with him and his amazing human-like personality. I always have people coming in and out of my home to spend time with Lincoln.
Written by Gary and Marita Johnson
Here is the story of how we ended up adopting Baxter.
Baxter was born in this area, and his mother rejected him because he had a deformed leg, refusing to let him nurse. The owner of Baxter’s mother gave baby Baxter away to someone who eventually couldn’t care for him, so he was passed on to another person, who ALSO could not take adequate care of him.
Still a puppy, Baxter was given yet again to another complete stranger–this person had wooden floors and did not want Baxter ruining them, so he was kept in a small kennel 24/7, except to go potty. This person also had another dog (big) who was very intimidating, and Baxter lived in fear.
Baxter’s owner knew Nancy Brikowski volunteered for FON, and she asked Nancy if she could help find him a home. She knew Baxter was in a cage that was too small for him, and that his needs weren’t getting met. Nancy knew Baxter needed immediate help, so she removed him from the situation and cared for him for a few days until we were established as foster parents through Friends of Noah.
Baxter received medical care from Dr. Steve at Badger Veterinary Hospital. At just 5 months old, he was afraid to get in the car with us, as our home would be his fifth place.
We played and bonded with Baxter until his spirit was stronger. It was determined that his deformed leg needed to be removed, so we took him to Dunkin Dawg to swim and build strength before the surgery. Afterwards, he returned to Dunkin Dawg to strengthen his 3 good legs and body.
After much love, patience, and rehabilitation, Baxter began to thrive. On April 1st, 2012, we decided to adopt him into his fifth (and last) home. This September, Baxter will be 4 years old! He has been a wonderful part of our family and has given us so much joy.
My name is Lorie Markus and I serve on the Noah’s Animal Fund committee for Friends of Noah Wisconsin. My long-time veterinarian, Dr. Steve Servantez, approached me a few years ago and asked if I would be interested in being on this committee.
Dr. Steve explained that Noah’s Animal Fund (at that time called Badger Animal Fund) was formed to provide funds to help people whose pets had an emergency veterinary need which they couldn’t afford. It sounded intriguing to me, as I have always supported animal rescue groups, including our local humane society, and Italian Greyhound Rescue (the breed of dog I own.)
I already volunteered with the city of Janesville to support Paw Print Park, of which I was part of the founding group, and served for 6 years on their Leisure Services Advisory Committee, so this sounded like a good extension to my volunteer efforts.
If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the brief survey at www.friendsofnoah-wi.org/volunteer, and begin to experience the rewards of donating your time and talents to animals in need!
I started fostering cats with Friends of Noah when I moved to Wisconsin in August 2013. I’ve fostered for several years, and when I moved here I tried to find a way to foster that was a good fit for me.
I like fostering with Friends of Noah because I get to meet the potential adopters. I know my kitties are going to good homes, and sometimes I can keep in touch with the adopters and get updates over time. It’s so rewarding to see my foster kittens continue to grow up in a loving home or to see an adult foster cat finally have a home to settle into!
People ask me all the time, “How do you not keep them all?” I feel a little sad whenever a foster cat gets adopted, but I remember that for each one that gets a home, I can then offer Friends of Noah my house to help another animal. It’s never long before another cat needs a safe place, so there’s someone new to care for right away. I love them all, but part of loving them is making space for the next cat in need.
A few years ago, I was buying some X-Pen fencing, at the Farm and Fleet in Janesville, for several puppy pens in our garage. It suddenly dawned on me that I had also spent my last 4 weekends creating event layouts and then helping to construct them for Friends of Noah (FON). Not a big surprise, I guess, since my wife Lois is the Executive Director. I just started to lend a hand when she needed me. As I was setting up and adding braces for these particular puppy pens, I realized that my work for her was becoming a regular “retirement job”, so I demanded an official title! And that’s how I became a “Facilities and Equipment Volunteer” for Friends of Noah.
Even if my wife were not the Ex Dir., I would enjoy volunteering for FON and using my now-dormant engineering skills. I love making things better for the unloved dogs of Wisconsin and the people who foster, adopt and just genuinely care about them.
Fortunately, there are more roles for helpers than leaders. I’ve enjoyed meeting other volunteers and helping them create and implement their visions. When someone wanted to have a rabies clinic for local low income residents, I got behind it and helped make it happen. Being a part of a major effort like that is tremendously rewarding.
Most often, I work with the event leader to plan what we’ll need for an upcoming weekend FON rescue event. Together we visit the location and I take notes. Afterwards I create a basic layout using grid paper, pencils, drafting tools and highlighted color copies. I list equipment needed at the event and note setup tasks. This process usually involves multiple iterations.
Since I then know the layout and setup plans, I often end up guiding the set-up volunteers. Our event volunteers might be FON members, one time helpers or even Rock Co. RECAP inmates. We use brawn where ever we find it!
FON Needs You!
Now we’re looking for others who like to tinker or build things or plan event facilities. If you pass my “passion for using tools, equipment and going to Farm and Fleet” test, that official title can be yours too! [Sidenote: If you are a wiz with CAD (computer aided design), more power to you. You’ll show me up!]
If you prefer to work behind the scenes with equipment, we can definitely use your skills too. We need any number of mechanical-type people to help us acquire and take care of FON equipment, including zip-ties, fencing, posts, crates, tables, chairs, pop-up tents, hand tools, totes, etc. (Mental flashback – putting up EZ-UP (ha-ha) tents on a windy weekend at the Thresherman’s park. This required lots of extra stakes and guy ropes, with cool Boy Scout knots.)
Some equipment comes from donations and needs sorting and/or repair. (Mental flashback – I always carry a pocket full of ties and several diagonal cutters. You’d think I had a financial interest in the manufacturing of them.) Other items may need to be purchased or rented. You have to find a source and then acquire the needed items. Of course, you often end up managing the storage, moving and set-up of this equipment at events, so don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Let’s Do This!
Friends of Noah is in great need of willing, conscientious, reliable workers like you! Call 608-774-3402 or visit www.friendsofnoah-wi.org/volunteer to join our team of wonderful volunteers!
Adopting a pet is a momentous decision, one that no doubt requires a lot of thought. There’s nothing quite like visiting with an adoptable animal, connecting with that animal, and bringing them home to join your family.
While you might envision taking home your new pet the same day as your visit, it’s important to stay realistic. A lot of preparation is involved to ensure you are successfully matched with the new dog or cat of your dreams, and rescues have protocols and processes to help them best match an animal with a new caregiver. Whether you adopt from a shelter or a rescue, read these tips to improve your experience.
What to bring
- Make sure you have a current photo ID as well as an additional proof of residency, such as a utility bill mailed to you at your current address.
- If you are a renter, bring a copy of your lease and have your landlord’s name and phone number ready. If your lease does not definitively state that you can have pets in your home, have your landlord sign a letter granting permission to have a pet.
- Expect to be asked to provide veterinarian contact information and records for your current pets and any you had in the past. Even if this will be your first pet, have a veterinarian lined up before you go to the rescue.
Adoption is a family affair
- Rescues want to be certain that all members of the household, including children, are ready for a new furry friend, so make sure to bring the whole family with you.
- Do you live with a roommate? Even if you will be the sole caregiver, bring your roommate along for the adoption as well. If they are unavailable to be present on adoption day, you may be expected to provide their phone number for rescue to discuss the adoption with them. As with your landlord, it is also a good idea to have a signed letter from your roommate if they are not available.
Have a plan
- Most people already know what type of animal they’d like to adopt. So prior to filling out the adoption application, formulate a care plan suited to the type of animal you are most likely to take home. If you’re getting a puppy, what techniques will you employ to potty train the puppy? How will you introduce the new cat to your resident cats? What is your plan for providing adequate exercise for an 80-pound dog? What training techniques will you use? Articulating this care plan to the rescue will show you have put thought and preparation into the decision to adopt.
Be open about your life
- Shelter or rescue staff aim to make the best matches possible for the animals that have been entrusted to their care. As such, they may ask what seem to be invasive questions about your lifestyle. They may want to know what you do for a living and even your pay range. They may want to know your work schedule and how long the pet will be left home alone each day. They may also ask about the close people in your life. If you’re in a relationship, they’ll probably want to know what your plan is in the event of a break-up.
- Some shelters or rescues require a home visit, and many ask for referrals from friends or family who can speak to your character or past experience with animals. Do not be offended by these sensitive questions, but know they are being asked so staff can make a good placement. The last thing anyone wants is the animal to be returned to the rescue because the adoption did not work out.
Be prepared to wait
- For some rescue organizations, the adoption process could take a while, sometimes stretching out over a few weeks. So, don’t expect to go home with a new dog or cat the same day. Even at larger organizations, the animal may still need a final physical exam or surgery, so they might not be ready for placement right away.
Feel good about your decision
Congratulations on making the decision to adopt from a rescue! Following this advice will help you through the application process and ease the stress of bringing home your new furry family member.
It may take a bit more time and commitment in the beginning to rescue an animal rather than “buy” one from the store, but it is more than worth it for so many reasons—including stopping the demand for “puppy mill” puppies. And if a “breeder” does not ask just as many, if not more, questions than the shelter or rescue and does not invite you to come meet the mom and dad and check out the facility, run the other way!
Remember “When you adopt from a rescue or shelter you are not saving one life, but three: your new pet, the animal who will take their place in the adoption room and yours!”