From Feral to Friendly – The Story of Butterfly 01/29/2021 By Kerry S Meet Butterfly. She is a clear example of the very negative effects of environmental stress. Butterfly almost didn’t have a chance. She was just 12 weeks old when caught in a live trap on a very cold December day and brought to a shelter just a few days before a big snowstorm. There she underwent behavioral testing to determine if she was adoptable. She did not do well. Due to her extreme fear, she hid in her litter box and hissed spit. She lunged when shelter staff tried to touch her. She was trying to protect herself because she did not feel safe. But given her behavior, she would not be a candidate for the adoption floor. Since she was deemed feral she was being considered for a TNR (trap, neuter, release) / Barn (working cat) Program. When these programs are managed properly; proper integration into a new environment warm outdoor housing regular food source someone who manages the colony They can save many lives of feral cats, they do not work when cats are simply returned to the field. Cats can suffer needlessly. And it’s no place for a 12-week old kitten. Shelters and Foster Based rescue organizations form partnerships so they can save more lives by working together. Many animals like Butterfly cannot cope with a shelter environment and prior to these partnerships would be euthanized. Butterfly is an example of the power of these life-saving partnerships. Welcome to Pet Haven Butterfly “I picked her up in a snowstorm on December 29th. I could barely see the road as I drove to the shelter. The roads were so bad I almost turned around but I kept seeing her little scared face and kept going. She was so scared when I picked her up but I had lined her pink carrier with plush fleece, catnip treats, and toys. I put soft music on in my car and spoke quietly to her the whole way home. Home, it will be hers for the time she is with me. In my care, with love and patience, Butterfly was allowing pets and purred in less than 24 hours. She now runs to me when I call her name and she loves to play fetch sliding on the wood floors as she runs after the balls I throw for her. She enjoys sitting on my desk when I work and never misses bedtime snuggles. She likes to crawl under the covers. She loves attention and being groomed by my cat crew. Her fur smells sweet and is so soft to the touch. She insists on giving me kisses and will snuggle in my arms falling asleep softly purring. She now knows she is safe and loved and she has fully blossomed. I am Kerry D’Amato the Executive Director of Pet Haven and the very proud foster parent of Butterfly” This is the power of foster care. It’s a game-changer for many animals, especially felines, who are so sensitive to environmental stress. In foster care, they can take the time they need to build trust, feel safe, and learn to love and be loved. Don’t we all want that? Butterfly was the last animal to come into Pet Haven in 2020. She is one lucky girl. To learn more about Pet Haven’s Foster program and see more of what we do click here If you would like to help others like Butterfly please consider a gift today. Any amount is deeply and sincerely appreciated.