Be part of a worldwide awareness movement! In 2013, the #RememberMeThursday advocacy group started a campaign to unite people globally, coming together as one voice for all orphaned animals needing homes. In 2022, around 378,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in our nation’s shelters simply because they had no safe place to call home (Best Friends Animal Society, 2023). However, this is a significant decline compared to 2016, with estimations totaling 1.5 million.
Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary, has raised awareness about pet homelessness and has pioneered innovative solutions to decrease unnecessary euthanasia through its No-Kill 2025 Campaign. Some of these solutions involve creative foster opportunities and community-supported sheltering, including a lifesaving dashboard to help all animal advocates collectively take responsibility for at-risk pets. With more people coming together and creating awareness, we can be the voice to increase adoptions from shelters or rescues and continue to decrease the rate of euthanasia.
Now, how does this relate to the mission and work behind TCWR? Even though TCWR firmly disagrees with the exotic pet trade and private ownership of wild cats, many of the cats TCWR has rescued have also faced pet homelessness. In May 2019, Arkansas experienced record-breaking rainfall in the Fort Smith area, resulting in the flooding of the Arkansas River. TCWR was contacted about two young bobcats, Prince and Tony, who were left and abandoned in a house in Lavaca, AR, a small town outside of Fort Smith, AR. The TCWR team knew these displaced bobcats were in dire need of help and quickly responded.
Upon rescue, these two bobcats were presumed to be nine months old and had been taken from the wild at only a month old. Unfortunately, Arkansas still allows this practice. The brothers were left in pet carriers on the porch of an evacuated house. Flood waters had already risen to their chests when authorities found them and brought them to a local rescuer specializing in small animals. The rescuer knew these bobcats didn’t belong in anyone’s home and reached out to TCWR to provide a lifelong home for them.
Prince and Tony were awaiting help in medium-size dog kennels, where they reportedly spent most of their time as “pets.” As flood levels were still rising, the journey home to TCWR was a race against the clock. After arriving, these two received complete veterinary exams. They were neutered before being released into their forever home filled with copious amounts of grass, benches to climb, natural rock nooks to seek privacy, and dens for the winter months.
TCWR also helps to promote the need for rescue and adoption in our local community through our partnership with Good Shepherd Humane Society by posting their Pet of the Week every Thursday on our Facebook.
These two wild animal pet trade survivors have found freedom; however, this isn’t always true for homeless animals – large and small, domestic and wild. Be part of this movement and simply log onto your social media platform, using #RememberMeThursday or #ShineALight on September 28, 2023, and talk about your pet adoptions’ beauty and life-saving significance.