Just the Five of Us
SPCA Staff Co-Adopts Kitten with Terminal Illness

Blog Post

The Sacramento SPCA staff comes across animals every day, regardless of whether they work hands on in the kennels or in our administration departments. We “fall in love” almost as often. You’ll often find staff members bringing leftovers to their favorite dog, an extra plush bed for their special cat, and even homegrown veggies for a rabbit or guinea pig.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “I could never work in a shelter, I’d take them all home!” Well, for many of us, we often do! Our homes are filled with dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, birds, mice and many, many fosters. But what happens when several staff members fall in love with the same animal? And what if that animal may have a terminal medical condition?

Meet Betty!

Betty was surrendered to the Sacramento SPCA after being found as a stray. We placed her in foster care to gain weight, but soon realized she may have underlying health issues contributing to her slow growth. Betty returned from foster and was housed in the Shelter Medicine office so staff could monitor her more closely. (However, she was QUITE insistent that instead of staying in the kennel provided for her, she would much prefer to have run of the office.)

After a few weeks of supportive care like syringe feeding and fluids for dehydration, Betty turned a corner and bounced back to a happy, silly kitten. However, bloodwork revealed that Betty has congenital renal disease, a terminal condition.

Recently, we launched the Pawspice program – a hospice adoption for animals with terminal illness with supportive care provided by the Sacramento SPCA. But who was going to adopt Betty?

Answer: Everyone! A first for the SPCA – Co-Adoption by multiple staff members!

The shelter medicine, rescue, and foster offices are next to one another and myself along with several other staff members grew attached to Betty during our time caring for her. She is such a sweet kitten full of life, and doesn’t seem to know or be bothered by the fact that her kidneys are not functioning properly. We came together and decided to adopt her as our collective office cat to live out her remaining months or years! We just love her, and she gets along well with all of our personal dogs. - Brittany Alcantar, Shelter Medicine Supervisor

Betty will continue to live her days out as the official “office cat” and will trade off different homes on the weekends and evenings. She has even earned a spot during weekly management meetings, although her plans for a giant aquarium were quickly nixed.

Once you meet Betty anyone can see why we all got so attached to her. She is full of personality and confidence. Unfortunately she won’t have a long life, but we are all determined to make sure that during the time she has with us she will be very well loved– and spoiled! - Palina Chordas, Foster Care Coordinator