So when the Everett Animal Shelter gave the busy school bus driver a call last week, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. They'd found Special K.
“At first I was incredibly tentative because after two years, I've never heard of a cat coming back,” Davis said. “My poor daughter, when I called and told her, she thought I was pulling her chain.”
Taylor Davis, Sheila's 21-year-old daughter, loved the mild-mannered cat her family adopted in 2008. She was crushed when Special K disappeared in 2012. Since then, the family had moved from Marysville to Everett and given up on seeing their pet again.
“She's the most laid-back, easygoing cat,” Sheila Davis said. “To have her come back is actually a blessing, and if she could talk, I'd love to know where she's been the past two years.”
A Marysville resident found Special K wandering and brought her to the Everett Animal Shelter, shelter director Shannon Johnson said. Staff checked the cat for a microchip and discovered that the friendly tabby had been adopted from the Everett Animal Shelter nearly six years ago. The shelter microchips every animal that gets adopted, Johnson said, and Special K's chip led them to Davis.
“She was pretty hysterically happy when she found out we had her cat,” Johnson said.
Already this month, the shelter has either adopted or reunited 111 animals with families, she said. That number will feed into a summer-long goal of more than 1,600 adoptions and reunions as the Everett Animal Shelter competes to win $100,000.
The shelter is one of 50 organizations around the country participating in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. In its fifth year, the competition challenges shelters to top previous summer records for adopting out cats and dogs. This is the Everett Animal Shelter's first time competing, and the staff and volunteers will need to find homes for more than 1,600 cats and dogs by Aug. 31 in order to qualify for the $100,000 grand prize.
That's double last year's summer adoption numbers, Johnson said.
The city plans to use the prize money to create a program for low-income families to spay and neuter their pets, said Meghan Pembroke, a city of Everett spokeswoman. Johnson said the shelter also could pay for free vaccination clinics or microchipping.
Throughout the summer, the shelter will host fairy-tale-themed weekend events, such as a Rapunzel adoption day with a discount on long-haired animals and a wizard-themed adoption day with a free magic show, Pembroke said.
The shelter, which serves all of Snohomish County and has contracts with a number of nearby cities, relies on 15 paid staff and 300 regular volunteers for day-to-day operations, Johnson said. As of noon Monday, the shelter housed 125 animals.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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