During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you.
Our story begins with Wally arriving at a neighboring shelter as a stray. The staff immediately noticed the matting of his coat, but as they looked him over, they found that he had a very foul mouth odor. All good stories include a journey, and Wally’s story is no exception. Wally traveled to the CASPCA for a consultation, and we decided to keep him! He had severe dental disease, and needed a full mouth extraction. After his surgery, he healed quickly. Wally transformed into a wet food wizard. You put the food in front of him and it disappeared.
The real magic happened when Wally met Amanda. She had recently moved to Charlottesville, and she was looking for a companion so she wouldn’t be so lonely away from her friends and family. Amanda came to the shelter thinking that she would be leaving with a dog, but then her mom spotted Wally. She told Amanda to come over and see him. Amanda said, “I walked over and there he was! He was shaved because his fur was so matted, and all his teeth had to be pulled out due to a serious gum infection. He was malnourished, and looked like he needed a friend as much as I did. He reached out with his long leg and touched me. I immediately felt a connection that I had never felt before with an animal. Not only his physical appearance made me fall in love, but when I looked in his eyes it was clear that he was an old soul, and I felt like he already knew me. His name was also Wally, which was the name of my grandpa who passed away. And there was also a very loud dog at the shelter that day named Barb, which was the same name as my Nanny, my Grandpa Walter’s wife. It all seemed meant to be, and I couldn’t have been any more right about that.”
Wally instantly fit into Amanda’s home, and she made sure he had plenty to eat! She shared that “from the beginning, he knew where his box was, and did not jump on anything, which is rare for a cat!” Wally has been there for Amanda. He’s been the supportive companion she needed while transitioning to her new home. She loves his personality. He is sweet and loving, and lives for snuggling and belly rubs.
And as much as Amanda loves Wally, it’s clear that he loves her back just as much. Wally loves to groom Amanda, and she said, “I let him lick my face, and can confirm he is a better exfoliator than any product I have ever bought!” Amanda shows how much she loves Wally in special ways. Wally won’t drink water out of a bowl. So he has his own drinking cup that is filled daily with bottled water. Amanda pondered, “Is this extreme? Yes, but we all do some out there things to ensure the happiness of our animals, especially when they have had a rough past like Wally.”
Despite his rough past, Wally found someone who thinks that he is the most handsome prince in the world. Amanda said, “I think it is clear I love and am beyond obsessed with Wally. To me he’s not just a cat, but a soul mate. Sometimes we get lucky and stumble upon a person/animal who we form an immediate connection with, and know we were meant to have found each other. I want people to know how amazing animal shelters are and the true gems you can find in them! I also think it’s important for people to not always go for the cute kitten or puppy, but to look for the underdog, look for the animal who maybe isn’t as pretty or young as the others! Those are the ones who need our help and love! Those cute puppies and kittens are for sure going to be adopted, but the animals who are in rough shape are going to have a little bit of a harder time. I couldn’t be more happy or blessed to have found a friend and companion like Wally. I hope others will see this and be encouraged to go adopt! And not just adopt, but pick the older ones, the ones who may be missing a few teeth or have been shaved due to matting! Those are the special ones and the ones who will truly appreciate your love and company.”
This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved
and the thousands more we have yet to save.