Local couple help Harlingen Humane Society adoptions

September 1, 2018


Staff Writer

HARLINGEN — As you walk into the front door, you’re greeted by an array of five to six cats.

There are fluffy cats, short-haired cats, three legged cats, you name it. All of the cats look different. However, they all have one thing in common.

They’re survivors.

At some point in their lives they came across a stroke of luck after being taken in by one of the Harlingen Humane Society’s most successful animal foster parents.

Meet the couple who have helped save more than 250 cats and kittens get adopted. Their work has helped place many cats from the Harlingen Humane Society into their forever homes since they decided to become foster parents three years ago.

“We’re not dog people, we’re cat people,” Sean Blancher said. “We especially find that there are less cat people than there are dog people. So, we figure that cats need a chance just as much as the dogs,” he added.

Sean has described himself as a cat person ever since he and his wife Elizabeth adopted their first cat from the Humane Society 18 years ago.

This month was their three-year anniversary as cat foster parents. They help the Humane Society take care of kittens by raising them until they’re old enough to be placed on an adoption lineup at places like PetSmart and Petco.

Every day, animals arrive at the Humane Society. However, as the number of cats and dogs increase, someone has to go, whether through adoption, transport, fostering or, unfortunately, euthanasia.

Summer is an especially slow time for adoptions. So, they’re asking for the public’s help in saving the lives of cats and kittens that arrive at the Humane Society by making donations, adopting or fostering.

These animal foster parents love knowing that they’ve helped find homes for several kittens they’ve taken care of. To them, fostering cats and kittens is both a joy and a blessing.

“We love what we do — the joys, the tears and sometimes even sleepless nights when we’re trying to help our kittens eat,” Elizabeth said.

“It’s like having little children, but we wouldn’t give up a minute of it because the love the cats give back is worth it,” she added.

Elizabeth said some people think becoming a foster parent means they’re going to need to foster for two years or more. However, the time commitment can be much shorter than that.

She described fostering kittens as a very short-term situation. Taking care of them for two or three months could be a great help to the Humane Society.

“You’re not going to be stuck with a kitty unless you fall in love with it and you don’t want to give it up. Which does happen,” Elizabeth said laughing.

Elizabeth describes cats as “independent, low maintenance animals that just need food, water and fresh kitty litter.”

“It doesn’t matter how old or young cats are,” Elizabeth said. “There’s going to be a match with someone.”

For example, Sean recalled his most memorable adoption happened when one couple decided to adopt a deaf kitten they were fostering that had “absolutely no chance of getting adopted.”

He didn’t think she would be adopted because a lot of people want perfect kittens.

“For every 25 perfect kittens that people want, I find one person who wants ones that are struggling and are hard to get adopted,” Sean said. “I’d love to see all of the cats I foster go into good homes and get lots of loving.”

Sean said it’s an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience to know that they’re helping save cats lives.

“I try to stay in contact with as many people as I can who adopt our kitties,” Sean said. “They send me pictures every now and then. It’s great to see that these kittens are doing so well,” he added.

Trez and Alltoes are two special cats Sean and his wife are fostering right now that are available for adoption. Trez is a three-legged domestic short-hair mix that “loves getting attention and gets along well with other cats.” Alltoes is a polydactyl cat, which means he was born with extra toes on his paws, hence, the inspiration for his name. He is a laid-back, shy cat that also has swimmer’s syndrome which causes developmental deformities. When Alltoes was born, he couldn’t walk. However, with Sean and Elizabeth’s help, he walks “almost normal” now.

“A lot of times the Humane Society can’t afford to treat sick kitties,” Sean said. “So, we try to help them get healthy again and have a chance. Just because they got sick doesn’t mean that they have to go to heaven.”

Sean and Elizabeth have helped save the lives of several kittens and cats over the years. However, they “still would love to see more kittens and cats get adopted and fostered.”

“I wish I could find 100 more other people who could foster and adopt,” Sean said. “Then, no kittens would have to be euthanized,” he added.

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