Courtesy of the Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation Inc.
After spending more than 2,000 days in a shelter, Tyson has finally found his home forever.
The adorable ginger tabby cat with a matching white bib and white gloves was in his sixth year at the Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation Inc.’s shelter in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania when his post on Petfinder.com won the hearts of a local couple, to end his long stay.
Tyson, who was first picked up as a stray when he was 2 years old, tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) when he arrived at the shelter. FIV is a virus that damages and weakens a cat’s immune system, making the cat more susceptible to other infections and diseases. According to Alexandra Holden, the shelter’s manager, the virus can often make cats that test positive appear less attractive to potential adopters.
“Cats with FIV have a harder time finding homes,” says Holden. “There’s a lot of stigma surrounding the disease. It’s believed that FIV cats won’t live that long, either [they] lead to high veterinary costs. “
People may assume, but it’s important to note that a positive FIV test on its own doesn’t prevent a cat from leading a full, happy life. Although every FIV cat is different, animal shelters know their FIV cats’ personality and medical history and can tell potential adopters what to expect in terms of each cat’s health and life expectancy, says Holden.
In fact, the AAFP Retrovirus Guidelines state: “Studies show that cats infected with retrovirus, especially cats infected with FIV, can have normal life expectancies with appropriate husbandry and disease management.”
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This is precisely the case for 8-year-old Tyson, whose sweet disposition made him a favorite at the shelter from the very first moment. “These animals become a huge part of our daily routine,” says Holden. “They are family to us so it’s bittersweet to be adopted. We all enjoy seeing them get the loving homes they deserve, but we can’t help but miss them too. “
The story goes on
Losing a shelter was what a happy couple won. Janelle and Zach James of Fawn Grove, Pa., Didn’t want to actively adopt a cat, but when Janelle on a whim decided to scan Petfinder.com and came across Tyson’s picture and profile, the couple instantly fell in love with the ginger tabby – and we cannot blame them!
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Although shelter managers warned the couple that after six years of occupancy in the shelter, the tabby would take time to adjust to its new home, Tyson had other plans. According to an interview with York Daily Record, James said the cute cat showed no signs of fear when she left the shelter and couldn’t stop purring and rubbing the couple from the moment they all got home. Despite the change of scene, Tyson seemed to know that he was exactly where he should be.
The Jameses know that as owners of an FIV cat, you need to be proactive in getting Tyson to the vet, and they say they are committed to maintaining his asymptomatic status by scheduling checkups twice a year. After his long stay at the shelter, we are delighted that Tyson has finally found a loving family ready to look past his FIV.
“Adopters should never dump a cat quickly because it is FIV positive,” says Holden. “Not every cat is a good fit in every home. So when you find a cat that really bonds with you and your family, that makes a special bond.”