Marisa Salinas and her pack became Pets for Life (PFL) clients in April 2019. She’d heard from a friend about this Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) program that provides pet supplies and resources to families in the 53713 zip code and Allied Drive neighborhood. She needed a little extra help with her dog Diamond, older cat Papí, younger cat Apollo, and rabbit Snuggles, so she reached out for assistance.
At DCHS, we believe everyone should get to enjoy the love of a pet, regardless of income or other challenges. Through door-to-door outreach, word-of-mouth, and other methods, our PFL team connects with people to provide support and create long-lasting relationships. PFL staff meet community members where they are, rather than waiting for them to find us.
“They came to do health checks on Diamond, Papí, Apollo, and Snuggles,” says Marisa. “They would bring food, toys, blankets, a bunny cage, and medicine (if need be).”
These are just a few of the services PFL can offer. PFL can provide clients’ pets with free veterinarian wellness care, spay and neuter surgeries, flea and tick treatment, supplies (like food, litter, toys, pet beds, and more), pet medications, and information.
Sadly, Marisa had to seek such veterinary help for her younger cat, Apollo.
Apollo first joined the family when her dog, Diamond, found the kitten outside in the summer of 2018. He was a tiny kitten with gunky eyes and a stuffy nose. Despite Marisa’s best efforts to find his family, no one nearby was missing a kitten, so she took the little one home. He was the perfect fit for her family. Although Apollo didn’t particularly like being held at first, he eventually became very fond of snuggles, pets, and even giving kisses. He loved stealing food off Marisa’s plate, and he would run to the refrigerator to jump inside and chomp on Snuggles’s Romaine lettuce! Apollo quickly became Marisa’s shadow.
But in January of 2023, Apollo started acting very sick and weak. He had a clogged nose and was losing a lot of weight. Marisa called our PFL team, who worked quickly to coordinate with DCHS veterinary staff to get Apollo in for a visit the following day. Tragically, Apollo was much sicker than Marisa could have realized, and to spare him great pain and suffering, Apollo was humanely euthanized.
Marisa had a huge hole in her heart that needed to be filled. With the help of the PFL team, she perused adoptable cats at the shelter. She loved every one of them, but chose to meet with adorable, four-month-old kitten Shout.
Shout was a little shy at first, but after a couple minutes, he walked up to Marisa and rubbed his head on her leg. He didn’t want anyone but Marisa to touch him. He definitely chose her to take him home. Marisa decided she didn’t need to see any more adoptable cats; Shout was the one for her. PFL assisted with Shout’s adoption fee.
Tears of sadness over losing her beloved cat of four years turned into tears of joy. Shout, renamed Anubis, soon started doing many of the same things Apollo had done – including stealing Snuggles’s lettuce!
Marisa is forever grateful to the PFL program and staff for all we do, but especially for helping her through a very difficult goodbye to Apollo.
Says Marisa, “I would be lost without my fur babies if it weren’t for Pets for Life.”
Diane Sullivan is the PFL Program Outreach Assistant
2022 Annual Report
Pets for Life
Keeping Pets in Their Homes
Community Dog and Cat Day