Every year, there are more than 100,000 cats and dogs in need of loving new homes across the country. And during these difficult times of stress and uncertainty, the joy of pet companionship is especially important.
In Saint John, New Brunswick, the Hemmings family can relate to this. After what she says was two years of begging, 10-year-old Kaiya, along with her younger sister, Willow, and their family, visited their local SPCA Animal Rescue centre.
“We thought we really, really wanted a kitty,” says Kaiya. When they arrived at the shelter, they saw cats of different shapes, colours, and sizes. However, she and Willow were attracted to the black cats the most because someone told them it was “harder for them to find a forever home” because of superstition.
The sisters were drawn to older cats and those who looked a little different from the others. This led them to meet Percy, a loveable one-eyed furry feline.
“We saw Percy with his one eye, and he purred so loud it was like a motor,” says Kaiya. She goes on to say that Percy looked at the family and thought, “‘That’s the family I’m going to be in, I love them.'”
Heartfelt scenes of this first meeting show Percy coming towards the family and “hugging” them — moments which let the Hemmings know they had found their forever cat. “We didn’t really choose Percy; Percy chose us,” says Kaiya.
“Right when we got Percy, we loved him. He was such a perfect cat to our family. He cuddles with us; he follows us around. He’s kind of like a dog because he picks up his ball and brings it to us and drops it, and that means he wants to play.”
She says it’s important for kids to adopt a pet because, every year, there are over 100,000 cats and dogs across Canada that are looking for a home — a forever home.
This story is part of a collection of pet adoption tales that shine a light on the joy of companionship. Created by award-winning producer, Greg Hemmings (Kaiya’s dad), in partnership with ROYALE (a brand long associated with adorable kittens), the series demonstrates the need to find forever homes for animals across Canada.
Although many Canadian animal shelters have been restricted due to COVID-19, animals are still arriving at their locations. Plus, a decrease in donations and limited staffing mean shelters now require unprecedented levels of support.
To help raise awareness and funding for the needs being faced by animal shelters, ROYALE is calling on Canadians to support through the Home for Every Pet Project. The initiative aims to find forever homes for the 100,000 cats and dogs in need of adoption each year in Canada. It highlights a collection of adoption stories, featuring six pets and the stories of how they have given their adopted families the joy of companionship. Visit royale.ca/pets to check them out.
To learn more about how ROYALE is working to support Canadian animal shelters, visit the ROYALE website now.