Success Stories

Damsel in Distress

Sadly, no matter how many signs you post, abandoned animals can typically be rescued at the community dump. Many of the our Program Partners serving our four-legged friends throughout the different reservations we support in the Northern Plains and Southwest know this fact all too well

We recently traveled with our partner, Andrea of Oglala Pet Project (OPP), during a dump rescue. Andrea met us out at the dump and she came prepared. Her SUV is almost always equipped with a kennel, some blankets (courtesy of RAR Animal Welfare services), plus some treats or food. She expects the unexpected and anticipates the unknown. This preparedness almost always has its rewards and this day did not disappoint.

It was pretty windy when we followed Andrea to the dump. It had just rained in the area the day before, but the wind was blowing the trash around and drying out all the mud. This was indicative of the heavy trucks that navigated their way through the landfill.

It was pretty clear by the prints engraved into the ground that this was a spot where animals roam. Paw prints — big and small — traversed their way between the many dumpsters.

Once Andrea pulled her vehicle over, her door creaked open and she pulled out a bag of dog food she would use for inticement of the beautiful “blue” cat that was searching for safety and food.

“Who dumps a Russian Blue,” she asked as she gently — and quickly — approached the cat. She knew if she didn’t walk cautiously and swiftly, the cat would bolt, making it unlikely that she would be rescued that day. Not having cat food available that day, Andrea dropped kibbles of dog food near the cat and called, “Here Kitty, Kitty.” When the cat ignored the offering, Andrea turned around and joked, “She says ‘That’s not cat food!’”

Once the beautiful feline was within reach, Andrea gently grabbed the cat, scooping her up and pulling her close to pet and reassure her. Andrea then placed one of our emergency blankets on the top of the kennel to darken the kennel and gradually placed the cat inside.

Andrea was rapidly on the phone making deals for the vet to assess her new furry charge. Within minutes, the cat already had a name — Anastasia. We were heading back to Rapid City that day and offered to transport Anastasia to the veterinarian. A few hours later, Anastasia was transferred to a vet tech at a clinic where she was evaluated.

Finding foster placement for Anastasia didn’t take long. Her new forever companion, Jana, was a longtime supporter of OPP. Jana happily opened her home to the dump damsel.

After several months of trying to place Anastasia with two potential adoptees — each unfortunately falling through — Jana determined she would keep the lovely cat; Anastasia was already home. She also decided to give her four-legged friend a new name: Katya.

When the adoptions didn’t work out, Jana said, “I knew she would stay.” When we asked if there was a way to get some updated photos of Katya, Jana said she would try, but that, “she is the least photogenic cat I've ever met, so it can be tricky.” If photos were available, Jana added that they would, “catch her chasing the dog to her new favorite past time of grooming her brother.”

Partners like Andrea are extremely dedicated to the welfare of our four-leggeds. Thankfully, Andrea was able to help this beautiful damsel in distress, once abandoned in the dump, yet now loving life with her new forever family!


Dump Sign

Dump Sign

If you are unable to view the video, you may download it here — Anastasia Video