Success Stories

The Most Beloved Cat in Rapid City

A photo of Benny and Kelly Meet Benny, the most beloved cat in Rapid City and his owner, Kelly.

Benny, a beautiful Bengal-colored cat, could be the most beloved pet in Rapid City, South Dakota. Just ask his two-legged friend, Kelly.

With support from Reservation Animal Rescue (RAR), Partners like the Oglala Pet Project (OPP) on the Pine Ridge Reservation help rescue, rehab and re-home injured and abandoned animals. Benny is one of four animals that Kelly has adopted from OPP — two dogs and two cats.

A photo of Benny and Boo Benny and Boo now live their best lives together with Kelly and this couldn't have been possible without the help of our donors and Program Partners.

Animals rescued on the reservations are often found in horrific conditions. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, OPP frequently finds animals at the dump. Usually, someone could not afford their care, or the animals have always been homeless.

“Benny [was rescued by OPP] from the dump in Kyle, South Dakota, living there with no mother or anything. And he was tiny, he was in bad shape. I don’t know what he looked like, but I mean, when I adopted him at 9 weeks, he was still so little. So, I can’t even imagine, ” said Kelly.

Benny’s “brother” Boo was rescued by OPP in the Black Hills of South Dakota. After he was injured by fireworks, a veterinarian had to amputate his tail. “[Boo] is awesome — no tail, no fear and he can’t meow; he squeaks,” Kelly told us.

After Benny and Boo were healthy and old enough to be adopted, Kelly brought them into her loving family. OPP covered all their health care for spaying and neutering, microchipping and immunizations before Benny came to live at the store.

“The follow up care that you get with OPP is outstanding,” Kelly beamed. “No one else is going to do that… they gave me exactly what I needed.”

Benny lives in Kelly’s storefront, Vintage Chicks 605. He greets her at the door each day before taking a nap on one of his many beds. Kelly proudly shows him off with portraits on the wall and gives away stickers with his face on them. Customers regularly visit to shower Benny with love and gifts.

“[Benny] knows no stranger. Not this guy… he makes everybody happy, and he is [so small]… so if a cat can do that, everybody needs ten of them,” Kelly said, wiping away tears.

A customer recently asked if Kelly has ever had a cat that has loved her as much as Benny. “No, I’ve never had one that has loved me that much,” she answered. We know the feeling is mutual!

In 2021, RAR provided supplies or spay/neuter services for 2,727 dogs and cats. It is because of supportive and generous friends like you that cats like Benny can get the care they need — saving their lives — and helping them live their best life with fosters and new forever families. When you support RAR, you are a part of the miracle of animals on the reservation finding the care they need and their forever home.


Our Mission: Serving immediate needs. Supporting long-term solutions.
Our Vision: Strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

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