A Loving Home
Nicole loves being around the kids, and Melissa says the kids benefit.
“We love animals. If my kids see a stray cat outside, they go get it,” says Melissa of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
Last year, she adopted two cats from the local Wakpá Wasté Animal Shelter. This shelter gets support to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abandoned, injured and unwanted pets from Reservation Animal Rescue (RAR), a program of Partnership With Native Americans.
Melissa has six children, with the youngest three still at home. Marni, age 11, and her older sister Jolie visited the shelter in November 2021, falling in love with Nicole, a mixed-breed cat.
Melissa (left) pictured with her daughter Marni (right)
Nicole was a mama cat, brought to the shelter earlier that year with her kittens. Once old enough, the litter was sent to a partnering animal rescue. Our Program Partner Ethel from Wakpá Wasté, says Nicole was very skinny when she first arrived. But once at the center, Nicole was well-cared, including vaccines and spay service.
One month after bringing Nicole home, Melissa’s family decided they had room for one more Bethany, a beautiful calico cat. Bethany was dropped off at the shelter a few weeks prior, in good condition. Bethany loves her new family, but her favorite person to spend time with is Marni, whom she sleeps with every night.
Bethany, a beautiful calico cat. Bethany loves her new family, but her favorite person to spend time with is Marni, whom she sleeps with every night.
Every week, Melissa picks up cat food and litter from the shelter to support the animals. “Extra supplies like cat food help us out, especially since we’re a single-income family.” Melissa also appreciates the vaccines provided at the shelter. “If it wasn’t for the shelter giving the cats their shots, we wouldn’t be able to afford it.” With such great support, Melissa’s family is open to adopting more animals from Wakpá Wasté in the future.
Nicole loves being around the kids, and Melissa says the kids benefit. “Cats are healthy for humans. When a cat purrs on your chest, it helps circulate everything. When you’re sad, Nicole comes over and loves you up!”
Ethel appreciates families like Melissa’s, saying that the shelter is completely full of cats and dogs. “We’re overwhelmed and can’t take any more animals at this time.” Each year in the U.S., 1.5 million shelter animals are estimated to be euthanized, but Wakpá Wasté is a no-kill shelter. Ethel works with multiple animal associations to find these pets a forever home. Your support of RAR helps partners like Wakpá Wasté care for more animals like Nicole and Bethany.