By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Being an animal lover can be a dangerous thing.
How so? Well, being an animal lover makes it incredibly difficult to take a trip down to the local animal shelter to work on a story about all the cute cats, dogs, kittens and puppies. It makes it difficult to walk through the shelter and resist the urge to bring an animal home with you that very second.
Over the course of my career I’ve done more than a few stories that revolve around animal shelters. The subjects of the stories vary. Sometimes they’re like the one you’ll find in this week’s issue of the Port Isabel – South Padre PRESS, where the shelter is hoping to spur interest in animal adoptions by holding a special adoption event.
Sometimes, the stories are a little sadder, such as the times I helped cover the story of a funding crisis at another Rio Grande Valley shelter. They hoped the increased media coverage could help them keep their doors open just a little bit longer. And it worked, because, like me, a lot of people have a really big soft spot in their hearts for our four-legged friends.
But no matter the reason for the story, an animal shelter story can’t get done without an actual trip to the shelter. And so it was that I made the drive down Port Road and behind the Little League fields in Port Isabel, down the narrow strip of asphalt that looks like it leads to a forgotten nowhere. I drove down to the point just before that little road ends, to the small, but brightly decorated building that is the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter.
Officially, I was there to speak to shelter staff about their upcoming Clear the Shelter event, but as I waited for Animal Control Director John Sandoval to arrive, I decided to take a quick peek at the cats.
Just one quick peek, I told myself. Of course, that was a small lie. I walked towards the cat room at the back of the shelter, past all the dogs with their quite persuasive puppy dog eyes. The room was filled with adult cats and kittens lounging in their cages. Immediately, one cat named Vanessa caught my eye.
She’s a large tabby, with black-striped brown fur, speckled green eyes and a quiet curiosity about her gaze. She instantly started rubbing up against the bars of her temporary home, seeking out friendly scratches behind her ears. A minute later, she flopped onto her back for a tummy scratch.
She was such a sweetheart and sat quietly observing us as I spoke with John and Lexus, one of the shelter’s staff members, about the Clear the Shelter event. She reminded me so much of my own cat — who is also a shelter rescue — right down to how she likes belly rubs, just like him. I admit, my heart strings were feeling quite a strong tug. John joked that it would only take a minute to fill out the adoption paperwork for her.
There are a lot of really amazing animals at the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter. Whether you want a lap cat or a pooch you can take for jogs on the beach, the shelter is filled to capacity right now with loving animals looking for their forever home. I know Vanessa would be a great addition to any family.
If you’d like to see Vanessa — or any of the shelter’s furry friends — for yourself, stop by this Saturday. As part of the Clear the Shelter event, all adoption fees will be waived.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.