Cats that arrived at Heritage Humane during Hurricane Florence still waiting for homes

Staff writer

Heritage Humane Society has found homes for 320 cats since the beginning of 2019, but Isla, who has been at the shelter since September 2018 as a Hurricane Florence rescue, has not been one of them.

“She’s got a lot of spunk,” said Jennifer Lafountain, who serves as the volunteer and community engagement manager for Heritage Humane. “One of her favorite things to do here at the shelter is birdwatch.”

The Humane Society of the United States arranged for animals who were already in shelters to be brought north to make room for animals displaced in the Carolinas by Hurricane Florence. When Heritage Humane and other peninsula shelters received a plea for help, Operations and Program Services Manager Diana Krell went to Delaware, where the national organization set up a local shelter as a staging area to facilitate transfers.

“We all basically picked animals to bring back, and she and Gucci were in this cage and both looked so terribly sad,” Krell said. “The person that was with me said, ‘We need these two.’ ”

The shelter took in 10 dogs and five cats as a part of Hurricane Florence relief efforts. Isla and Gucci are the last remaining animals from this group, according to Lafountain.

Gucci was adopted in December 2018 but was returned in May 2019. Krell said his adopter took on a family member’s dog after the family member died and Gucci did not get along with the dog.

Krell said Gucci is shy, but loves pets from visitors.

“He’s very laid back,” Krell said. “He will sit in your lap if things are quiet, but if there’s a lot of commotion going on, he’ll just kind of stay out of the way and not hide necessarily, but you probably wouldn’t know someone had a cat in their house until everything quieted down.”

As to why Isla hasn’t been adopted yet, Lafountain said she can be reserved around people until she gets to know them.

“We’ve had cats here before that have been some longer residents that people just overlook,” she said. “… [Isla’s] certainly not a kitty cat that’ll immediately come up to you and start loving and rubbing all over you. She’s one that takes some time.”

Both Lafountain and Krell said Isla and Gucci would do well in quiet homes with older children. Both cats are 3 years old, with Gucci closing in on his fourth birthday. They have been vaccinated, spayed and neutered.

Krell would love for them to be adopted together.

“[Isla and Gucci] would be great if they could go together because they were living together,” she said.

Want to know more?

If you are interested in adopting Isla and Gucci, visit heritagehumane.org, email info@heritagehumane society.org or call 757-221-0150 for more information.

To meet the cats, stop by the shelter at 430 Waller Mill Road. Adoption hours are from noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The shelter is closed on Monday for cleaning.

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