EAST COUNTY — As Fanny slowly slinked across the living room in her new home, she tried to be invisible. The Siamese cat sneaked toward her food bowl in the kitchen, hoping her owner, Pat Schubert, didn’t notice her.
“She’s very skittish,” Schubert said. “She hasn’t let me hold her yet, and she doesn’t come toward me.”
But Fanny’s overly shy nature doesn’t discourage or surprise Schubert. Her cat has been through hardships during her short life.
Schubert adopted the 2-and-a-half-year-old cat Jan. 23. She is the last of the dogs and cats Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue confiscated after authorities raided Napier’s Log Cabin Horse & Animal Sanctuary last year.
Fanny occasionally surfaces for food, water and bathroom breaks throughout the day. She only roams the East County house at night while Schubert sleeps, and hides under the dresser in Schubert’s bedroom most of the day.
Fanny was named Fendi while she lived at the East County shelter.
Because of her reserved personality, Fanny took the longest of the raid animals to find a forever home, said Karen Slomba, Honor’s associate director.
Fanny was adopted two other times, but later returned because she was so shy.
Before shelter volunteers made a home for Fanny at Honor and named her, she was known to law enforcement as No. 56.
Slomba believes the cat’s past experiences at the Napier property contribute to her uneasy nature.
Honor took in 75 animals during the raid — Fanny, 13 other cats and 61 dogs.
Slomba remembers the first time she saw Fanny.
Then, just a year and a few months old, the cat lived in a small cage with three other cats, including an unneutered male cat. She was considered a breeding cat that the shelter owners would use to produce kittens, Slomba said.
“There was no water in her cage, and she looked frightened,” Slomba said. “But, she was still gorgeous. I thought at that time, that we could place her right away. It wasn’t until a week later that I started to see how shy and nervous she was.”
After bringing the animals to the shelter, Slomba and other Honor employees and volunteers had veterinarians check the animals for diseases.
Fanny and the other cats had contracted ringworm and spent six weeks in isolation. Other animals were quarantined for four weeks to ensure they were healthy and wouldn’t get adoptable animals sick.
Only 20% of the raid animals were already spayed or neutered, and most needed dental work.
Volunteers also spent time in kennels with the animals to comfort them through the transition from the Napier’s property to the colorful cottages at the Ranch shelter.
Nathan, an elderly Dachshund, was the first animal taken from the Napier’s to be adopted. He found a home March 23, 2014.
Normally, Honor’s adoption counselors can OK an adoption, but management had to approve adoptions of Fanny and other Napier raid animals because of the animals’ fragile physical and mental states.
“It was just a very lengthy process,” Slomba said. “But it was worth it. We needed to be careful with whom we let adopt the animals.”
Finding homes for the animals is a highlight of Slomba’s career.
“This gave me the best feeling ever,” Slomba said. “Now these animals get care, love and attention; they are part of people’s families.
“As grateful as we are at the shelter for adopters, those people are grateful to have a role in giving animals a better life,” she said. “It’s really neat to see that. In my 14 years in animal rescuing, this is the one thing I’m most proud of.”
Adopters email Honor Executive Director Dari Oglesby, Slomba and other Honor staff members and volunteers updated photos of the animals and letters describing how each animal is adjusting to his or her new home.
Although Fanny is still reserved and prefers to be alone most of the day, Schubert said she’s making progress.
Fanny will sit in the same room as her owner, even if only for a few minutes at a time.
“When I woke up the other morning, she was in the bedroom and she sat there until she eventually laid down in the middle of the floor,” Schubert explained. “I was sitting on the bed talking to her, and she meowed back to me. There’s hope, so we’ll be just fine.”
0 - Napier animals left at Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue
14 - Cats came to Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue from the raid at the Napier’s property
62 - Dogs came to Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue from the raid
1,500 - Honor’s 2015 adoption goal
How to help
Although the animals taken Feb. 5, 2014, from the raid on Napier’s Log Cabin Horse & Animal Sanctuary have all found homes, more than 160 dogs and cats haven’t.
Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue’s Ranch Adoption Center keeps its kennels occupied and always needs supplies and monetary donations.
Dog walkers and other volunteers are also needed.
Call 747-4900 for more information.
Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].