Seeing a homeless person begging for money on the corner of Main Street or underneath an underpass is common.
But what if you are homeless and cannot speak a human language, let alone hold up a “Hungry, will work for food,” sign or “God Bless”, because you have fur, paws and a tail?
This is what six million to eight million homeless animals in the United States face each year. According to the Citizen Animal Protection Service (CAPS), it handles 125,000 stray animals annually in Houston.
JoAnne Jackson, director of administrative services at CASPS, said that of the 125,000 animals, 4,186 have been adopted through CAPS, while 6,138 have been euthanized this year.
“In order for each animal that is born in this country to have a home, every person in this country would have to adopt at least three animals every day,” Jackson said.
Last year in Houston, the Sliva family adopted a black kitten from CAPS.
It was five days before Christmas Eve, Cara Sliva recalled. She had to make an addition to the Sliva family as a Christmas gift to her daughter, Catherine.
“I walked through the front door of CAPS and headed straight to the cat/kitten section,” Sliva said. “I saw many, many kittens for adoption. I picked one up, a black kitten, because I liked the way she looked.
“But the kitten seemed a little bit aloof and not very friendly,” Sliva said with a laugh.
As Sliva headed to the next cage, where those kittens seemed friendlier than the black kitten, a CAPS employee approached her.
Sliva said the employee told her that the black kitten would be healthier n the long run. That led her to adopt the black kitten. But Santa decided that it was too cold for the kitten to be delivered on Christmas, so he delivered her on Christmas Eve in the middle of the day.
“When the kids saw the little black kitten in the carrier on that front porch step, there was just a note that read, ‘to Catherine, from Santa,'” Silva said. “Catherine was overjoyed, but (my son) Chris just said ‘Nun-un, Mom, it is not just for Catherine, right?'”