It’s February, and we are thinking about hearts. It’s American Heart Month and National Cat Health Month. Plus, Valentine’s Day and Love your Pet Day fall in the middle of the month. Most importantly, with a name like Hart 2 Heart, how can we NOT have hearts on our minds. So, this month we are specifically thinking about the heart health of our families – both human and furry.
To maintain a healthy heart for yourself, doctors recommend daily exercise, a nutritious diet, a healthy weight, quality sleep, not smoking, stress management and regular health screenings. While the risk factors of human heart disease are not a concern for your pet, taking care of yourself is beneficial to your pets. Not smoking is good for your pets because they can be victims of secondhand smoke. The more smokers in the home, the higher the levels of nicotine metabolites found in family pets. Exercising and following a wholesome diet are good for you and making sure your pet gets exercise and eats nutritiously is a good way to avoid pet obesity, which can have an adverse effect on your pet’s overall health.
One of the best ways to show love for your furry sweethearts is to take care of them. National Cat Health Month is a reminder to schedule a yearly checkup. Note any concerns you have about your pet’s physical wellbeing and behavior issues so you are prepared to talk about them with your vet. Cats are notorious for hiding any problems they may have, so a wellness visit is a great opportunity to identify any areas that may be impacting your pet’s health. During a wellness exam, your veterinarian can monitor your pet's overall health and check for diseases that can be difficult to spot in the early stages.
So, celebrate love throughout February! Take care of yourself and your pets too!
We couldn’t choose which cat to feature this month, so we chose two!
Missy and Natalie are both at our partner pet store, PetSmart in Warminster, PA. Stop by to meet them. You’ll fall in love!
Sweet Missy was abandoned after a house fire left her homeless. She was taken in by some caring neighbors and is now ready for her forever home. Missy has a clouded eye and is blind in that eye; however, her other eye has perfect vision. She is shy, but also friendly and sweet. Missy is super soft, loves pets and chin scratches. She’ll make a great companion.
Natalie was found with her two babies. Now that her kittens have been adopted, she is ready to move on and find her own forever home. Natalie is a sweet, playful Tux. She loves sitting on laps and makes friends easily. Are you ready for a new house mate?
Gina and Melinda - a family affair
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 7th grade English teacher in the Central Bucks School District, and my daughter Melinda is in 5th grade in the Council Rock School District. We have an 8-year-old yellow lab named Daisy and a 1 1/2-year-old black and white domestic short hair named Snoopy (originally "Ace" at PetSmart). Melinda is an avid swimmer; she swims for her school in the fall/winter and a private swim club in the summer. Most recently, she started playing volleyball and taking guitar lessons. I love to run and have competed in many races from local 5Ks to the Philadelphia Marathon last fall.
Why do you choose to volunteer?
Melinda and I are animal lovers at heart. From my childhood until today, I have never lived without a pet by my side. It was important to me that my children have the same experience. Caring for animals, especially those in need, is both humbling and rewarding. Animals give unconditional love and ask for nothing in return. Knowing that we are facilitating that connection between a cat and their new family is the most rewarding experience.
What made you choose Hart 2 Heart Animal Rescue?
Originally, I started volunteering with my son Luke who needed volunteer hours for his Confirmation. My sister-in-law, Lisa, told us about Hart 2 Heart and her volunteer experience. It was the perfect opportunity for Luke. My daughter decided to come along not long after we started. While sports and activities have made it difficult for Luke to continue, it has become a favorite activity for Melinda.
Is there a moment or memory that stands out from your time here?
This past fall, we went to the bowling fundraiser and had a blast! It was the first time we were able to meet many of our fellow volunteers in person. The personal connections and family atmosphere really created a sense of community. We can't wait for next year!
What have you learned about yourself and/or about others through volunteering with Hart 2 Heart?
We have learned that patience and kindness go a long way. Many of the cats that come to PetSmart are frightened, and those that remain there for a long time can become depressed. A little patience and a lot of love go a long way. The same is true for the people we encounter in our daily lives. We have no idea what struggles and hardships these animals have faced, just as we never know the story behind every person we meet.
What has been the biggest surprise about volunteering with Hart 2 Heart?
We are so amazed at the individuality and distinct personalities of each cat. We never leave without a good laugh and a smile on our faces.
If you could encourage someone else to volunteer at our Rescue, what would you say?
You most certainly will not regret it! Knowing that you are helping to care for animals in need is a truly rewarding experience. Everyone is extremely supportive and flexible. You will gain a wealth of knowledge and become a part of an incredible family of volunteers.
Stay up to date
Be sure to follow us on social media and our website to learn about all the new animals available and upcoming events!
ACME Give Back Program
We are so excited to share that Hart 2 Heart has been selected to benefit from the ACME GIVE BACK Bag Program, which makes it easy for customers to contribute to their local communities.
For the month of February, whenever a $3.00 GIVE BACK Bag is purchased at the ACME located at 6640 Oxford Avenue in Philadelphia, $1 will be donated to our Rescue. This is a great way to broaden awareness and help our cause.
Fundraiser with Team Spirit
Our Foster/Volunteer, Cari, is hosting a fundraiser that supports the Rescue. Every purchase made will result in a donation to Hart 2 Heart! Several styles and designs available, with quick turnaround. Celebrate the Eagles and support the Rescue too!
Donate Gently Worn Sneakers!
Our Sneaker Drive is off to a GREAT start! We received over 100 pairs of sneakers so far!
We know that most people have extra sneakers in their closets they would like to donate rather than throw away. This sneaker recycling program helps keeps sneakers out of landfills, which has harmful effects on our environment, and helps organizations like ours raise much needed funds. The program is truly a win – win! Collect from your family and friends and contact us and we will arrrange a pick up. We hope you will participate!
Happily Ever After
Paula & Paula
My name is Paula, and I am a volunteer and occasional foster for H2H.
In October of 2022, I was approached by H2H to take a feral cat. They told me that she had been born outside by a Wawa and been there quite a while. She had gone through some trauma. I was told she was “caught” and taken to a foster home. Unfortunately, the foster home was not ideal, and they needed a new foster. It took a couple of weeks to firm up the plans. They never told me her name. When I finally asked. I was told it was “Paula”. I laughed very hard.
I said yes and Paula came into my home. She had to stay in my spare room by herself. (I got her a night light) I was told AT LEAST a couple weeks. I laughed and said “yea, it will take me a day to socialize her”. Nope. It took Paula 3 weeks to come out from under the bed. She would definitely come out at night and eat but would not let me see her. I started to take it personally. Lol. She was in the spare room for about two months before she would venture out into the house.
Very slowly, Paula started to let me at least see her. Then walk past her. Eventually, I could pet her, but NOT HER HEAD. Lol.
I was slowly falling in love. My other two cats, Zoey and Ollie, were not thrilled, but they tolerated our new houseguest. Paula gradually learned how to trust and accept love.
Paula taught me the beauty of patience, trust, and love. We had an opportunity to have her adopted out and I was ready to do the meet and greet when I just started to cry. I could not give Paula up. She had become such an important part of our home. Watching her go from a frightened, lonely, skittish cat to a little beauty who wouldn’t leave my side was such a thing of beauty.
I am so happy Paula is now part of our home. She’s the best. Thank you, Hart 2 Heart.