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Mason deserves a New Year’s miracle

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By Shannon Brock

Curled up in his litter box inside the Anderson Humane Society, Mason has no idea how many people have made it their New Year’s resolution to find him a home.

He has no idea that one picture of his scared little face has touched the hearts of local residents and people across the world.

That’s right, Mason has cheerleaders all the way in Australia.

Somehow, some way the CatRescue in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia received an e-mail from Kentucky containing Mason’s picture along with the pictures of several other animals at the Anderson Humane Society. The CatRescue receives lots of these “crossposts,” which feature pets that need a new home whether near or far away.

But something about Mason stood out.

Derek Knox, who works with CatRescue, said via e-mail that Mason had a look he’d seen before.

“That same terrified look we have seen so many times,” he said.

Knox said he wanted to help Mason and the Humane Society volunteers.

“(They) do such amazing work for so many animals and people in the local community — on a tiny budget,” he said. “It broke our hearts, so we used our resources to make a difference.”

‘They wanted to do all they could’

Anderson Humane Society President Donna Callahan said the whole situation has been “mind boggling.”

Humane Society volunteer Sandy Kiser sends out regular updates via e-mail featuring the society’s newest adoptable pets. Callahan said she thinks this is the e-mail the CatRescue received, but she has no idea how many times it had been passed along to get from Kiser in Lawrenceburg to the CatRescue in Sydney.

Knox and his colleague, Kelly Lachman, contacted the Humane Society through e-mail and expressed their intentions to help Mason find a home.

“They realized they couldn’t come adopt him, but they wanted to do all they could,” Callahan said.

Knox and Lachman sent enough money to the Humane Society to cover most of Mason’s needs. When he arrived at the shelter, he had a case of the sniffles, so they sent money for that, Callahan said. They also sent money to go toward other veterinary fees, including having him neutered.

“We got donations together to fund desexing and any treatment needed,” Knox said. “We then sent out an e-mail to several thousand U.S.A.-based readers of our blog and let them know, paid for an ad, put a few notices up.

“If we could we would have posters on milk cartons around the state. This is one cat that will find a home.”

Mason’s story

Some of the reasons Knox and Lachman wanted to help Mason are some of the same reasons the kitten may have trouble getting adopted.

Mason and a friend, Lilly, were picked up on Edgewood Way on Dec. 22. It was a cold day with snow and ice in the forecast. Some Good Samaritan picked the two kittens up knowing they didn’t have much chance for survival out in the elements and took them to the Humane Society, Callahan said.

While Lilly is a playful, energetic kitten, Mason is just the opposite.

“When you go back there to get him, he runs to the back of the cage,” Callahan said.

For whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to trust people. It is possible that Mason was abused before he was picked up on Edgewood, but there is no way of knowing, Callahan said.

Mason’s timid personality could deter potential families from adopting him, Knox said.

“We knew that Mason would have less chance for a home as scared kittens don’t attract people, but we know that Mason will rapidly become a loving cat in the right home.”

An international first

— on both accounts

Sydney is in the middle of “cat season” and the CatRescue has its own animals to help.

“We’ve not reached outside of our own community, let alone the U.S.A., but Mason and the AHS people deserved a New Year’s miracle,” Knox said.

“We have over 100 cats in care right now, and Mason represents their story.”

And, other than sending some Great Danes to a rescue in Canada, the Humane Society hasn’t had any international relations either.

“Never this far,” Callahan said. “We’ve had a lot of adoptions out of state, but never out of country.”

Both organizations are hoping for the best for Mason in 2009. In fact, Knox said this New Year’s will always belong to Mason.

“Mason has a photo on our wall here, and we would love to know that he has met a safe and kind new family that will see who he is beyond the fear of people,” Knox said. “We will always remember this as Mason’s New Year’s.”

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.