This is Prince William. When I first met him and his dedicated and loving owner, it was plain to see that their bond was special. Prince William is a bit of a grumpy old man but loved his owner — especially when they would give him those irresistible cheek and chin scratches! When Prince William was diagnosed with diabetes, it turned their lives upside down. For a first-time diabetic pet owner, learning to care for a newly diagnosed cat is hard.
There is a slew of vet appointments, constant monitoring and managing insulin injections. For Prince William’s owner, who was facing their own health challenges, this made his care even more complicated. Thanks to donors, Prince William and his family weren’t alone.
My name is Kelly Bremken, and I am Oregon Humane Society’s first Veterinary Social Worker.
A Veterinary Social Worker is a bit of a unicorn, you probably haven’t met one out in the wild yet! It is a brand new specialty that focuses on the important and evolving bond between people and animals. When OHS is helping animals, we are also helping people. It’s why I joined OHS, and it’s how I came to meet Prince William and his former family.
We worked together for weeks to exhaust every option for managing Prince William’s new diagnosis; creating feeding and medication schedules, providing supplies and guidance to help keep this sweet and sassy cat together with his family. I also worked with Prince William’s family to ensure they were taking advantage of the social and health care services they needed.
Ultimately, Prince William’s family made the difficult decision to surrender him to OHS. This allowed Prince William to continue receiving the intensive care that he needed, and his owner could return to focusing on managing their own health.
While this was a difficult decision for them, this isn’t a story of heartbreak or sadness.
Prince William’s story is one of love. It is love that brought him to OHS and it is love that helped carry him through until adoption day.
After Prince William was surrendered to OHS, I stayed in contact with his former family. They were happy to get both health updates from the medical team, as well as photos from our adoring staff. They even donated to help sponsor his daily care. They missed him terribly, and I was available with resources for support.
Prince William wasn’t living in their home anymore, but they were certainly still family.
After his month-long stay with our fantastic staff, Prince William was adopted! His new family had recently lost their own diabetic cat, so they were well-practiced in the complex and lifelong care Prince William needed. His former family was ecstatic to learn the news.
The bond between people and their pets doesn’t just disappear when they are separated. Prince William’s happiness with his new family is built on the foundation of the love and care of his former family. Their bravery and commitment to his best life, as well as your support of pets in need, is what gives pets like Prince William their new chance.
When you give to OHS, you ensure that pets like Prince William have access to medical care and behavioral support, helping them through whatever circumstance brought them to the shelter. When you give, it generates the support and resources OHS provides to our community; resources like veterinary social work, helping to preserve the strong and loving bond between pets and their people.
You can partner in the work for more pets in need by giving today. Thank you!