By: Mimi Pollack
Looking at her blue eyes and gorgeous coat, nobody would ever suspect that Riley was once a very sick seal point Siamese that was going to be euthanized. Debra’s Parmenter found her at the Carlsbad shelter, and after Riley weakly head butted her, decided to adopt her even though the prognosis was bleak. Riley was a year old at the time, and now nine years later, she is the queen of Debra’s household. She is also the conduit that started Debra on her path as a foster for the Southern California Siamese Rescue Organization. She is now on the board of directors and specializes in rescuing, fostering and finding good homes for Siamese kittens. At this time, she has three of her own [Riley, Truman, and Tiger], and is fostering five more, including Natasha [who will soon be with her forever mom in Alaska], Ace, Lindy [a sweet boy with one eye], Henry, and a special needs girl named Aaracely. The last four are looking for good homes. In her six years doing this, Debra has fostered around 60 cats.
It hasn’t always been easy, but all the happy endings make up for the sad ones. To be a foster, you have to have compassion and grit. Debra has both. The shelters in Southern California call the volunteers to come and pick up the kittens and cats that have been dropped off. Many of them are not purebred Siamese, but they all have to have blue eyes and “points” to be fostered and put up for adoption by the organization. Many of the cats are sick, so the fosters have to nurse them back to health, give them love and affection, and help to find suitable forever homes. Sometimes it is hard not to get attached. Debra also explained that a foster needs to have a household set up for this with separate rooms for the sick and healthy cats, and also to keep the cats apart as new ones are introduced into the mix. The medical expenses are paid for by the organization, but the foster foots the bill for food, litter, and toys. The kittens are fixed at 10-12 weeks and put up for adoption after they are 12 weeks old.
Southern California Siamese rescue began in 2005 when the California Siamese rescue was divided into two groups to better serve all the cats in need. Karen Dauphin, a lawyer, is the director. She is in charge of all the administrative duties. Susan Ellis, like Debra, also serves on the board, and is one of the main people in charge of public relations, marketing, fundraising and doing phone interviews with potential adopters. There is not a central office and all the board members and volunteers work out of their homes.
Siamese are a special breed and due to their nature, don’t fare well in shelters or on the streets. SCASR fosters all their cats in private homes, so they get to know the cats and kittens to better match them up with potential adopters. They try to ensure that all the cats and kittens are healthy and California law states that all cats be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. In addition, all the cats are tested for Feline Aids, Feline Leukemia, and given all the necessary shots.
Because of the large number of homeless Siamese at the shelters and on the streets, SCASR is always looking for suitable fosters and volunteers who are willing to help in any way the can. This organization relies on donations and fundraising.
For more information on adopting, fostering, volunteering or donating, check out their website at http://cs.siameserescue.org
Welcome to Spencer’s Corner! Under the watchful eye of a very special Belgian Malinois, named Spencer, Mimi Pollack, an avid animal lover, will relay stories about our furry friends and the special people and organizations that protect and love them.