The Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation receives heartbreaking email blasts from the local shelter all the time, but something was different about this one.
In it was the story of Buttons, a 20-year-old cat given up by his owner on March 4, along with some other, younger feline siblings.
“You would think he was anti-social,” the email said, “However, when we gave his back a good scratch, he really seemed to enjoy it.”
Kathy Bieniek, Vice President of the Florida rescue group, and her team immediately responded, “He needed rescue because he wasn’t up for adoption because of his age,” she says. Bieniek picked up Buttons on Tuesday, charged with finding him a forever home.
“He’s an old boy,” says Bieniek, who brought the kitty to the Pet Express animal hospital for an evaluation. “He was very talkative the whole way over to the vet’s office.”
If Buttons was outraged about being given up at such an old age, so were people who learned of his story via Facebook.
“Yes you read that correctly, this cat is 20 years old. He was dumped at the shelter with some of his siblings. Heartbreaking isn’t it?” reads the Facebook post the rescue shared on Tuesday, just as the cat was getting much-needed medical care.
Bieniek says people reached out immediately to help the elderly feline — who has tapeworms and is now receiving IV fluids — including a woman named Jennifer who saw the Facebook post and applied to adopt him.
“She saw this story and it touched her heart,” Bieniek tells PEOPLE of the cat’s next owner, who lives in Jupiter and is expected to pick up the cat on Monday. “She is a wonderful foster mommy, she has a special place in her heart for seniors. She just adopted a week or so ago a senior around 15 years old from an elderly person.”
The Miami-based rescue is elated that Buttons will now have the comforts of a home (the other cats surrendered to the shelter with Buttons are now up for adoption at the shelter, Bieniek says).
“I am hoping this senior lives out his life getting the love and attention he so much deserves and hasn’t gotten up until this point,” she tells PEOPLE. “Nobody should be disposed of like garbage.”
To help more cats like Buttons find homes, donate to the Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation via its website.
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