Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saving Raggedy Ann, Part 1: The Rescue

Every cat has a story. For some it's happy, for others it's tragic. For many it's unknown.

Over the past several weeks Mudpie and I have been following the story of a cat named Raggedy Ann who was rescued from a horrific hoarding situation in Yuma, AZ. Our hearts were touched by her sweet face, her adorable name, and her incredible spirit, and we've been thrilled to see how she's thrived under the care of her amazing foster family.

When Mudpie reached out to Raggedy Ann with the request for an interview she readily agreed to take time from her rehabilitation to answer our questions, and she left us in awe once again when we discovered she holds no ill will in her heart towards the person who mistreated her. She only wants her original mom to get the help she needs and to shine a light on the mental health issue of animal hoarding. If only humans had such a forgiving heart.

Raggedy Ann's "tail" can't be told in just one day, so we've broken down the interview into two parts. Today's installment covers the horror Ann was rescued from. I hope everyone reading this is as inspired by Raggedy Ann's story as we are.


Welcome, Raggedy Ann! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live in your wonderful foster home?

Thank you Mudpie for wanting to tell my story. My name is Raggedy Ann, they guess that I am around 14 years old, but I only have four teeth so it is hard to really tell how old I am. I was rescued from what is known as a hoarding situation. I wasn’t safe there and the police were called. Animal Control also came out and they took my friends and me to the local shelter. That’s where I met my first human friend, Karen from Azure Sky Imagery who does volunteer photography for the shelter. She took a liking to me and posted a picture of me asking for help. That’s when my foster mom saw me for the first time. She said her heart broke and she had to do something. Luckily, she fosters for Saving One Life and they also thought the same thing. So, Saving One Life and my foster mom decided to take me in.

What conditions were you forced to live in and how were you treated?

When the police and animal control came to inspect where I was living before, I was found living in really bad conditions. I had 40 other kitty friends that lived with me and as well as two dogs. We all shared a double wide trailer our mom was renting. The house was so filthy and full that our mom was living outside in her driveway. Some of my friends had passed away before being rescued. It was so sad and it could have easily been me. They were great kitties, that just didn’t have enough to eat and a chance to see a vet when they got sick.

How long did this go on and how were you finally rescued?

My rescuers aren’t quite sure and to be honest it was such a blur. I just remember being really hungry and my teeth hurting. It must have been a while though, because I lost most of my teeth and according to my foster mom I looked like a walking skeleton.

What makes people hoard animals?

My foster mom tells me that it wasn’t my mommy's fault. That animal hoarding is part of a disease and that without treatment, can just get worse. Many people who hoard animals, do in fact love their animals, they just become overwhelmed. They also are in denial that they are overwhelmed so they continue to take in animals and that what results in starvation and deaths. When my foster mom picked me up from the local shelter that took me in, I weighed only three pounds and fifteen ounces. My foster mom says that’s the same weight as a four month old kitten. I am missing most of my teeth, due to not having enough good healthy food to eat. I have four remaining ones that are rotting and keeping me sick. My vet says I should be healthy enough to get them removed next month and that it will make it so I don’t have an infection anymore.

What's going to happen to those who hurt you?

I’m not sure what is going to happen to my original mom. She has a court hearing coming up and my foster mom is going to attend and speak on my behalf. She wants to be able to remind the court that my mom needs help. She is suffering from a mental health disease and needs treatment, otherwise she will just continue to collect animals because she thinks she is helping them.

How did you get your adorable name?

I love my new name, my foster mom just calls me Ann for short. Since I’m not so Raggedy anymore. She picked that name because of the way I looked when she first picked me up.


A new name. A new life. 

Please join us tomorrow for part 2 of Raggedy Ann's story: The Recovery. 


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

Poor little girl - I'm so glad she is in safe hands now. I'm really looking forward to part 2 of her story - thank you so much for sharing it!

Mickey's Musings said...

What a sad story.
It is hard to see a kitty so skinny.
We are happy Ann is in a good ,safe place and is getting better.
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ

The Menagerie Mom said...

Oh, wow, what an inspiring kitty you are, (Raggedy) Ann, with such an amazing story to tell. Hoarding is such a sad disease, and I hope your original mom gets the help she needs. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Ann and Mudpie!

Hannah and Lucy said...

This has just made me cry as the RSPCA rescued over a 100 cats from a house and Hannah and Lucy were two of the lucky ones who were there and I was allowed to bring them home.

Unknown said...

Oh, those poor kitties! We hope Raggedy Ann and the others get to go to homes where they will be cared for like the treasures they are.

The Island Cats said...

Oh what a sad story! We're so glad Ann is safe now and doing better. We look forward to hearing the rest of her story.

Anonymous said...

I've been following Saving Raggedy Ann, on Facebook, and have been amazed with Ann's recovery. As sad as it is others didn't make it out of the situation, it is heartwarming to follow Ann. She is a survivor and her foster mom is an angel on earth.

pilch92 said...

Poor kitty, she was literally fur and bones. I am so glad she was helped and is going to have a good life now.

Dragonheart, Merlin, Devi, and Chloe said...

Oh my. Our mom is crying over this. We are glad she has a wonderful foster mom now.

The Swiss Cats said...

Poor girl, what a sad story. Thank you for telling it like you did, we often forget that hoarders need help too. Purrs

Unknown said...

Does anyone know what happened to the other cats?

Two French Bulldogs said...

Ahhhh, hugs to Raggedy Ann
Lily & Edward

Hairballsandhissyfits.com said...

what a wonderful story of triumph! Frodo, Amarula and Zulu all wish her best of luck! hairballsandhissyfits.com

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Raggedy Ann; we haz asked R pal St Francis to send mega mega blessingz yur way; two ewe N all yur house mates.......we R troo lee sorree life took ewe down thiz trail; thanx for bee in sew brave & sharin yur storee, we will be bak two morrow two reed part two......♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


It's so hard to look at the 'before' pictures. But we are so glad that Ann has found a safe home and we are glad love won again!

Robin said...

Poor Raggedy Ann! I'm so glad that the rescue organization was able to jump in and help her. Hoarding situations are very difficult - we have a lot of them around here. I'm so glad that her foster mom is pushing for help for the hoarder. These people are suffering too and the only way to really end the cycle of abuse/neglect is to get the hoarder the help they need.
-Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

Unknown said...

Raggedy Ann is adorable even if she so thin. It hurts my heart to hear of her old home but I'm glad she doing so much better. I hope her mom gets the help she needs and not jail time.

Cathy Keisha said...

That poor, poor little girl! When the peeps got Mitzi and me she came from a hoarding situation. TW feels bad cos that woman got her back since she wasn’t happy here. Anyways, Gramma had those exact same Raggedy Anns. She used to collect them rather than cats.

Noodle Cat said...

Oh the poor little baby!
She is soooo sweet.
We're so glad she's doing better and has a wonderful home now.

Noodle and crew

Kitties Blue said...

What a wonderful thing that Ann is being nurtured and given a new life. The situation with animal hoarders is so sad. We hope this darling's original mom gets the help she needs. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

Three Chatty Cats said...

Oh my god, those pictures are horrific and made me gasp out loud. I can't believe Raggedy Ann survived through that. I feel just awful for her, but at the same time glad she was rescued. Off to read part 2 right now!