It has been a long 6 years that Tyson has resided at a local shelter in Dillsburg, PA. Brought in as a stray when he was about 2 1/2 years old, he has been there ever since. Because of one reason…Tyson tested positive for FIV, or the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Yes, the same FIV that our beloved feline Marmalade has been battling stigmas about during the same timeframe.
And it is because the outdated information surrounding FIV plagues these deserving animals. They are not unadoptable and their lives are just as important as any other.
But there was one thing that the shelter noted on his profile that may have caused his lengthy 6 year stay.
Hi – I’m Tyson, a friendly boy who is FIV positive. I need to live in a home as the only cat or with other FIV positive cats. I enjoy sitting on volunteer’s laps but would really enjoy a home of my own.
FIV cats can live perfectly fine with others without infecting them. FIV is spread through deep bite wounds and blood. Meaning that unless he was fighting with other felines, there was NO reason the would need to be an only cat. Without the incorrect information hanging over his head, Tyson may have been adopted much sooner.
Shelter workers at the Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation didn’t do anything on purpose to cause his lengthy stay. They simply didn’t relay the updated information proving FIV cats can live with other felines with no issues, as well as they could have.
What is unfortunate though, is that the rescue DID have this information and made note of it in a social media post in early 2017.
However, this was listed no where on his adoption profile.
It would be possible for him to live with a non-positive cat as long as there would be no aggression between them. Tyson is not aggressive at all with the other FIV kitties in his room. He is a lovable, gentle cat. His spirit seems broken as he spends day in and day out in the same room. Would you be that special someone who will rescue him from this terrible fate?
“Adopters should never be quick to dismiss a cat due to them being FIV positive,” shelter manager Alex Holden told the York Daily Record. “Not every cat is a good fit for every home. So when you find a cat that really connects to you and your family, that is a special bond.”
Tyson was absolutely beloved by the entire organization though.
They would NEVER even think of euthanizing him for his FIV status. Which is something that happens every day to poor FIV+ cats at veterinarian offices and shelters. He roamed the rescue, bringing joy and love to the volunteers with his soulful little face.
But 6 years later, a loving couple who took the time to research his FIV status. They knew Tyson was meant for a better life.
When Janelle James spotted Tyson on Petfinder.com, she knew there was something special about the ginger and white boy. She was spooked by his FIV at first, not knowing much about the virus. But she found a Facebook Group called, Owners of FeLV+/ FIV+ cats and posted asking for information on life with an FIV kitty.
And when she received the replies from numerous cat servants dispelling the myths, they immediately made the decision to adopt Tyson.
One click led to another, “and then I saw Tyson’s picture and read his profile….and I thought maybe we do want a cat,” James said. So she sent a picture of Tyson to her husband, and they decided that as long as they could get Tyson they would get a cat.
They were warned Tyson’s lengthy stay at the rescue may mean acclimating to his new home could take a while. But the sweet boy surprised them when he settled right in to his new life. His new parents were happy to share the tale with reporters.
[Tyson] showed no signs of fear once he left the shelter and could not stop purring and rubbing against the couple from the second they all arrived home.
“We let him out of the carrier, and he is just all over us. He was just a purring machine, rubbing up against us. And we laughed because he was even purring while he was using his litter box and drinking water. I think he knew that he was home and was just so happy,” James said.