The Story of Peach

By Diana Oliver

Sometimes it really does take a village to create a very happy ending for an animal.  Peach’s story is a story of love, cooperation and teamwork to find the perfect home for one kitty.  Animal lovers in different states will move mountains to make sure the right kitty meets the right family to create a wonderful story.

The story begins in NJ when Jean, President of Paws and Claws Society (PACS), received a call from Kay, a friend in Cape May County, NJ asking her to find a cat for her friend Delores.  Delores was coming to PACS as a repeat adopter so Jean knew instantly that some lucky kitty was going to have a fantastic home with Delores.  She just needed to find the right kitty.  When kitty lovers are given a mission, nothing is impossible and everyone involved in this mission, from beginning to end, are dedicated kitty and animal lovers.  Success was just about guaranteed.

The search for a cat with specific characteristics began in New Jersey, starting with C.A.T.S., a PACS Circle of Compassion partner in Ocean City, NJ, but later expanded to several other NJ rescue organizations.  Unfortunately the leads all fell through and once again Jean started looking at options. This time from the Mid Atlantic states to the North East areas.  She spent hours looking at photos and bios and finally found a kitty that looked like she just might be the right match.  That kitty was Peach and she was at Chemung County Humane SPCA & Clinic in Elmira, NY.

The next steps required more cooperation and team work as a picture and a bio needed to be followed up with an in-person visit.  Cooperation of the shelter housing Peach would be critical.  If you are a passionate animal lover, it should be no surprise that the shelter was happy to work with Jean to make a great adoption.  Once Jean knew the shelter was on board, the next step was the in-person visit and what appeared to be an impossible transport.  Peach was in New York but PACS, Jean and Delores were in New Jersey, and five hours separated them.  Would anyone be willing to drive a ten hour round trip for one little cat?

Jean then contacted Diana, the local administrator for the S.A.F.E.R. Cats on the Border Project, which is a TNR program funded and managed by PACS working on the NY/PA border.  Would COTB be able to join the team working on making Peach and Delores happy?  Of course the answer was yes and within a few hours arrangements were made for Deb, a COTB volunteer trapper and foster home, to visit Peach.  Deb was also willing to make the drive from Elmira, NY to Ocean City, NJ to get Peach to her new home ASAP.

Coordination between the shelter, Deb, C.A.T.S (the meeting place in NJ) and Delores all fell into place with more phone calls by Jean and the date, time and location were in place.

Just a few short days after Peach was discovered at the shelter, she was on her way to NJ and a new and glorious beginning to the rest of her life.  Deb made a special trip of five hours each way to make sure that one kitty would never be homeless again.

The search for the right kitty and the successful fairy “tail” ending couldn’t have happened without the efforts of dozens of people and several organizations.  Rescue is a labor of love whether it is saving a kennel full of dogs, removing a farm animal from an abusive situation or finding a home for a very special kitty.  When we all work together love shines through and that makes all of us smile.

But wait, we aren’t done telling this story.  It doesn’t end with Peach settling in with Delores in her new home.  There is much more, all because a kitty named Peach and the president of PACS brought together people who would do just about anything to help animals.

Again, Jean’s experience saw the possibility of thousands of kitties benefiting from finding the good people at Chemung County Humane SPCA & Clinic.  The ability of Paws and Claws to expand its SAFER Cats on the Border Program was dependent on finding veterinarians willing to participate.  Paws and Claws Society Cats on the Border expansion needed more veterinarians to perform spay/neuter surgeries……….Chemung County Humane SPCA & Clinic must have veterinarians to perform spay/neuter surgeries for their clinic.

Calls to Tom of Chemung County Humane SPCA & Clinic, Carmela of TLC-TNR, and Dr. Leslie Appel of SOS led to new friendships.  The partnership with SOS veterinarians at Chemung Clinic has enabled Paws and Claws Society to expand its SAFER Cats on the Border program in NY west from Nichols to Waverly and the Tioga County and Chemung County line, as well as east in PA from Rome Township to Warren Center.

Left to right: Judy, Director of C.A.T.S., Delores, Peach, Deb


“If every animal shelter in the United States embraced the No Kill philosophy and the programs and services that make it possible, we would save nearly four million dogs and cats that are scheduled to die in shelters this year, and the year after that. It is not an impossible dream.”  – Nathan Winograd, Director of the No-Kill Advocacy Center


Paws and Claws is a registered 501c3 charity run entirely by volunteers that truly believes in the dream!  For 25 years PACS has shared its vision to humanely improve the quality of life for animals with groups and individuals wishing to help animals in their local communities.  Along with the vision, PACS provides them with the guidance, programs and financial support to make the dream come true. 

Thanks to the efforts of Paws and Claws Society, Cape May County became the 1st no-kill county in the state of New Jersey, and Cape May County was not PACS first no-kill success.  Earlier, Paws and Claws transitioned the Pennsville Pound from a very high kill facility to a no-kill place of safety for pets in their community.

PACS is currently working its magic in several communities bordering NY and PA.  Since October 2015, Paws and Claws Society has partnered with Gemini Farm to offer PACS SAFER Cats on the Border program in Rome and Warren Townships, PA as well as Nichols, Barton, and Waverly, NY.

Paws & Claws provides free spay/neuter, education, medical assistance, and adoption programs in selected communities with residents who wish to embrace a no-kill philosophy.

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