Today I’d like to introduce the PoC community to a very well known fosterer for Greenville County Animal Care in Upstate South Carolina. This man is a dear friend to all of the Greenville cat advocates and has made a name for himself by nursing sick kittens and cats back to health.
Bobby Knight of Greenville is 55 years young. Back in 2009 he had to retire due to physical issues. Within one year, he was battling depression and overwhelmed with feeling useless. That’s when a friend invited Bobby to tag along with her to Greenville County Animal Care (GCACS), which is known as a high intake and high kill shelter for cats. In 2014, 53.4% of the cats entering the shelter didn’t get out alive.
After visiting the shelter several times, Bobby was eager to learn how he could help the cats. He spoke with Susan Bufano, a wonderful cat advocate no longer employed by GCACS, and asked what he could do to save the cats there. Susan explained how short-handed the shelter was (and still are) on foster parents and Bobby soon learned his gift was in caring for sick cats and kittens. He takes them home and nurses them back to health, at which time they go up for adoption or to a rescue when they’re healthy enough for a forever home.
Bobby still gets overwhelmed at times, especially when a kitty is simply too sick to be saved. But the joy that comes with seeing his babies getting adopted or rescued puts him on top of the world again. Some of his ideas have changed things for the better at GCACS. Cats formerly in his care have found homes all over the United States, and Bobby gets updated stories, as well as photos of them, on a weekly basis.
Although the shelter is his second home, Bobby is like all of us and recognizes the problems faced by the shelter. For one, there are never enough foster parents for the number of felines who enter the facility. People just keep coming and coming and coming with litter after litter of unwanted kittens or to drop off cats they no longer want.
Bobby would like to see a TNR program for Greenville to curb the stray cat population. Greenville recently got approval on a program dubbed the Free Roaming Cat Program, and will have to report back to Greenville County Council in a year with information on whether the program is a success.
In addition to thanking the staff and volunteers at GCACS, Bobby also has a special message for his former charges (the kittens) saying
“I would like to thank the hundreds of kittens I have fostered for helping me to beat my depression and feeling useless. I have received a lot of kitty love for the last five years.”
You can see Bobby’s love in this short video I transferred from Facebook to YouTube.
Not only has Bobby received kitty love, all of us who follow his success are so very thankful the kittens and cats have him. GCACS is much too crowded to give each sick kitten the TLC needed to pull through an illness easily treated in a home environment, but that can be fatal in a shelter. Bobby has a very important task and we all hope he continues his work for many years to come.
Please comment on Facebook as well as it helps spread the word – thanks.