South O’ the Highway

Howard and Beth Stern Adopt Future Therapy Cat Helen Rose

The adorable foster kitten had found her forever home all along.

Southamptonites Howard and Beth Stern have adopted a furry, new baby into the family, and her name is Helen Rose Stern. Originally one of the Sterns’ many foster cats, they announced on August 6 that Helen will become the family’s first therapy animal, with a bright future working in hospitals, nursing homes and the like.

 

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Announcement 💗🌹 #helenspurpose

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Helen’s story began at the start of the summer, when Beth was contacted by a distressed woman who had recently purchased a purebred British shorthair from a breeder only to learn the cat was already pregnant by her first veterinarian appointment. The pregnancy made the poor mother cat very sick, and she had to be rushed back to the vet after giving birth to six tiny kittens. Beth directed the pet parent to the Long Island Veterinarian Specialists in Plainview, where five of the kittens were nurtured to perfect health—the sixth kitten, sadly, didn’t make it.

 

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Helen’s story… I was contacted by a woman who purchased a young female purebred British Shorthair from a breeder. She brought her home only to wake up the next morning to that female laying lifeless in the middle of her kitchen floor with six newborn babies. She rushed the mama to her emergency vet hospital where they did not think she would make it. She called the breeder and the breeder never returned her call and never told her that the cat she purchased was pregnant. I told her to take the six newborn kittens to Long Island Veterinary Specialists immediately and she handed over full responsibility to me. Dr. Jackie took over and placed them in the incubator and had her nurses bottle feed them around the clock. Sadly, one of the six did not make it. The other five thrived under Dr. Jackie‘s care and her team. Three of the veterinarians who nurtured them became very attached and asked if they could adopt. That’s why I now have 2. Helen and her brother Bernie are doing well and continue to thrive. They both already have adopters who are ready to love them forever. I will hold onto them for another few weeks. This whole situation breaks my heart that a breeder could be so irresponsible and threaten all of these little lives. The good news is that their mother finally recovered and is doing well and was since adopted by the veterinarian who saved her. This was one of the video updates I received from Dr. Jackie while under her care.♥️

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Three of the veterinarians each adopted a kitten, leaving two to be fostered by the Sterns. The boy, Bernie, was later adopted by a loving family, leaving the girl, Helen, with the foster parents who saw great potential in her. “We’ve been a part of Helen’s journey with her siblings from when they were just an hour old, and we’ve gotten quite attached to her. And we feel she would be the perfect therapy cat,” Beth says in the August 6 announcement. “We’re putting her to work!” She joins Bella, Yoda, Walter and Pebble, as one of the couple’s resident cats, though she’ll play a much different role than her new siblings.

 

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Part 2

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The Sterns have opened their home to feline transients for five years now, helping over 900 cats find their forever families in conjunction with the North Shore Animal League America, the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world, at which Beth serves as the national spokesperson and personally assists with many adoptions. In 2012, the passing of their beloved English bulldog Bianca drove Beth to fund major renovations for the North Shore Animal League America, adding a new expansion, “Bianca’s Furry Friends,” to the adoption center.

Beth’s Instagram account abounds with pictures of her foster and permanent cats, and sufficiently provides one’s daily prescription of cuteness. While immensely adorable, the photos also help raise awareness for the North Shore Animal League America and all of the sweet kittens and senior cats in need of forever homes.

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