Cat Overcomes Adoption Challenges and Steals Hearts

Life With Cats is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

SONY DSCThe odds of finding a new home seemed to be against Snowball when he first arrived at HEART, a no-kill rescue organization in Western New York that purposefully takes in the “underdogs” of the pet world.

Snowball had been abandoned in an apartment after the previous owners moved out and was barely surviving. He was then rescued by a kind soul who could not afford the medical treatment that Snowball needed and so brought him to HEART.

Once with the HEART team, Snowball had to undergo treatment for stomatitis, a painful and serious dental infection, and also for deformities in his knees, a condition which he may have had since birth.

When he went up for adoption, HEART offered to continue to support Snowball’s medical issues for his new owner. All that they wanted was for this sweet kitty to find a home that would give him the security and attention he so desperately needed.

One of the main challenges, though, was that Snowball was not exactly an attractive cat and looked downright odd! In a special on HEART in the Buffalo news, he was even described as “kind of a mess.” They went on to describe what they meant, saying “He drools constantly because of the painful dental disease stomatitis. His back end is hunched under because of two dislocated kneecaps, so he moves more like a bunny than a kitty…”Snowball 4 (2)

It was clear that Snowball was “adoption challenged.” However, it was Snowball’s personality that shined through that “mess,” that was his looks. They say that beauty comes from within and for Snowball, this is definitely the case!

Even in that same feature in the Buffalo news, they went on to describe how Snowball showed his “true, loving nature” by happily greeting people and looking up at them “with his bright, blue eyes.” Snowball began to truly win hearts and became infamous for his affectionate and happy personality.

In the end, this led Snowball to a woman named Peggy who brought in a pregnant cat that she had found dumped on her property. She did not plan on adding a new member to her family, but when she encountered Snowball, she fell in love, strange looks and all!

Peggy reports that Snowball, now called Bert, “will not leave her lap and all he does is purr. “ She said, “Bert is doing great and is our cherished pet! We just adore him and are so grateful for all of HEART’s support with medical issues along the way.”

SONY DSCSnowball (Bert) is an inspiration to all who work with adoption challenged animals and to humans who face their own obstacles to success. Stop worrying about superficial things, as it is what you have underneath the surface that will really help you overcome!


HEART Animal Rescue and Adoption Team, Inc., was formed in 1984 and has saved thousands of animals’ lives since then. They are a non-profit, all-volunteer, no-kill organization whose main objective is to alleviate the suffering of neglected, injured, orphaned, sick or abused animals in Western New York. They especially advocate for animals like Snowball, who are the “underdogs” of the pet world and those that would have the hardest time being adopted. They believe that all animals deserve the chance to live a quality life, regardless of handicap or personality and treat all living creatures as they themselves would wish to be treated.

2 thoughts on “Cat Overcomes Adoption Challenges and Steals Hearts”

  1. I once had a lovely calico named Nellie who developed stomatitis, and she was treated successfully.

    Since the tissue inside her mouth was irritated by her teeth, my vet removed all the teeth behind her canines, both upper & lower jaws. It took 2 separate surgeries about 2 weeks apart, and was expensive (about $1400 total), but the difference in her quality of life was just astounding!

    Where before she had slept quietly most of the day, she now felt so much better that she quickly became very playful, energetic, and outgoing. Eating also became much easier since she was no longer in pain; her coat went from being dry & ragged to a gorgeous mane that was very thick and so soft!

Leave a Comment