Rescuer reunites autistic 12 year old boy with his missing cat

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A woman who helps pets to find their way out of a high kill shelter helped to reunite a 12 year old autistic boy with the missing cat who is his best friend.

Kristy Nunn LaRue works with People For Floyd County Pets to help save homeless pets from the high-kill Floyd County Animal Control facility, in Floyd County, Georgia. People for Floyd County Pets is not a rescue, but is, in their words,  “a facilitator for helping rescues save animals.” The group worksmostly to save cats because there is greater need, but also helps dogs.

They network, in part, through the People For Floyd County Pets page at Facebook.

Kristy recently felt, as a personal matter, that she needed to save a longhaired black and white cat from Floyd County Animal Control.  The cat, who she described as “mesmerizing,” was sick and was due to be put down on Wednesday, April 1. She pulled him from the shelter on March 31, brought him home and set about making him comfortable.  A friend thought she recognized the kitty from missing posters. The woman whose cat had gone missing  last June said kitty looked jst like hers, but the missing kitty was a male and the one pulled from the shelter had been listed as a female.

It turned out that the shelter had mistakenly designated the cat as female, and he was in fact the missing boy, whose name is Oreo.

Oreo had been living on his own, and had visited one woman for food on several occasions. The woman didn’t try to help him because she thought he was someone’s pet who was living at his home but cadging food. The woman said he was very sweet and visited her home many times.

Kristy was overjoyed to reunite Oreo with his family, but that joy was increased when the rest of the story was revealed.

Oreo lives with Gussie Bradfield and her family, of West Rome, and has been with the family for all of his 11 years, except for the months when he was missing. Gussie Bradfield and her husband Robert have a household of six children; two biological children, two adopted, and two fosters.

Oreo developed a special friendship with Trevor, who is 12 years old and autistic. Trevor sometimes tends to be withdrawn, but that separation from people did not apply to Oreo. Trevor became closely bonded with Oreo and always had time for him.

The Rome News-Tribune spoke with Gussie and Trevor and published a heartwarming story on the reunion on Sunday.

Gussie told the paper: “Because of [Trevor’s] autism he likes to exclude himself sometimes.”

“He was in and out of foster care and that may have contributed to his isolation. Sometimes he doesn’t even want to talk to anyone.”

“Trevor has anxiety, but Oreo has a very soothing effect on him.”

“I can’t really explain it. When Trevor withdraws from others, he’ll talk to Oreo. He seems to be comforted by his presence. Oreo is not intimidating in any way, I suppose. Trevor really relaxes around him and opens up more.”

Oreo went missing in June, 2014 when he was scared by a dog that came into the home,and fled. The family searched and put up posters but didn’t find him.

“I missed him,” Trevor told the News-Tribune. “I asked people for help. I drew pictures.”

“He’s part of our family,” Gussie said.

“This family has been through a lot and he’s been through it all right along with us. He’s not replaceable.”




At the shelter



Trevor Bradfield and Oreo, in a photo from the Rome News-Tribune. Photo: Severo Avila


Gussie and Trevor Bradfield with Oreo, in a photo from the Rome News-Tribune. Photo: Severo Avila


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