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Dog and cat BFFs find forever home together

Friday, July 27, 2012
Shiner (left) and Shiloh are best friends. Thanks to BARC and Red Collar Rescue, these buddies will never be separated again. Theyve found a new forever home, together.

Shiner (left) and Shiloh are best friends. Thanks to BARC and Red Collar Rescue, these buddies will never be separated again. They've found a new forever home, together. (Red Collar Rescue)

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Dog vs. cat: an age-old rivalry; but once in a while, the stereotype is broken and members of these two factions of the animal world can come together and become the best of friends.

Such is the case with Shiloh and Shiner.

Shiloh, a cat, and his best friend Shiner, a dog, were surrendered to BARC by their owner in June. The owner's last request was for the buddies to be adopted together.

They were separated at the shelter. Shiloh went to the cat room and Shiner went in with the other dogs.

The bond between Shiloh and Shiner was made apparent when they were briefly reunited in a room at the shelter a few days after their arrival. They both lit up, volunteers said, and there were "lots of kisses and cuddles."

BARC staff posted their photo on Facebook and sent out an email to local rescue organizations, asking for help finding a foster family for the duo. Houston-based nonprofit Red Collar Rescue took on the case.

In Red Collar Rescue volunteer Charlotte Liberda's experience, adopting dogs and cats together is not an easy feat.

"It is very difficult to find a home for a dog and cat pair," she said. "People, as a rule, will want one or the other."

Red Collar Rescue found a foster home, but the animals were rejected by the volunteer after one night of nervous barking from Shiner. The volunteer threatened to take the animals back to BARC where they would have been separated again. Instead, Red Collar Rescue picked Shiner and Shiloh up and took them to a vet clinic where they were boarded temporarily.

But no one gave up hope, and another home soon opened up to these friends.

Julie and Paul Nemeth of Santa Fe had adopted a dog named Amber through Red Collar Rescue in 2009. They saw a photo of Shiloh and Shiner on the organization's Facebook page, and they immediately signed up to foster the pair.

"This situation worked out perfectly. This family already had dogs and cats, so they were completely willing to take both," Liberda said.

About a week later, Red Collar Rescue received an email from Julie Nemeth.

"It's unfortunate nobody wanted these two sweethearts, and unfortunately no one will ever have the chance," she wrote. "We would love to keep this as their forever home. There is no way we could let them go."

Shiloh and Shiner's temporary home became a permanent one, and their new family says they fit right in.

Shiner "plays all day with Amber, runs forever in the pastures, gets in the pool with us, lays on our laps, loves our girls, and sleeps next to me in the bed," Nemeth said.

And Shiloh "is such a tough little cookie. She has no fear of the other dogs in the house. They really like her," Nemeth said, adding that she has also been accepted by the other cats.

Not only do they have a new home and a new family, these best friends are also able to stay together thanks to the efforts of BARC and Red Collar Rescue.

"Nothing is impossible," Liberda said. "Sometimes special cases like this will take a little bit longer, but we always want to make sure it's a perfect fit."

For more information on BARC -- the animal shelter for the City of Houston -- and their foster and pet adoption programs, visit www.houstonbarc.com.

For more information on Red Collar Rescue and to support their efforts, visit www.redcollar.org.

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