Woman forced to part with her pets


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/*Tonette Frisby*/ has been dreading this day. She's not only losing her home, she's about to give up her companions for the past 15 years.

"I don't want to give them up," said Frisby.

"She's not only giving them up, she's giving them up. She won't get them back again, so these are like her children," said Frisby's sister Sonya Spencer.

Frisby is moving to a small apartment. She can't bring her five cats -- a stray who wandered into her life 16 years ago, and her surprise litter.

Tonette searched for months for a new home for the cats. No one would take them in.

"How could I continue my life not when I didn't know their life was going to continue," said Frisby.

With time running out before her eviction, she was terrified they'd wind up at a shelter that euthanizes un-adopted animals. So she contacted /*7 On Your Side*/ and we arranged for help.

The /*Benicia Vallejo Humane Society*/ agreed to take all five cats.

"We're fortunate to have the open kennels to help her with that," said Humane Society Director Peter Wilson.

"It's like thank God they got a home and it happened quickly. and then it goes, but i gotta give them away but they're not going to die," said Frisby.

As she arrives for the surrender, the cats were meowing like crazy and Frisby cannot hold back the tears.

It's a scene repeated up and down the state these days. On top of losing their homes to foreclosure, many people face the agony of losing their family pets too.

One family had to leave their well trained dog Jewel.

"They've raised these animals, they are their closest companion and closest friend not only are they losing their home they're losing their closest friend at the same time so it's really just it's heartbreaking," said Benicia Vallejo Humane Society behavior trainer Bobbi Durston.

It's hard signing the surrender papers, but seeing their new home provides comfort.

"I feel relieved. I like the atmosphere, I like where they landed," said Frisby.

With the cats in their new kennels, Frisby has to say good bye. The hardest part was letting go of the mother cat. It's an emotional moment for everyone.

"I love you so much you started this all," said Frisby.

"We see that on a regular basis where someone comes in to surrender an animal that's been part of their life to where their situation won't allow them to keep them anymore," said Wilson. "We were there to help her with the process and there wasn't a dry eye in the room because we felt the emotion."

"I love you," said Frisby.

The cats are doing well. Frisby has since gone back to visit, and she's even planning a fundraiser to help others in her situation.

Related information:

  • Petfinder
  • Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA
  • Humane Society of Alameda
  • Contra Costa Humane Society
  • San Francisco SPCA
  • Marin County Humane Society
  • Napa Humane
  • Humane Society of Silicon Valley
  • Solano Benicia Humane Society
  • Humane Society and SPCA of Sonoma County

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