by Lucy Noland
The snow was starting to fall as a desperate call for help went up. Francis Colorado was fading fast. He needed a blood transfusion immediately. Francis happens to be a cat who a trio of us had rescued from Philadelphia’s open-intake shelter, ACCT Philly. He was covered in scabies—couldn’t even open his eyes when we scooped him up. Little did we know, this FIV+ boy was also being ravaged by a blood eating parasite.
Zoeann Campbell, founder of Nonlethal Options for Animals (NOA), packed him up from the Medford, New Jersey veterinary clinic we had brought him to days earlier. Turns out, getting cat blood is a tough go and the only place that might be able to help was an hour away at Wissahickon Creek Veterinary Center in Philadelphia’s Roxborough neighborhood. Problem was, Francis needed more than one transfusion and Wissahickon Creek didn’t have enough blood. So Zoeann and I trekked through a near blizzard toward Allentown where an incredible transporter had grabbed a bag of the precious commodity from a blood bank and handed it off to us just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Time was of the essence.
Well, look at Francis now. After weeks in the hospital and loving care by Dr. Dana Yard and her team, he was ready for his forever home. Animal advocate Roe Navek was critical in saving Francis and she found the perfect match for the little man who is now luxuriating in his best life ever. Francis is one of nearly 5,000 precious lives that NOA has helped save since its inception in 2006. As founder, Zoeann, explains “I suffer over every animal I see in a cage and I know so many don’t have a chance and the shelter will euthanize them. That pain signifies every aspect of why I continue to rescue animals, why I choose to fight this fight. Why NOA volunteers and I save as many animals as we can.”
Animals, like a kitty who would be named Grimm. The moment I saw his picture, just like Francis, I knew we had to save him. Zoeann, as usual, was all in. We had never seen a cat in his condition. We even thought he might be some type of hairless breed. Turns out, his “owners” had declawed him, completely neglected him and let him loose in their Port Richmond neighborhood.
We took him to Art Cit Vets where Dr. Eddie Aller and his compassionate team fell in love, named him Grimm and decided to keep him. Look at this man! Yep, he’s not a hairless cat at all. He’s a beautiful robust boy who just needed a chance. Which is what NOA is all about.
As Zoeann tells it, “NOA functions as a no-kill rescue that saves animals in dire need, provides veterinary care, places animals in foster care then finds them safe permanent homes.” Homes like the Albert’s. Zoey was slated for euthanasia at ACCT Philly in February of 2019. Her little picture that the Life Saving staff released said, “Will you be my Valentine?” Isi Albert said, “Yes!” NOA rescued Zoey.
Dr. Michael Weiss and his team at 2nd Street Animal Hospital gave her the all-clear, and these days, the graceful senior lady lives in the lap of luxury (or in the case of this picture, arms). For the Albert’s, who adopt and foster the toughest of cases and have an affinity for felines in their golden years, every day with their now 19-year old Zoey is like Valentine’s Day, thanks to the tireless work of NOA.
But it’s not just kitties that Zoeann and her team are committed to helping. For more on their mission for all creatures great and small (and how spaying/neutering and contraception plays into it all) walk this way: