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Petco Love Success Story: Rooster the cat

Time for a Petco Love success story! Grab your tissues, because this pawsome love story will have you crying happy tears ❤ And if you get the urge to foster a kitty or two, SVASC needs you now more than ever! Visit to learn more about fostering.

On December 20, 2020, SVASC received Rooster, a stray cat who had been living with a small group of cats on a property in Waynesboro for over a month. Rooster was very nervous on intake, so nervous that staff could barely handle him at all. They also noted that he had a corneal ulcer on his right eye and his third eyelid was raised. The staff worked to socialize him and get him used to being handled. He was given a Convenia injection to fight the infection in his eye, but it was determined that the eye would have to be removed for Rooster to have a pain-free, happy life.

Rooster was neutered on February 3, 2021. Shortly after that, Ann Catherine Grose and her boyfriend headed into the shelter to find a companion for their SVASC Alumni Cat, Shamu. Shamu was feeling very lonely and he was grieving the recent death of his elderly adopted brother, Hobbit. After a few minutes of gentle coaxing, Ann’s boyfriend was able to get Rooster to leave his kennel and play. It was love at first sight for Ann; seeing him interact with humans and other cats affectionately meant he would be a good brother for Shamu. “I feel like cat adopters never choose the cat, the cat chooses them and gives them permission to apply to be owned by the cat,” Ann shared. However, there was one major barrier left to overcome—an expensive enucleation surgery to remove the bothersome eye.

Tracey Meadows, Cat Kennel Manager at SVASC, knew exactly what to do. Normally, the shelter does not have funding to provide needed surgeries to every animal they intake, but she knew this was a perfect opportunity to put Petco Love grant funding to use. Tracey negotiated a deal with Ann— Petco Love will cover the surgery and you can be his medical foster and adopter. Ann was relieved that she would be bringing her new buddy home soon and felt overwhelmed with gratitude for Petco Love’s financial assistance in making this adoption possible.

Rooster’s eye was removed on March 17, 2021, and two days later, he was resting easy in the Grose’s home. Though there was a tough adjustment phase, Ann knew she could handle this part of the deal. She was surprised to learn how many hiding places she could find Rooster in just one spare room, but she never lost patience with him. As time went on and Rooster healed, he became very social, affectionate, and playful. The skittish cat who ran away any time someone tried to pick him up became a lap cat demanding affection and attention. Once the cone came off and he could really bond with Shamu, they bonded quickly and started to heal the wound that Hobbit’s loss left.

Ann shared, “when I found out his enucleation surgery would be covered by Petco Love grant funding, I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude. I also thought about how compelling it is that Petco Love takes the extra step to help rural shelters like SVASC make stories like Rooster’s possible.”

Ann officially adopted Rooster three weeks after he entered her home for medical foster. Rooster, now Odin, is a hefty 16.5 lb cannonball of a cat absolutely brimming with personality and life.

Petco Love has generously invested $322,500 in Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center since 2013. Without their assistance, many animals with injuries and illnesses would not have had the opportunity to receive treatment or get adopted by loving families in Waynesboro, Staunton, or Augusta County. Their funding also covers the bulk of SVASC’s spay/neuter surgeries; these critical surgeries have contributed to the significant overall decrease in intakes and increase in save rate since 2014. Preventing unwanted litters keeps the shelter population from exploding and saves the citizens of the municipalities from having to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender their animals to the shelter. Petco Love has invested over $300 million dollars with 4,000 animal welfare partners across the United States.